Friday, September 12, 2014

NIV First Century Study Bible- a bible like no other

I have found my new favorite bible! This is the bible that I have been waiting for.  It is a cross between the out of print NIV Archeological study bible, and the newly published NIV Essentials study bible. If you want to own one single bible that is good for study as well as beautifully designed and illustrated, the full color NIV First Century Study Bible is the only bible you will need.  This bible has every study feature you could ever ask for in a bible- including historical, theological and life application information.  This bible is full of full color photos, maps, charts, illustrations as well as the tiny footnotes- traditional study notes on the bottom of the page.  It is like a history book and bible rolled into one volume.  This bible is great for new bible readers as well experienced readers.

As far as everyday study, the font is big enough so as not to require the reader to squint.  Unlike most study bibles where the bible text is extremely tiny, I found the bible text to be readable.  I believe this is the successor to the older full color 1984 NIV translation Archeological study bible.  Having had the Archeological study bible for many years, I am most impressed with the full color interior and photos of this bible.  I have been waiting for another full color bible.  It is nice to see that the publishers recognised the need for a full color bible- with an abundance of study resources and photos from the historical point of view. I do not feel any bible reader would ever need to buy another study bible.  Perhaps teachers, sociologists,  history enthusiasts and tourist travelers will be drawn to this bible as well. Fundamentalist or Charismatic readers, may not be impressed with the tiny notes on the bottom as these notes focus more on historical details and explanations.

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.

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