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VINE VOICEon December 17, 2000
I was recently asked by someone who had read some of my reviews which study Bible I recommended. Such a hard question, since there are many excellent ones available! My answer to him compared the NIV Life Application Bible and the NIV Study Bible. Here are my thoughts on these two, plus comments on the Quest Study Bible as well.
The Large-Print Edition of the NIV Study Bible doesn't have HUGE print - just a bit bigger than most Bibles. I still use that Bible a LOT and it's just comfortable reading. It is a bit bigger and heavier than my LAB, but not by a lot. I really like the larger type. You can get REALLY large print, but that's not what this is.
The Quest Study Bible doesn't go as deep. I think it's perfect for someone who is just beginning to study the Bible and has lots of questions like those that are answered in the Quest Study Bible. However, that's not to say that I already know all the answers to those questions! ;-o It just doesn't go much deeper than those questions.
I have in front of me the NIV Study Bible and the Life Application Bible NIV. They are both excellent - either one would go deeper into the Word than the Quest Study Bible.
The obvious differences to me are as follows:
Text The Life Application Bible (LAB) has the text straight across the page - the NIV Study Bible has the two-column layout. I think I prefer the two-columns. It is easier to get through some of those Old Testament books such as 1/2 Chronicles! ;-o However, this is very much a matter of personal preference.
Notes The notes, while excellent in both Bibles, are different in tone. The NIV Study Bible notes are very objective and purely informational. One of the downsides to the LAB, for me anyway, is that sometimes the notes in the LAB get rather preachy and sometimes go far afield of the text. I'm not saying asking personal applications is a bad thing, but if you're doing a lot of reading in that Bible, it might get to be a bit much. The tone of the notes is is the reason I gave the Life Application Bible 4 stars instead of 5! A note might ask "Do you believe that God can help you? Do you really want his help?" (note for Matt 9:27-30).
The clear, informative and objectively stated notes in this NIV Study Bible earned it 5 stars in my book!! I would, however, have appreciated lengthier personality profiles. But no study Bible has everything!
Other helps In the back of the LAB, there is an "Index to Notes" which includes the maps, charts, personality profiles, and the notes. It really isn't a concordance, but it is helpful.
The NIV Study Bible has an Index to Maps separately, an Index to Subjects, and a Concordance. The Concordance isn't exhaustive, of course, but it is much better than the one in the LAB.
The LAB wins the contest in the "Personality Profiles" category. They have quite a detailed description of all the key people you'll meet in the Bible - they often cover about 2/3 of a page!! In the NIV Study Bible, these personality notes are relegated to just a few lines in the Notes section! The LAB definitely is the winner in this category.
Both Bibles contain a Harmony of the Gospels, something I find really helpful. The LAB, however, numbers each event in the Gospels, and before the section in the text, it gives this number and then gives the passages in the other gospels that tell the same story. I found the number to be really helpful. The NIV Study Bible doesn't have such numbers.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea! Those are the main differences, I think!! Both Bibles are excellent. I haven't found any others that are better. I also have the NIV Living Insights Study Bible that has Chuck Swindolls notes, but the notes aren't as complete. Also, the "Word in Life Study Bible" is chockfull of different kinds of sidebars and articles and is just wonderful as well.
I had purchased the Large-Print Edition of the NIV Study Bible because of some temporary vision problems. I hope this is helpful! Please check out my other reviews of Bibles and other Christians books and contemporary Christian music!
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on October 8, 2000
I have had an NIV study Bible for several years. I originally purchased one to enhance my own study time. During discussions with friends or family, however, I saw a need to share the information contained within the Study Bible. Therefore, I always keep one here to study with, but I never put my name in it. I keep it "unassigned" until someone I know needs one, then I give them mine (but, of course, I still have my regular NIV and KJV, too). Invariably, this kind of "opportune giving", that is, giving the Study Bible after a frank discussion of its contents, leads to eager reading. I gave one to my sister-in-law recently, who forgot to bring her KJV Bible while visiting. I lent my NIV Study Bible, and her eyes were opened to a whole new understanding. She was so enthusiastic about "not having to translate" what she had read (as she was used to doing with her KJV), that I offered her the Study Bible to take home. When she protested, I explained that I always kept one for expressly that purpose. It has become her study Bible of choice. Anything that brings a clearer understanding of God's word is worth having and sharing.
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on April 26, 1999
This is a good Bible for the average eye, but not for someone who wants a study bible with VERY large print. The words of the scriptures are written in medium large print, while the study notes are written in standard small print. The content is MUCH more easy and enjoyable to read than the King James version.
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on January 12, 2003
The notes of the NIV Study Bible are helpful for average Bible readers. The maps and time lines are also very helpful.
The NIV is one of a number of "dynamic equivalent" translations of the Holy Scriptures. There is no perfect translation, since translation is inherently interpretation, but the NIV does a pretty good job of bringing the Scriptures, originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek, to modern English. I prefer the NRSV for more serious study, but the NIV is a great devotional Bible.
The King James Bible was the best in its day. In today's world, it is NOT closer to the original Scriptures as some think, but as its translators say in the forward, it is a revision of a revision and was meant to be improved upon as the English language evolved. That is what translations like the NIV and the NRSV attempt to accomplish. We have uncovered better Greek manuscripts now and understand the language better.
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on May 2, 1999
The NIV Study Bible always has an easy to understand explanation of biblical wording and cultural events,etc. of bygone era to help a student of the bible today grasp the full meanings.
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on March 23, 2002
I have to say no matter how many other Bibles or Study Bibles I have tried or looked at I seem to always come back to this one for some reason. I have owned this Bible for almost twelve years and even in it's worn state(duct tape does wonders for a spine that is trying to fal apart) I find it to be my favorite and most easy to find things in resource. Part of it is personal use(the highlighted stuff and the fact that I've had it so long) but the other part is the Bible itself. The concordance is almost always helpful(other study bibles I Have used have less complete concordances or smaller ones) The large print isnt, as another reviewer noted, TOO large but it's great for someone like myself who is visually impaired and appreciates not having to strain to read tiny print. All in all this study Bible has been a tried and true friend to which I can turn often.
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on June 23, 2002
This is easy to read and the words of Jesus are in red. I highly recommend it.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon November 1, 2014
This is truly an excellent study Bible. I've had my copy of this leather-bound edition for 29 years and have used it frequently. I find the notes to the text to be extremely helpful. While I typically use a commentary for more detailed study, the notes are sufficient for helping me with quick issues of interpretation. Furthermore, while the NIV text often deviates from the word order of the original Hebrew and Greek text for the sake of readability, the meaning is generally nicely preserved. As far as the physical quality of the leather-bound edition is concerned, despite frequent usage the binding has held up fine as have the pages, and the cover looks practically new.
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on November 15, 2001
the best study bible i have come across. it is just a wonderful book.
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on February 3, 2013
Everyone should buy and read this study format. Whether you are or are not a believer you can expect to discover immense amounts of historical information that dates back to the times when man recorded his own existence. What you'll also discover is additional commentary information which explains the various practices of the people in that time. It reveals the complexities of our societies - then and now. The past can teach us how to build our future.
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