Dig Deeper

The Bible exists to help us grow in our relationship with God. That’s why I like the NIV Verse Mapping Bible.

As a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, I was provided (at no cost to me) with three resources to review and enjoy: 1) The NIV Verse Mapping Bible, 2) The NIV Verse Mapping Bible for Girls, and 3) The Verse Mapping Bible Study Journal.

When I heard about these resources, I was confused as to why there was an edition specifically for girls, but not boys. Flipping through the Bibles, I didn’t notice that the girls’ edition was substantially different from the generic edition. But the differences are in the details. The “letter from the editor” is customized for each edition, as well as “how to verse map,” and the specific wordings for much of the supplementary notes throughout the Bible are also different.

Sometimes these differences are insignificant – they merely attempt to use language that will be better understood by a younger audience. But sometimes these differences actually change the meaning of what it said.

In the introduction to the book of Genesis, for example, the girls’ edition states that the author of Genesis is “believed to be Moses.” But the non-gender specific edition states that the author is “almost certainly Moses.” Aside from the fact that Jesus stated that the author WAS Moses (not just “believed to be,” nor “almost certainly”), these different wordings seem to be saying two different things.

Yet Another Bible to Choose From!

I’m so grateful to the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid! I’ve received (for free) so many Bibles from them to read and review through this excellent program! Today I get to review the NIV Study Bible, Fully Revised Edition.

There are so many options today when it comes to study Bibles. It’s really quite overwhelming. For someone who is looking to get a study Bible in order to be able to begin to dig a little deeper, it can feel like a difficult decision.

This NIV Study Bible is a solid choice. It contains many notes on every page, and I found the notes to be helpful in explaining some of the context of the passages I read. There are also many maps, cross references, and book summaries throughout the Bible.

Beyond that, I really don’t have much to say. It appears to be a good study Bible. It’s easy to read, and if you like the NIV, I’d say it’s a good choice!

A Very Different Kind of Bible

I love receiving Bibles to review through the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid! This time, I received a digital copy of The Gospel of Matthew: Word for Word Bible Comic: NIV.

I have mixed feelings about this work. It uses the text of the NIV, so if you like the NIV, it will be acceptable to you on that front. But the main think that makes this a very different kind of Bible from all of the others I’ve received and reviewed is, of course, the illustrations that it contains. Some people would call it a comic book; others would call it a graphic novel. I don’t know which it is, or if there’s a difference. I guess I’m not really the target audience.

Personally, I didn’t gain much from the illustrations. I tended to not even look at them because I was focused on simply reading the dialogue. When I did happen to look at the pictures, I thought that some of them didn’t seem to match how I would have pictured the scene, so I found them a little distracting rather than helpful.

But once again, I don’t really seem to be the target audience.

But to those are into this type of format, I think this could be a really interesting way to read the Bible. The illustrations are high quality. They seem to match the quality of the comic books—er…graphic novels—that I’ve here and there.

Even more than the illustrations, I actually came to enjoy the dialogue-centered approach. Like any graphic novel I’ve seen, the dialogue is prominent in the illustrations, while the rest of the text kind of fades into the background. So it was kind of interesting reading the Gospel of Matthew in terms of the conversations that take place in it.

To be clear, not all of the Bible is complete in this format yet, but I believe that is the publisher’s ultimate goal. As of now, it appears that there are 6 books of the Bible available on their website (Matthew, Mark, Esther, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth).

All in all, I can’t say that I recommend it, but I can’t say that I don’t either. If you’ve always wished you could read the Bible like a comic book, this might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

A Simply Beautiful Bible

I’m so grateful to Bible Gateway for giving me so many free Bibles in exchange for reviews! This really is a huge blessing as a pastor in a small town with a small budget. Not only am I able to enjoy newly released Bibles, but I’m able to pass them along to people who need them. Thank you, Bible Gateway!

This time, as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, I’m happy to receive and review the NIV translation of the The Artisan Collection Bible for Girls.

Aside from my usual reservations about the NIV itself, I would definitely recommend this Bible to young girls. The cover is cutesy and the lined margins on the side of the text have plenty of room for one’s own notes.

In fact, there’s room on every single page to write. Other than the very small grammatical notes at the bottom of some of the pages, there aren’t any commentary or devotional notes in the Bible at all as far as I can see. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you’re looking for in a Bible. I take it as a good thing. The text of Scripture itself is the focus, and the very presence of the lined margins encourage the reader to respond to the text.

If I had not just given my daughters Bibles, I would almost definitely have given one of them this one. It’s simple, functional, and beautiful. I like it!

A Great Bible for Study and Devotion!

As a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, I’m happy to receive another Bible for free in exchange for a review! This time, it’s the ESV translation of the The Jesus Bible Artist Edition.

I love this one! I preach using the ESV because it’s a great balance between extremely literal and readable. So the translation itself is one that I regularly recommend.

But the notes throughout this edition are also extremely helpful. It’s called “The Jesus Bible” because most of the notes throughout the Bible intentionally show how the current passage relates to Jesus Himself. It reminds me a lot of The Jesus Storybook Bible in that way: every story whispers His name.

And there are a LOT of notes. For every 2-3 chapters of Scripture, there is a devotional note that goes along with it. And every few pages or so, there’s also a full page of commentary. And before every book, there’s also a good introduction to the book that, once again, directs the reader to Jesus.

While I haven’t read every note, I did read enough to know that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this Bible to people who need to get a better understanding of how the whole Bible points to Jesus.