We've all stood in the Bible section for hours on end with the sales clerk hovering over us
trying to decide on the "Best" Bible for reading and study. We all want some devotional aspect, some Bible study aids, great notes an exhaustive index, good book and character headings, color maps - plus bells - and whistles and extras.
But is it possible to cram all of that into a single Bible? YES!
Zondervan has taken 6 of their best selling Study Bibles and weaved them all together into one "Essential" Bible so that now you don't have to choose! You can have it all.
The NIV Essential Study Bible is a cross from:
The NIV Study Bible
The Quest Study Bible
The Archeological Study Bible
The Great Rescue Bible
and the NIV Student Bible
Now you can explore the scriptures through multiple lenses! This Bible would be a perfect "First Study Bible" or a gift for a Student who is ready to go deeper. The Essentials has such a wide variety of routes and notes that it really presents a HUGE canvas to pull from.
Plus you are getting the new 2011 NIV translation which is slightly different in language and presentation than the NIVs released prior. Zondervan continues to work with pastors and Bible scholars, and include the latest discoveries about biblical languages and the biblical world to ensure that the latest NIV translation of the Bible remains faithful to God's test.
Yes, it feels a little like a rebrand and a re-launch of some of Zondervan's older material - but that shouldn't turn you off, especially if you've never owned these Bibles before. Plus -since this is a mash-up of other publications, be ready for a BIG Bible to show up at your door (almost 1,800 pages)
Thank you to Zondervan for this advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This bible has the combined features from the NIV Study Bible, NIV Archaeological Study Bible, NIV Quest Study Bible, NIV Student Bible, The Great Rescue, NIV, and the Essential Bible Companion. I have the hardback which I love because I hate when book covers get bent. I also like the devotions found in it and the Q & A sections. I think this book would be awesome for a seminary student....really anyone who wants to study the bible and get the features of 5 different bibles & a companion to the bible but in 1 bible.
The NIV Essentials Study Bible is the best Study Bible to be added to my library. Pulling resources from six classic study and devotional Bibles, this volume contains a vast amount of resources in one book.
The six resources are well documented:
NIV Study Bible
NIV Quest Study Bible
NIV Archaeological Study Bible
NIV Student Bible
The Great Rescue Bible (a devotional Bible from Walk Thru the Bible)
The Essential Bible Companion (a short Bible handbook)
Unexpectedly and occasionally entries are taken from other resources which are individually cited in the text. An example is given below.
Though the editors responsible for choosing each entry are not given, the chosen topics are interesting and helpful - with a mix of study and devotional materials. The source of each entry is clearly identified, with the exception of those from the Essential Bible Companion. The assumption is the the book descriptions for each book of the Bible are pulled from this source, but it is not clearly stated that this is so. Almost every verse has at least one note associated with it - some have two or more from different sources. For example, Psalm 23 has footnotes from the NIV Study Bible and a devotional from the Quest Study Bible. Finally, a good â…“ page is devoted to a selection taken from The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Commentary.
The one issue I had with the book was its font size - fitting this much content within the 1700+ pages of this book requires a small font. The font is clear and readable, but I suspect that at some point a magnifying glass might help in reading some of the notes. Of course, this has been true of other Study Bibles and this not an unexpected problem for a good study Bible. Much of the content might better be read with the help of a good electronic Bible (e.g. Word Search). The catch is that not all of the resources used to build the NIV Essential Study Bible is available in compatible electronic formats.
As hinted at earlier, this is one of the most complete study Bibles to cross my path. It is a pleasure to add it to my library - both for review and for daily use.
This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
Let me just start off by saying that this is an excellent resource. The NIV (at least the latest edition of it) is not my favorite translation (NASB!!!!), but they do seem to put out some excellent supplemental material for this version. In this great printing of the Word, Zondervan has really put out a good set of tools from 6 different resources into one Bible for study. I found that as I turned every page within this Bible, another great learning point would jump out at me! Now I probably would not suggest this Bible for general reading, as all of the extra resources would serve as a distraction from the main course of God's Word, but to have this on the shelf would be an excellent thing. There is so much here to help enhance detailed study, it should be required to own. I would have liked to see this with a more literal translation, but I will take it as it is still God's Word. Pick one of these up if you can! This would also be a great gift for someone!