I purchased copies of The Story Bible specifically to give to some new believers who were intimidated by the thought of reading and understanding the complete Bible, but who wanted to gain an understanding of the essence of this incredible story. Written in a format and style that is comfortable for beginners (and all readers), The Story Bible has good chapter breaks that are natural resting spots to encourage reflection and discussion. The Story Bible also serves as a good refresher of many of the highlights of the complete Bible text for those already familiar with it; it does not and cannot replace the actual Bible, but the authors never intended it to do so.
The new believers that I gave the copies to were really pleased to have something they felt comfortable with and I intend to purchase more copies of The Story Bible to encourage more people to get to know, understand and cherish the Bible and all it stands for.
First, this latest NIV edition apparently uses the 2011 NIV. I've purchased several copies of the older one that used the NIV84, which I much prefer over the 2011, less literal/more politically correct, edition. The Story NIV84 might no longer be available. My review is actually for that edition, but will still apply to this one I think. I've also purchased quite a few of The Story NKJV, which is the version I use. I left a more detailed review on that product page. The other copies I bought were given as gifts. Having purchased so many copies to share, obviously I think The Story is a good product.
The Story quotes sections of Scripture and links them together with composed transitions. Think of it as a condensed version of the Bible, or a nice refresher course. The major stories of the Bible are covered, but the entire Bible is not directly quoted. The hardback edition is in the same format as that of regular books, very inviting and easy to read.
While my favorite edition of The Story is the current NKJV, and my second-favorite is the discontinued (?) NIV84 edition, this version is still a great product at a nice price. Of course, The Story is not meant to be a substitute for reading your complete Bible.