Thursday, September 15, 2016

Speciality / Study Bible Review: NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

This NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible contains many features. It allows readers to immerse themselves in the culture, everyday life, literature, and geography of the people to whom the Bible was originally written through articles, study notes, charts, maps, timelines, etc.

The beginning pages include: Presented To page, Title Page, Quick Start Guide, Table of Contents, Author Introduction, Acknowledgements, About the Authors Page,  Abbreviations (General, and Old and New Testament Bible book abbreviations), Preface, Hebrew to English Translation Chart, Ancient Texts, and Old Testament Chronology.

Sections between the Old and New Testament: Description of the time between both of the testaments, time between Malachi to Christ, Key New Testament Terms, and New Testament Chronology.

Ending pages include: Table of Weights and Measures, Index of Articles in Canonical Order, Index of Articles in Alphabetical Order, Concordance, Index to Maps (with codes listed), and colored maps (each map is numbered and includes letters and numbers to locate rivers, mountains, towns, etc from the Index to Maps listed).

The books of the Bible are divided up in sections of: 1) The Torah, 2) Narrative Literature, 3) Wisdom of Hymnic Literature, 4) Oracles of the Prophets, 5) The Gospels and Acts, 6) The Letters and Revelation.

While reading through the Biblical books of Nehemiah and Ephesians in this Bible, I liked how I could learn about ancient cultural history during Biblical times. Even though the word LORD is used throughout this NIV version, information was included about God's name (that was replaced by LORD) in some of the articles and study notes (which I liked).  I also liked that the study notes are included at the bottom of the pages and are close to the Scriptures that they explain and that the study notes in the New Testament Scriptures that I read included many thoughts related to different Hebrews of the times, and how the Scriptures applied to them. I noticed that most Bible books in this Speciality / Study Bible have an introduction which includes date and author, literary setting, and key concepts, although I noticed that at least one Bible book didn't have the introduction included (the book of Nehemiah).

I love how this Specialty/Study Bible focuses on the ancient times of the Biblical days and who it was written to during those times! It is filled with so much information that will continue to expand my mind each time I read something new. I will also try to allow the information to absorb deeper if I end up reading some of information more than once!

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a hardcover version of this Specialty Bible free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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