“This NIV Zondervan Study Bible is a tremendous tool for informed Bible reading and study. I highly recommend this publication.” Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
“Let the NIV Zondervan Study Bible equip you for more faithful theological thinking and doctrinal integrity.” R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The NIV Zondervan Study Bible, featuring Dr. D. A. Carson as general editor, is built on the truth of Scripture and centered on the gospel message. An ambitious and comprehensive undertaking, Dr. Carson, with committee members Dr. T. Desmond Alexander, Dr. Richard S. Hess, Dr. Douglas J. Moo, and Dr. Andrew David Naselli, along with a team of over 60 contributors from a wide range of evangelical denominations and perspectives, crafted all-new study notes and other study tools to present a biblical theology of God’s special revelation in the Scriptures. To further aid the readers’ understanding of the Bible, also included are full-color maps, charts, photos and diagrams. In addition, a single-column setting of the Bible text provides maximum readability.
The accessible and fresh interior design will capture your attention and enhance your study experience. Along with your purchase, you’ll also receive free electronic access to the NIV Zondervan Study Bible.
|Contributor(s)||D. A. Carson , T. Desmond Alexander , Richard Hess , Douglas J. Moo , Andrew David Naselli|
|About the Contributor(s)||D. A. Carson
D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he has taught since 1978. He is co-founder (with Tim Keller) of the Gospel Coalition, and has written or edited nearly 60 books. He has served as a pastor and is an active guest lecturer in church and academic settings around the world.
Richard Hess (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is Earl S. Kalland professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Denver Seminary.
Douglas J. Moo
Douglas J. Moo (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is the Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. His work centers on understanding the text of the New Testament and its application today. He has written extensively in several commentary series, including the NIV Application Commentary, Pillar Commentary, Tyndale New Testament Commentary, and the New International Commentary on the New Testament.
Andrew David Naselli
Andrew David Naselli (PhD, Bob Jones University; PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is research manager for D. A. Carson and administrator of the journal Themelios. He has taught New Testament Greek at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and he currently teaches exegesis and theology as adjunct faculty at several seminaries. He is the author of Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology.
|Publish Date||Aug 25, 2015|
|Bible Translation||New International Version|
- Review by Chris
The result is the best and latest NIV translation with the best theological and scriptural minds providing notes. The result doesn't disappoint in terms of content. Outstanding.
BUT - the font Zondervan has used is HORRIBLE (sorry I don't often shout but it is sooo disappointing). It is too small and cramped, and not easily readable (I am 40 with 20/20 vision). I know 3 other people who have tried returning their bible to their online supplier for this reason alone. The stock (paper) they have used is also very heavy. The whole thing is such a let down.
I have gone back to my ESV study bible (which I now love even more), and just use the NIV SB as a backup. Zondervan I encourage a very quick review of the font and layout choice - and a free replacement for all those who have bought one so far. (Posted on 1/15/2016)
- Review by Neil
This is a well-constructed SB with sewn binding, but slightly coarse paper quality as compared to the ESV-SB and the NLT-SB, NLT-SB having the smoothest paper finish. The paper appears to be slightly thinner as well (cannot blame them with almost 2900 pages in it). In short, there is a marginal room for improvement in bettering this product to the high level of ESV-SB, or the NLT-SB (keyword being "marginal"). There is ghosting on its pages, but this appears to be a common feature in SBs with 2000 or more pages nowadays.
This is the most attractive, and aesthetically appealing SB I have, and I say this after comparing to the ESV-SB which is itself a beautiful/colourful Bible. While some might find these colour picture-inserts from archaeology or the like as unnecessary distraction - I find them more or less relevant and engaging. The font is a little on the smaller side, but I find reading Scripture or the notes no problem at all. Older folks or those with weaker vision may have to use book-reading lenses which can easily fix this problem.
This is the main strength of this Bible. A couple of years ago I had purchased the CEB SB, and while the product was ok, it paled away in terms of its content quality and length compared to all the other SBs named in this review (i.e. the notes were short and redundant in most places - the only neat feature were the short write-ups/inserts on topical content).
The NIV Zondervan SB on the other hand is a perfect complementary resource to these SB, should you have any of them. If you dont, this SB is capable of being a stand alone resource as well, with conservative evangelical notes based on Biblical theology, with a good balance of devotional and technical/study-related information. The verse-by-verse notes are very descriptive and coherent.
There are a lot of charts and colour maps in this Bible, the single column edition makes reading easy on the eyes (for me).
In comparison, this SB is closer to NLT-SB in the way it approaches theology, rather than ESV-SB (except for the size of the notes) since I find ESV having slightly more apologetic overtones than either of these resources (such as pointing out and defending the deity of Christ). While it does not have the topical in-text inserts that explain Biblical themes like the CEB-SB or the NLT-SB, it has an amazing resource of 28 longer articles on specific Biblical concepts / tops (such as Sin, Covenant, Law, etc.) at the end of the SB, akin to the ESV-SB. The concordance is sufficiently big for the depth of scripture study possible in a one-volume resource.
All in all - an excellent product! The last time I was this happy when I purchased a study Bible was with the ESV-SB (which many believe has set the benchmark for quality study Bibles). I have so far read Genesis, Galatians, Colossians, Philippians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians and 1 Timothy so far, and the study notes are excellent. Right from the product quality to the level of scholarship that has gone (and is evident) in this SB - I find is one of the best one-volume resources out there. A definite must-buy if you dont own a SB, and even if you do, I would recommend considering it if you have a room for one more.
Neil (Posted on 9/5/2015)
- Review by SnickerdoodleSarah
Many of the study notes seem quite intricate and useful and exegetical. Several of the pages are quite packed with notes. There were various scholars writing the study notes for each individual book of the Bible and you can see the negatives and positives to that. For instance, I was pleasantly surprised (shocked may be the better term) that the person who did the study notes in 1 Corinthians actually took the literal view of chapter 7, where Paul repeats, affirms and perhaps expounds upon, the Lord's command, "To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife." 1 Cor. 7:10-11 The writer of the study notes comments: vs. 11"...There are only two options for a divorced woman: (1) remain unmarried or (2) reconcile with her husband. a husband must not divorce his wife. Just as a woman must not divorce her husband; again Paul formulates no exception." Vs. 15, 'Let it be so.' when a non-Christian spouse divorces a Christian spouse, the Christian cannot do anything about it. not bound in such circumstances. it is often suggested that this allows a deserted Christian spouse to remarry since the Christian is not 'bound' to the marriage that has been dissolved. This interpretation is not plausible: (1) In v. 11 Paul prohibits remarriage in cases where divorce has taken place. (2) The Greek verb does not mean 'bound'; it means 'enslaved' or 'under bondage.' (3) The thrust of the context is maintaining marriage. (4) Paul speaks of 'freedom' for a new marriage only in cases when the spouse has died (v. 39; Rom 7:1-3). If a non-Christian spouse leaves the marriage, the Christian spouse is not responsible for the divorce. Christian spouses may not initiate divorce from non-Christian spouses on religious grounds..." But then where you turn to Christ's comments on divorce and remarriage in Matthew 7 and 19 you find the usual view espoused (dissolution of a marriage before God in the case of adultery)by whomever wrote the study notes.
But now I must talk about the negative aspects of this Bible. One is not so bad, but some may find it quite inconvenient, and that is that the font is (or seems to me) quite small, and that is aggravated by the fact that it is difficult to lift the book closer to one's face to take a closer look because it is so heavy. But if they made the font any bigger the Bible's overall size would be impractical and it would probably end up having to be treated like some old gigantic Bibles of the past where would you just designate a place for it to be left open on its own stand as it would be difficult to transport.
The second negative was that the person(s) who wrote the study notes on Genesis did not come down firmly on a literal 24 hour day creation. For instance in the introduction to Genesis it is stated that, "The question of the age of the earth is not automatically resolved with the use of the seven days in 1:1-2:3. In 2:4, Moses uses the same Hebrew word for 'day' to summarize all the work of creation…Of course, this does not mean that the term 'day' cannot refer to a 24-hour day in the seven days of creation. But it may also serve other purposes." And therefore of course, they also do not firmly promote a global flood in Genesis 6-7 but leave it open to the possibility of its being a regional flood.
The third negative is that the Bible has at least a few engravings, paintings and other forms of art picturing unclothed people. I'll mention three of them here: First there was a picture of a naked Adam and Eve holding a few tiny conveniently placed leaves…I don't get why they don't at least depict them in the clothing of leaves they had tried to make, or why don't they picture them when God clothed them with animal skins? Why depict the father and mother of all mankind in what is now their shame??? It is STILL their SHAME, why is it okay for their offspring to have pictures of them in that state???????I don't understand that at all. And then there was an engraving or something showing circumcision being performed on men and it was completely unnecessary, I didn't need to see that. And lastly there was a painting in the introduction to Psalms that showed unclothed and scantily clothed Egyptian women musicians, the only connection to the Psalms was that they were musicians. Why? Why choose that one? I don't care if they are ancient archaeological finds and are considered 'a work of art', I don't care how old it is, there are bad/immoral works of art from history just as there are bad works of 'art' today! I don't understand how a person can think that pictures depicting naked people are justified to have in a Bible, rather I see it as an affront and a contradiction to the teachings of the Bible itself. Think of Christ's statement: "Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. "(Mat 5:27-28 ASV). What if a picture was placed beside it showing a lewdly dressed woman with the caption "ancient depiction of a prostitute", wouldn't that seem a little (sarcasm) contradictory?
I'm sorry to have to be so negative but I simply had to say something. I would have rated the study Bible higher if it hadn't been for the bad pictures.
I received a free review copy of this book from the Booklook blogger program in exchange for my review which did not have to be favorable.
(Posted on 9/2/2015)
- Review by Kristin
- Review by InkBlotsbyTRD.blogspot.com
The dust jacket is the cover shown here, and underneath is a more subtle hardcover - gray/black linen-look with the words "HOLY BIBLE" on the front.
The interior is laid out with black text (single column) and various green accents (headings, chapter numbers, etc.) - it is very easy on the eyes. The words of Jesus are in black text, the same as the rest of the Bible text.
For the most part, the study notes at the bottom of each page take up around 1/3 of the page, but there are many places where the study notes take up about 1/2 of the page (even more in some places). The study notes are double-column, as opposed to the Scripture which is single-column. The study notes flow from page to page, so you will see some notes that are continued from a previous page.
Each book in the NIV Zondervan Study Bible begins with an introduction (several pages long) that may include information about: the author, date of writing, place of writing (or of where it was sent, if applicable), purpose, genre, particular challenges, literary features, themes, theology, etc.. Not all introductions have the same topics, but cover what is relevant to that particular book. (The introductions are single-column.) Each introduction includes an outline of the book. (Exception: Psalms does not have an outline.)
In addition to the introductions for each book, there are several introductions/looks on a larger scale.
- Introduction to the OT
- Introduction to the Pentateuch
- Introduction to the Historical Books
- Introduction to the Wisdom and Lyrical Books
- Introduction to the Prophetic Books
- From Malachi to Christ
- The Time Between the Testaments
- NT Chronology
- Introduction to the NT
- Introduction to the Gospels and Acts
- Introduction to the Letters and Revelation
Before both the Old Testament and the New Testament are full-color timelines showing the chronology of the history, people, and events relevant to that Testament. I found the Old Testament Chronology to be particularly well done, with a large amount of information (including both World History and Biblical History) in a very well laid-out and readable timeline. The New Testament Chronology does not cover as much information, but is equally well done.
Throughout each book you will find a variety of full-color images: maps, charts, illustrations, artifacts, photographs, etc. After the Table of Contents, you can find a listing (with page numbers) of each of the maps, charts, and illustrations that are found throughout the text. (Photographs are not listed.)
At the end of the Scripture, there are 28 articles (by several different authors). You can find a listing (with page numbers) of these articles both after the Table of Contents and at the beginning of the Articles section.
Here is a list of the article titles:
- The Story of the Bible: How the Good News About Jesus Is Central
- The Bible and Theology
- A Biblical-Theological Overview of the Bible
- The Glory of God
- Exile and Exodus
- The Kingdom of God
- The City of God
- Prophets and Prophecy
- Death and Resurrection
- People of God
- Love and Grace
- The Gospel
- The Consummation
In general, most readers (high school and above) should be able to follow along and understand the articles. The concepts in the articles may be new to you, but in general it seems that the authors have done a good job explaining and defining the concepts and ideas that they are presenting.
Additionally, at the back of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible you will find a few helpful resources like a Table of Weights and Measures (1 page), a Concordance (150+ pages), Maps (there are 14) , and an Index to Maps (referencing specific towns, landmarks, etc. that can be found on the maps). The Index to Maps is a very helpful feature that I don't recall seeing in other Bibles.
In addition to everything included in the Bible itself, the NIV Zondervan Study Bible includes a code for free digital access (a $19.99 value) through Bible Gateway (for your web browser) or through Olive Tree (for your mobile device). You cannot redeem the code for both services - you must choose either Bible Gateway or Olive Tree. I have not used the digital access yet, but according to the insert, you can use the digital version to highlight passages, take notes, look up verses/words/phrases, and access exclusive material.
If I was going to suggest a Bible purely for reading Scripture, I probably would not suggest the NIV Zondervan Study Bible simply because there are so many resources that it can sometimes spread the Scripture out over many pages, when it might be able to be read more easily without the distraction of the extra resources. Also, because of the pure bulk of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible (5 pounds and 2 1/2" thick), I probably would not recommend this if you are looking for something to take with you on the go. (The mobile access would be great for on-the-go, though.)
All in all, I think this is a fantastic all-in-one study Bible and would definitely suggest it for anyone who wants to dig deeper. It has a lot to offer without being overwhelming. I think this is a great choice for a study tool for any family.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews. (Posted on 8/19/2015)
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