Friday, February 14, 2014

Bible Review: NIV Essentials Study Bible

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I received a copy of the new “NIV Essentials Study Bible,” and decided to interrupt my usual study of the ESV bible by reading through some of the book of Exodus and evaluating its notes, references, and overall presentation style. Upon evaluation, I believe that this study bible is a good resource for the study of scripture, especially for a new believer– although I never recommend an NIV translation later than 1984 because the modern translations tend to use more seeker friendly language in order to reduce the impact and seriousness of teachings like hell and sin.

While I didn’t read every study note and comment, those which I did read had some in depth information that I considered very insightful. This bible is packed with lots of useful information that will definitely expand your knowledge of the bible text, the Middle eastern culture of biblical times, and archeological discoveries proving the accuracy of the bible.

Besides the issues that I have with modern translations of the NIV, a problem I found was that some of the commentaries tried to scientifically explain how God performed certain miracles which can only be mere speculation yet were stated as facts. We don't need to know exactly how God does a miracle. Our focus should be on the fact that God does miracles, period. The other downside to this bible is that I found it slightly heavy and inconvenient to carry.

While I may not agree with all of the comments, I didn’t find any of them out of context.  Overall it's a great resource for students of scripture that seek to gain a deeper understanding of God's word. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It can be bought at Amazon.

** Many thanks to the publisher and BookLook Blogger for providing a free copy of this Bible in exchange for an honest review, which has been provided by a guest reviewer ** 


  1. how do i receive a book to read and review ?

  2. Here is another good Bible for new believers:

    The text is New King James which is more faithful to the original languages, and it has many super helps for discipleship.

  3. I know what you mean about the scientific theories posted as facts. Zondervan's Archaeological Study Bible does the same thing. It is a great resource, but you do need to be cautious with some of the notes.

  4. I have read quite a bunch of study bibles. Now finally I found one which is perfect - Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. It is written in highly readable language and lots of pictures and proofs of Jesus Christ history are included.