Tag Archives: Study Bible

Bible, curiosity, and the NIV Faithlife Study Bible

niv-fsb-blogger-bannerThe 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.

descargaIn 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:

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

KJV Word Study Bible

9780718085452-jpgCreating a new study Bible has become a difficult task due to the large amount of study bibles available in the market. Publishers are required to be creative and innovative at the same time in order to provide a new and state-of-the-art product. And folks in Thomas Nelson know how to do it.

One of the latest study bibles released by Thomas Nelson is the KJV Word Study Bible. Unlike other study bibles, the Word Study Bible does not provide footnotes. This Bible offers notes for keywords found in every chapter. Strong numerical system can be found for both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The method this Bible offers to note the word that is emphasized is by underlying that word, so readers can easily identify the word whose meaning is explained in detail. Every word comes in its original language and referenced to other passages where the same word is mentioned.

Every book of the Bible is preceded by a brief introduction and a section called “Watch Words” referring to key words found in a particular book.


The outer design offers a well-designed aspect; notably elegant. The material is a brown leathersoft, an alternative material to top-grain leather. The double perimeter stitching in brown provides a cutting-edge aspect to this Bible at the same time it makes the cover stronger.

It really surprised me the small separation on the spine binding when holding this Bible from broth front and back cover. That means the spine and cover are well crafted and glued. Margin is little bit more than an inch wide; not wide enough to take notes.


This Bible is not only ideal for personal study but also to take this Bible with you to Church or other Christians events, since this is not a heavy volume.

You can buy this Bible here from publisher

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

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Bible

9780310431589-jpg_11One 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.

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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

NKJV Study Bible, Second Edition

_225_350_book-2012-coverIn recent decades, outstanding Study Bibles have been released by Christian publishing houses, which is always beneficial for those who like to study the Bible. Some of these bibles have become classic resources due to their seriousness and helpfulness in behalf of readers, and have been in the market for years. That is the case of the NKJV Study Bible second edition. Thomas Nelson has released this classic with a new design, new features, and more resources.

From the outside to the inside

The Bible I received for the purpose of this review is eye-catching at first. The two tones rich turquoise/rich midnight Blue imitation leather cover feels strong, durable, and flexible at the same time. Its embroidery with white thread constitutes an elegant touch for this Bible. The classic “Holy Bible” inscription is not imprinted on the front the cover but in the spine. Its design resembles a diary. The age of the pages looks silver gray and match with the blue tone cover.

What Readers Will Find Inside

Readers will feel content with this Bible in terms of resources and information. This Bible has plenty of study notes: more than 15,000. The notes are very thorough and written with the cooperation of prominent scholars. It also contains 150 Bible times and culture notes, 114 articles on key Bible doctrines, 350 word studies with Strong’s numbers, “Christ in the Scriptures” feature, topical index, concordance, charts, in-text maps, and full-color maps.

Every book is preceded by a convenient introduction including an outline and a timeline pertaining to the historical context of the book. The introduction also contains the theme “Christ in the Scripture”, which has the purpose of presenting Christ in every book of the Bible.

The page layout is the classic two-column distribution. I personally like the cross-references placed between the two columns. The margin is extremely reduced and does not allow for personal notes.

The sheets are made of ultrathin paper, for the sake of weight (3 lbs). It would be heavier with a less thin paper.

Additional resources

The NKJV Study Bible offers lifetime warrantee. According to Thomas Nelson, “If the Bible you purchased fails because of manufacturing defects, you may return it for a free replacement. If the same Bible is no longer available, it will be replaced with a Bible of the same or greater value. This guarantee does not apply to normal wear and tear.” That is simply amazing.


The NKJV Study Bible second edition is called to continue being an exceptional and durable resource for pastors and Bible students in general. The seriousness of the notes and the convenient study resources make of this Bible one of a kind.

Take a look inside of 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

CEB Study Bible with Apocrypha

For many decades, the Christian community has been blessed with new publications of study Bibles. There are study Bibles addressed to every Christian, devotional study Bibles, and study Bibles addressed to pastors and those in ministry.

I would like to introduce and review the CEB Study Bible with Apocrypha. CEB is the acronym for Common English Bible. This Bible is published by Abingdon Press and is a very impressive and solid study Bible. But, what makes this Bible a unique study Bible?

Considering this is a study Bible, the first thing we should look at is study resources, specifically study notes. Readers will find abundant and thorough notes in every chapter and almost every verse. The notes are written in a professional way with the contribution of scholars from different countries. The quality and academic perspective of the commentaries make this Bible an astounding source of information for readers, perhaps one of the most complete among study Bibles. However, it must be said that the CEB Study Bible is not a Bible for academic use exclusively since the way the notes are written is accessible for everyone.

One detail that I as a reader really appreciate from this Bible is that verses on the note section are highlighted in blue color while the notes are in black color. This detail makes reading and studying this Bible more dynamic and fluent, as it is easier to note where a verse note begins and where it ends. Chapters numeric identification are printed in orange and pericopes headings in red wine color. These small details are moreimportant than we think. They accomplish two important functions: to facilitate study time and to make it more enjoyable. As for the text, it is displayed in single column and the font is a mid-size font.


Notes distinguished by colors

The CEB Study Bible also contains sidebars on themes that require more detailed explanation so readers can obtain a broader perspective about what is being commented. Another remarkable feature this Bible offers is on margin cross references. Verses being referenced are also marked in blue color to make it easier to navigate through the cross references.


Example of a sidebar


Cross references on margins


Every book is introduced by a detailed introduction with an exegetical outline. Illustrations (more than 200), photograph, and charts are also abundant through this Bible. Maps are high-quality maps; 21 full-color maps designed by National Geographic and fully indexed. This Bible also contains an abbreviations, terms, and sources list, a measures table, and a Hebrew calendar, just to mention some of the many features this Bible contains. The concordance is an excellent resource as well and was developed by Glenn Weaver and BibleWorks software.




A map


The volume I received from Abingdon Press is the bonded leather cordovan edition. The leather feels as high-quality material, flexible, made for endurance, and very well crafted. Color, tone, and material make this Bible very elegant.




Summarizing, this is a high-quality Bible for both reasons study resources and material. This Bible is an excellent tool for scholars, seminary students, pastors, and Christians in general who want to deepen the Scriptures and grow in their daily Bible study. Price is reasonable if we consider the quality of the Bible we have in front of us. I highly recommend it.

Technical specifications:

Hardcover: 2688 pages

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Language: English

Version: Common English Bible

Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 2.5 x 9.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds

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.



God’s Justice Bible

_140_245_Book.1821.coverThe God’s Justice Bible is a new Bible whose main subject is social justice and how this theme is revealed in every book of the Bible. The version that has been used for this Bible is the very well-known NIV. The text comes in a single column with notes at the bottom of the page. Books and chapters indicators are also located at the bottom of the page instead of on the top. Every book is preceded by an introduction written by different scholars from different countries, all of them familiars with the subject of social justice. A total of 57 international scholars and writers have contributed to the edition and publication of this study Bible.

The public to whom this Bible is addressed is quiet defined and limited. This Bible is very appropriate for those Christians who are involved in politics and social movements. If you are looking for a Bible with exegetical notes and written from a theological perspective this is not a Bible you may want to consider. However, explanatory notes are well written thought they are not abundant as in other study Bible; they are sufficient for what is intended in this Bible. Notes are mainly focused on those passages that are related to the problems of injustice in the world. Typeface and print are very convenient and well developed.

This Bible offers cross references, which is always helpful for readers. A remarkable feature this Bible offers is the questions for reflection located at the end of each book. These questions are extracted from the correspondent book and related to the topic of social justice as presented by every book. A short prayer can be found at the end of each book as well.

Something that I miss in this book is the inclusion of maps and charts. I think the topic of social justice and social injustice is very appropriate for the inclusion of map and statistics showing the prevalence of social injustice in our world.

I highly recommend this Bible to those who are involved in social justice movements and those who would like to learn more about this particular topic. Not recommendable if you are looking for a study Bible.

I received 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.

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