Good for daily "straight through the Bible" or comparitive reading
July 28, 2014
Debbie from ChristFocus
"NIV Integrated Study Bible" is a NIV Bible (newest translation) presented chronologically with some timelines and section introductions. Different records of the same event or genealogy are shown side-by-side so that you can easily compare the accounts to get a fuller understanding. Similar events are also often put in with the same-event accounts, which can be confusing. Similar events are indicated with a gray rather than black column heading, but the difference in headings is not noticeable unless you are paying close attention.
This Bible presents some events as the same event which are, in my opinion, different events, but they did a much better job with this than I expected. (People have a tendency to assume similar sermons must actually be the same sermon, but traveling speakers frequently use similar stories and sermons since they have a "fresh" audience who hasn't heard them before. And it's not surprising that some similar events happened.)
Since it is a chronological Bible, this Bible isn't useful for "everyone turn to Luke chapter..." circumstances, but it is great for straight-through daily reading. If you need to look up the location of a specific verse, you can use an index in the back.
For those who care: In the New Testament, John is used as the "backbone" that events in the other gospels are aligned with. As in, it's the gospel that has the most verses in the order we're used to. Mark is the second "most in order" book. No dates were given for events before Abraham. I appreciated that the author acknowledged that there is debate about various dates as most Bibles (and ancient history textbooks) will give you a date like it's undisputed fact. (Ancients didn't date things the same way we do, which opens things up to debate.) This Bible used more conservative dates and mainly compared its dates with liberal ones.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to those who want a daily reading Bible that makes it easy to compare similar passages and align events chronologically.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers.
I have used a Study Bible for years. I have found that the author notes in a study bible are very helpful in further comprehending scripture. What I loved about this specific Bible is that in combines a Chronological Bible with some study Bible aspects. For example: when reading in 1 Samuel about David the Psalm David wrote about that time is listed next to the scripture. There are also several sections that are repeats in the Bible, just different first person accounts (such as in the gospels). The Integrated Bible has these sections parallel with each other so you can easily see both versions.
There is a very detailed explanation in the front of this Bible on how the order was decided. I found it helpful in understanding a bit of church history as well.
I initially purchased this Bible because I have found that anything that has John Kohlenberger's name on it is going to stretch and expand my thinking and spirituality. It features the 2011 NIV text. After using it for 2-3 months, I have grown to realize this is unlike any other Bible available. We already have chronological Bibles and gospel harmonies. But did you know Micah 4:1-3 is virtually identical to Isaiah 2:1-4? That portion of Micah is placed next to Isaiah in Isaiah's regular, running text. The grayed title of Micah 4:1-3 shows it appears elsewhere in its own running text. Or how about the entire book of Obadiah embedded with Jeremiah 49's parallel prophecy against Edom? Then there is 2 Kings 19, 2 Chronicles 32 and Isaiah 37 all on the same page. Because the Psalms and Isaiah and many other books are scattered over sometimes hundreds of pages, the Bible has a helpful Scripture Index at the very back that will help you locate any passage in the Bible. This was very helpful yesterday when I was reading Luke 3 and 4 with a study group. Two verses about John the Baptist were 40 pages farther on because that was where the parallel accounts of him are found. The genealogy is 6 pages earlier, in reverse order to align with other genealogies. If you don't want your brain circuits overheating, keep this index handy. Sometimes it frustrates but always it enlightens. I have between 80 and 100 English Bibles (lost track) and am also a translator. This Bible is unparalleled for helping you discover new relationships in the text. It is rapidly becoming my favorite. Put a leather cover on it and it WILL be, hands down.
The NIV Integrated Study Bible: A New Chronological Approach For Exploring Scripture, published by Zondervan, is a chronologically integrated Bible that allows it's readers to experience scripture in what is termed as "real-time."
My reaction to receiving a new Bible can only be compared to an adolescent that has been given free range of a candy store. To say I was excited about the opportunity to receive and review this publication would be a drastic understatement, for I am grateful to say the least.
While I own numerous Bibles, published in a multitude of versions, there is always room for one more if it has the ability to guide my study of scripture in a unique manner, and this one certainly has this ability. The NIV Integrated Study Bible takes the Word of God and lays it out in such a manner that makes it easier to see, feel and understand the connection of scripture from Genesis to Revelation.
What makes this Bible unique is the manner in which it is laid out. The passages of scripture, as well as individual events, are arranged in their sequential order, but that's not where it ends. In cases where multiple accounts of an event occur, such as the ones found in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark Luke, and John, these events are laid out side by side so the reader can see the various perspectives of each writer, which allows for a quicker deeper time of study.
While I would not recommend this Bible to become your everyday go to Bible, I do recommend its purchase, as it has the power to greatly bless your time of study.