I haven't had much time to utilize this wonderful source of God's Word; yet, I knew my brother-in-law would be fascinated with all the info it contains & he purchased two for his sister and ex-wife. He & his ex will be starting a Bible Study for his two sisters back in PA.!!! PTL!!!
Tyndale recently sent me a free hardback copy of their new Chronological Life Application Study Bible for review. For someone like me who loves books in general, and the Bible specifically, this book is hard not to like.
It's beautiful. Full color throughout: photographs of Bible places, paintings, parchments, charts. It's not only a book, it's a work of art. It is by far the most aesthetically pleasant Bible I have ever seen.
It's heavy. If you like Bibles that feel solid (I do), this is definitely one!
It's helpful. There are tons of notes, a concordance, color maps, etc.
It's unique. The biggest selling point of this Bible is that it is arranged chronologically, not in the traditional canonical order. For example, Job is placed between Genesis and Exodus. The Psalms are interspersed with David's life in 1 and 2 Samuel. Samuel and Kings are interwoven with parallel passages in Chronicles. The four gospels are interwoven, making it easy to compare each gospel writer's account of each story. The epistles are inserted in the appropriate places in Acts.
Having said that, there are several weaknesses in this Bible.
The very fact that it is arranged chronologically becomes an irritating slowdown if you are trying to find a particular passage. Despite the extensive canonical table of contents in the beginning, it's not a Bible you would take to church or Bible study, where you want to be able to find passages fast. I think I would enjoy this Bible much more if it were arranged canonically.
There are also disadvantages to blending the four gospels into one. Each gospel writer aimed to bring out specific aspects of Jesus' ministry and character. Each author's sequence and selection of stories from Jesus' life were not random, but carefully planned. This gets lost in the "combined" version.
Tyndale has only released this Bible in the KJV and NLT, both of which are inferior for serious study to the ESV, HCSB, or NASB. It has no cross references. In this sense, it is not a true study Bible.
While overall the commentary notes are accurate and concise, there are evidences of a bent towards evangelical liberalism. The notes on Genesis leave room for theistic evolution, and the notes on the role of women in church lean towards egalitarianism rather than complementarianism.
So how would this Bible best be used? Who should buy one? A person who is seeking to absorb a lot of information about the Bible efficiently. Such a person would gain a very broad and organized education by reading through the entire Chronological Life Application Study Bible from cover to cover. It is not a Bible to keep on the shelf for occasional reference; it's a Bible to read through carefully, and then pass on to a friend.
The New Living Translation has been my Bible of choice for years. I love the way it translates each verse in such a way that is very easy to understand for everyone from novices to the most seasoned Bible readers. When I was given the chance to review this particular Bible I jumped at it and I'm glad I did. I would like to share some of the features I think are outstanding in this Bible.
Life Application Notes: The best feature in this Bible, for me, is the Life Application Notes. Each page has several Scriptures displayed at the top and below the original Scriptures is a section explaining the Scripture in detail. I have learn a lot I previously didn't fully understand through this feature.
Running Timeline: The dates for key events are displayed in the outer margin of the pages. If you have trouble remembering dates like I do, you'll love this feature.
Full Color Maps, Photos and Illustrations: Throughout the pages you'll find full color images with facts and information describing key things such as Threshing Grain, Trumpet, Millstone and Roman Whips and Scourges. There's no need for a dictionary or encyclopedia because it's all right there on the page.
Parallel Passage Indicator: Each time you move into a new section / story it has a new header indicating the beginning and it shows when that particular section / story ends. This is a great feature letting you know exactly which verses are apart of the story you are currently reading.
Master Index: When you look up a particular subject or person in the Bible it shows the page number for each key Scripture, chart, map, personality profile and archaeology note. For example, if you look up Aaron you will see the following:
his ordination......................................... Lv 8:1ff............... 210
his role as a high priest.......................... Lv 8:12............... 211
criticized Moses for wrong reason......... Nm 12:1(2)......... 249
his death................................................. Nm 20:28.......... 263
MAP: Moses Returns to Egypt.......................................... 146
PROFILE: Aaron (in Ex)...................................................... 184
These are only a few of the features included in this Bible. There are others that you will find just as helpful. I was thrilled with this Bible as a whole. The very first page I read I learned, what I consider, a key fact that I had never realized before in my studies. It is full of information and key facts that will enhance anyone's Bible study. The Life Application Notes are my favorite part and a key feature when studying the Bible, in my own person opinion. I first came across this feature in another Bible but it wasn't my preferred version (NLT) so I was thrilled to find it in this one but this one has so much more. If you want a Bible to aid in an extensive study of the Scriptures this is the Bible for you. I will be recommending it to everyone I know as a complete all-in-one study Bible.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my true and honest review. These opinions are mine and mine alone and I was in no way compensated for this review.
I have never owned a study Bible, mainly because I've always preferred a small and compact Bible that is easy to throw in my purse. The Chronological Life Application Study Bible is heavy and quite large, and even though I have a huge purse, there's not a chance I will haul it around. But that's ok- this is a Bible you keep at home, on hand, wherever it is that you do your Bible reading. I love this Bible and I feel as if new life has been breathed into my personal devotions because of it. Forgive me if I sound like I'm gushing_that's not my intent. But I feel like I'm really learning again, not just reading and reflecting. In the past I used online commentaries and studies to research verses and topics, and though I will still do that, one of the things I really like about this Bible is the verse-by-verse notes. They're easy to reference and provide great insights into the actual text. They also try to provide a big-picture, or logical approach to the topic at hand. Take for instance, the first note, for Genesis 1:1, where the reader is provided with the actual speed of our galaxy through the universe (490,000 miles per hour) along with a brief philosophical synopsis as to why God created the universe (out of love). I love this! I love facts (like how fast we're moving in the galaxy), and I love that they are easily related to the character of God.
I decided to use the book of Job as the basis for my review of this Bible, mainly because Job is a difficult book to understand, and I think I was actually surprised by how relevant my study of Job became because of the thoroughness of the notes. I also got a lot out of the inserts, which provide an overview of events or key people. For instance, one of the inserts in Job discusses the strengths and weaknesses of his three friends and the lessons learned from their attempts to advise Job in his suffering. They tried to explain his suffering rather than help him endure it, and they saw his questions to God as challenges rather than expressions of grief. From this insert and my study of the text, I was able to apply a number of insights to my own life in terms of comforting those who grieve and endure hardship.
This is a chronological study, so the books are ordered according to date, which means you do have to make use of the index to find a particular book. It's also a little difficult to know which book you're in, because the time period is emphasized rather than the book. For this reason the title of the book does not head each page, rather there's a timeline. I really like this feature; again, it gives something of a big-picture overview and a fresh perspective.
One of the first things I told my husband after I'd spent some time looking through this Bible was that I thought it was well designed for a broad demographic - for those who want to deepen their study of the Word, as well as for new believers, or those who are interested in studying the Bible but aren't convinced that it is God's Word. The reason for this is that the translation is very easy to understand (New Living Translation) and the notes and inserts strive to be objective and broadly informative. One insert discusses a number of extra-Biblical accounts of creation, another discusses extra-Biblical accounts of the great flood. There are a number of inserts dealing with archeological discoveries that confirm the historicity and accuracy of the Bible (and some great pictures), and some really helpful charts that compare common themes or people. Taken together these provide a great supplement to one's study.
I think the Chronological Life Application Study Bible would be a great gift (and it's almost Christmas!!), maybe particularly for a person who struggles with studying the Bible on their own, or who has lots of questions about the relevancy of the Bible today.
You can find more information here: http://chronolifeapp.com and I hope you check it out!
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Tyndale House Publishers. 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.
With the stated purpose of helping the reader "understand the Bible and apply it to your life" the award winning Chronological Life Application Study Bible developed by an "interdenominational team of pastors, scholars, family counselors and a national organization dedicated to promoting God's Word" is a very comprehensive study Bible.
Formatted in a chronological, rather than traditional and canonical order, this Bible is filled a variety of helpful study aids and information to help the reader better understand scripture and apply it to life on a daily basis.
What does it mean to read the Bible chronologically? Well for instance the book of Job, considered to be one of the oldest books in the Old Testament appears after Genesis and before Exodus. And in the New Testament the gospels are arranged in chronological order which means as you read, you may read a passage from Matthew, then a segment from Luke, followed by a chapter from either Mark or John!
Divided into 10 chronological segments beginning around 2100 BC and ending with 30 AD to the present, you are given book by book summaries in each section introduction along with other vital and helpful information. As you read through this Bible you are also given timelines which offer clear parallels to events in world history.
A key feature of this Bible is the life application notes which run across the bottom of the page and assist the reader with understanding the text and what it means for the reader. This very helpful feature will make books such as the Old Testament book of Leviticus more understandable as you read.
Two other helpful features are the numerous maps which illustrate important locations and highlight boxes which highlight important Biblical characters in a particular segment of scripture. Both of these features will assist the reader by giving them some important background information.
I liked the design of the pages, with the chronological periods across the top of the page to help the reader keep track of historical period they are currently in and running life application comments across the bottom. And while the pages are busy, I believe that Bible study will be enhanced with regular reading. (And remember, you are reading the Bible chronologically not in the canonical or traditional way!)
This Bible will make an excellent study Bible for individuals and for groups as well with the additional features. And a plus for this version is the easy to read New Living Translation (NLT) which allows the Bible to be read in language that is easily understood today.
I plan to make this Bible a reference Bible for my sermon study as well as personal study in the years ahead.
A wonderful and helpful resource for the serious student of scripture or for one who wants to deepen the study of scripture, Chronological Life Application Study Bible will make an excellent addition to the study of the Bible.
Note: I received a copy of this Bible from Tyndale House Publisher in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.