As a pastor and traveling speaker I have purposed to read the Bible through each year for 40 plus years now and have read the majority of them from all the major translations. The NIV Essentials Bible Study is one of the most unique and enjoyable I have read. The balance of the Biblical times customs, the devotional readings, the key and challenging Questions and Answers, the light but insightful apologetic insertions, the verses foot notes, maps, charts and more make this one of the most interesting, informative, insightful, and inspiring study Bibles that I have ever read along with the fact that the NIV translation is one of the most balanced and best available. This study Bible will be one of my most treasured. I highly recommend it.
I should really say (THE Bible) & THE best Friend (Jesus!), but this Bible is so good I couldn't but Give it both thumbs up in every way. the cover is not leather, but the soft and supple Duotone is beautiful and arguably as resilient and sturdy as, perhaps, bonded leather. the Bible itself is so loaded with features, the NIV is a great translation, and my favorite. It is used here, and full use of any and all Study Bible helps to be had. Notes, maps,rerences, charts,tables ad infinitum. It actually DOES draw almost all of the resources from other Zander van Study Bibles. this Bible is best used in the STUDY of itself rather than for the less technical use of a Bible for purely devotional purposes. I spent my money very well and you will too. I really haven't been able to find any of this Bible to have any unused info or :fat" in it, every thing about it was well thought out and must have been compiled with an awful lot of hard,scholarly and spiritual assets. I DO recommend this Bible and had it for two days when I realized how easy it is to study any Biblical subject with ease. Thank you Zondervan and CBD!( ps my tablet (bug) wouldn't let me leave all five stars on this Bible but it has them anyway)
This Bible, the NIV Essentials Study Bible is jam packed! It has over 1700 pages, Reading Plans, Subject Index, a place for Notes and there are 15 colorful maps in the back! I've never had a Bible like this before where parts of other Bibles are put into 1 Bible. It's incredible and I know that a lot of work went into compiling all of this together. I really love the photographs, charts, highlights, maps and lens. They updated the NIV version from the 1984 one, there was another update in 1996 and the lastest update was in 2011. This latest one refers to men and women equally. They moved away from using the third person masculine singular pronouns like 'he/him/his'. I do like that it includes 'women' in there now where as up until recently, it didn't have this. With human effort, there are going to be flaws and they try their best translating and give God the glory. Truly an incredible Bible and it would make a great investment in your life! It would also make a great gift for for a loved one who dearly treasures His Word!
I love collecting Bibles. Not so they can sit on my shelf, but to have a useful tool in studying God's Word. Study Bibles are my particular favorite.
Zondervan has released the NIV Essentials Study Bible which actually compiles bits from previous Bibles they've published; the NIV Study Bible, Archeological Bible, Student Bible to name a couple. In the past, I have used all three of these so I was interested to see how they would compile them into one Bible that wasn't approximately the size of a suitcase.
Why does the book exist?
I ask the same questions of this Bible that I ask of the NIV Fast Facts Bible: Given the proliferation of Bibles available what's the justification for printing yet another Bible, especially one that compiles previously published Bibles? Since it compiles previously published Bibles does it end up being basically the "demo" version of those Bibles?
The purpose of the Essentials Bible is to use the elements from those previous publications as "lenses" that bring you closer and closer to the text. It doesn't have every element from every version, so in that sense it is a stripped down demo. However, there's still a lot here and it works as an introductory study Bible that can keep you digging for quite awhile.
The Essentials Bible uses the NIV 2011 text. While I'm not qualified to speak to the accuracy of translations I can tell you that the NIV 2011 has been highly criticized. Entire denominations (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Southern Baptist Convention) that have used the NIV for years have turned away from the NIV 2011 in favor of the ESV 2011.
Book introductions / Study notes / Maps
These are the basics for a study Bible. The notes are not as exhaustive in this edition as they are in the NIV Study Bible, or the ESV Study Bible. That can be a challenge because its frustrating to look up a verse and then go to check the notes only to find there's no note on that verse. It'll happen more in this edition.
This was my favorite part of the student Bible. Sometimes the characters of the Bible can feel two dimensional. The profiles help show that they were, in fact, real people.
This is the archeology lens; pun intended I presume. These really do help even though they are sparse. Seeing the Bible tied in with the culture and history of the time really helps put it in perspective.
There's quite a few of these where they answer some of those common questions and even some of the not so common. Remember, these answers while based on scripture are still commentary and not scripture. They are meant to help you study, not end the study.
Insights / Guided Tour
These are short "life application" style pieces meant to illuminate the text. Each one ends with a life question.
Reflect & Respond
R&R's are short devotionals broken into four parts; read, think, live, and next level.
Overall, there's a lot to like about the NIV Essentials Study Bible and it's priced competitively at $50. It's just that NIV 2011 translation that is problematic. My suggestion is, if you get this Bible, get a text only copy of the ESV, or have an ESV on your digital device and keep it handy while you study. It's always good use multiple translations when you study anyway, no matter the translation. The added value pieces really do add value.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."