Most helpful positive review
158 of 165 people found the following review helpful
Now Improved in Two Ways...
on January 18, 2007
There are two main differences between the old and new NKJV MacArthur Bibles, and both are in the appendices:
(1) a CONCORDANCE (125 pages) is added, a glaring lack of the original MacArthur. So now the person who remembers a name or word but not the verse that includes it can look it up in the concordance and get the corresponding verse citation.
(2) the TOPICAL INDEX is rearranged for easy look-up. This is a huge improvement, because the previous MacArthur index was not at all user friendly, due to the hard-to-find way the topics were listed. Now the subtopics are classified under 10 clear theological concepts: The Holy Scriptures, God the Father, God the Son, and so on. To illustrate the improvement, previously there was a topic "Excellency and Glory of Christ," something I never would have thought to have looked for in those exact terms searching under "E," but now if I know I want to look up some attribute of Christ, I can just go to the "God the Son" section and search the subtopics there.
The Topical Index is now called Index to Key Bible Doctrines and is a bit shorter in length than before, and the order of appendix articles is changed, but other than that the Bible notes are the same as far as I can tell, which is mostly good, but in one way bad. My favorite of the retained features are three opening articles that are fantastic for new believers:
- Introduction to the Bible
- How We Got the Bible
- How to Study the Bible
What's not good is that MacArthur has not changed his explanatory notes to reflect his publicly announced change in position on the Eternal Sonship of Jesus, but with knowledge continues to misrepresent Jesus in that particular area. So though this Bible is "revised," if it's "updated" I'm not seeing it.
Of the various NKJV Study Bibles, this one's notes, book intros and outlines, and special features seem most doctrinally helpful. Other NKJV Study Bibles either are more applicationaly than doctrinally focused, skimpy in their notes, or indecisive, offering different interpretations even when the scripture is clear on a matter. Since John MacArthur and his team of Master's Seminary research scholars take well-supported doctrinal stances, the reader is protected from confusion and veering off into erroneous theology.
For those who know they want the MacArthur notes but are unsure of which of the two available translation options to get, consider both the pros and cons of the NASB vs NKJV and also visual appearance--that stylistically this revised NKJV has darker print and is without the annoying ornate touches of the NASB (no large shadowy letter "M"'s for ex). Regarding the translation, both choices are respected word-for-word ("literal equivalence") type translations, rather than thought-for-thought. Many would say the NASB is more accurate, particularly in Revelation, due to its reliance on older but more recently discovered original language manuscripts. But even if this is so, for some people this slight benefit does not outweigh the beauty of the NKJV, which still sounds much like the KJV minus the archaic language (though there are some more significant changes as well, such as "You shall not murder" instead of "Thou shalt not kill"). The NKJV does note when underlying translation manuscripts differ. The MacArthur Study Bible has the notes for serious students and has helpful introductory sections for the new believer. It also makes for a helpful reference tool.