The first character that comes to my mind, when I put the terms Bible and curiosity together, is the Ethiopian eunuch. In Acts 8:34 we read: “The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” (NIV). The preceding verses tell us the eunuch was reading the Book of Isaiah the Prophet and that he went to Jerusalem to worship. We can infer this man had a high level of curiosity about God and His Word, and the result was that the eunuch was saved and baptized that day on his way home.
Salvation is by grace, period. However, there are plenty of passages in the Bible that make it clear God rewards those who seek Him (e.g. Heb 11:6). Then, we can conclude that the element that must be always present, in anyone trying to meet and know God, is curiosity. If we could only transmit some degree of curiosity about God and His Word to nonbelievers then we would have a seed planted in their hearts, and they would try to find a way to water that seed of curiosity. And of course, curiosity about the Bible can only be placated by studying the Word of God.
In so doing, we always need the appropriate tools, and study Bibles are, perhaps, one of the most helpful resources we can acquire for our personal or group study. The NIV Faithlife Study Bible (Zondervan, 2017) is called to become one of the most appreciated and valuable study Bible in the following decades, and there are multiple reasons for that. Firs, this Bible offers thorough notes and commentaries in every chapter. These notes are always helpful to understand passages that are not always clear to us. They are abundant, illuminating and constructive. Every book in this Bible is preceded by an introduction that helps readers to put the book in perspective and context. Introductions are in some cases accompanied by timelines.
Secondly, the NIV Faithlife Study Bible is full with tables, charts, and images that can help anyone to better understand what is being said in a given passage. Figures and other graphic resources can be extremely helpful for our personal study. These resources are in full color, which is always appreciated as it makes study time refreshing and vivid. If you are a visual learner, you will love this Bible.
Thirdly, this new study Bible can be of great help for both experienced Christians and new believers, or even to nonbelievers seeking to feed their curiosity. When I first opened this Bible and started to explore it, I had the feeling that, as a pastor, this is going to be a Bible I will always have at hand. But I also noticed this Bible can be extremely helpful for new Christians who are establishing the basis for their faith and growing in their knowledge of the Scripture.
This Bible is available in hardcover edition, imitation leather, and bonded leather. Of course, prices vary depending on the edition you chose.
Summarizing, Zondervan has produced an outstanding Bible, a Bible that, if used as it is intended to be used, will help generations of Christians to grow in our personal lives and feed our curiosity about the Word of God. Highly recommendable to any Christian at any stage of their Christian life. Congratulations, Zondervan, and thank you for providing us with such a comprehensive Bible.
Here are some additional resources that will help you to get to know this Bible in depth:
- Interactive sampler: https://goo.gl/RuS5aL
- Promotional video: https://youtu.be/JvO83voxWh8
- The official web site link for the NIV Faithlife Study Bible: http://www.nivfaithlifestudybible.com/
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