Need a Complete Bible in a Handy Size to Slide into a Pocket? The NASB Compact Bible in Black Bonded Leather with a Snap-Flap Fills the Niche at a Great Value.

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As a fan of the NASB translation, I find myself needing a copy of it for several applications.  The problem is that my choices are limited once I demand a sewn binding.  If I want a compact NASB with a sewn binding, I can either spend around a hundred dollars for a Cambridge, or I can spend around twenty for a Chinese made Lockman Foundation.  I know how nice a Cambridge can be, but I there are some benefits to spending less, especially when you are getting a compact Bible.  If you tend to carry the compact with you everywhere, it can get worn out from travel.  You might also forget it on a table somewhere after a talk.  Not to mention the accidental spills and drops.  If you spend around a hundred dollars on a Bible, and then have all of that happen, it would probably give you some heartburn.

Then there are the numerous glued Bibles from companies like Yawn-durp-ven, you know who I mean.  I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate glued bindings.  Constantly losing the front pages and pages from the back, the spine breaking in the middle, I mean, come on already!  I’ll pay the extra few bucks for a sewn binding.  Wait, what’s that?  Lockman Foundation makes a value priced, compact Bible, with a sewn binding?  Do tell.  Yes, it is true.  Now don’t get me wrong, these are not premium Bibles, but if you need to have access to the printed word and you don’t want to use an app on your phone, this little Bible could do the trick.  I know, I know, “It has rubber on the flap…  It smells funny…  The pages pucker where the treads secure the signatures…  It is covered with bonded leather…”  I understand the complaints, but there has to be a compromise.  Like I just got done explaining, do you want to lose a hundred dollar Bible at a coffee shop?  I didn’t think so.  Do you want to open your Bible up to help someone out, and have pages fall out on the ground?  I didn’t think so.  So you see there is a niche that this little Bible fills quite well.

As for some of the gripes, the rubber flap holds up much better than just having a bit of bonded leather there.  The smell is not as strong after it airs out for a couple days.  The puckers are there, you have a sewn binding, deal with it.  Better to not have pages falling out.  The bonded leather keeps the cost down.  Hides are expensive.  This is a value Bible.  You can even afford to lose them or give them away.  I think I saw this one online for like fifteen bucks.  Come on, that is extremely affordable.  So, don’t be a Bible snobs like Bob, get what works for your application.

Time for the rundown, this Bible was shipped in a cardboard box, packed with paper padding.

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It was in a two piece retail package.  Inside the retail package it was wrapped in plastic.

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Some of the features of this Bible are a sewn binding,

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verse format with section headings,
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bonded leather cover, protective snap-flap,

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gilded page edges, presentation page, black ribbon marker, 6.8 pt. font, and compact size. (4.5″ x 6.5″ x 0.75)

Due to the sewn binding this Bible can be opened up without hurting the spine.  The spine is stamped with, “New American Standard Bible” in gold.  The snap-flap protects the page edges, so you can just slip it in a pocket.  The verse format helps you find verses quickly.  The 6.5 pt. font makes it legible.  The end pages are a bit flimsy, but I think that is to keep this small edition from being too rigid.  Overall, this Bible performs the purpose it is intended for.  I would recommend it based on the low price and sewn binding.

be sure to check out the rest of the pictures on my flickr page

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this Bible here are a couple of links,

amazon.com

Christianbook.com

 

The NET Bible, Full Notes Edition, for Language Geeks or for all Bible Students?

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I was aware of this translation a while back, but haven’t had the time or ability to look into it until now.  I was gladly sent a copy of the, “NET Bible Full Notes Edition” covered with Tuscany style brown Cromwell bonded leather for review on my blog.  It was well packed in a cardboard box with paper packing.  Inside the shipping box was another two piece box containing the Bible.  The two piece box was not your typical retail box.  It was less sturdy.  You could retain it for storage, but I don’t think it will make a difference either way.
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The NET Bible was also wrapped in plastic, and was shipped with a book mark.
I was very curious about the notes and the results of the translation methods.  Let me begin by saying that I am a big fan of open access, whether it is software or public domain books and music.  The NET translation is available for free on the internet.  You can read their copyright information on their page.  With the knowledge that this work has been made available for free, I was inspired to do a little more research.  I found that there are some groups that hate this translation.  That would be you KJV onlyists, and some of your folks who are like me with their love for formal equivalent translations.  The formal equivalent lovers usually love formal equivalent translations because they love the word of God, and appreciate the hard work of translators.  Sometimes they are just Bible snobs. (Myself included)  The NET Bible doesn’t seek to be a formal equivalent, but I wouldn’t lump it in with agenda driven dynamic equivalents like the NRSV, NIV, or NLT.  The NRSV has, as part of their translation agenda, the direction to be gender inclusive, even if the text does not indicate doing so.  In my opinion the NIV has the same type of agenda, but watered down and minimized, so as to keep selling copies to the folks who don’t know anything about the agenda.  I thought the NLT was just extremely dumbed down, until I obtained a review copy.  It is just as gender inclusive as the NIV, if not worse.  The NET however, seems to be concerned with accurately conveying the intent of God in His progressive revelation.  So rather than changing a word based on a gender agenda, the translators would make changes based on how they understood the intended communication.  I guess what I am trying to say is that I believe they are honestly attempting to make a genuine dynamic equivalent true to God’s word.  It reminds me of the 1984 NIV in that regard, but not in how it reads.

From looking at this Bible’s size you might erroneously assume it is a study Bible.  With a cursory perusal you might think it is a reference Bible.  Both assumptions are somewhat incorrect.  Unlike a conventional study Bible this one is full of translation notes.  Notes that cite Hebrew and Greek texts, with explanations as to how and why the translators translated a passage the way they did.  There are notes besides the translation notes, but predominately the notes are about the translations.  These notes are not just every few pages, but instead are extensive.  There are approximately 60,932 notes.

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I couldn’t find any information about where the NET Bible was printed and bound.  I e-mailed the publisher and asked them.  They informed me that the, “NET Bibles were printed by World Wide Printing whose office is in Dallas, but the actual printing was done in Belarus.”  I thought that was interesting.  I have a TBS ruby text KJV that was printed in Belarus.  I wonder if they used the same printer.  I was pretty happy with the smyth-sewn binding.  It is a large Bible and the binding is good and flexible.

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There is one ribbon marker that matches the color of the cover.  It is a pretty good ribbon compared to the anemic, twisted, little things you find in most Bibles.

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The paper is as thick as it can be at 28 g.s.m. considering the bulk of this volume.  If it were thicker, this Bible would be as well, and it is already quite thick.  The paper is just opaque enough.  The page edges are gold gilt.

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The layout is double column, paragraph format, with the notes underneath.

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The font is a good compromise in size and legibility at 9.5 pt.  The notes are 7.5 pt. making them easy to read as well.  Since there are so many of them it is a good thing they are very legible.  The face is Times New Roman.  It works.  There are certain finite qualities that when changed cause necessary changes in other qualities.  If they would have used a larger or different font, then the Bible would have been even bigger.  Considering the publisher’s goal, I agree with their choices in design.

The end pages are marbled brown pattern, and pasted down to the bonded leather cover.

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The cover has an artificial texture to it.  It feels like it will withstand scratches, and abrasions better than some natural hide covers.  According to the publisher, the bonded leather used for this cover is the top of the line for this type of application.  They say the modern bonded leather is not the same old bonded leather of the past, that we have all come to dislike.  I am told that the leather fibers are bonded to polymer instead of paper like in the old fashioned bonded leather and that this cover could last more than 100 years.

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The corners are pretty typical.  This is a case bound Bible.  The spine is stamped with, “The NET Bible, with 60,932 notes, Bible.org.”

There are five sheets of card paper in the front and in the back, that could be utilized for notes.  Hebrew and Greek alphabet charts are included in the back.  The black and white maps in the back are nice, and they are bolstered by a unique set of satellite image maps printed in full color on a glossy paper.  These include a fold out to.

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Here is an excerpt from their description page,

“Full Notes Edition

The NET Bible is a completely new translation with tens of thousands of notes! Completed by more than 25 scholars working directly from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts this translation is the most accessible ever due to the unparalleled detailing in the notes and up-to-date language.

To read this translation along with all the notes go to net.bible.org where it was the first translation to be made available free online. You can read more about the NET Bible translation process, see sample pages and view the state of the art maps on bible.org. Or check out the short video about the development of the NET Bible.

“The NET Bible is ingenious. Its continuously updated translation, supported by an array of quality footnotes on the original languages, will be an invaluable resource for pastors, missionaries and well-trained laymen. Bringing instant access to the best research with just a few clicks, the NET Bible has truly brought a visionary form to a timeless function. It’s a great step in the Church’s preparation for the next millennium.” — Dr.Gene Getz

Full Notes Features: • All 60,932 translators’ notes
• Full color satellite maps of the Holy Lands
• 9.5 point font
Print Bible features: • Premium Cromwell Leather
• Premium Bible paper
• Premium Smyth sewn binding
• Gold gilded edges and a premium ribbon
Bible Specifications •Width – 6 3/4″
•Length – 9 5/8″
•Thickness – 2″ ”

This Bible seems to be for a niche of Greek and Hebrew students at first glance, but after using it for a while I can say that all Bible students could use the Full Notes edition of the NET Bible.  They have done an excellent job at explaining why they chose the words they chose during the translation.  You might not agree with them all of the time depending on your expertise or lack there of, but you can’t deny that they have well documented their work.  I would recommend this to any serious Bible student.  It comes in very handy.

Make sure to look at all of the pictures I took of this Bible on my flickr album.

ISBN-13: 978-0737501933

You can purchase your own copy at these sites,

Christianbook.com  Amazon.com  and the publisher’s site Bible.org

The Cambridge NASB Wide Margin Reference Edition NS741:XRM, is the Quintessential Wide Margin Bible for Writing in.

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I know this might sound like heresy on the level of Arius but, I like this Bible more than its goat skin, edge lined, art gilt, counterpart.  This has got to be about as close to perfect for note taking as one can get.  I reviewed the goat skin leather one a while back.  You can read about that edition here.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying it is better quality or better in features.  What I am saying is that the goat skin leather edition was so nice that it was difficult for me to write in.  That might sound strange to you, but it wouldn’t if you held it and realized how much it cost.  It is probably the first or second best Bible I’ve ever owned.

The hard back edition has the same lovely, enlarged, Pitt Minion typeset.  It has the same generously wide margins.  It has the same durable, flexible smyth-sewn binding.  The quality binding ensures that it will open easily and lay flat right from the get go.   That means you don’t have to put a paper weight on one of the corners to keep it open, like some cheaper bindings.  It was printed and bound by Jongbloed in the Netherlands just like the luxury goat skin leather edition.  It is exactly the same except it has a hard back cover.  It is case bound.
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The page edges are not gilt.  There is one lovely, red ribbon marker, contrasting beautifully against the thick, white, paper.

The hard back is much less expensive.  You can buy it online for approximately $50 to $70.  I’ll include links at the end of the review.  The cover is a built in desk, for when you are in Church, or at Bible study.  With the goat skin covered edition you really can’t write in it unless it is on a desk or table.  The cover is just so flexible.  The hard back of course doesn’t have that issue.
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The biggest ooh and ahh feature to me is the gorgeous paper.  I just love the paper in this Bible.  Look at this close up picture of the signatures and tail band.
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Here is a picture of the paper from the Bible opened flat.
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From the pictures you can see the outstanding quality of the paper.  It is smooth, opaque, uniform in color and texture, as well as being thick.

The print is 8 point in size.  It is a larger version of the Pitt Minion.  I know some of you might expect larger text in a Bible this size, but don’t forget, this is a wide margin.  If you want room for notes and you don’t want a two inch thick Bible you have to compromise someplace.  I think the text is just the right size.  It is so wonderfully done that it is easy to read, very legible.  The printing is uniformly done and consistent throughout.  Even the red text is printed with the same quality.  Just look at the picture above closely and you will see.  The text is arranged in a double column paragraph format, with references in the center.  The margins are nice and wide.  The extensive Lockman Foundation cross references are very helpful.  I use them often.
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I wanted to show how well the paper took ink, pencil, and highlighter.  I used a Lammy fountain pen, with and extra fine nib, and Waterman’s black ink.  I also used a medium point ball point pen, with black ink, and a #2 graphite pencil.  You can see that neither the fountain pen or ball point ink pen showed through the page significantly.  The wet highlighter did much better than I expected.  I thought it would bleed through more than it did.  On most other Bibles it is like highlighting the verses on the other side of the page as well.  Since this paper is over 30 g.s.m. it takes the stands up to ink better.
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There is a useful concordance in the back along with 15 maps that make use of the big pages.

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Cambridge included several pages of ruled paper in the back for notes as well as an index section that is blank so you can fill it in yourself.  I would highly recommend this Bible for anyone looking for a wide margin.

You can purchase a copy on Amazon.com, Christianbook.com, and evangelicalbible.com

Be sure to look at all of the pictures I took of this Bible here on my Flickr page.

isbn: 9780521702638

Straw Man or Valid Rebuttal, Dr. Michael L. Brown’s, “Gay and Christian?: Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality”

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I know this book has been out for a little while now.  I wanted to review it because of what I’ve been reading on the internet about it.  It is my opinion that people have been accusing Dr. Brown of using the weakest, most pathetic, arguments in support of the gay Christian stance, as targets to easily knock down.  In other words, they accuse him of using straw man arguments to oppose gay Christian affirmation.  After reading this book, I find those claims to be insulting, and untrue, or in stronger language, lies.  I have been involved with apologetics as a Christian.  I have also engaged in evangelism.  It has been my experience that the arguments cited in Brown’s book in support of the gay Christian perspective are the apex of the oppositions arguments.  Dr. Brown has done well directly, and honestly, addressing their best arguments.  The problem is that their best arguments are emotive and winsome, instead of reasonable or scriptural.  They have to pervert scripture to get to where they go, and it is almost more disgusting than the culmination of their arguments.

Dr. Brown is doing what any orthodox Christian, with a sound systematic theology would do.  He is using the totality of scripture to address the question, “Can you be gay and Christian?”  The people in support of gay Christianity can’t do that.  They have to use the fallacy of cherry picking, which is the bad eisegetical practice of proof-texting.  People who do this, lack a command of scripture.  They only superficially understand.  I believe most people who do this are false converts, cult members, or very immature in the faith.

Approaching scripture as a kit full of tools that you can manipulate into supporting or condoning your sin is a horrible hermeneutic.  That is what is wrong with their arguments.  Dr. Brown cites their work, presents their best arguments, and then shows them in the light of scripture to be in error.  Most Christians know that homosexuality is a sin.  Most of us know that adultery is a sin.  We know that all sex outside of Biblical marriage, between one man and one woman is sin.  All are sexual sins.  We preach, repent and believe!  The other side preaches, twist and deceive with a seductive hiss trailing from their mouths.  How can anyone be saved without repentance?  How can anyone repent if they are told they are not in sin?  I know it isn’t nice to tell people they are in sin, but it is necessary.  I am so glad people took the time to expose my sin to me.  It was the most loving thing the Holy Spirit did, besides regeneration, and sealing me for glory.  To be convicted of sin should not be removed from our faith, but utilized for its God honoring end.  To share the truth in love, that every man is a sinner in need of saving grace.  You see, if no one tells you, how can you experience God’s redeeming love?  Dr. Brown, in a spirit of truth and love, has written a book that is for the person who is asking this question.  Like I said, most of us already know these truths, but for the person who is questioning, “Can I be gay and Christian?”  This book is a must read.

To briefly tie this up, you can not be an unrepentant sinner and experience the saving grace of God.  You must repent and believe.  God grants us the saving faith and repentance.  He shows us our sin so that we will be humbled by it and repent.  A person with same sex attraction can get saved.  They might have to fight against their sin for a very long time, but I’ve got news for you, all… Christians… fight… against… sin…  If they don’t, then they don’t value the sacrifice of Christ and demonstrate false repentance.  Truly saved people are changed.  They take up their cross and follow Jesus.  Jesus went up on the cross, crucified to die, and victorious in resurrection.  We need to die to self and the flesh.  We recognize our sin and die to it.  We go up on the cross with Christ.  We die to ourselves.  We are symbolically buried in baptism, and resurrected to new life.  We live according to the Holy Spirit’s instruction in the Word, according to the will of the Father, enabled by the justifying work of the Son.  If we reject Jesus as our Lord and master, to live as we did before we heard the gospel, then we are producing fruit in keeping with death, not salvation.

Dr. Brown’s book addresses the issue.  He addresses the lies, and tells the truth in love.  If we all studied to know the truth, and then faithfully shared the truth, we could make a difference in lives, neighborhoods, and countries, God willing.

 

Excerpt from Charismahouse.com ” About the Author

Michael L. Brown holds a PhD from New York University in Near Eastern languages and literatures and is recognized as one of the leading Messianic Jewish scholars in the world today. He is the founder and president of FIRE School of Ministry, host of the nationally syndicated daily talk radio show The Line of Fire, and the author of more than twenty books. He is a contributor to The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion and other scholarly publications.”

 

You can purchase your copy from Christianbook.com Amazon.com

ISBN-13: 9781621365938

Oxford University Press, King James Version, Scofield Study Bible III, Red Letter Edition, in Burgundy Genuine Leather, with indexes, Model 524RRL.

 
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I received the Oxford University Press King James Version Scofield Study Bible III in the mail gratis from Oxford, for the purpose of review.  It was shipped in a cardboard box with paper packing.

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It arrived safe and sound, with no damage.  Inside the shipping box, was the retail box.  It is a two piece box, with a clear plastic window in it.  It is sturdy enough to retain for storing the Bible in.  Inside the retail box, the Bible is wrapped in plastic wrap.
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This Bible is burgundy in color, and is listed as genuine leather.  It feels like pigskin leather.  It is hard and shiny like pigskin leather.  Upon opening it, I was struck with a strong odor.  It smelled strongly, and not in a pleasant way.  I have had it opened for a few days now, and the smell has dissipated quite a bit.
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There is a groove around the perimeter, and on the inside there is a gilt line.

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This Bible has a decorative head and tail band.
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It also has a gold/yellow colored ribbon marker.

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The spine and corners of this Bible are rounded.  The thumb indexes are pretty typical of other thumb indexes.
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Some people love them, I don’t really use them.  This Bible is printed and bound in Korea.  They seem to be the new middle of the pack printers as far as quality and price go.  Most of the Korean made Bibles are a good value.  They aren’t as well made as the Jongbloed Bibles, and they aren’t near as expensive either.  They far exceed the quality of the Chinese made Bibles and are generally about a third to twice the cost.  In my opinion, it is worth it to spend the extra money.  The Chinese quality is so hit or miss, it is ridiculous.  This Bible seems to be pretty well made.  The binding is sewn and the leather is decent grade pigskin genuine leather.

I am pretty pleased with all of the features this Bible has for the price.  It seems to be a good value.  The presentation and family records pages are attractive compared to most.  They are printed on a textured, colored paper.  They look fancy compared to the plain paper ones, and they take ink better than the glossy paper in others.
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There is a lot of articles, cross references, their version of chain references, maps, footnotes, and other helps dispersed throughout this Bible.  Book introductions at the beginning of each book are just enough information without being information overload.  The Bible is a bit thicker than some study Bibles, but not near as large as others, like the ESV Study Bible.  I think they made a decent compromise between features and size.  Sometimes it seems there is never enough in a study Bible to please some customers, and if there were, it would be so large they couldn’t carry it.  A good editor is a must.  The paper is opaque enough so that ghosting is minimal.  The 9 point font is inked uniformly and printed clearly, to contrast well with the paper.  The layout is double column, verse format, with side column references in the gutter and margin, notes are at the bottom of the page.  The text that is in red is also printed uniform, and clean.  The verse numbers are in black regardless of whether or not they precede black text or red.

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The page edges are gold gilt.   There is a large, useful concordance, and 12 color maps in the end of this Bible.

Here is what Oxford says about this Bible on their product page;

Packed with new supplementary materials, each Scofield® Study Bible is durable and made to withstand daily use. Each volume includes a presentation page for gift giving, a full-color map section, and attractive binding in a variety of styles to suit any occasion.

This burgundy genuine leather edition combines the renowned Scofield® study notes and reference system with the historic King James Version translation. Generations of Bible students have chosen the Scofield® Study Bibles for its unique study and reference features. Clean, clear text and annotations are laid out in an easy-to-read format, guiding readers to a fuller understanding of the Bible.

The Scofield® Study Bible III KJV includes cross references that link topics and words together, introductions to the various books of the Bible, a superb system of chain references, the concordance, study notes, charts and diagrams, a subject and a proper name index, and much more.

* An exclusive, subject-based topical chain reference system.
* Over 100 boxed factual articles and lists.
* Expanded introductions with detailed outlines of each book.
* An expanded Subject index.
* Study not biblical references are in “chapter-and-verse” format.
* Side-column references are grouped by chapter and verse.
* Over 550 in-text definitions of proper nouns for people and place names.
* Nearly 70 in-text black and white maps and charts.
* In-text articles of nearly 250 notes crucial to understanding the Scofield®
.
* Indexes to Proper Nouns, Chain References, and Subjects.
* 16 pages of accurate, full color New Oxford Bible Maps (with index of places and natural features).
* Bottom-of-the-page study notes.
* Sectional headings.
* Select KJV Concordance.
* Red Letter.

I have 70 pictures you can see on flickr.com 

 

ISBN-13: 978-0-19-527860-6

ISBN 9780195278606

Not a Study Bible, Rather an NIV Reference Bible.

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On the front of the dust jacket of this Bible, the testimonial from Tim Keller is featured, “There are many Study Bibles, but none better.”  This is very misleading.  I have no idea why this quote is featured.  I would hope that there is some good reason why Zondervan did this.  Unfortunately, I can think of one and none has been provided.  This is most definitely not a Study Bible.  It is simply a Reference Bible with Book introductions, Concordance, and Maps.  In no twist of the imagination could this be considered a Study Bible.  If you are looking for a Study Bible, this is NOT one.

My guess, in my opinion, is that Zondervan knows the NIV has taken a serious hit, and as a result has a black eye.  It no longer has the credibility it once enjoyed.  It is not as popular as it once was.  Back in 2011 Zondervan released this gender inclusive mess of a dynamic equivalent in an attempt to sneak it by everyone.  They had the TNIV, and simply dropped the, “T” and changed a few more things to further comply with the translation agenda.  The Southern Baptist Convention caught on to what was happening and officially disavowed the translation.  Here is their resolution,

“WHEREAS, Many Southern Baptist pastors and laypeople have trusted and used the 1984 New International Version (NIV) translation to the great benefit of the Kingdom; and

WHEREAS, Biblica and Zondervan Publishing House are publishing an updated version of the New International Version (NIV) which incorporates gender neutral methods of translation; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists repeatedly have affirmed our commitment to the full inspiration and authority of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15-16) and, in 1997, urged every Bible publisher and translation group to resist “gender-neutral” translation of Scripture; and

WHEREAS, This translation alters the meaning of hundreds of verses, most significantly by erasing gender-specific details which appear in the original language; and

WHEREAS, Although it is possible for Bible scholars to disagree about translation methods or which English words best translate the original languages, the 2011 NIV has gone beyond acceptable translation standards; and

WHEREAS, Seventy-five percent of the inaccurate gender language found in the TNIV is retained in the 2011 NIV; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention has passed a similar resolution concerning the TNIV in 2002; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 14-15, 2011 express profound disappointment with Biblica and Zondervan Publishing House for this inaccurate translation of God’s inspired Scripture; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage pastors to make their congregations aware of the translation errors found in the 2011 NIV; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we respectfully request that LifeWay not make this inaccurate translation available for sale in their bookstores; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we cannot commend the 2011 NIV to Southern Baptists or the larger Christian community.”

Shortly after the Lutheran Missouri Synod did the same.  Here is the most important part of their statement as I see it,

“We find the NIV’s Committee on Bible Translation decision to substitute plural nouns and pronouns for masculine singular nouns and pronouns to be a serious theological weakness and a misguided attempt to make the truth of God’s Word more easily understood. The use of inclusive language in NIV 2011 creates the potential for minimizing the particularity of biblical revelation and, more seriously, at times undermines the saving revelation of Christ as the promised Savior of humankind. Pastors and congregations of the LCMS should be aware of this serious weakness. In our judgment this makes it inappropriate for NIV 2011 to be used as a lectionary Bible or as a Bible to be generally recommended to the laity of our church. This is not a judgment on the entirety of NIV 2011 as a translation—a task that would require a much more extensive study of NIV 2011—but an opinion as to a specific editorial decision which has serious theological implications”  You can read the entire statement here.

Here is a link to an excellent paper in the Westminster Theological Journal.   The article was written by Dr. Vern Poythress of Westminster Theological Seminary.  Dr. Poythress was also part of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version.  By prominently featuring Timothy Keller’s testimonial on the front of this Bible edition Zondervan is trying to do some damage control.  As most of you know Tim Keller also was faculty at Westminster Theological Seminary.  He and Poythress share much in the field of theology.  By getting his stamp of approval on this Bible I believe they were hoping to bring some of us back.  Admittedly, the only reason I requested this Bible for review, over the other ones offered is that his name was on the front.  I was curious if something had changed for the better.  I was disappointed.  Not only was this the same NIV, with all of the gender inclusive language, but it was NOT a Study Bible.

As far as the physical attributes of this Bible go, it is a pretty average to above average publication.  It is blue hard back.  It has a dust jacket.  It is printed in China.  It has two mediocre silver ribbon book markers.  It is a sewn, case bound book binding.  It is printed on good quality paper that is pretty opaque.  The type is clear and uniform.  It is 9 point font.  There is limited ghosting.  It is a double column, paragraph format, with references, concordance, and 14 color maps.  It is nothing special, nothing distinctive, just a good quality hardback.  If only they would revert back to the 1984 NIV and leave these other agendas behind.


ISBN-13: 9780310437956

The Problems With Open Theism.

In a nutshell open theists say, “God can’t know the future.”  Their argument is, “God knows everything that can be known.  But the future cannot be known.  Therefore, God does not know the future.”  Right off the bat, I mean out of the gate, there are a couple of glaring problems with their argument.  One is they have subjected God to His creation.  According to this argument, God is now limited in what He can know, by linear time.  God transcends time.  He is above time.  Sure we experience Him in time, because we are finite creatures existing in His creation.  In that creation He has given us a defining dimension called time.  This in no way limits His knowledge.  God exists in an ageless age we call eternity.  You can think of it as an infinite instance where all things exist and cease to exist at God’s sovereign will.

The next big problem with open theism is that it negates most of the Bible.  Think about it, if God cannot know the future as a finite reality, determined by His decreed or ordained will, how did the prophets speak God’s words, in such a way where the actual determined future, took place in accord with His will, to become historical narrative?  When they spoke, what He told them about the future.  It came about exactly as He told them.  What was given as prophecy did not simply become reality as it was fulfilled.  It was determined reality the moment God decreed or ordained it.  As they experienced it in linear time, it may have seemed like the prophecy was coming true experientially, but in fact it was known by God as He was the source of it.  The Bible is a progressive revelation of God’s word.  The actual realities that hadn’t occurred yet to the prophets were no less actual.  Prophecy once fulfilled and recorded is increased by the quality of becoming historical narrative.

Most open theists hold the view they do because they have reduced God to a man like creature.  They do this because they cannot justify the existence of evil.  They fail to study theodicy in a Biblically consistent, God centered, and God honoring way.  It honors God to be honest, and to glorify Him.  It does not honor Him to elevate mankind’s concepts of justice, good, and evil.

Here is another definition of open theism, “Open Theism is the thesis that, because God loves us and desires that we freely choose to reciprocate His love, He has made His knowledge of, and plans for, the future conditional upon our actions. Though omniscient, God does not know what we will freely do in the future.”

I would not disagree with most of the first part.  God does love the elect and does desire that they would choose Him.  Of course He does not love the ones who will reject Him unto their mortal ends.  They will die in their sins.  I would vehemently disagree with their assertion that, “God has made His knowledge, and plans for, the future conditional upon our actions.”  I believe that I have demonstrated through use of the example of Biblical prophecy how foolish this viewpoint is.  The next statement they make is, “Though omniscient, God does not know what we will freely do in the future.”  This defies logic.  The definition of omniscient is to know all things.  How could He not know, what is actual reality in the future, and still be said to know all things?  He would not be omniscient anymore.  Knowledge is a thing.  It is a created thing.  We only know things in a corrupt way.  We are finite creatures made by God.  We have a very limited ability to perceive reason, understand, recall, and communicate.  All of these attributes of ours are affected by sin and our finite existence as creatures.  We call this the noetic effect of sin.  God, as the creator of all things, knows perfectly everything about the things He created.  This being said, He is the source of all knowledge and knows it perfectly.  What can be known is known by Him in totality and perfection.  That is omniscience.  Not this convoluted notion of pseudo-omniscience the open theist proposes.  Again, they do this because they have a low view of God and cannot explain why evil exists without besmirching God.  Their reaction to this is to reduce God and His knowledge to something more akin to a creature rather than the sovereign Creator.

They start with some false presuppositions that necessitate and precipitate the heresy of open theism.  The presupposition, that God limits His knowledge, to what end, so that we can make a free choice?  It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.  The presupposition, that it is necessary for God to limit His knowledge, so that we can choose Him is equally as offensive.  I exhort you all to flee from open theism.  If you don’t understand some things of God, like how there can be a good God who lets evil exist, or how He can be in control of everything and use sin sinlessly, just trust God and lean not on your own understanding.  One day you might mature to the point where you do understand these things.  There is no need to justify them wrongly and attribute to God attributes that are not true.