Monday, November 7, 2016

Beyond Suffering Bible - A Review

Beyond Suffering Bible.jpg

A Review

Though being marketed as a Study Bible, I think this Bible is has more similarities to today’s Devotional Bibles. Having said that, this Bible is the best Devotional Bible I have seen in a long time (ever?). It belongs in the hands of every pastor, caregiver, personal sufferer - anybody that finds themselves in a hopeless situation. As the reader might guess, that includes most of us.  

A variety of helps contribute to the value of this Bible. Devotionals are scattered throughout the Bible, many of them written by Joni Eareckson Tada, focusing on the many sides of suffering. Along with the devotionals, are a series of character profiles and application guides (“Connection Points”).  Also included are a set of ten weekly reading plans :

  1. Comforting Those Who Mourn
  2. Disability and the Image of God
  3. Growing Spiritually Through Suffering
  4. Intellectual Disability and Salvation
  5. Healing: A Proper View
  6. The Role of the Church
                  in Suffering and Disability
  7. Praising God Through Suffering
  8. Suffering and Spiritual Formation
  9. What Causes Disability
  10. Victory Through Weakness

Along with these resources, found in the text itself, there are also a series of essays from a variety of authors addressing the issue of suffering and the believer. I appreciate that the publisher has not left this book standing by itself. Near the end of the book is a two-page list of additional recommended resources: Books, Curriculum Resources, Joni and Friends Websites, and Other Helpful Websites. A very useful, comprehensive topical index is provide to give access to the various materials.

Though more like a Devotional Bible, the reader will find the typical helps (though nothing special) found in a Study Bible: Cross References, Dictionary and Concordance (combined), and Bible Maps. Finally, I should note that the contributing authors are listed, for both those who worked on the NLT translation and on the Beyond Suffering Bible.

As I hinted earlier, some version of this Bible belongs in the hands of every Pastor, lay leader, Sunday School teacher, church library, and family. We each will need to deal with suffering someday, somewhere. This Bible can help prepare us for that task.

This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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