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Life Application Study Bible: NIV84 Hardcover – June 30, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
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 this 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)
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. 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.
I hope this is helpful! Please check out my other reviews of Bibles and other Christians books and contemporary Christian music!
This bible is rich with maps so it is easy to see where the stories are located, how far journeys last and things like that. There are also summaries of the main characters and their roles in the stories -- a biblical "Cliff's notes" of sorts. Be careful though, as you might expect, your interpretation of a character's purpose in the story may be a bit different from that of the authors.
This is a great bible. Its ease of use has allowed me to increase my bible reading, without sacrificing accuracy or relevance to the original text. I can read more at one sitting without getting worn down pondering the meaning of Old English text.
One note of warning, however, an accurate, modern English translation of the 23rd Psalm (Ie. The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want. etc.,) falls absolutely flat. He doesn't "lay me down by still waters." He only "leads me by peaceful streams." Where the poet who wrote the King James bible would say "He restoreth my soul" this bible says He only "renews my strength." Yet, the care which is evident in other parts of the translation -- at least to a layman like me -- leads me to believe this is the more accurate translation, even if it is less poetic.
Enjoy this bible. It has become my friend.
But that's nothing compared with what you get: a set of concise book, event, and character outlines that are unmatched in current Bible publishing. The point of the LASB is to relate the Bible to our lives today, and not the way we lived 400 or even 2000 years ago; in other words, LASB's goal is to make the Bible directly relevant to its reader. It certainly succeeds.
Perhaps its least noticed but best feature is its one-column text format, giving the reader full verses. The poetry of the Psalms and within the prophetic books is retained and in metered format to distinguish it from prose and didactic sections. Loaded with footnotes explaining not only the what, where, who, but the why. The editors tell you WHO James is, and who his brother is, and give you hints to distinguish him from other Jameses. Each book is set up with an introduction, along with a "blueprint" model that gives the major themes of the book; a separate "megathemes" (meta is the proper word) section lays out the thematic significance of the book with explanation; and finally a "vital statistics" section that gives a quickview of the book's setting, key people, purpose, etc. The maps in the back are quite good, too.
So there's no reason you won't want this Bible, even as a supplement to more scholarly bibles like the New Revised Standard Version Oxford Annotated Edition. I highly recommend it.