First I’m going to address the physical attributes of this Bible and its features with minimal critiques and then I will flesh out my opinions of the essays and notes included in this Bible. Keep in mind that part of the review is highly subjective depending on your theological position.
The Bible arrived sufficiently packaged in a cardboard box.
It is a pretty big Bible as most study Bibles tend to be. It measures approximately nine and half by six and three quarters by two inches and weighs a little less than four pounds. It sells for about thirty three dollars on most internet retail sites. The Bible has a dust jacket.
I don’t like dust jackets. They always get in the way. Some people like to use them to mark their place, but I’d rather have some good quality ribbon markers. This one only comes with a single brown ribbon marker.
The hardcover itself is nice enough. It has kind of a brown marbled look. It is made in China, but seems to be well manufactured despite that fact.
The binding is sewn. The Bible opens and lays flat right out of the box.
I expect if it is treated well it should last a long time. It does have a lifetime warranty.
It comes with a free download that I found quite useless. It is not a download of the entire Bible. Crossway gives you access to their study Bible online when you purchase theirs. It is laid out really well and makes good use of the full color printing. It is a double column paragraph format with references in the center column and notes at the bottom of the page.
Each chapter has a book introduction and outline. There are full color features like maps, word studies, essays, and photos dispersed throughout.
The impression I got from reading some of the articles and notes is that this is a Bible for the masses. If you are Reformed, you’ll probably want about half of the notes removed. If you are Arminian you’ll probably want about half of the notes removed. If you don’t know what either of those are, you’ll probably love this study Bible. That is just the impression that I got. It could be that I am being overly sensitive. Most people will find the notes well balanced between the two predominate theological positions.
An example of that is the language used in the explanation of women’s roles in the Church. It goes to extreme lengths to be sensitive to readers who might not agree with the biblical position and then briefly states the biblical position and then tries to scoot past in hopes of nobody noticing. This technique usually pleases nobody and only confuses neophytes. Of course if you wanted a study Bible that was more aligned with your position I imagine you could find one. I like the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV Study Bible, and the Reformation Study Bible. When you get a bunch of theologians from different tents within the camp of Christianity together to contribute to a study Bible, you end up with the modern study Bible. It isn’t supposed to be a systematized theological work.
I actually would recommend the Holman NKJV Study Bible over the Thomas Nelson. You can read my review of it here. I think the entirety of it is a little more honest and direct. Think NonDenom vs SBC… I think that sums it up.
I received this Bible from the publisher gratis for the purpose of review and am under no obligation to render a positive review.