5 Stars Out Of 5
October 11, 2014
I own a dozen different kinds of Bibles, most of which are study Bibles, and the Thompson Chain Reference Bible is the one I would most recommend to help someone become a serious student of the word. As you read through the Bible, you will see topics with numbers in the margin (e.g. 3849 Omniscience or 2420 Moses). You go to the back section of the Bible, find your topic, and there is a bunch of verses on the same topic. This method of topical chain reference helps you interpret scripture with scripture as opposed to relying on commentary, which could include denominational bias. Also included in the back are very comprehensive sections of archaeological findings, maps, outlines, and other study aids. Again, the author focuses on facts, reverently avoids infusing personal bias into God's word, and allows the reader to interpret the data.
In the "Principles of Bible Study" page, there is a section that describes what Thompson was trying to accomplish. It reads, "First-hand Knowledge Best. Many Christians are satisfied to receive all their truth filtered through the mind of some teacher, minister or commentator, seldom, or never, going to the Book of Books for independent study. They inevitably become mere echoes of the opinions of others; they are not 'grounded in the truth,' hence they are liable to be 'carried about with every wind of doctrine.' It is a great day for a little child when he learns to feed himself; so it becomes a new era in a believer's life when he forms the habit of going daily to the original sources of spiritual truth for his own personal nourishment."
I have a 2007 printing of the Thompson Bible, and I bought this updated version for a friend. The newer printing has the same content, but they made the font more readable, and redrew the maps and diagrams to be easier to read.