Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What is the Best Study Bible?

If you're looking for a great study Bible for yourself or as a gift to someone else, I would suggest one of these:

~Life Application Study Bible (in the NIV or NLT)

~NIV Study Bible

The Life Application Study Bible is the one I recommend the most times because it's goal is to help you understand what you are reading and help you understand how it applies to your life and helps you today. It features over 10
,000 application notes and outstanding introductions on each book of the Bible that are written to help you understand the overall theme and emphasis of each book in the Bible. Also included are over 100 "character sketches" on some the most notable personalities of the Bible, in-text maps, charts and diagrams (in-text means on the same page with the chapter and verses you're reading) and helpful indexes to all the wonderful features of this Bible.

The NIV Study Bible has been around since the early 1980's and it has undergone some major revisions (the latest was in 2011 and is the one I would recommend, so look at the copyright page) that has placed it - in my opinion - back as one of the best study Bibles available today. It has lots of features including in-text maps and charts plus nearly 20,000 study (commentary) notes on the Biblical text. It also includes book introductions and outlines, archaeological information with full-color in-text pictures of ancient artifacts and cities.

Either of these study bibles are EXCELLENT and would be of great help to anyone wishing to understand God's word. I use both of these Bibles on a regular basis as they bring unique, helpful perspectives on each passage in the Bible. So if you're buying for yourself, you may want to splurge and get both!

Another thing I like about both of these study Bibles is that they remain theologically neutral. In other words, they have less theological bias than other study bibles. They try and present multiple views on "tricky" passages and allow the reader to formulate their own opinion. At times the study notes in the NIV Study Bible will, after presenting various views, will indicate perhaps what they believe is the most preferable view. The Life Application Bible does the same kind of thing, but then it will back up to the 30,000 foot level and draw out a principle that applies to everyone regardless of what view they take.

Well, I hope this info proves to be helpful for your studies!

Psalm 19:7-8 NIV
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

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