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NIV Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible Hardcover – July 26, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The NIV Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible provides a theological conservative, balanced system of notes and articles that trace the Reformed Christian heritage back to its roots in the Reformation. Appropriate for both an academic and an informed lay audience, this Bible incorporates extensive study notes, as well as articles, charts, and graphs, that comment on Scripture from a distinctly Reformed perspective. Included is the complete text of each of the six major Reformed doctrinal standards, keyed in the study notes to relevant Scripture passages. Special features: · In-text theological articles focusing on topics relevant to Reformed believers · Extensive theological and study notes. · Side-column reference system. · Section and book introductions and outlines. · Doctrinal standards of the Reformed Faith: Heidelberg Catechism, Westminster Confession, Westminster Shorter Catechism, Belgic Confession, Canons of Dort, Westminster Larger Catechism. · In-text maps, charts, and graphs. · Concordance.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 2400 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310923603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310923602
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael L. Johnson on July 26, 2003
Format: Leather Bound
When I first beheld this newest publication (yet another new bible!!), I immediately turned to the preface and discovered that instead of its precursor (the New Geneva Study Bible/Reformation Study Bible---NKJV, Nelson Publishers), R.C. Sproul is no longer the general editor, but Richard Pratt, a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL. In turn he brought on board fellow RTS prof. and much respected theologian John Frame to be the theological editor (along with a guy named Packer!). So lest you think this recent edition is simply a minor revision, consider the following:
1. The text has shifted from the NKJV to the NIV. While I prefer to see the ESV in its place, the NIV is still a better overall translation than the NKJV.
2. Frame and Packer took all of the original study notes and fully revised them--no small task. Overall, they seem to be a bit more precise. The notes are not regurgitated from the previous editions. Also, the theological articles from the previous editions (written by Packer) are replaced by 66 new theological articles--one for each book of the bible. What? Dost thou lament the ommision of Packer's articles? Weep no more! Purchase his book Concise Theology, which is an outright essential gem for every Christian.
3. The text is still single column, but red letter editions are not available. This is a good thing indeed, lest you begin equating the "red letters" as the ones that really count!
4. The book introductions are at least twice as long as the other editions, with greater breadth, focus and clarity. One of the most laudible additions is a special feature of the OT introductions titled "Christ in ___________" (e.g. Isaiah, Genesis, Malachai, etc). Every OT book is considered in this light, i.e.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not only Calvinists, but all Protestant readers will be able to learn much from this well done study Bible.

I have used the previous edition, the "New Geneva Study Bible," for about nine years now, and enjoyed it immensely. My old one is full of scribbled notes. This one seems to have expanded the text of the annotations by at least a third, and likely more. The editors have somewhat improved their clarity and style. There is, unfortunately, little room for scribbling in the margins of this Bible.

The focus on doctrine and teachings is what makes this Bible seem meatier than its competitors, and is the chief reason I would heartily recommend it, even to non-Calvinists. With this study Bible you can be referred easily to the Biblical passages that establish, say, the eternity of God or the concept of the Trinity. Brief essays on key Biblical doctrines abound in the text. Most of them do not refer to specifically Calvinist ideas, and those that do are at least honest enough to acknowledge the existence of contrary opinion.

This honesty is found in other controversial areas as well. They don't endorse young-earth creationism, and allow the readers to make up their own minds about geological history. They do recommend the historical interpretation of Jonah, but allow that it might be a parable. They allow that the texts of the books of Moses may have been compiled by other inspired editors. They aren't going to tell you that Gog is Russia, or that the founding of Israel lit the fuse for Armageddon. They are, in short, conservative about the core truths of worldwide Protestant Christianity without timidly following a U.S. fundamentalist hardline. For that, I give glory and praise to God.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been using the "New Geneva Study Bible" for the past number of years and I loved the theological articles and notes that it contained, and this study Bible is a great revision of that Bible (which I found interesting because the NGSB was published by Thomas Nelson and this is by Zondervan.) From the comparison I have done, the notes and articles are very similar between the two study bibles. However there is one great difference that made me want to get the Bible as soon as I heard about it - and that is the inclusion of the Reformed Creeds and Confessions with reverse cross-references. I still can't explain how much I am enjoying that feature! With the use of creeds and confessions on the decline in our churchs, having the ability to read how a certain confession uses a passage of Scripture is great. It brings those great and historic documents into my personal devotions and study.
There are a couple of things that I don't like about the Bible and they are completely superficial and nothing to do with the actual "meat" of the Study Bible (I'll let the other, more intelligent reviewers do that!). 1) The margins are a little too narrow, so it makes it harder to read unless it is right in front of you and there isn't a lot of room to make notes (unless there aren't any cross references). 2) It would have been nice to include the ecumenical creeds (but these are probably different depending on what background you come from) so I just printed mine out (Apostle's, Nicene and Athanasian) and put them in the back. 3) It would have been very nice to include a subject index to items in the notes like the New Geneva Study Bible did. 4) Maybe my eyesight is going, but the type seems kind of small and harder to read while sitting on my lap in church.
I can understand in order to conserve space why some of these things were done and overall I am very, very happy with the Study Bible.
Soli Deo Gloria
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