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
Some Christian publishers are taking the initiative of publishing Bibles addressed to young people. In the past, it was very hard finding Bibles addressed to teenagers. The good news is that this situation is changing and one can find a wide catalog of bibles for youths. One of the publishers that is working hard to provide bibles for youths is Zondervan.
One of their latest publications is the NIV Holy Bible For Girls, Journal Edition. As the title states, this Bible is addressed to girls, meaning young girls and teenagers. The translation used in this Bibles is the very well-known NIV, a translation that is more contemporary and intelligible for young populations.
The volume I am reviewing here is the hardcover format. It feels strong and compact at the same time. This Bible is available in two different colors: pink, turquoise, mint or purple. It comes with an elastic ribbon (elastic closure) on the outside that keeps the Bible closed and looks like a journal.
Inside this Bible, readers will find a single column text with a very wide margin with lines to write notes. Wide margins will allow readers to take notes without any kind of troubles. That is what this Bible is for: read and write.
The size (6.5 x 1.6 x 8.4 inches) makes this Bible very manageable so readers can take it everywhere.
Something I miss in this Bible is the maps at the end of it. I believe maps are always helpful and could help young readers to get familiar with biblical places.
Other than that, this journal Bible could be a motivation for girls to read their Bibles and take notes at the same time, as this journal Bible is designed for that.
Statistics say that youths are more prone to leave their faith today more than ever before. Secularism and media influence them until the point of making them to have doubts regarding their faith. That is why I am grateful every time a Christian publisher puts in the market literature and material addressed to youths. Tyndale House Publishers has been doing so in recent years. Thank you.
One of the latest Bibles Tyndale has introduced into the Christian literature market is the Girls Slimline Holy Bible. The version used in this Bible is the well-known New Living Translation (NLT). I think that is a wise move to use this translation for a Bible addressed to girls and teenagers. The NLT version is ideal for daily reading, personal study and devotional, especially for young people who may find difficult navigating through the King James Version.
This Bible is a mid-size Bible. This is not a heavy volume, which is great for vacation time, camps, or even daily usage. The hardcover feels strong and well sewn. That helps to keep the Bible well closed so it does not open all the time while users carry it. It feels as well closed as a zipper system would do.
On the outside you will find a colored Bible that every girl will love. It combines blue, pink and neon colors on a velvet-like material. The edges of this bible are covered with a brilliant grey color made of strong rubber-plastic material that provides protection against bumps and falls.
On the inside you will find the already mentioned NLT on a 8.0 text size. This Bible includes and introduction to the NLT. The Bible text includes references, which is appreciated by every reader, including youths. This Bible not only includes a concordance but also a Dictionary/Concordance providing short definition of the term first and then the passages where the term is mentioned or referenced. This Bible also provides seven full color maps at the end of it.
When I held this Bible for the first time and noticed how the hardcover keeps the volume closed, I first thought it would not open easily making hard to read it. I was wrong. Even if you are reading in Genesis or Revelation, the rest of the book will remain steady and the Bible will not close by itself.
If you are considering buying a new Bible for your daughter or any girls you may think of, this is a great choice. The price is very accessible and price-quality factor is one of the most competitive in the market.
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.