Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NIV Ragamuffin Bible

NIV Ragamuffin Bible: Meditations for the Bedraggled, Beat-up & Brokenhearted, is a good, reliable choice for a bible for anyone in need of extra inspiration and guidance.  It is a  themed bible published by Zondervan that includes the additional material of Brennan Manning.  Other than that attractive, parchment graphics featuring devotionals and meditations, there isn't too much that stands out visually, other than the graphics on the cover and removable dust jacket.  This subtle, unassuming bible features the new revised, gender inclusive 2011 NIV bible text. 

The text is easy to read, and standard with bold chapter titles. The reader will not have to squint to read it. There are no graphics or other visual elements other than the parchment styled text blocks. This is a devotional bible, rather than a study bible as it lacks even the basic chapter introductions or maps that even many minimalist bibles have. Because this bible does not have a concordance or chapter introductions, I would not recommend it for anyone as first or  their only bible.  But if you do already have a bible library, then the Ragamuffin bible would make a great addition.  Unlike most devotional bibles, the reflections and devotionals by Manning are truly inspirational and uplifting.  They are simple and brief, yet the messages are timeless.  There are messages on suffering, grace and vocation.  A mix of topics on faith and Christian life They deal with common issues, hardships and grief. All readers, men and women as well as all age groups will be able to get spiritual inspiration from Manning's writings unlike many contemporary writers whose devotions alienate groups of readers.

Other than the inclusion of the devotionals and quotes, I found this to be  a very minimalist bible.  I might have expected a little more visual appeal for a themed bible.  In that respect this bible is a little bit of a disappointment. Yet the content of Manning's writings make this a worthwhile bible, especially for anyone going through hardship or trials.  I just would feel added visual appeal, as well as a concordance and  book introductions would do this bible more justice.  Nevertheless it is a high quality standard bible with a beautifully designed cover that looks sturdy enough to stand up to daily use. Basically this is a almost like a pew bible with some devotionals in tribute to Brennan Manning.  Overall, I would endorse this bible  for the encouraging works of Brennan that are included. This bible takes poignant and relevant verses and passages and focuses on them in its reflections and devotions. The title "Ragamuffin" may be a little offsetting for some traditional readers and may even deter some readers.   I feel that this bible gives a minimalist, clean, contemporary feel- nothing to distract the reader from the word of God.  As a blogger I received this bible published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.

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