Saturday, April 9, 2016

NIV LifeConnect Study Bible: A Review

I've been an New International Version reader since 1990. It's been twenty six years since my husband and I bought our matching leather bound monogrammed red letter edition of Zondervan's cross-referenced translation in modern language. Before then it was King James Version for me, the Bible my father bought me in 1972, after I was baptized.  Consider me shocked, then,  to find so many changes in this 2015 publication, the NIV LifeConnect Study Bible, which contains so much more than my original Bible. Shocked in a good way, mostly.

A few notes about the actual text included in this Bible.  I found the quotes inserted of the middle of certain pages of Scripture excellent and inspiring. On the other hand,  the conservative scholar in me questions the choice of laying quotes inside inspired text, which action perhaps implies, even if unintentionally,  that both have equal value.  On first view,  I wondered by whom they were written, as no name is given credit. I then discovered (in the preface) that they were all taken from writings from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, the General Editor of the publication. I was surprised to learn (also from the preface) that the translation labelled NIV is actually changing over the years, but still under the same name. A few comparison text readings from my old Bible bore this out. The schedule for reading through the entire Bible in a year was very handy. It made sense to me to include it in a study Bible. The LifeConnect articles were insightful and well-placed, and the introductory information before each individual book was snappy and up to date.  As a resource, I found a wealth of information for the serious Bible student.

Next, a few points about the formatting and physical attributes. I liked the generous lined margin space for personal notes. However,  I  found the print color, a teal blue, difficult to read as it did not contrast fully with the paper color, and it was small in comparison with most books I read; it seemed that function was sacrificed to form.  And although it may be personal preference, it seems to me that a hard bound book is less suited to everyday use than a soft, leather bound.

In summary, although I liked the overall innovation of this resource, it is not a book that I would choose to purchase, primarily because of the print being difficult to read.

I have been given a free copy of this book from Booklook Bloggers  in return for my honest opinion.

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