Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review: NIV Integrated Study Bible

This month I am reviewing the NIV Integrated Study Bible: A New Chronological Approach for Exploring Scripture for Booksneeze.  We are studying the Bible in full (from Genesis to Revelation) at the church I attend this year and a few weeks ago, our minister had mentioned that if we could purchase a Bible that laid out the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) side by side we should get one.So, I was very excited when I saw this was one of the books to choose from this month because this Bible does just that and more. I got online early in the morning to reserve my copy and it's a good thing I did because they went quickly!

I have always been a lover of the Bible in general and have more than my fair share of copies at home in various versions and formats. I am a sucker for a new Bible too even though my old one is still reading perfectly fine. I love the feel and look of an old worn Bible because to me it tells the story of the owner who has turned it pages countless time and studied passages over and over again. A new Bible, on the other hand, leads ways to new sermon notes and maybe even a new way at reading a particular passage. I have never thrown out a Bible which is probably why I have upwards of 20 copies in my house.

I'm not going to review the Bible for you today, hopefully you all know about The Good Book and if not, please email me and I'll be happy to point you to someone in your city who can help familiarize you with God's message. I do, however, want to tell you a little bit about the newest edition to my Bible collection. I think I have mentioned in the past my copy of The Daily Bible which puts the Bible in chronological order, rather than the order in which you will find a typical Bible and it also breaks it down into daily Bible reading from January-December. I have enjoyed this format for my daily Bible reading as it is laid out in a more historical order and the story flows a bit better as the story is told as things take place. 

The NIV Integrated Study Bible is the same way - it is in chronological order and events that are taking place at the same time are laid out side by side. For example, if a story takes place in all four gospels, then that story will be in four columns on one page so you can see the difference in each author's version of the story. Also, many of the events in I and II Chronicles and I and II Kings also took place at the same time as events in I and II Samuel and these are laid side by side in this version of the Bible. Many of the psalms were written throughout the history of the Bible, not just at one time and these are placed alongside the scripture and story where they were most likely written which brings the whole big picture together.

In addition to how the Bible is laid out, there is also a timeline at the bottom of the page so you can have an idea of the estimated time period you are reading about which is very convenient for those of us who love the historical side of the Bible as well. Unlike The Daily Bible that I have, this Bible does not break things down into convenient daily Bible reading portions; instead, this Bible is geared more towards use as a study tool. In fact, I took this Bible to church with me on Sunday night just to see how it would be to use during worship and it didn't work out too well as some scriptures were difficult to find since they weren't in the traditional order. There is an index in the back, however, that will help you easily locate the scripture for which you are looking when you are studying at home.

If you are looking for a new study Bible to add to your collection, I would definitely recommend the NIV Integrated Study Bible as it will certainly help you understand more about how stories in the Bible are related to each other and will be a great tool in helping you improve your understanding of the Bible. 

The NIV Integrated Study Bible is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as other fine retailers. 

In exchange for writing this review for Booksneeze, I received a free copy of the NIV Integrated Study Bible. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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