on September 24, 2011
The Names of God Bible is the best bible I have reviewed so far and I own at least 50 different bibles (Holman, Nelson, Zonderman and various versions (KJV, NKJV, TLB, Living, Amplified, New International and Message). However, the Names of God Bible is so intimate in it's presentation of the names of GOD throughout the bible and it's feaures on information explaining the names of God is great! I love this bible - it's the bible I've been seeking for during my journey in trying to know more about God (over 25 years) and His Love for man. I recommend this bible for anyone who is seeking a relationship with God. It's awesome.
on December 13, 2011
Reviewing a bible... this is most definitely a first. What am I going to say? Recommended? Obviously, what follows is a review of the particularities of this version and this translation.
What you have here is a version of the "God's Word Translation." The entire thing focuses on the names of God. The cross references, few and far between as they are, point to other uses of particular names of God. The sidebars and informational pages focus on explaining the names and usages of particular names for God. And every time one of the names for God is used, this version keeps that name in a transliterated version of the original; things like "El Chay" (Living God) and Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace).
As a way for people with no Hebrew and Greek background, this version of the bible offers a great window into the various names of God and what they mean. The sidebars are quite interesting. Personally, I think you are better off learning a little bit of the original languages, but I know that this is not possible, nor easy, for most people. My only other comment is that I wish it had been packaged in another translation. There is nothing huge wrong with the 'God's Word Translation.' No heresy, no big mistakes. However, in every area where there are translation difficulties, the GWT gives no indication whatsoever of alternatives of selection process. Perhaps that was just a choice they had to make, as making this both a 'Names of God' version and a study version would have made a huge book.
Conclusion: 3.5 Stars. Conditionally Recommended. Interesting stuff, acceptable translation. If you want to read something with the original names of God in it, then look no further. Just make sure you don't make this your main or only bible version/translation.
"Bible has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
Here is my review of this wonderful Bible:
First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt "Thank you" to Ann Spangler and her publisher for sending me a copy of "The Names of God Bible" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.
"The Names of God Bible" in God's Word Translation is amazing. Peppered with Ann Spangler's writings on the Names of God, this easy-to-understand version of scripture is a joy to read. It doesn't contain the number of references that you will find in a reference or study Bible, but what it does contain is a powerful prayer resource and a valuable way to know God.
This Bible showcases 71 names of God, their meanings, the promises associated with each name, and a devotional reading on praying to God as identified by that name. The introduction to each book identifies the key name(s) of God used in that book and the meaning of the name(s). Within the text, the names of God are printed in brown to set them apart. The reader's eye is really drawn to the names.
Other helps include a chart showing the first appearance of each name in scripture and another showing the number of appearances of each name. There is also a valuable pronunciation guide, a topical prayer guide and several reading plans. Key scriptures are highlighted for reflection and memorization. This is a wonderful prayer tool that will draw the reader into a deeper, broader relationship with God as they get to know Him by His names.
on April 25, 2012
What's to like? Much!
There is much to like about this Bible. The duravella black cover is appealing, supple, and workable. On the right side of the cover top to bottom the publishers have engraved (not just printed) several names of God in Hebrew. Nice touch!
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this Bible is the attention to details, even of what might seem insignificant. Yet it is exactly those kinds of details that can enhance long term use of the Bible or occasional use. For instance, Baker put the Scripture reference in the top outer margins (some earlier editions of GW did not have that). Small point, but important.
Opening the Bible randomly gives a pleasant visual look at the text. I wasn't sure how the names in Hebrew transliteration would look in the text itself. If the publishers had used the same black color as the rest of the text, then it would be difficult to pick out the names. At the same time, an overwhelming color would have be distracting in the text. Baker took great care in choosing the font color for the names (which is always italicized); the name font is easy to identify without overwhelming the senses, even when many names appear on the two-page spread.
That same color is used in transition from the top and bottom of the page, which creates an inviting and comfortable look to the reader. Even after studying and reading for a long period of time, the color combination and page display is "just right." The color also appears in a slightly darker tint on the sidebars that highlight an individual verse on the page. This draws attention, but again without distracting from the text itself, either the main text of the boxed text. Having those sidebars without the "normal" text box border helped; they have a very slight broken edge shadow--looks like it was ripped from a piece of paper. The chapter introductions and the Name pages have a slightly dark tint of the page color, with a decorative design across the top. Makes each of them easier to find. This Bible is probably the best visual layout that I have seen. Well done!
So, how does this help the English reader? One quick example is 2 Samuel 11. This chapter relates the events of David's adultery with Bathsheba and his murder (through the army) of her husband, Uriah. No name of God is used in the entire chapter--except the last sentence of the last verse, 27: "But Yahweh considered David's actions evil." The visual clue of the font color makes it stand out immediately. I wasn't even studying or reading the chapter, just glancing through. But when you see all the previous chapters with multiple names of God, and this chapter with none, your attention snaps to that point.
The Name pages are perhaps the key thing in this Bible. Ann Spangler looks at the Hebrew names of God and provides a two page spread. Each section provides three items: The background of the name, praying using that specific name, and then promise(s) related that name. This can be very helpful to the English-only reader. I like the idea of praying using the various names. And the promises section focus on 2-3 verses that apply the name in a context of "this is what God has done or is doing." Good feature, and of course, the purpose of the Bible.
If someone wants to buy this Bible, then it is helpful to keep in mind the self-imposed limits of Ann Spangler. The names feature is primarily Old Testament. One limit is this: "a translation that prints the most significant names and titles of God in their original language" (p. xii). I have highlighted the word "most" because as I began reading through it (before reading the Introduction, like I usually do with Bibles, computer books, etc.), I began to pick up certain titles that were not highlighted, and I thought, What? So, I did then next logical thing, I read the Introduction. Duh. But there are some puzzling omissions (and even errors)--see further below.
Shortcomings and Improvements?
With all that this Bible provides, I almost hate to mention a negative side of the Names of God Bible. Yet, the items I mention directly relate to the purpose of this Bible.
With one exception, all of the English names and titles of Jesus remain in their English translation. To restore the originals would have meant rendering them in Greek, which might make the New Testament difficult for lay readers like myself to read with ease. But to emphasize the connection between the Testaments, I have chosen to render Jesus' name in its Hebrew equivalent, Yeshua, a name that carries significant echoes from the Hebrew Scriptures.
I find this statement almost contradictory. How is it that rendering Hebrew names and titles in transliterated English is "easy" for English readers, but Greek names and titles transliteratedinto English is too difficult? For English lay readers, transliterated Hebrew and transliterated Greek are essentially the same. To me, this is a significant omission. One example of where this connection would be helpful is the disconnect between the two testaments, ironically the very thing Ann wanted to provide readers. As I studied some of the Old Testament titles that are applied to Jesus in the New Testament ("Mashiach" Messiah), it would make sense to highlight that in the New Testament (i.e. Psalm 2:2-3 and Acts 4:25-26).
In the introduction to Psalms, we are given a list of names and titles that are highlighted. The last one is "Rock" (Tsur). Yet in Psalm 62:2 we find "He alone is my rock (Tsuri) and my savior (Yoshuathi, related to Yeshua). Yet neither is identified in the text as a name or title of God. And here is a clear example of the connection between the Old Testament "my Savior" and the title applied to Jesus in the New Testament.
One puzzling omission is the title "Mighty One" (Avir) in Psalm 132:2, 10, with a total of 23 times (most referring to God) in the Old Testament. Notice the critical importance of that title in Genesis 49:24 "But his bow stayed steady, and his arms remained limber because of the help of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel..." (GW). So also, Isaiah 1:24; 149:26; and 60:16. In other words, this is not a side name/title, but the very heart of what the Bible reveals about God.
Some omissions occur with names/titles already identified. Mashiach ("Holy One" or "Anointed One") is repeatedly referred to in the Old Testament, but not in Ps. 132:17, "There I will make a horn sprout up for David. I will prepare a lamp for my anointed one." It is the last term, Mashiachi ("my Anointed One") that is not highlighted, but should be. Then Yahweh (the critical name of God in Exodus 3) is always highlighted with transliterated English, except in Lamentations 3:22, 24, 25, 26. And yet in the same chapters, in the same context (i.e. 3:28) Yahweh does appear. Not sure if this is an editorial oversight or intentional. My guess is oversight, which can be corrected in future printings.
However, I noticed these inconsistencies, omissions, and editorial oversights after using the Bible for only a few hours. I have no idea how many others there are, if there are, in the rest of the Bible. And would an English-only lay reader pick up on these inconsistencies? Probably not. And especially with Yahweh who would know that LORD is the English translation of it, since the explanation of the connection found in most Bibles does not appear in this one.
One other thing I missed was a set of maps. Even the eight-page variety would be useful for this Bible, especially if someone only had this Bible for use.
Other helpful features:
Book Introductions: Each book introduction is about a page, focusing on only the essential topic/flow of the book. Then at the end of each introduction is a list of the primary names of God used in the book. Obviously this is for quick reference and not designed to be a study Bible in the usual sense.
Names of God Reading Path System: This is a like chain reference moving forward throughout the Bible, focusing on that specific name. One limitation is the frequency of four names, a limit had to be put on the chain itself. So, we read this note: "Because the names Elohim, Yahweh, Yahweh Elohim, and Yeshua occur frequently and are easily followed with each chapter, the editors have chosen to link only the last instance of these names in each chapter to the next instance in order to simplify the reading path system." (p. xvi)
This helpful feature could benefit the reader for further study.
End Matters: The following also aid the reader of the Bible in knowing and praying the names of God.
Topical Prayer Guide for the Names of God
Table of the Names of God
Each of them can enhance the Bible reading experience.
There is much to commend this Bible for the English reader. The layout, visual appeal (typography, color, etc.), the Name pages, study aids for Names all contribute to a helpful Bible. My only reservations relate to some of the items noted above. This a good resource, but with a little more refinement could be an excellent one. Would I recommend this Bible? Yes, I would. A student of the Bible will be well served by this. And I will use it as a reading Bible due to its pleasing appearance and reability. Thanks, Baker for this new tool.
on November 29, 2011
I firmly believe in the premise for this type of Bible. Everyday we need to strive to know God better. A great way to do that is to study His name, make each one real to us. This Bible is a great tool in doing just that. There is some great information included, but I have to explain that I have been a little bit spoiled when it comes to the names of God. Our last pastor did a series every year about God's names and encouraged us to individually choose a name each year to study and embrace, to know Him intimately as Father, Provider, Shepherd, Refuge, Healer, etc...
Go to PrayerToday for a list of over 600 Names of Jesus.
That being said, I was slightly disappointed with this Bible because it only addresses about 70 names. Also, throughout the text, the English names are replaced with the Hebrew and/or Aramaic names. This was slightly distracting because I did not know the meaning of all of the names by heart, so I would have to leaf back to the list of names and find the meaning before continuing with my reading. The Bible is written in God's Word Translation which is very readable, but it may not be the best version for in depth study.
I do like the special features associated with the names though. These special features include an alphabetical list of the names and a list of Hebrew and Aramaic names; reading paths--to give you the next reference with that name for studying a particular name and an index with scripture references associated with each name; introductions to each book of the Bible including a list of key names in the book; name pages--with history of name, a devotional, and a prayer associated with the name; and a topical prayer guide to help pray for specific needs using His names.
One of my favorite features are the name pages. Each one provides a wonderful short devotional on a specific name, with interesting information about the name, promises associated with the name, a story to make it more relevant, and a suggested prayer.
I also like the prayer guide and how it associates different Names of God with common prayer requests.
I have not chosen the name of Jesus that I am going to focus on this year, but when I do I plan to use this Bible as one tool for my study. I believe there is great insight to be taken from it.
on December 15, 2014
To state that I have read all of the this Bible would not be accurate but I have read enough to make a valid review. As a non-professional reviewer, I am a seeker of YHWH's true word; I know good luck, but this work has satisfied my need to know the most accurate translation and application of God's 72 Names and/or many titles. Ann Spangler's "Names of God Bible" in conjunction with the "God's Word" translation, has replaced the Christian/Greek versions of using God or LORD with the original Hebrew name for YHWH as best intended. Thus she has provided significantly new & meaningful insights in this Bible that any Christian seeking more truth to the scriptures will find enlightening. Ann Spangler's contributing editor, Lavonne Neff has done a masterful work with additional insights contained within the verses that further enhances this Bible.
Some drawbacks to consider are: this work is a medium size Bible and I find it difficult to use in church; also the text is very small for someone like me who needs larger letters, Names of God are highlighted in TAN(does NOT stand out) not "brown" as advertised (Bold Black would be best), also, some minor translation issues with "God's Word" that are insignificant.
What is important is that this Bible is an excellent resource for the names of YHWH that most translations omit altogether. The additional comments & explanations are most insightful and a joy to read. I found that after reading the hardbound copy that I needed to carry this Bible with me all the time so I downloaded it to my Kindle as well. In summary, of the 23 different translations of God's Holy scriptures that I have, I do prefer this version within my top three translations.
on March 31, 2013
The Names of God Bible from Ann Spangler is an interesting work that focuses on the names of God in the Old Testament and the Hebrew name of Jesus in the New Testament. The Names of God Bible restores 10,000 names to their original languages in order to help readers grow closer to God and deepen their understanding of God's character.
Names of God
What sets this Bible apart from all others is that in over 10,000 locations it uses the Hebrew transliterations of the names and titles of God in the Old Testament and the Hebrew name for Jesus, Yeshua, in the New Testament. Instead of saying "God created" it says "Elohim created".
The translation used is called God's Word Translation (GW). It goes back to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek and uses a translation theory known as Closest Natural Equivalent. This makes the text accurate and readable. It is a very readable text. I'm used to reading KJV, NKJV, and ESV. GW seems more contemporary and feels more like an NIV or HCSB.
This edition is hard cover and comes with a dust jacket that looks the same as the hard cover underneath. I like the red background and the Hebrew lettering. It feels well made.
Paper and Print
The paper is like paper in a regular book. It's thin, but not too thin. It's very opaque. My favorite part is the color of the paper. It's not boring white. It has a tan color and is darker at the top and the bottom of the page. The pages that have the book introductions are a little darker and the pages with articles are even darker than that with darker edges on the sides. I love the color of the paper. This is the way I like my Bibles printed.
The text looks like about an 8-point font, but I'm just guessing. It's very clean and readable. The print is consistent throughout. The names of God and section headings are printed in a nice brown color.
The text is presented in single column paragraph format. The names of God are in a brown italics font. In the inner margin next to the verse with a name of God is the same name with the next verse using that name. The inner margin is very wide, so none of the Bible text is lost in the gutter. Textual notes appear at the bottom of the page and are linked to the text with letters. At the top of the page are the first verse on the left page and the last verse on the right page. Sidebars appear throughout the text near the outer margin.
All of the names and titles of God are listed alphabetically along with the page number for the Name Pages. This serves as an index to the articles of names and titles and is very helpful for looking them up.
There is a pronunciation guide that shows how to pronounce all the Hebrew names of God that are used in this Bible. I like the addition of the pronunciation guide because I think it's important to get it right.
Reading Path System
This is a list of every name title with the first verse where they are used. When you go to the first verse for that name or title, the next verse for that name or title is in the inner margin. This builds a chain reference through the whole Bible for each name and title. This is very helpful for study and devotions.
Book introductions highlight the main themes of the book and discuss the main names and titles in the book. There is also a list of all the names and titles of God in that book with their English equivalents.
Name Pages are really articles that discuss a specific name or title of God. They usually take a page or two. They are found throughout the text and appear near where the name is used. They provide background information, key passages, promises associated with the name, and a devotional reading.
Sidebars call out people and the names and titles that are associated with that person. The sidebar includes a summary of that person and a list with the names and the first verse the name is used in association with that person. There are also sidebars that have a verse that usually appears on or near the page the sidebars is on.
Topical Prayer Guide for the Names of God
The Topical Prayer Guide gives a list of prayer and devotional topics with verses that go with the topic. Topics include praise, blessing, holiness, strength, and more. It's only about a page long, but with four columns of text there are plenty of topics and verses to keep you busy for a while.
Table of the Names of God
The table lists every name of God used in this Bible and shows how many times each name is used. It is interesting but probably the least useful list in this Bible. I felt that it could have been combined with another list since the same names appear in so many lists.
The Name Index gives the name and then most of the verses where the name is found. It gives the names in Biblical order. This is a very helpful list for finding specific verses with the names of God. It doesn't have every verse because some of them appear too many times, but it has enough for study. I think this is one of the more helpful lists in this Bible.
There are several reading plans in this Bible. The first is the Names of God Fast Track reading plan that gives you a specific reading for each of the names of God. Next is a daily reading plan that takes you through the Bible in one year. This plan is in Biblical order. The last plan is another fast track plan that gives you a good overview of the Bible in 100 readings.
This is a nice Bible. I love the concept of going back to the original Hebrew names of God. The articles are my favorite feature. I like the detail and information for each of the Hebrew names. There are many lists of names and titles, although some of them could be combined. I love the look and layout, and the paper and print are among my favorite. The Names of God Bible is an excellent Bible for personal study and devotion.
For pictures see this review on Bible Buying Guide
Baker Publishing provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.
on December 3, 2011
Something inside of me jumped when I was offered the opportunity to review The Names of God Bible. I have both of Ann Spangler's Praying the Names of... books, and I love getting to know Jesus and God by getting to know the meaning behind their many names.
The Names of God Bible has some great features:
Introductions to the books of the Bible: These are some of the best introductions I've ever read. I love the authors' conversational language. I don't feel like I'm reading a textbook on the particular book, but a true introduction to it. Each introduction ends by listing the key names of God or Jesus in each particular book.
Name Pages: These identify one name of God or Jesus and introduce the reader to that aspect of God's character. The definition of each name is given and expounded upon. I found incredible encouragement when reading through these. I was reminded of God's endearing love for His creation and His people. Each name page also includes a devotion, key scriptures, and a prayer.
Calling God by Name Sidebars: These notes are about people from Scripture, a brief description of who they were, and a couple of the names they used when referring to God.
I really enjoyed having the opportunity to experience The Names of God Bible. Reading the Word of God is a highly important part of my daily life, as I find myself experiencing a much deeper relationship with Go'el (my Redeemer & Defender) and Yeshua (my Savior) when I do so frequently.
Although reading His Word is one way to remain close to Him, praying is equally important. To develop a closer relationship with your Savior, consider adding this wonderful resource and Ann's books to your Christmas wish list. You won't be disappointed. You'll only go deeper.
Please note: I received a copy of this Bible from the publisher for review. However, I am under no obligation to provide a positive review. But I do, because I admire the incredible work that went into this project and the amazing quality of the item that was produced as a result of that work. I also simply love exploring the names of God. Because I love Him.
on October 28, 2011
I did purchased this The Names of God Bible by Ann Spangler, because became very jealous. I have some encounters with my Muslim friends and they explained me that they have special group of 99 names of Allah. I started to look for God's names in Bible and in same day received an offer from Crossings Book Club, I usually do my shopping in Amazon, but because their price this time was only half what is here I did buy there. The Book is great, I understand that we have not only 99 names but a couple of thousand names of God. Even I have different translations of Bible and ESV is my favorite, I used this Bible for the specific reason to look for God's name, read explanation and pray over. I know that Ann Spangler had books on God's name, but I never was impressed by them, but this is original, basis of our faith, just pure explanation of meaning of God's names.
on December 28, 2011
The Names of God Bible using the God's Word Translation is first and foremost the Bible - that is The Word of God; however, what makes this Bible different than others that are available on the market is that this Bible highlights the Names of God in the Scriptures as you read them
So as you are reading through The Names of God Bible and you come upon a name for God you will be able to find out how the particular name is pronounced, some background information about the name including what it means as well as promises associated with the name. Also, throughout the Bible there are interlinear notes that highlight certain key Scripture passages that have a name or names of God contained in the passage. How awesome!
What I enjoy about this Bible is as I am reading it and I see a name of God that I don't understand, I can reference the helpful background information provided about the name and what it means which better helps me worship and serve the God of the Word - who has so many wonderful names. I give this Bible *****!