The King James Study Bible, Full-Color Edition

225_350_book-2356-coverThis particular Bible is a unique Study Bible in that rather than focusing just solely on study notes it also as the dynamics of archaeological notes, personal profiles, as well as some cultural studies. I was rather surprised how helpful I found these additional notes and know that I will benefit greatly from using them.

I will say the difference in this Study Bible versus other Study Bible is that this particular Bible is really more trying to get the reader to understand Scripture. It’s not so much after trying to present a particular doctrine, although there are some that are obvious for those who know where to look, but rather it is trying to get the reader a full immersion on what it is stated in Scripture.

Often times we study Bible we have to be careful not to come at it with an American mindset. This can be very damaging because we will assume that our culture is similar to what was happening back then. This is not the case. As such we need to have a good understanding of the cultural historical context in which scripture was written..

This particular Bible does that very well so that the reader is given a sample of the mindset that would have happened back when the Bible was being written. However, we also need to be careful that we don’t so caught up in historical context we actually lose the presentation of scripture. Scripture does go against cultural things and this need to take into consideration.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

225_350_book-2335-coverWhen a Bible is read it is often done through the lense of the reader. This is not a bad thing unless the lense of the reader is understanding something that is not there. This happens more than realized because our cultural dictates how we understand something we read. It is the same with the Bible.

The NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Bible seeks to give the reader an understanding of the culture of Scripture. By doing this, the reader should have a better comprehension of what the writer was trying to say. Instead of viewing it as a foreigner, the goal is to place the reader in a setting as if they were alive as the Biblical events are taking place. I found this Bible to be a great help in understanding what a person in Biblical times may have thought.

As to this Bible itself, it is a heavy Bible coming in at just over four pounds. The text is easy to read and the photos are stunning. The articles are well placed and not distracting. There are also great aids in the back of the Bible such as a weights and measurement section and a brief concordance.

This is a great Bible for study and it would do well for those that want to better understand the day in which Biblical characters lived. For those wanting a devotional Bible, seek elsewhere.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Paul the Apostle by Robert D. Picirilli

9780802463258Other than Jesus Christ, the most influential individual in the New Testament is Paul the Apostle. Having written more of New Testament than any other individual, the Apostle Paul is a person who laid the foundation for much of Christian teachings.

However, some of Paul is lost because people do not understand the man. While this may not be intentional, often the theological teachings of Paul are the focus. Yet, Paul lived in an environment that would have shaped his cultural and personal views of life.

In his book, Robert Picirilli tries to bring out the life of Paul but not in a theological or philosophical way. Rather he writes about Paul so that the average individual understand who this man was. So much of Paul’s writing may be understood more if a person has knowledge of Paul’s life.

Another thing to point out is that Picirilli is bring about some new research on Paul in terms of who he was, the area in which he lived, and some of the historical context that gives identity to what Paul may have faced while he was writing many of the works of the New Testament.

I really appreciated how well this book was written and that it was written not in a very educational or academic way. Rather, it was written in a way so that every individual could read it understand more of food Paul was. Another thing to note is that there are some great resources in the resources section at the back of the book to help people who are studying the life of Paul really dig deeper into a historical, cultural, theological, and personal context of who Paul was.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and exchange from an honest review.

The Shack Revisited by Dr. C. Baxter Kruger

b912b00b73575d53b7e29f044dccf2f2One of the greatest pieces of fiction that has come in the last 20 years is the book The Shack written by William Paul Young. This book has introduced God in a way that has many people thinking. While there is some theological discrepancies I have with this novel I will admit that it has definitely caused conversation and I believe that is a good thing.

Because of this, C Baxter Kruger has written a book The Shack Revisited. This particular book deals with some of the issues raised in the shack in relation between God and man. One thing to note is that he doesn’t actually extract pieces of the novel to use or rather use as a novel as a springboard to go deeper into certain topics that the shack has brought about.

I was a little disheartened by this because I was hoping he would go into some of the issues raised in The Shack rather than using the book as a means to discuss certain theological teachings.

One such area was the idea that God seems less judgmental of people. God is holy and righteous and this causes Him to judge people based on His holiness and glory. Kruger did not address this and was bothered that he did not.

Thus, I would exhort my readers to look at written works by the following men to help understand what  God, through the Bible, has told us about Himself and His ways:

  • Dr. John MacArthur
  • Dr. R.C. Sproul
  • Dr. Ravi Zacharias
  • John Calvin
  • John Wesley
  • Stephen Charnock
  • Robert Murrary M’Cheyne
  • A.W. Tozer

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

NIV Faithlife Study Bible

225_350_book-2235-coverThe Bible is a rich and powerful book. Those who study it find that the more they study the more they understand and the deeper they fall in love with the richness of Scripture. For this reason, the NIV faithlife Study Bible was produced. It gives overviews of books, timelines, word studies, notes on the passages, and they’re also articles written by current authors to help the reader of this Bible deepen their faith.

The Bible is designed around the idea that understanding the culture and history gives insight into why certain people may have reacted as they did. This is first done with book introductions giving themes and also some timelines for perspective. There are outlines highlighting key characters and times with brief commentary on each section.

Then, as the reader progress, there are study notes to aid in understanding the text. Some of these notes are word studies which draw out the meaning of word for clarity. Other notes may give insight into certain practices of the day. Still other notes remind the reader of the timeline of events.

As to this Bible itself, like most study Bibles it is heavy and would not be an ideal candidate for transportability. The font type make it easy to read and I had no eye-strain issues while reading. The text and notes are separated so as to not create confusion while reading. There is also a table of contents for the articles making it easier to find them for review. Overall this is an excellent study Bible for new and mature Christians alike.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.