Monday, September 16, 2013

NIV Integrated Study Bible

I have followed some chronological Bible reading plans before, but have never used a Chronological Bible, so this is my first one and I am delighted with it. It has several timelines and also a timeline across the bottom of every page indicating what year, or approximate year, you are in at whatever point you are at in your reading.

 As example of how this type of Bible arrangement works: when you reach the book of Acts and are reading at the time the letter to Galatians was probably written, the book of Galatians is inserted 'into', as it were, the book of Acts and you read it as a part of the account instead of as a separate book. It is so nice not to have to keep turning back and forth every few minutes in order to read chronologically, instead you can just read right through, simply turning one page after another. When you are done, you can just place a bookmark where you stopped instead of having to mark the spot on a reading chart when you are done. So convenient!  

Not only is this chronological, it also uses a parallel column format at times.  For instance, since the four Gospels recount some of the same events, instead of placing them one right after another, these chronologically 'parallel' accounts are placed side by side in two, three, or even four columns. Oh, and be sure to read the introduction to this Bible first. I did not do this at first and thus had a misconception for a while that the people who arranged this Bible were fudging the chronological aspect by placing the repetition of the law that was given when Israel is finally about to enter the promised land, parallel to the first giving of the law about forty years earlier. Later on I examined their arrangement again, and found that they actually repeated this recounting of the law when it is reached at the correct time. If I had read the introduction first I would have found that they use 'conceptual parallels' and not just chronological parallels: "Conceptual parallels occur primarily in the books of Moses when similar commands and instructions are repeated in different historical settings…In order to keep genealogies and conceptual parallels in their historical setting, they are repeated whenever they appear in the chronological presentation…" Conceptual parallels are indicated by a light grey title instead of the normal solid black title.

The text of the NIV 2011 seems fine so far, though I know there has been some concern over the rendering of some verses, such as changing New Testament epistles addressed to 'brothers'  as 'brothers and sisters'. I don't really like that rendering and would prefer a more literal translation, but can overlook it in this instance and substitute the correct wording in my head(i.e. 'brothers').  With other verses I'll just need to look at the more literal translations. Daniel Wallace(professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary) has some articles on his blog critiquing the new NIV that you may find interesting.  I do LOVE that they still have the footnotes that the old NIV had, regarding different renderings of verses in the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other manuscripts in the Old Testament and New Testament as well.

All in all, I like the chronological format of this Bible, and though I wouldn't recommend it as a primary study Bible, it is very convenient and interesting.  It would be nice if they would come out with an NASB version as well...

Thanks to BookSneeze® and Zondervan for sending me a free review copy of this book!(My Review did not have to be favorable)

This Bible may also be purchased at Amazon


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