One of the most important aspects in Bible study is context. Every preacher and anyone conducting a Bible study needs to understand the context of the passage under study, and understanding the context requires a full understanding of the cultural background of a given passage. If you want to gain knowledge regarding cultural backgrounds in the Bible, then the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Bible (Zondervan, 2016) is the resource you need to pursue that objective.
This Bible is designed to take Bible students to a higher level in understanding times and customs from the Bible. This amazing Bible comes with notes addressing cultural issues as well as exegetical and theological concerns. Notes are abundant, so potential readers should expect a Bible that demands a serious commitment to study it.
The design Zondervan has chosen for text in this Bible (NIV) is a two-column design. They have placed cross-references in a bar dividing the biblical text. This bar comes in light-brown color, which makes the cross-references easier to differentiate from the biblical text. Every chapter and heading is in red color to make it easier to identify them.
Every book in the Bible is preceded by a introduction, but unlike other study bibles, the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Bible does not include outline or theological themes. Instead, introductions to biblical books include historical settings and literary settings, with key concepts. This is obvious due to the emphasis this Bible has on cultural and historical backgrounds.
As expected in a study Bible, the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Bible is full charts, diagrams, maps, and full-color pictures and images. This makes Bible study to be more dynamic and pleasant. A concordance is also included at the end of the Bible. And if that was not enough, this Bible includes a Hebrew to English translation chart, a chart showing ancient text relating to the Old Testament, an Old and Testament chronology, a study of the time between the Testaments, a list of key New Testament terms, and an introduction to biblical text divided by genre (the Torah, narrative literature, wisdom and hymnic literature, etc…). As you can see, this is a very complete Bible, a great addition to any pastor’s library.
As for the material, the volume reviewed in this review is a hardcover edition. Imitation leather and bonded leather are also available, varying in colors and price. The hardcover Bible I received feels strong and well crafted. It comes with a removable jacket to protect the hardcover. Price range is $34.99-$89.99.
Summarizing, this is a highly recommendable, a must have Bible for pastors, those in ministry, Bible students, and anyone seeking to deepen his or her knowledge on the subject of cultural backgrounds in the Bible. You will not regret it.
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255