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NIV Stewardship Study Bible: Discover God's Design for Life, the Environment, Finances, Generosity, and Eternity Hardcover – October 13, 2009
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From the Back Cover
The NIV Stewardship Study Bible uses a variety of engaging features to lead individuals through a comprehensive study of what it means to be managers entrusted with the resources of God. Through 366 Exploring Stewardship notes, profiles of individuals, notes on challenges to stewardship, quotes on stewardship from respected Christians throughout the ages, and other articles and helps, the NIV Stewardship Study Bible projects a positive picture of the privilege that we have to manage what God has given us to his glory and to the building of his kingdom. More than just money, this Bible emphasizes stewardly responsibility in all areas of life, including relationships, creation care, money management, institutions, and caring for the poor, among other areas. It's been pulled together with the purpose of changing perceptions about what the word stewardship means--not something intended to be draining and guilt-inducing, but rather motivating, empowering and uplifting. The NIV Stewardship Study Bible has been endorsed by Crown Ministries, Dave Ramsey, Good $ense ministries, the Barnabas Foundation, Prison Fellowship, and various other programs and ministries that seek to encourage responsible stewardship among Christians. This Bible will be a natural next step for individuals and groups who benefit from these ministries and take part in their programs.
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The only problem I have with it is that I have arthritis in my fingers, and it is a bit heavy and painful for me to hold up. It's o.k. if I sit up straight and put something under it to lift it to where I can read it. It is worth the effort!
Instead, I found this Bible edition is more of a devotional book. Let me start by saying that I read this entire Bible cover to cover (except for a few chapters in the middle. There are (I think) 365 full-page stewardship commentaries on specific aspects of stewardship (see other helpful comments for a broader explanation of the types of stewardship this edition focuses on), but no comments on any passages. (The devotionals do use a specific passage as a topic point, which is why they are placed where they are.) All but the shortest books (the one-chapter books) have these devotionals.
As other comments have noted, this Stewardship Study Bible focuses on stewardship broadly, not just "financial stewardship" which is the most common perception of stewardship. As I was looking at this Bible originally, I was hoping for commentary on specific passages (since there are more than 2,000 verses on stewardship), and in that regard I was disappointed.
Since I already have multiple Bibles at home (like most people who own a Bible), I really did not need another whole Bible. And since this Bible contained no verse commentary but just full-page devotionals, I could not help but think it would have been better to just print a Stewardship Daily Devotional. I think this because having the devotionals strewn out throughout the Bible actually makes it harder to follow. In fact, I think a person interested in stewardship would get MORE out of a devotional because it would be easier to read one page a day for a year. With this Bible, the reader must do a lot of extra work.
I read this entire Bible start to finish (except for a couple of books in the middle), and read at least 300 of the devotionals. I found the content very well written, and believe they would be exceptionally helpful for someone who wants to explore stewardship more.
So this is a mixed review--which is why I gave it 3 stars. The Bible is excellent in terms of production. The print is easy to read, the full-page stewardship devotionals are very well written, the in-text quotes from various people are brief and thoughtful. Particularly helpful--maybe worth the entire cost of the book--is the Crown financial stewardship notes at the back of the book listing hundreds of verses that are used in the Crown Small Group Study. But as a "Study Bible" it is probably not one I intend to keep in my library.
The brief essays and character sketches are done by some of the most prominent and profound writers on Christian stewardship. They are what makes this Bible so life-changing.
One nitpicky note regarding the Kindle version: navigating to specific places in this Bible is a little cumbersome, with numerous menus and clicks to get to where you want to go. The essays and character sketches aren't listed in the Table of Contents, so you have to search specific terms if you can't remember where you originally saw it.
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I would recommend this bible to anyone