Wednesday, January 28, 2009

context is everything!

I remember when I first started doing Bible studies, and I really wanted a concordance, so I could look up terms and see the verses that applied to them. I wanted a Bible dictionary so I could look up a word and find out more about how it was used. And I wanted some kind of a Bible history book so I could learn more about the culture...I thought that some of the things I read would make more sense to me in relation to the culture and society back then.

Well, I was asked to review this Chronological Study Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishing, and I'm serious. It combines all of those references into one book, it seems like!

This is the coolest study Bible I've ever used.

First, it's chronological.

The publisher says, This Bible presents the text of the New King James Version (NKJV) in chronological order with notes, timelines, articles, and full-color graphics --I love maps!-- that connect readers to the history and culture of Bible times. It is the only study Bible arranged in chronological order available in the marketplace allowing readers to discover the historical dimensions of the biblical message while better understanding the context and arrangement.

Exactly what I was looking for!!

It's like listening to a master storyteller unfold the story.

It's ingenious. The best way to retain new information is to connect it to things that you already know.

Here, you get the story, but you get the details, the context, and the drawings and pictures that help you learn the information in a way that you can remember. Little explanations are inserted into textboxes right in the text rather than placed into the footnotes where you have to jump back and forth to catch the extra information.

You know when the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee, and a sudden storm sprang up when they were fishing? It came out of nowhere? There's an explanation for that. In here it says that the Sea of Galilee is about 13 miles by 8 miles in size. This is a freshwater lake that can support a large number of fish, but it is surrounded by a number of steep hills, which can channel the winds and cause sudden dangerous storms upon the water's surface.

I remember living in Colorado where the winds would whip down the canyon behind us--we'd have 100 mile an hour straight line winds there sometimes. It's true. It's like they got concentrated and compressed into furious streaming blasts of air. Sometimes the wind would tear roofs off and knock buildings down.

So, a geographical occurrence that supports a story from scripture: Mark 4:35-40. I love it. It makes it come alive for me.

Here's a quote from the publisher's website that wraps it up in a nutshell: The Chronological Study Bible presents the text of the New King James Version in the order of events as they occurred, with notes, articles, timelines, maps, charts, and full color illustrations that put Scripture in dynamic historical context.

Go here to see the publisher's webpage. I think you'll fall in love with it, too.

1 comment:

Terri and Bob said...

I have been looking for a bible like this... thank you so much. I am hoping I can order it tonight!