NIV Zondervan Study Bible: The Rolls-Royce of the Study Genre
It’s one thing to write an article about an upcoming Bible based on media releases — which appears in part at the end of this one — it’s another thing entirely to hold one in your hands. Such was the case last week when a beautiful bonded leather edition of the new NIV Zondervan Study Bible was delivered. This is one of those occasions where I’m not just a bookstore owner, I’m also a giddy, excited customer with a new Bible!
Opening the pages, it occurred to me that in another era, this was the type of product that a family would order by mail, wait weeks for, and upon its arrival the family would gather around the dining room table to check out the different features and ooh and aah.
This is very much an encyclopedic Bible taking the existing NIV Study Bible — which will continue to remain in print — and combining it with ideas such as the supplementary articles seen in the ESV Study Bible and the use of charts seen in the Life Application Study Bible, and the use of full color, in-text pictures first used in the NIV Archaeological Study Bible.
As you would expect, there are thorough introductions for each book, but also to each section of Biblical literature. However, the bulk of the supplementary articles are placed at the back, and these are topical but also tied to elements of systematic theology, though I’ve noticed the publisher prefers the term Biblical theology. There are many maps at the back; I also noted a full-page map embedded in the middle as well. A variety of scholars contributed to the project which was headed by D. A. Carson. The print version also includes a free digital download.
At 2880 pages this is a Bible packed with features. As such, I wish the font chosen for the notes was a little clearer, but I might upgrade to the large print edition. This may not be a take-to-church Bible edition, but it offers some great helps for both the new Christian who wants background information, and the veteran Christ follower.
I don’t usually repeat the same article just a month later, but below is most of the original article posted here in anticipation of this significant Bible release…
Opinions here are those of the author; this is not a sponsored post.
While the title may confuse some, you have to assume the publishers already sorted out that potential confusion and went ahead with the name anyway. The NIV Zondervan Study Bible is releasing later this summer, and is certain to get mixed up with the classic NIV Study Bible which has been with us for several decades. The latter isn’t going anywhere.
At a major online Christian retail site, we read:
The NIV Study Bible will remain in print. With over 10 million copies sold over 30 years, this bestselling study Bible will continue to help readers come to a deeper understanding of God’s Word.
And then it offers this chart which outlines the differences:
Looking closely at the author list above, methinks that that Zondervan is going after the same market as purchased the popular ESV Study Bible. Clearly, to some extent, the Reformed community is in view. However, by virtue of its weight, the ESV product attracted a broader audience containing features which had not heretofore seen in study Bibles. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the ESV Study did contain elements worth emulating.
Zondervan is quick to point out that this new project was not adapted from the present study edition, but was “built from the ground up.”
Bonus: For those of you who’ve read this far, here’s a look at some of the extras in this Bible below which is a clue to where the advance peek treasure is buried: