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I think we can all agree that we need something firm to stand on in 2020. Who can we trust…who should we turn to?

When we find ourselves struggling with uncertainty and raw emotions, the Bible undoubtedly provides the safest place for sure answers.  What’s more, God’s Word can cut through our emotions to reveal our true attitudes and motives.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

 

NIV Bible Study Review

Review of Newly Revised NIV Study Bible

You may be thinking, “Hmm Shellie, this review doesn’t seem to jive with your normal blogging content.” And to be honest, it’s not! I guess you could say my diversion denotes just how seriously I believe that we must prioritize God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in this tumultuous time.

We’ve become a commentator culture…an event occurs or a speech is given, then it’s time for the commentators to circle around to explain and interpret what we just heard or saw. When it comes to the bedrock of our faith, God’s Word, I think each of us needs to figure out how to read and interpret it for ourselves.

When I was in seminary I learned that every scripture exists within the context of the story behind, within, and beyond.

  • Behind – What is the historical context? How would the original reader have understood the text?
  • Within – Where does a particular scripture fall within other surrounding verses? What is the scriptural context?
  • Beyond – How can I apply a particular scripture to my current situation?

The newly revised NIV Study Bible helps the reader to determine these important elements in their daily Bible reading or study. For instance, take Hebrews 4:12 as an example. The newly revised NIV Study Bible provides immediate context clues for the reader.

  • Chapter Introduction – I can look at the introduction to discover the theme of Hebrews, “…the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ as revealer and mediator of God’s grace through the new covenant.” I also get a quick glance at the audience and the time frame in which the words were written.
  • Study Notes – The in-line study notes allow me to quickly determine the scriptural context of the verse. There I learn that verse 12 gives the reason why the reader should give serious attention to entering the rest that Jesus offers as opposed to the mandated Sabbath rest of the old covenant.

The layout puts valuable study tools at the reader’s fingertips. I also appreciate the addition of color maps, illustrative images, and reflective articles on key concepts within the chapters.

I have to admit that I’ve turned more and more to my electronic devices for everyday study and Bible reading…almost exclusively. However, I feel like God is calling me back to the printed page.

In fact, when I was looking at this verse in preparation for this review, my eye was immediately drawn to several contextual elements that I would not have bothered to search for if I was reading on my device.

How about you…have you also been lulled by the convenience and immediacy of technology? Do you crutch too heavily on other’s and their scriptural interpretation?

Don’t get me wrong, I still love to ease of searching for scripture whenever and wherever I am, but I think I’ll be adding the NIV Study Bible to my morning routine because I need God’s Word and direction more than ever.

I received this Bible for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid in exchange for an honest review. #BibleGatewayPartner

~ Shellie

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this post, Shellie. It’s good to hear more about the NIV Study Bible. I do use the computer to look for specific scriptures but I also use “The Message” a lot for Bible study. I may look into the NIV Study Bible to have more background info to the scriptures.

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