My husband and I had our own copies of the Full Life Study Bible years ago, and we were hooked by the great study notes. A complaint with that Bible was that the names of the books were on the inside of the pages, instead of on the outside corners for quicker location of scriptures. The Life in the Spirit Bible changed that, which I found to be of great benefit. I didn't realize until today that there is yet another improved version, The Fire Bible. Ever since I had my first Full Life Study Bible, I wondered why the publishers did not include a self-pronouncing text. None of these three Pentecostal Bibles have that. While using my Life in the Spirit Bible, I had hoped that, if another version was offered, that feature would be added. Maybe next time? Still, an excellent Bible with great tools that cover a lot of material, but are still easy to understand. This Bible is a tremendous help to both new converts who need basics in studying, as well as to "seasoned saints" who like some in-depth notes as well. My pastor/husband uses this Bible in the pulpit as well as for his personal studies. The text size is comfortably readable. I highly recommend this Bible to all Pentecostal Christians. And if the Publisher should happen to read this review (by some small chance), please add self-pronouncing text next go-round. Perhaps some people think that feature takes away from the smooth reading of the text, but I really do like to know how to pronounce names correctly when I am studying to teach. I always have to reach for another Bible to look up pronunciations. God bless!
Hendrickson's Fire Bible series is an improved version of the original Full Life Study Bible. It's an all-in-one reference library for Pentecostal Christians. It was originally developed for Pentecostal Pastors and lay-leaders as a tool for preaching, teaching, and outreach. The Fire Bible has been available for a while in NIV and is now available in KJV.
â€¢ Paragraph format
â€¢ 10-point font
â€¢ Themefinders - 12 major Pentecostal themes
â€¢ More than 70 articles on historical and theological topics
â€¢ Study notes for key verses
â€¢ Book introductions
â€¢ Subject index
â€¢ Cross-references and textual notes
â€¢ Section headings
â€¢ In-text maps and charts
â€¢ One-year reading plan
â€¢ Color maps
â€¢ 9.50" x 7.00" x 2.00"
Cover and Binding
This edition is hard cover. It is also available in imitation leather with 2 â€˜his and her' design options. One is blue with black and grey. The other is pink with khaki, red, and tan. The binding is sewn.
The layout of the Fire Bible is different from the Full Life Study Bible. It is still two columns, but the text is now in paragraph format. The verse numbers are large and in bold, so verses are easy to find (which has always been an issue for me with paragraph format). There are section headings in the text that are in bold. References are located on the inside margin near the gutter. Notes are at the bottom of the page. In my opinion this layout is much nicer than the NIV edition.
Paper and Font
The paper is the basic paper you would expect to find in today's study Bibles. It's slightly rough. It looks opaque in the text sections and is not distracting where it counts, but there's much more ghosting in the other sections. It does the job, but it's my least favorite feature of this Bible. The font looks around a 10 point with 11 point leading. That's a guess, but I think I'm close. It's very readable and print quality is consistent. The red-letter is a medium to dark shade. It looks nice and is easy to read. Notes are around 8/9 (again just guessing).
Each book is introduced with a nice outline, author/theme/date info, background, purpose, survey, special features, interpretation principle, reading plan, and ruled notes section. This takes around 4-5 pages depending on the book. Each of the sections takes a couple of paragraphs. The reading plan is for reading that Testament through in one year and includes boxes to check off when that day's material is read. The notes section is different from one book to the next because the space for it is simply the page that is left after the reading plan. It's usually at least a half page. Not every book has the notes section (Mark does not).
Cross-References and Textual Notes
The references are located on the inner margin. The references have the verse numbers, but they are not keyed to the text. This keeps the text more readable, but tracing down the references takes a little more work because you have to go to all of the verses to see if any of them apply to the portion of the verse you're looking for. The references are not the same as the Zondervan version. Gen.1:1 has three references. The textual notes are keyed to the text.
Study Notes, Maps, and Charts
The notes (and articles) were written by missionary Donald C. Stamps, M.A., M.Div. His focus is on missions and witnessing with a Pentecostal emphasis. They follow Church of God/Assemblies of God doctrine. The notes also include historic facts, general facts, people, places, customs, etc. They also include 45 maps and charts. Some of the charts take several pages and give references to topics like the Passion Week, the Gifts of the Spirit, and the Last Days of History. There is an index in the front with names and page numbers for the maps and charts.
There are 77 articles that are spread throughout the Bible. They range from doctrinal topics such as Creation, Christ in the OT, Speaking in Tongues, and the Rapture, to personal growth such as Praise, Worship, Effective Praying, and Bible Training. They also have a Church of God/Assemblies of God mindset and doctrinal focus. End-time studies are Arminian, with end-time events being still future, the Rapture as the next event, then the Great Tribulation, and then the Millennium (pre-trib, pre-millennial).
The Themefinders are a chain reference system with symbols in the margin. There are 12 Pentecostal themes (Spirit Baptism, Gifts of the Spirit, Fruit of the Spirit, Healing, Faith, etc), each with its own symbol. In the front is a list of the Themefinders and the first reference for each one. In the back is an index of all of the Themefinder references. When you go to any one of the references you will see the symbol for that theme in the margin at the first verse, then a line drawn down the page to the last verse. Along the line, printed vertically, is the reference for the next verse in the chain. Themefinders can be used for personal study, group study, teaching, preaching, witnessing, etc. I like the way the Themefinders work. I've used this type of study system in my other Bibles. Any topic can be used with this type of chain reference system.
The subject index gives references to articles, book introductions, verses, charts, and similar topics where the subject is discussed. It's a very helpful tool for me because I do a lot of topical study. I'd like to see more Bibles include subject indexes.
There is a 75 page concordance. It has two columns per page. It doesn't have a lot of entries and in my opinion is the weakest tool in this study Bible. Given Its size, I'm not sure if it's possible to get much more in this Bible. Since they are not using ultrathin paper, I'm sure they had to cut something back, so they went with a smaller concordance. It's not as nice as the 109 page concordance in the Life in the Spirit version from Zondervan.
Not only are there maps in the notes, there are also 16 maps in the back. They are limited in colors and almost look cartoonish. Still, they get the job done. I would like to see an index added (the Zondervan had the index). That would make the maps easier to use.
The KJV Fire Bible from Hendrickson Publishers is a great study Bible with a Pentecostal perspective. Like all study Bibles, I caution readers to search the Scriptures for themselves and to always question the notes in their study Bibles. With that said, there are lots of great articles and notes in this Bible for personal growth and a spiritual mindset, making this Bible an excellent study tool. In my opinion, this edition has the nicest layout of the three versions of this Bible (Full Life, Life in the Spirit, and Fire Bible).
Hendrickson Publishers provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.