I recently had the opportunity to review the NIV Life Connect Study Bible. I love study Bibles and use them constantly as means for quick reference, sermon facts, and easy personal study. So I jumped on the opportunity to review this one.
For those familiar with the old Zondervan Study Bibles, the notes from this one transfer over. I noticed this because one of my favorite Zondervan Bibles is the NIV Archaeological Bible. The format though is what is different in this particular work.
If I had to assume the goal of this Bible without reading any publisher descriptions, I would assume that is exists for light study, note taking, and developing practical application from Scripture. I’ll break down each of those.
For those familiar with the Zondervan study Bibles, there is some nice and short commentary for verses as well as some cross-referencing. There are also some short and concise introductions to each book. In the back there is a helpful concordance and fourteen color maps to use for study. Compared to some of the more in-depth study Bibles (such as the ESV Study Bible), this is a good bit less information. For some this may not be what you are hoping for in a study Bible. For others who want quick reference, it is nice. Also, there is the added fact that though this is a study Bible, it’s size is a bit more tolerable if you want to throw it in a bag, or perhaps just not throw out your back when picking it up. 🙂
Throughout the Bible there are lines for note taking. I believe a major goal of this Bible is to be a resource where you truly do underline, circle, & scribble. I like the idea, but given the small space on the borders to do so (maybe an inch at best), I’m not quite sure it functions well enough to be that great of a resource. There is the occasional free page of lines for taking notes, but for what seems like a planned emphasis, I think it needs more space unless a person writes in 3 pt. font.
One of the main features of the Bible is it’s “LifeConnect” articles. These are interspersed throughout the Bible and they seek to take the Scriptures and move them from a historical context to application. Overall, the articles are thoughtful and bring a nice sense of devotional reading. I kind of wish there were more to be honest. There are also SOAP Study sections that encourage a devotional formula of Scripture, Observation, Application, & Prayer. I think this helpful for those looking for a simple model to study Scripture with.
I want to like this Bible more than I do. I think the font and layout are simple and easy to read. I think the concept is nice, but it just needs more of it. That said, this is from my perspective of wanting a major study tool in a Study Bible, and really this is more of a devotional Bible with study tools. And so for a person who doesn’t want a tome, but they do want some guiding devotional and study resources, this is a great Bible in the 2013 NIV translation. For someone looking for a bigger study resource, perhaps not. That said, I think there is a niche for this Bible, but it is a bit more on the devotional side than the study resource side.
If you this is the kind of Bible you’re looking for, check it out here.
I received this book free from “BookLook Bloggers” in exchange for my review. That said, this is my honest review of the book and I am in no way associated with the author or publisher.