The newest edition of the New Spirit Filled Life Bible- Kingdom Equipping Through the Power of the Word- Jack W. Hayford is now available in the easy to read New Living Translation (NLT). Joined together in this bible is both the popular Spirit Filled bible which was previously available in the KJV or NKJV and the more modern easy to read NLT. Thomas Nelson publishers has many themed bibles, but most of them are available only in the New King James (NJK) translation. Therefore making this bible available in NLT makes the bible more accessible to so many more readers who find the KJV or NKJ too antiquated.
This themed bible places emphasis on spiritual gifts and is consistent charismatic Christian tradition which places emphasis on modern day spiritual gifts such as tongues. This issue of spiritual gifts is divisive enough to cause distinct denominations within the Christian church. Nevertheless, the ideas of spiritual gifts is not a major doctrine and therefore not an issue of theology that is fundamental to faith. The idea behind charismatic believers is that the gift of tongues and other physical miracles from the ancient church and apostles is still available today to all believers. And then there are bible believers who are just as solid in their faith who believe that these spiritual signs are no longer available having served their purpose in the early church and Jesus' lifetime and that Jesus is the only testimony we need. Furthermore, charismatic churches believe in a second "installment" or "infusion" of the Holy Spirit distinct from what the believer receives when he is born again. These concepts are very well explained in the articles and reference materials in the back of this bible. Basically anything you wanted to know about the history and biblical roots of the charismatic movement is here in this bible! This bible is like Charismatics 101- an introductory course as well as more advanced indepth material as well.
Within the bible text there are sidebars of information clearly designated from the bible text. The reader will find concepts such as "Word Wealth" and "Kingdom Dynamic" which provides more information and expands on biblical concepts, theology and terminology. The end of the bible books include "Truth in Action" charts as well. All these helps draw the reader into a deeper understanding of the bible and its message. Word Wealth is basically like a dictionary, defining a specific word or concept. The only issue is that it references the "Strong's" text which many reader might be unfamiliar with. There are also maps and charts throughout. The subtle insertion of color breaks up the monotony of the columns and sets apart the biblical helps. Yet along with the two column format, the extensive notes on the bottom and the references in the center column, the bible text looks a bit too broken up and choppy. This is not a problem for those who appreciate the wealth of study helps available in this single bible volume. One other issue is that the pages are super thin and delicate. In fact, on a humid day, the pages curled up like waves just like my own hair on a humid day! I imagine this technical production issue can not be helped as many study bibles have thin pages. The irony of this situation is that the heavier use a bible is likely to get because it is a study bible, the thinner the pages tend to be! Yet to keep the size of the bible manageable, and rom weighing as much as a watermelon, this "onion skin" or tissue type of paper is the best option in the manufacturing process.
It is ironic to see these scholarly helps and notes available in a modern day version such as the NLT. I believe this lends academic and scholarly credibility to the easy NLT version which frequently is dismissed by elitists or traditionalists who feel that nothing less than the KJV or NKJV is adequate. The NLT happens to be my newly found favorite translation especially for its clarity in the old testament and the letters. As a blogger for bookszeeze I received this bible published by Thomas Nelson publishers for the purpose of writing this review.