This is the first time I’ve reviewed a Bible- I admit it did seem like a daunting task (my son asked me if I really had to read the entire Bible this week…fortunately no, I think that might have stretched my abilities a bit), but I really enjoyed what I did read! Here’s my 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 would 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.