New NIV Study Bible - and why you'll need three

Posted by Les Ellison  ·  Be the first to comment

This Bible is too beautiful to keep on the shelf. In fact it’s too beautiful - and useful, to leave in any one room where you aren’t. Gorgeous on your coffee table, instructive in your study and a comfort by the bedside. So unless you’re going to carry it from room to room, you’re going to need three.

What its got that's new

As delightful to own and browse as it is to study and explore in depth, the new edition full colour NIV study Bible brings together all the beauty, accuracy and accessibility of the world’s most loved Bible. Revised and updated with the latest insight and research, the New International Version Study Bible gets a complete makeover with the best in modern printing and graphic design technology.
Take for example the first section opening up the books of the first covenant and desert history of Moses and the Israelites. Typical of the NIV Study Bible’s approach to the whole text, this section announces the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy with a stunning double-page landscape of wind sculptured orange sand beneath an open cloudless sky. Simple, well placed words introduce the Pentateuch in the context of the whole Bible before guiding the reader gently through the background, authorship and historical context of each book. Colour coded icons divide the clear readable text into bite sized paragraphs on historical, cultural and geographic themes.
With similar thoroughness and simplicity, the introduction to the New Testament compares and contrasts the origins, contents and themes of the gospels. Differences and discrepancies are dealt with openly and conflicting theories as to the gospels’ origins are sensitively addressed. Quick-look panels set in the text remind the reader who wrote the book, who they wrote it for and the message they wanted to give. Notes on the available evidence and reproductions of the most ancient manuscripts add authenticity to the descriptions of the society, customs and beliefs at the time of writing.

What it looks like inside

The upper section of each page sets the New International Version (NIV) text in easy to read two column format with a separator column for related cross references. Text is organised into modern paragraphs and flows easily with verse numbers unobtrusively inserted making references quick and easy to find. Following the ‘red letter’ Bible tradition, words of Jesus quoted in the gospels are printed in clear red type. Lower page sections are given to explanatory information and study notes. This wealth of readable information opens a depth of understanding once only accessible to historians, academics and theologians. Explained and expanded in simple words and sentences the study notes maintain a scholarly but neutral stance on points of dispute or doctrinal controversy.
The most strikingly beautiful and useful features of the new NIV study Bible are the full colour photographs, illustrations, charts and maps embedded in the text. Placed right next to the relevant text, maps are clear and uncluttered giving only the information necessary for the reader on that page. With consistent orientation, colour key and details, the unfolding of God’s message can be followed through the story of the Bible’s landscape. Info-graphics are a major feature and benefit of the new NIV study Bible. Charts and tables show timelines enabling readers to understand the chronology of Bible events, overlapping personal histories and the development of ideas, themes and beliefs.

What it's like to use

The sheer quantity and quality of content means that the new NIV study Bible while a delight to own and read is probably a Bible for the home rather than one to carry with you. With a table footprint a little less than A4 paper size and weighing about the same as a bag of sugar, the new NIV Bible is more compact than might be expected. The print is clear and traditional for the Bible text with a more contemporary style for the notes and other information. The print size is a fairly generous ‘9 point font’ about the same as that on a driving licence. The use of colour illustrations throughout makes for a beautiful book, though on fine Bible paper, the colour sometimes shows through reducing the contrast between text and paper on the reverse side. Less of an issue with younger Bible readers and those used to modern print and on-line media, the text uses American spellings such as ‘color’ and ‘splendour’.
Other features standard to most study Bibles including a comprehensive, index, daily reading guide and concordance bring this edition pretty close to a one-size-fits-all modern translation study Bible.  For its beauty and readability, the new NIV Study Bible is likely to become the principle home study a favourite with everyone who prefers the NIV to the poetic language of the King James or the more contemporary feel of the Message or Living translations. For that same quality and readability, the NIV Study Bible is certain to be well received as a gift or memento to celebrate achievements and events in church and family life. Because it is gorgeous on the coffee table, instructive in the study and a comfort by the bedside, that’s three gifts sorted right away.

Quick Guide to New NIV Study Bible

What’s in it for you

  • All the fascinating scholarship and insight of the world’s foremost experts on the origins, authorship and history of the Bible.
  • Easy to read access to the full text of the world’s most popular and accurate modern English translation of the Bible.
  • Beautiful full colour photographs, info-graphics, charts and maps to open the Bible in its original context.

More precisely?

  • It's what you need for a deeper understanding of the Bible and its meaning for you and finding your walk of faith today - and to enjoy finding it!

Over to You

Modern study Bibles present even the most casual reader with more background and factual information than the most educated of its original writers.

  • How important do you think all this information is to understanding the meaning of the Bible for your life today?
  • Do you think we can become too focussed on what we know, or can we never know enough?

Tell us. Post your ideas, views and tips - bizarre and brilliant at

12th January

January 12th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison

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NIV Study Bible - Hardback

NIV Study Bible - Hardback

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