Some of the material may be redundant for those who already own the Archeological study bible or Essentials bible. For example, many of the diagrams, maps and illustrations such as the temple which appears in Matthew, are in both the Essentials bible and First Century bible. The only difference is that the First Century bible depicts them in full color. I feel that the full color makes a world of difference in contrast to the black and white which gives the Essentials bible a dated appearance. If you own the Archeological study bible, the only reason to purchase the First Century bible would be if you want the new revised 2011 NIV version with gender inclusive language. If you actually prefer the original NIV translation, then you might not want to "upgrade" to the First Century bible. If you own the Essentials study bible, then the only reason to "upgrade" to the First Century bible would be if you prefer full color to black and white.
Although there appear to be quite a bit of study notes included, they are more like foot notes. The study notes add some historical detail but really do not clarify any spiritual concepts. If you are looking for a bible wth extensive study notes for spiritual clarification- this study bible is not the best choice. The one downside if I had to choose would be the study notes which seem to be "filler" material.
For anyone looking for a good bible that will provide a lifetime of value and study, the NIV First Century bible is the top choices in my opinion. I think any bible reader will be impressed. As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this bible published by Zondervan.
Have a tough time deciding what bible to choose? Please visit this guide online.