Start! is a wonderful devotional Bible. Though designed as a tool for the new believers, its contents will also encourage believers of any age.
Each Bible book begins with a brief introduction. The text also contains a good number of smaller devotional thoughts. For example, Psalm 23:1-6 includes the following note:
When you get right down to it, everything you
need in life is found in a growing relationship with
God. When you truly know what it is to say, "The
LORD is my shepherd," you will also be able to
say, "I shall not want." You shall not thirst
spiritually, for "He leads me beside still waters."
You shall not want guidance, for "He leads me."
You shall not be lonely, for "You are with me."
You shall not want provision, for "You provide
a table before me." You shall not want for anything,
for "my cup runs over."
Additional helps include a brief essay entitled, "ESSENTIALS: What Every Christian Needs To Know About God And Jesus." This is followed by a nice "Topical Index" which borrows both from the content of Scripture and the notes present in the text. Using the New King James Version, this Bible (whether using the paperback or leather bound version) would serve as a suitable gift or tool for a believer seeking to a deeper understanding of God and His word.
You would want to give a new believer a Bible that includes a good overview of the Christian faith, a short introduction to every Old and New Testament book, and guidelines in the spiritual disciplines. In short, you may just give them this Bible.
In addition to the sacred text (the New King James Version, easy to read and faithful to the original Biblical languages), this Bible includes a simple explanation of salvation, and 30 pages of spiritual growth material that every Christian would do well to heed.
The brief book introductions are valuable reads: simple, yet meaningful; the essence of each book with a few crucial highlights that bring each portion of Scripture to life.
The final pages include a good topical index as well as a brief survey of essential Christian doctrines.
This is not a review of "The Holy Bible," but of this particular example of man's packaging of God's Word.
A hungry seeker will devour this Bible. The notes before, after, and throughout the Scripture provide many "Aha!" moments. Key verses are highlighted as pull quotes and would make excellent memory verses. A baby Christian who cut his teeth on this Bible would most likely experience rapid spiritual growth. This is a great tool in the hands of those who are about the business of making disciples.
This Bible is aimed primarily at an American audience with references to "America's problems" in the introductory notes.
At first I thought that this was a little pricey (around $13) for only being a paperback Bible, but the little extras add monetary value to a book that already possesses infinite eternal value.
I received this book free to review from Thomas Nelson.
A good Bible for new believers who aren't sure whe
January 5, 2011
A good Bible for new believers who aren't sure where to start, or where to go from that starting point. Filled with lots of information, Start! is well done.
While I would recommend this Bible to friends and family who are new to the faith, a good Study Bible would also do a good job for a new believer. Both Start! and other study Bibles give information and can be built upon.
This Bible is a wonderful choice for new believers
December 16, 2010
Marikina City, Philippines
While Start! would pass as a pretty good study Bible for new believers with the book introductions and the notes scattered throughout the content, it is mostly designed to be a daily reading Bible. This Bible comes with additional features such as several helpful articles on the Plan of Salvation, Greg Laurie's Secrets to Spiritual Success, the "essentials" (both basic and in-depth knowledge about God), etc. Each book is also prefaced with an introduction, providing background and insight on the succeeding content. The book itself is pocked with mini-articles labeled GROW (key disciplines of the Christian life), KNOW (core beliefs of Christians), LIVE (various aspects of salvation) and LEARN (short commentaries for spiritual growth). There is also a topical index to help you easily find verses you are looking for. About ten leaves are also allotted to notes the reader may want to make.
My review of Start! is generally favorable. I think it is easy to use and makes the Bible more understandable not just for new believers, but for anybody who would read it. I gauged the merits of the study tools by having a go at the Book of Revelations, something that I usually have a hard time understanding for all the symbolism. I found the points and explanations given in informative tidbits on the pertinent pages to be very useful and guiding. The additional articles definitely cater to new believers but are just as interesting to read for those who are older in the faith. Greg Laurie's Secrets to Spiritual Success would definitely benefit both the "young" and the mature spiritually. I read through the article and was blessed and inspired.
I also love how it's in the New King James Version. The Bible is considered the greatest book obviously for its content, but it also holds excellent literary merit. The NKJV preserves the beautiful prose and poetry of the Bible while sparing us the archaic pronouns, conjugations, etc.
Edited by world renowned preacher and author, Greg Laurie, Start! would make a terrific personal Bible. It's a reasonable weight and size for toting to church and it will do wonderfully for daily devotions. Two things that may be points for consideration: some may think the print to be on the small side (nothing that reading glasses wouldn't remedy; personally, I think the font size is fine.) and the book is a paperback. The cover is an arresting red with a very contemporary feel to it. You'll have to read the title for you to realize that it's a Bible. It's more engaging than your token leather-bound Bible, but would not stand up as well to frequent use (and that's the goal, right?). If you get this, I suggest, you use a protective book cover.
Overall, I'm happy to have received Start!. I shall be using it myself, and I definitely recommend it to new believers who are shopping for a Bible to start and grow with.
About a month ago I got my copy of "START! The Bible For New Believers." As I've gone through it, I think it could be a great resource not just for new believers, but for anyone who wants to learn / be reminded of truths found in scripture. All throughout the pages there are gray boxes labeled "Live", "Grow", "Learn", and "Know". In each box is a nugget to chew on. It's written in the New King James Version of the Bible, which is a revised version of the classic KJV. The book also includes a Topical Index, a section on "Essentials" of the Christian faith, "Secrets To Spiritual Success" and other introductions for books. It even includes "The Plan Of Salvation" for anyone who wants to walk through it!
Honestly, this book has some serious potential! Not just because it's the Bible, but how it is constructed. The "nuggets" as I like to call them have some great pieces for people to focus on, whether they help unpack illustrations, look at meanings of words, walk through steps of faith, etc. Someone who is hungry to learn more about how God has called them to live could easily dig into this book. I'm not the biggest fan of the NKJV, but that's just a preference thing. If you are, or know of, a person who wants to dig in and learn more, this book really is a good place to start. My advice: go at your own pace, but be consistent and regular.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."