Friday, May 20, 2016

NKJV Chronological Study Bible

This edition of the Chronological Study Bible NKJV is a nicely bound chronological Bible.  It has a simple, studious looking  'Leathersoft' cover, brown in color with a big dark blue stripe across its center.  This Bible is full of extra content, almost to the point of being distractingly cluttered.  It has charts and 'timepanels', background notes,  full color illustrations (some are very neat looking while others are not very decent), and maps throughout. 

I have some problems with it though, besides some indecent works of art,  some of the notes and commentary seem rather eisegetical.   For instance, some of the notes dealing with wives being submissive to their husbands make it more of a concession to the culture of the time rather than God ordained. They say things like,  "Paul's command 'Wives, submit to your own husbands' (Eph. 5:22) is at least partly related to concern for Christian witness within the surrounding culture, and is quite mild in comparison to the rest of his culture. What is significant is that Paul modified the culture's values, calling on all believers to submit…Wives were to submit 'as to the Lord' (Eph. 522), and husbands were to love their wives 'as Christ also loved the church"(5:25)  and, "…the structure of these traditional codes was adopted in Christian letters,".

 But the reasons given in the New Testament for wives submitting to their husbands was because of the structure that God had set up, not one man had set up.  It's not that the apostles were adopting and then modifying cultural authority structures in the family and that the headship of a husband over a wife and her submission to him were just necessary cultural evils, rather they were explaining how to correctly implement the authority structure set up by God (husbands loving their wives, wives submitting to their husbands and children obeying their parents.  Ironically, the commentators in this Bible are imposing modern cultural family-structure (equality of husbands and wives = no submission required) views on the Scriptures. 

And of course, you can presume, based upon the hermeneutical method used in interpreting the above concepts in the Bible there are other things that are probably erroneously interpreted as well.  One hint of it is in their use of dates, the numbers they use (like 26,000 years ago) hint at an 'old earth' or theistic evolutionist perspective. 

Oh, and I didn't like some of the chronological arrangement.  For instance, they have some prophecies from Isaiah being read after the fall of Jerusalem.  Part of their reasoning is that, "Other prophetic passages speak of times later than the traditional date of composition for the passage itself.  For example, parts of the Book of Isaiah refer to events that took place centuries after the prophet Isaiah lived.  Though Isaiah prophesied in Jerusalem during the 8th century B. C., the passage of Isa 44:28; 45:1 refers by name to Cyrus, a Persian king who lived in the 6th century .  For this reason , some chapters form the Book of Isaiah appear in the time of Cyrus…"  Umm… didn't God have the prophets prophecy LOTS of things that hadn't happened yet?  It would hardly be unthinkable for God to have the prophets give out a particular name of someone in the future.  Besides, right before God starts prophetically addressing Cyrus He states, "I am the Lord, the maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns  it into nonsense, who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers."

Overall, this Bible is very nice looking inside and out (excepting the indecent pictures), but several of the above mentioned aspects keep me from recommending this Bible highly, though there are several redeeming factors, like the timelines, charts, and even other study notes that aren't so biased.  I had reviewed the NIV version of this Bible a while back but seem to have forgotten about several of the problems that I had with it.

I am grateful to have received a free review copy of this book from the Book Look Blogger program(My review did not have to be favorable)

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