Tag: expository

Thompson Chain Reference Bible by Zondervan

Thompson Chain Reference Bible by Zondervan

 

 

Thompson Chain Photos

 

Before we even begin the review I want to share that I have a very special connection to the Thompson Chain Reference Bible and I want to disclose that it is one of my most highly recommended tools for Bible teachers. In October of  1996, I taught my fist Bible lesson from my grandfather’s Thompson Chain Reference Bible. Nearly 25 years later, it is one of two Study Bibles that I recommend, almost to the point of insistence.

 

This will be a simultaneous review of three of the four TCR currently offered by Zondervan. Zondervan Publishers sent me KJV and NASB Editions and Bible Gateway sent me the New King James Version. Note: All three Bibles were sent to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review (even though I am definitely going to give a positive review) simply an honest one.

Translations offered:

Currently, Zondervan publishes the Thompson in the NKJV, NASB, KJV, and ESV. The NIV will follow very shortly.

NKJV-  New King James Version is far and away my most used translation. It Is very literal, much like its predecessor though it is, oddly not as popular.

New American Standard Bible- Considered to be the most literal English Translation currently available, The NASB is the heir of the most literal English translation that has been made, The American Standard Version.

King James Version- The definitive English Bible, the standard for more than 400 years. The Thompson Chain has been continually offered in the KJV for over 100  years.

 

What makes the TCR unique?

Complete alphabetical and numerical indices listing all 8,000 topics with corresponding pilot numbers and Bible references for comprehensive topical study. It happens that this is the feature which causes me to say that the Thompson Chain Reference Bible is one of the only two Bibles you will ever need.

If a pastor were to take one topical chain per week, it would take just under 154 years to preach all 8000 topics. You would quite literally die before you ran out of things to preach, Were you to preach one topical sermon every Sunday Morning, Sunday Evening, and Wednesday Evening Worship Service, there is 51 years worth of material.

 

Bible study aids:  biographical sketches of the most prominent people in the Bible, an archeological supplement, glossary, concordance, Bible harmonies, and outlines of each book of the Bible.

If you thought the Topical Chains were impressive, these additional helps essentially put a seminary grade library in you backpack.

I will just address one of these, the analysis of each book of the Bible. These are presented in an Expository Outline Format.  Each outline presents the minimum necessary to understand each book.

Key Verses and Key Thoughts provide basic information readers can use to develop their own study

Paper, layout and font

The font comes in at 8.5 which is a little smallish for me. The paper is crisp white but there is not a lot of glare, even in the unforgiving Arizona sunlight. The red-letter section is much better than in older editions. Unlike earlier editions, where the red letters were rather pinkish, the red letters here are a deep rich cranberry.

The text is laid out in  a quad column format. Scripture texts are in the center two columns and the reference chains are in the outer columns.

Cover and Binding

I am reviewing the jacketed hardcover but the TCR is also available in a a very nice imitation leather and a bonded leather. I a told that when the Comfort Print Editions release next year, there will genuine leather options and a Premier Collection Edition,

Thompson and Key Word Bible, Perfect Together

The Thompson Chain Reference Bible pairs perfectly with the Keyword Study Bible. Most of the world’s pastors have no seminary training and so these two work together as the perfect study library for a pastor. I wish it were possible to merge the two into one physical book but that massive tome would be too much to try to carry. I have said that there are only two study bibles that you really need and these are it.

 

For Every Day Carry

The Thompson is a fairly standard size Bible. It is fairly easy to use for every day carry. In my case, it stays on my desk with my =magnifier. In most cases, though, you will not have any issues using it for daily carry.

For preaching and teaching

The TCR is not designed for pulpit use. However, it is ideally suited, more so than any other, to lesson prep. As I mentioned earlier, the Thompson chain is absolutely the perfect choice of lesson preparation.

What about the NIV Thomason Chain?

Fear not, the NIV Thompson Chain will return in the Comfort Print Edition. I believe that the new edition will be the 2011 NIV despite the fact that Kirkbride only published the NIV TCR in either the 1978 or 1984 NIV.

From what various sources tell me, the NIV will remain in paragraph format as per Biblica’s requirements. I am also told that, at the very least, the NIV will be the Premier Collection Offering for the Thompson Chain

Do I recommend it?

I sure do! For nearly 25 years, the Thompson has been on my desk and has been a primary choice for lesson preparation. Like I said, there is between 41-134 year’s worth of preaching material

 

 

Vines Expository Study Bible Review

Vines Expository Study Bible Review

Let me start by saying, “It’s not what I expected and everything I want in a study Bible.” Years ago, there was Vines Expository Reference Bible and, at first, I thought that this was a re-release of that Bible; it is not. On some levels it is so much better and on other levels it is equal to the old Vines Expository Reference, both of which were published by Thomas Nelson.

Disclosure: Thomas Nelson provided a hardcover edition free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

From the Publisher…

Product Description

The Vines Expository Bibleoffers scriptural truth alongside guided explanations of key passages from influential preacher Dr. Jerry Vines. With biblical exposition and practical teaching culled from years of faithful ministry, Dr. Vines presents helpful insights from God’s Word are presented in a warm, pastoral manner.

Features Include:

  • Paragraph-style text with in-text subject headings
  • 200 “Presenting the Message” detailed outlines from Jerry Vines’ sermon archive
  • 100 “Living the Message” articles with illustrations for living the Christian life
  • 200 “Applying the Message” notes that help you see the relevance of Scriptures for your walk with Christ
  • 300 “Discerning the Meaning” word studies that illuminate the meaning of key words in Scripture
  • Book Introductions
  • Topical Index
  • Concordance
  • 9.5-point print size

 

Content

200 “Presenting the Message Outlines”

These are sermon outlines that were taught by Dr. Jerry Vines in the pulpit of his church. They serve a couple of helpful functions: explaining the point of the passage to the reader and guiding a teacher through explaining the passage. One could, in theory, consider this to be four years of material to get your church an overview of the Bible. I always recommend doing your own work but if you had absolutely no experience with lesson prep, these outlines would be very helpful.

100 “Living the Message” Articles

These are practical application articles demonstrating “real life” applications of the text.

300 “Discerning the Meaning” Word Studies

Even though W.E. Vines and Jerry Vines are two different pastors, one could hardly have a Vines Resource without word studies. These articles cover key words that are essential to understanding the Bible.

200 “Applying the Message Notes”

The Applying the Message Notes, much like the Living the Message Articles are designed to help you apply the text of the Bible to your every day life. They are designed to answer the question, “I understand this passage, now what do I do about it.”

Topical Index

The Topical Index breaks down the major subjects of the Bible for study. While I recommend book-by-book study, I realize that topical study is the most common method of lesson preparation and the topical index, here, will give you several years worth of material for study/teaching.

The Physical Book

Paper

The paper is a touch thin. This is not necessarily bad as you need thin paper in order to pack a lot of content into a study Bible. If you were going to mark in this Bible, you definitely do not want a liquid highlighter. A ball-point pen or a hi-glider from Luscombe would be your best choice here.

There is some shadowing (see through of the other side of the paper) but not enough to be overly bothersome.

 

Font

We have Nelson’s new Comfort Print font in 10-point. It is much easier to read than some other font families on the market. As its name indicates, the Comfort Print Font prevents eye strain so you can study for long periods without developing tired eyes or a headache. 

Cover and Binding

The edition I am reviewing is the jacketed hardcover. The cover is red cloth over a book-board. It is fairly sturdy and will hold up to normal wear and tear fairly nicely. For a Bible that will remain on your desk or go into your backpack, hardcover is your best choice.

The binding is sewn to ensure a lifetime of use.

Ribbons

Nelson provides us with 2 red silk ribbons, 3/8″ in width. I generally use the ribbons to mark OT and NT daily readings. I also use them to mark passages relevant to ministry texts based on the upcoming ministry activity such as a hospital visit or discipleship.

Who is this Bible for?

The Vines Expository Study Bible is designed for the new teacher/student. If I were to recommend this Bible to a particular group of people, it would be to pastors in Asia and Africa who may not have access to the resources needed to prepare expository lessons on the Bible.

Overall Thoughts

I am a Bible teacher, so I am a little biased here but I really like the Vines Expository Study Bible. Some may consider this to be entry level and, to a degree, it is. That being said, for its intended audience, it is an excellent tool.

I would rate it 4.5/5. The shadowing is what caused me to withhold a perfect score. Nelson should be able to get us better paper. They are, after all, part of the Harper Collins Group, the largest publisher in the US.