I very seldom turn down the chance to review Bibles. After all, I love every single one. I like the feel of the thinner paper, the notes I inevitably end up jotting into the margins, the study notes and sidebars as well as knowing that I can hold in my hand the very words of God. So, it was no surprise to me that, when I saw the NKJV Personal Size study Bible appearing on BookLook Bloggers’ Review List for this month, there was soon a copy heading toward my house.
The NKJV Study Bible has been available for a while in other formats, but this is its first release in a softcover edition. As far as Bible features go, this one boasts:
- A full color page design
- Thomas Nelson’s complete cross-reference system including the NKJV translators’ notes
- Over 15,000 clear, readable, verse-by verse study notes
- Bible times and culture notes
- Redesigned, full-color in-text maps and charts
- Articles on key doctrines of the Bible
- Word studies with Strong’s numbers
- Book introductions, outlines, and timelines
- Harmony of the Gospels, index, concordance, and redesigned color maps
I picked up and began flipping through the Bible. At 2 3/4 pounds, it has a heavy feel to it. You’re not going to forget you’re holding this one! I was also a little discouraged that the Bible didn’t lay flat when I opened it to begin glancing through. The margins are also small for someone like me who likes to take notes, so it’s not going to be a note taking or journaling Bible.
However, once I got over the aesthetic and margin size disappointment, I was able to stand back and take a better look at the actual contents, and I found myself to be pleased. The Bible is full-color. I spent most of my time, as I looked through this Bible for review in the book of I Corinthians, and the introduction includes a photograph of modern-day Greece viewing towards the Gulf of Corinth. The introduction also includes two pages of introduction, an outline to the book, a timeline of the events where this letter fits into the timeline of Paul’s life and a drawing and description of Corinth in the time of the apostle Paul. All of these were very interesting and informative.
As I took the text of I Corinthians, I saw that about half (and sometimes less) of each page is covered in the actual Biblical text. The remainder of the page includes cross-references, translation notes, verse-by-verse study notes, sidebars and word studies. This is a really great Bible to help explain the text as you go through your studies. My favorite portion of all of these had to be the Greek word studies because, other than my Bible, my most gone for resources is my Vine’s dictionary. I also love all Bibles that have center margin cross-references. They’re a basic tool that makes Bible study so much easier, but I am finding that more and more of Bibles I review are beginning to omit these great tools for study. The notes and sidebars that I have looked at are all excellent, and I feel like, despite some aesthetic complaints, that I’m going to enjoy using this Bible in my personal studies and teaching.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.