Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts

April 16, 2019

Amplified Study Bible, large print


If you’ve been following the Bible Reviewer blog for a while, you might wonder why I’m reviewing yet another edition of the Amplified Bible. Besides the fact I love it, each copy I’ve received to review has had unique features discussed in these posts:





So what’s different this time? Well, I gave the first review copy (reader edition) to a family member who prefers this translation and the second to a friend who suffers from anxiety. The hardback copy of The Amplified Study Bible remains on my desk as a stand-up resource I use regularly in preparing for Bible study classes, but when it comes to just sitting down and reading the Bible cover to cover, I don’t like hardbacks. I prefer quality leather or paperback, but since I couldn’t find the study edition in either, I bought a leatherlike Amplified Study Bible to read from my favorite cushy chair.

This edition has all the features of The Amplified Study Bible reviewed a couple of years ago, but this time I ordered thumb-indexing, which I don’t usually have. Most of the time, I don’t need those little indented tabs that take me to the book I’m looking for, but I’ve been especially interested in the books of the minor prophets, who are “minor” only because they didn’t go on as long as, say, Jeremiah. With the small pages hard to find and my recall unreliable on who goes before whom in the arrangement of these books, I wanted index tabs to quicken the search.

Besides tabs and the lap-reading-comfort of the softer-than-hardback cover, I bought this edition because of the large print in the text AND in the footnotes. That’s unusual. And, since the text itself includes alternate words choices, the informative footnotes can be concise. For example, in Genesis 1:1, this brief footnote says volumes:

God. This standard Hebrew term for deity Elohim is in the form called the plural of majesty or plural of intensity. In contrast to the ordinary plural (gods), this plural means ‘the fullness of deity’ or ‘God – very God’. Furthermore, the use of the plural allows for later revelation of the Trinity (see 11:7; Mt 28:19, Jn 1:1-3).”

My only regret in ordering this excellent edition of God’s Word is that I didn’t get to review it sooner, but if you hurry, you might be able to get your copy – or a gift or both – during Easter week!

Mary Sayler, ©2019, poet-writer, reviewer


To order the purple leathersoft large print edition I have, click here. Or click on the picture ad in the left-hand column of this page.



April 1, 2019

The Catholic Youth Bible


Known for the spiritual depth, insight, and accuracy of their books, Saint Mary’s Press has revised and published a quality paperback of The Catholic Youth Bible and kindly sent me a copy to review.

The visually appealing cover not only encourages us to “Pray It! Study It! Live It!®” the contents and unique features help Christians of all ages to do just that.

Almost immediately, the front matter assures us, “This Bible can change your life!” And how could it not? As the very next page declares:

“God loves you and wants to be in a lifelong friendship with you. The Bible tells the story of God’s love, revealed most perfectly in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Through Christ, God offers you forgiveness, freedom, companionship, and new life. It is a wonderful gift!”

The page goes on to add:

“This Bible is like no other because it belongs to you! So personalize it… make it a reflection of who you are. You will discover countless places to   . Write     .Color     .Draw     . Highlight     . Journal”

The attractive color-washed illustrations and relevant sidebars on the inside pages and colored-on “tabs” to mark various sections of the Bible on the outer edges generate interest and make it easier to find what you want. In addition, a colorful “bookcase” shows “How the Bible is organized,” while introductory pages provide a “Quick Summary” and “Headline Highlights” for each book of God’s Word.

To young readers or novices of any age, all of this might seem like mere academics were it not for the inclusion of such introductory features as “How Is This Relevant to My Life Today?” In Genesis, for example, the text responds to that question with these words:

  • ·       “God has the power to bring order out of chaos.
  • ·         When we fail, God still cares for us.
  • ·         Remaining faithful even when things seem impossible can lead to unexpected blessings.”


Or, if we feel the distance between ourselves and, say, The Book of Numbers, these responses to the relevancy of God’s Word will help to close the gap between the distant past and today:

  • ·         “Patience and trust in God go hand in hand.
  • ·         When things feel overwhelming, we must not give up on God.
  • ·         God’s timing may be different from our timing.”


And, looking into the future with the relevancy of Revelation, we find these encouraging words:

  • ·         “Do not lose hope; evil will ultimately lose.
  • ·         The magnificence of heaven that awaits us is unbelievable.
  • ·         Through all the trials now and at the end of times, Jesus is and will always be there for us.”


In the back matter of the book, other relevant helps include “Core Beliefs,” a glossary, an “Overview of Salvation History,” a “Biblical History Time Line,” and illustrations you can color. In addition, the feature “When I’m Feeling” addresses typically encountered emotions with Bible responses to “Let the word of God guide and support you as you face life’s joys and challenges.”

May God help us to seek and find this guidance throughout our lives!

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, poet-writer, reviewer


Order a copy for yourself and the youth in your life, by clicking here: The Catholic Youth Bible.






February 23, 2018

Christian Standard Bible: Kids Bible


Shortly after I’d featured the CSB Giant Print Reference Bible I bought to read during Lent, B/H Lifeway Bloggers kindly sent me a free review copy of the new Kids Bible edition of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB.)

This accurate and readable text not only invigorates my straight-through reading, it’s ideal for children ready to read and/or for parents to buy beyond Bible storybooks. With its clear language, large print, and a sturdy colorful cover, this edition will appeal to children from grade school on, especially since it includes a variety of features they can grow into such as study helps, maps, and a “Bible skills checklist.” Also, the CSB text corresponds well enough to other translations that it makes a good choice for encouraging memorization.

Scattered throughout the book, colored inserts provide important suggestions kids might not otherwise know such “How Do I Have Quiet Time With God?” or “The Names Of God” with biblical references to various characteristics Bible people used to describe and/or call upon God.

Another page features “The Ten Commandments” and, yet another, “The Books of Poetry” in the Bible. On the flip-side of the latter, “Psalms For All Times” lets children know to turn to “Psalm 8 & Psalm 19 (to) help you praise God for His creation,” whereas “Psalm 37:3-8 can help you trust in God.”

The New Testament has similar inserts such as “The Names Of Jesus” (Immanuel, Holy One, Chief Cornerstone, King of Kings), “The Miracles Of Jesus,” and also a double-page spread on the apostles. If some of these features are new to you, remember, you’re one of God’s kids too, so there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your own copy! Otherwise, I highly recommend this as an excellent Easter gift for children of all ages.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018

Kids Bible, Christian Standard Bible, hardback







February 15, 2018

CSB Giant Print Reference Bible


The CSB Giant Print Reference Bible from Holman comes in a genuine brown leather cover with sewn-in pages that present the text in a very large 13-point font. This edition also has thumb-indexing (for easily finding each book of the Bible), scriptural references (for easily finding relevant verses), and clear maps (for easily finding biblical locales.) However, I bought this reader edition to read for Lent because of its clear, accurate translation.

Last year Holman Bible Publishers introduced me to their new Christian Standard Bible translation when they sent me a review copy of the CSB Study Bible, which I keep on my desk for study and research. No way, though, could I use that edition to read the whole Bible cover to cover during Lent!

To prepare for my Bible study groups each week, I rely on the hefty CSB study edition (and others, too) to get a better understanding of the scriptures we’ll read and discuss together. But the heft of a study Bible and the wealth of footnotes and sidebars become very distracting when you just want to sit down and read the Bible straight through as you would any book.

Conversely, this nicely sized Bible fits comfortably on my lap, and the goatskin leather feels comforting to the touch. Although the cover might feel slightly dry at first, the natural oils in our hands will soften and silken the leather in time. Since I didn’t want to wait for that pleasure (which serves the lovely purpose of enticing me to hold on and keep on reading!) I rubbed a little mineral oil onto my hands then rubbed the entire surface of the leather. Not only does this soften the cover immediately, it helps to protect the leather without going rancid as vegetable or animal oil will eventually do.

The important aspect of this particular Bible, though, is that it speaks to me!

As occurs with every text translated from one language into another, countless choices of synonyms present themselves - each of which must stay in keeping with the context of the overall thought and the surrounding verses. In addition, word usage changes over time, making it even more complicated to translate Hebrew and Greek biblical texts into English we can relate to and understand. The CSB does this exceptionally well, which encourages me to keep reading as I aim to take in the sweeping view of God’s Word during these 40 days of preparing for Easter.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018, poet-writer, reviewer

CSB Giant Print Reference Bible, genuine leather, thumb-indexed


February 2, 2018

100 Days with Jesus: a book review


When Lifeway Bloggers kindly sent me a review copy of 100 Days with Jesus written by Diann Cotton and published by B&H, I saw what a fine gift this book makes for Easter, new Christians, or anyone who wants to get better acquainted with Jesus the Person and Jesus the Messiah.

Those of us who had the blessing of being introduced to Christ years ago might be more apt to use this well-made little hardback as a reminder of the character and power of our Lord.

With an inspiring photograph on the left page and a Bible reference, definition, and “name” of Jesus on the right, brief devotionals on the “Chosen One,” the “Prince of Peace,” the “Reconciler,” the “Source of Eternal Salvation,” and more can provide a springboard for meditation and contemplation of Who Christ IS in our lives.

To give you an idea of the text and format, “Consolation” begins by quoting Luke 2:25-30 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version then provides a definition of consolation followed by a one-paragraph response including these words:

“Simeon waited his whole life to see the One who would rescue and comfort his people. When he realized You were the One, he had complete peace. He knew that You were the only answer to this broken world…”

The page closes with a question and suggestion:

“To what are you looking for CONSOLATION and comfort? Thank Him, praise Him, and worship Him as your CONSOLATION today!!”

As another example, the page on Jesus as “Head of the Church,” says: “Jesus, You are the HEAD - the One who gives leadership and supplies the spiritual life to the body of believers…” then goes on to ask, “How does this give you peace today, knowing that Jesus is the HEAD OF THE CHURCH?”

May each “name” of Jesus lead us to pray for the church and our part in His Body and help us to receive Christ's consolation for ourselves and the world.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018, poet-writer, reviewer

100 Days with Jesus, hardback



..