Tag: Thumb Indexed Bibles

NIV Quest Study Bible Review

NIV Quest Study Bible Review

 

 

Additional Photos

Zondervan has quite an impressive array of Bibles available in the New International Version and one of the most interesting they offer is the Quest Study Bible, the only Question and Answer based Study Bible available. The were kind enough to send me a copy free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review and my opinions are my own.

 

Edition being reviewed: Black Leathersoft, Thumb- indexed. ISBN: 9780310450832

 

Click here to purchase

Translation: As mentioned the Quest Study Bible is offered in the New International Version (NIV). NIV is one of the mediating translations currently available. Mediating translations are exactly as the name implies, in the middle of the translation spectrum, not as woodenly literal as a formal equivalence translation and not as free flowing as a dynamic equivalence translation. NIV is, statistically, the best selling English translation on the planet; outside the United States, it is THE Bible for the Anglophone Nations (KJV gives it a good run for its money, here in the States.).

 

Cover and Binding

This is a black leathersoft edition and I have found that Zondervan is really doing well with their imitation leather Bible covers. The imitation leather is becoming more and more convincing. I would argue that a leathersoft cover is actually preferred to a leather cover since the polymer based cover is less likely to degrade with time.

 

We are given a sewn binding, which not only speaks to the quality of the book but also happens to be the only acceptable choice for biding the book block.

 

Helps

This is the most important feature in any Study Bible so I want to call out each individual section.

 

Introductions:

The introductions present and answer 6 Questions: Why read this book? Who wrote the book? When was it written? To whom was it written? Why was it written? What should I look for in this book? These questions are foundational to the understanding of any book in Scripture; they present the cultural and historical background of the book.

 

Instead of an outline of the book, we receive a timeline for when the book was written. Often, Christians forget that the Bible is not presented in chronological order so the timeline help us with the understanding where the books fit together.

 

Question and Answer Side-bar Notes

This is the feature that gives the Quest Study Bible its name. 7,000 of the most commonly asked questions about the Bible are laid out in the sidebars along with answers which make the information easily accessible. Utilizing these Q&A notes, a Bible teacher can easily anticipate many of the questions which will be encountered and have answers ready for learners of any age or any level of proficiency.

 

Top Questions

The 350 most asked questions are laid out beneath the Scripture text and side bar notes. These questions provide more in-depth answers than the sidebar notes. If you were to address just one question per day, you would have grasped the answers to the most commonly asked questions about the Bible and be prepared to give an answer when asked.

 

Charts, Timelines, Maps

Like any good Study Bible, the Quest Study Bible offers resources for visual learners. In-text maps, charts, and timelines will help visual learners to internalize the message of the Bible including the historical and cultural contexts.

 

Subject Index

Any good teacher will tell you that a good subject index is vital for teaching the Bible and the one provided with the Quest Study Bible is excellent. There are two obvious routes to go with this Subject Index, teaching one specific topic at a time or utilizing the Subject Index for a topical excursus while teaching each book of the Bible. In either case, the Subject Index will be a most valuable tool.

 

Layout, Font, & Paper

The Quest Study Bible is laid out in single column paragraph format with the Q&A  Study Notes in the side panels. Generally, I do not care for single column formats due to readability issues. However, this edition is comparatively readable due to the enhancements of the Comfort Print Font Family.

 

Naturally this is a black letter edition for the text of Scripture. I realize there there are those who are devotees of red letter editions which do serve a purpose but a black letter edition is a wiser choice in a Study Bible; it makes for more ease of use when annotating, especially with colored pencil.

 

The paper is comparatively thin but not so thin as to have much show through or bleeding when writing.

 

Who should buy the Quest Study Bible?

The ideal choice for a user of the Quest Study Bible is the New Disciple. New believers will have many questions and the Quest Study Bible is designed to anticipate those questions and to present the answers in the most user friendly format possible.

 

As a Discipleship tool

If you had not considered the Quest Study Bible as a discipleship aid, you definitely need to reconsider. There is, perhaps, no Study Bible more ideally suited to one on one discipleship than the Quest Study Bible.

 

What’s missing?

For reasons unknown to me, the Quest Study Bible, like most of Zondervan’s offerings, lacks any real place for notes. There is an edition, exclusive to Costco, which includes a very nice journal. I would love to see more notes pages, at least 3-5 pages per book, maybe following the introduction.

 

Final Thoughts

Much like my Teacher’s Study Bible, I am already intimately familiar with the content included with the Quest Study Bible. If one bears in mind the intended audience, the Quest Study Bible is well done. I would venture to say that around 1/3 of my audience may be too advanced to benefit from the Quest Study Bible but creative teachers will find good uses for this Bible.

Giant Print Thin-line NKJV Review

Giant Print Thin-line NKJV Review

NKJV Giant Print Thin-line Bible Photos

 

Many is the Bible that has tried to unseat my Nelson 334 Personal Size Giant Print NKJV Reference Bible {I have tried to retire it four times but it just won’t quit} and today, I am reviewing the nearest contender to do just that, the Giant Print Thin-line NKJV. (Note: Thomas Nelson provided this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give positive feedback and my opinions are my own.)

 

The Translation

As you can tell from the title, this is offered in the New King  James Version. NKJV and I are the same age (both issued in 1982) though we have not been together that long. That being said it has been 13 years in service for me with  800 1 on 1 discipleship sessions, 300 Sunday school classes, 25 Sunday morning services, 3500 daily readings and 1 international trip. For as much as I have thought I enjoy other translations, NKJV is my go to translation.

 

Like its predecessor, the KJV, NKJV is a formal equivalence translation with the New Testament based on the Textus Receptus, the same manuscript which undergirds the New American Standard Bible. In fact, NKJV has only one rival for literalness, accuracy, and excellence for study, the NASB. I would put the NKJV at a 10th grade reading level- it isn’t difficult to comprehend but it is not a simplistic translation either.

 

The Cover & Binding.

This is the black leathersoft edition but, if you did not handle a true leather on a regular basis, you would never know that. Thomas Nelson even managed to add a grain to the imitation leather, a feat that is quite impressive when you stop to think about it; it is a touch you would not expect to find and it is a tactile delight. As far as imitation leathers go, this is the best I have ever handled. I will make a bold statement and say that the feel of this edition even surpasses that of Crossway, who has virtually defined the imitation leather market.

 

Thomas Nelson has returned to sewing the binding in their Bibles and I am glad to see that. A sewn binding ensures your Bible will last a lifetime. Not only is a sewn binding incredibly durable (Ask my model 334 if you do not believe me), it will lay flat virtually anywhere you open the Bible, a feature which comes in handy if placing the Bible on a lectern.

 

Layout and Font

The NKJV Text-block is laid out in a double column paragraph format in the new Comfort Print Font, which comes in at a 13-point measurement. I do wish it was in a verse by verse format but that is a little nitpicky.

 

With the deep rich coloration of the ink, it is very easy to read, so easy as a matter of fact, that I was able to swap out Bibles in the middle of a sermon and deploy this Bible when a smaller print verse by verse Bible became challenging to read. Among Bible publishers, Thomas Nelson has some of the best red ink you can find for your red-letter editions and this edition is no exception. The Giant Print Thin-line is beyond easy on the eyes and if you find yourself headed for bi-focals, as I am, you will find this Bible an excellent choice.

 

I specifically asked to review a thumb-indexed copy because Nelson handles thumb-indexing much better than most. Something that almost no one realizes is the fact that thumb-indexing is completed by hand so no two thumb-indexed Bibles are identical. The thumb indexing is just the right size and each tab covers about three books each.

 

Paper

The paper is a touch thin, most likely 28gsm, and fairly opaque; there is a bit of show through nowhere near as bad as with some of its competitors. Despite being fairly thin, the pages turn rather easily.

 

What about writing in this Bible?

If you use the correct writing implement, there should be no issue with writing or other marking in this Bible. For pencils, Prismacolor or Prang are preferred and for ball-point, Pilot or Zebra will provide you with the best writing experience. Realize, of course, that this is not a wide margin Bible so your ability to write in it might be somewhat limited unless you have really tiny handwriting.

 

Helps

This is a plain text Bible so the only helps you are given are the translator’s footnotes. As a teacher this does not bother me; I want the men and women who are in my audience to do the work of searching the Scriptures on their own rather than relying on someone else’s work as their primary source of understanding. The footnotes include textual variants and are as well annotated as the NASB or HCSB- you will find them most useful.

 

Use in Preaching/Comparison to the NKJV Preaching Bible

As I mentioned, I swapped this Bible onto my pulpit mid-sermon. The deep ebony of the black letters and the larger font made it very easy on the eyes and I had no issue quickly returning to the morning text as the verse numbers are rather bold for rapid locating.

 

The Giant Print Thin-line can easily hold its own against the NKJV Preaching Bible when in the pulpit. The font is a touch larger, compensating for not being in a verse by verse format, with the added benefit of thumb indexing, an option not available in the NKJV Preaching Bible.

 

Making it incredibly difficult to choose one or the other is the fact that each Bible offers a preferred feature, perhaps even two, that the other does not. The Preaching Bible is verse by verse with references at the bottom of the page while the Giant Print Thin-line offers the larger font and thumb-indexing, both of which make for faster text navigation.

 

For Every Day Carry

Tall and thin, the Giant Print Thin-line will easily fit into most briefcases/laptop bags. It clocks in at ¾”-1” and weighs around 1.5lbs. It is not a feature you often hear about in technical terms, but this Bible is incredibly well balanced. What I mean by that is that many of its competitors are a touch unwieldy for one handed use and a person who is peripatetic while using their Bible could easily drop the book. Not so here. I cannot go so far as to say that Nelson intentionally designed this for single handed use but I would encourage you to try using one handed and you can draw your own conclusion.

 

The overall design makes it very readable in most lighting situations. I gauge a Bible’s readability by using it with my bedside lamp which offers a muted white light for reading before sleeping and I will say I was delighted; many Bibles do not perform well in that setting because of issues with paper or font. With the Giant Print Thin-line, Thomas Nelson has a winner on its hands- it is very readable indeed.

 

Final Thoughts/Should you buy it?

I can easily recommend this Bible to anyone considering it. A number of solid use cases come to mind for this particular edition of the Scriptures; I use it under several of those scenarios. It would not be a regular visitor to my pulpit simply because I have been using a verse by verse format for nearly 25 years and that is not a habit I have any plans to break.

 

This Bible is incredibly affordable which does lend to an ability to use this Bible for gift giving (Many churches give a Bible to the newly baptized and this would be a great choice.) and also lends itself to being able to keep several copies on hand if one were in college/seminary.

 

I do not really envision any situation where you would be dissatisfied with this edition of the Scriptures. The only suggestion for improvement I might offer would be to offer it in a good quality leather but a good re-binder can easily replace the cover for you. If you buy the Giant Print Thin-line, you will be quite satisfied.