Showing posts with label NKJV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NKJV. Show all posts

June 29, 2019

The Wiersbe Study Bible

Published by Thomas Nelson, who kindly sent me a copy to review, The Wiersbe Study Bible brings us, “Preaching Outlines,” cross-references, maps, an ample concordance, “BE Transformed” devotionals, and the comfort print text of the NKJV, New King James Version of the Bible.

What makes this particular edition unique, however, are over 7,800 footnotes,  comprehensive book introductions and extensive notes from Dr. Warren Wiersbe, who’s well-known for his “BE series” and “Back to the Bible” radio ministry.

In sidebar features entitled “Catalyst,” Dr. Wiersbe calls attention to Bible themes and characters then connects them with our lives today. For example, in 2 Kings 6:16, Elisha prays for God to open his servant’s eyes to see the Army of God surrounding them. Then, in this “Eyes to See” catalyst, Dr. Wiersbe comments:

“Centuries after God opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant, the apostle Paul wrote that we should prepare ourselves with God’s protection, ‘for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’ (Eph. 6:12). That verse also reminds us that we have invisible allies in spiritual warfare. We may never be able to see God’s protection the same way Elisha’s servant saw it, but we can be confident that God is watching over us. We are surrounded by God’s faithfulness and love.”

Then, turning to one of my favorite passages in the New Testament, John 17, which is often referred to as “The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus,” we find these notes for the opening verses:

“Jesus was preparing Himself for the sufferings that lay ahead. As He contemplated the glory that the Father promised Him, He would receive new strength for His sacrifice (Heb. 12:1-3). But He also had His disciples in mind (John 17:13). What an encouragement this prayer should have been to them! He prayed about their security, their joy, their unity, and their future glory! He also prayed it for us today, so that we would know all He has done for us and given to us, and all that He will do for us when we get to heaven.”

Such excellent reminders and helpful features make this an outstanding choice to study at home or take to a Bible discussion group, which, Lord willing, I’ll do tomorrow.

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

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The Wiersbe Study Bible, leathersoft, burgundy, thumb-indexed

January 29, 2019

The NKJV Study Bible from Thomas Nelson

If I were forced to choose a single Bible over the many study editions lining my desk, I’d probably pick this one!

Actually I have two copies of The NKJV Study Bible to review as Thomas Nelson kindly sent me one in bonded leather with full-color illustrations and another less expensive leathersoft edition without the images. However, both are presently discounted on Amazon and both seem to have the same comfort print text, footnotes, and articles.

Regarding the text, the New King James Version (NKJV) retains the poetic style of the KJV but with contemporary language incorporating recent scholarship, such as the wealth of information found in archeological digs and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the mid-20th century.  Unlike the KJV, however, the NKJV capitalizes pronouns referring to God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which I prefer but may be the choice of the publisher, rather than the translators.

With sewn pages and comfort print font, this study edition includes the typical features found in most well-done study Bibles but with an impressive two-page list of the brief articles scattered throughout the testaments. For example, insights and information are offered on “The Noahic Covenent,” ‘The Abrahamic Covenant,” and the “Mosaic Covenant” in the Old Testament and articles on “The Lord’s Supper,” “Parables: More than Stories,” and “A New Way to Worship” in the New.

In addition, the section “Bible Times and Culture Notes” give us a quick acquaintance with "Ur," "The Code of Hammurabi,” “The Music of the Psalms,” “The Province of Galilee,” “The Origin of the Synagogue,” and much more.

Other features include “Charts and Diagrams,” ranging from “The Feasts and Sacred Times of Ancient Israel,” “Job’s Counseling Sessions,” and “The Christ of the Psalms” to “Grace vs. the Law,” “Right Living in a Wretched World,” and “The Facts of Love In 1 John.”  And “In-Text Maps” help us to locate “Abram’s Travels” as well as Paul’s missionary journeys.

In the front matter, “Word Studies” refer us to the descriptions and initial appearances of key words in their biblical order, while an extensive “Concordance” has been included in the back.

In most Bible study discussion groups I’ve attended, members often have no idea of the wealth of aids their study editions include, but these back pages bear close attention. Besides the “Table of Monies, Weights, and Measures” and color maps generally included, this edition offers lists such as:

  •         Teachings and Illustrations of Christ
  •         Prophecies of the Messiah Fulfilled in Jesus Christ
  •         The Parables of Jesus Christ
  •         The Miracles of Jesus Christ
  •         Prayers of the Bible (OT and NT)

My favorite addition, however, is the 8-page chart “From Biblical Book to Contemporary Hook,” which lists the book, theme, Christ-focus, implications, and hook. For example,

Biblical Book
Comfort in God

God is my only comfort in life and in death in a world of seemingly unchecked evil.

Jesus offers true comfort and rest to those who come to him (Matt. 11:28).

In any trouble, we may find comfort in God and in his care for us (1 Pet. 5:7).

When things go wrong, where do you turn for comfort? Do you really believe that God knows what he is doing?

From Genesis to Revelation, these book-by-book major themes provide us with prompts for Bible study discussions, sermons, nonfiction books, devotionals, and (my preference) poems.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, poet-writer reviewer

January 7, 2019

NKJV Premier Collection

As a Bible reviewer on this blog for a while now, I regularly receive free copies of new editions, which keeps me surrounded by God's Word - literally!

I love these versatile voices and choices in translations, each of which says the same truths but in a unique way that helps us to see different aspects of scripture we might not otherwise notice.  Nevertheless, I have continued to look for THE Bible that suits my particular needs and preferences, and so I bought the NKJV (New King James Version) single-column reference Bible from Thomas Nelson’s “Premier Collection.”

Since I use my favorite Bibles a lot, my needs and preferences include:  at least a 10-point font to ease eye strain; a poetic translation that's easy to understand but also known for its accuracy; and an edition that shows the publisher's  respectful handling of the Bible through such features as Smyth-sewn pages of good quality paper, bound in a soft, flexible, yummy-to-the-touch premium leather. 

As a Bible discussion leader in our Christian community, I also value the addition of references showing alternate translations of a word or phrase and, especially, showing the dialogue in God’s Word between the prophets and the Person of Jesus as prophecy after prophecy is fulfilled in His life, death, and resurrection. And, because of the placement of the biblical references alongside the single-column text, I now have room  in this edition for my own conversations  with God’s Word as I write down the prayers and insights the Lord inevitably brings to me - and to those who ask.

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

February 23, 2017

Precious Prayers Bible, NKJV

I love the idea of children developing the habit of regularly opening a “real Bible” from an early age, and the NKJV (New King James Version) makes a good choice because of its kinship with the beloved King James Version (KJV) – but without the heightened language. Regardless of the translation used by adults in a church or family, the NKJV is excellent for memorization. I just wish this edition had taken advantage of that by including sidebars of Bible verses that children do well to learn and recall throughout their lives.

Reportedly, the font in this new edition for children is 9.5 type but appears smaller, especially since the ink seems to be dark grey, rather than black. I mention this because children drawn to the precious art are apt to be younger, so the biblical text may require more eye-focus and reading skill than most early readers have acquired.

That said, the age-appropriate poems, prayers, and blessings written primarily by Jean Fischer appear in kid-friendly print and language with Precious Moments™ artwork on slick paper inserts. Because of those inserts, young readers can turn to prayers that speak well for them, which most, if not all, surely will. Also, the thicker paper makes those pages sturdier than the thinner paper on which the New King James Version (NKJV) translation of the Bible has been printed.

The nicely padded hardcover should hold up well too. And, since this edition includes maps and introductions to each book of the Bible, a child can continue to use the Precious Prayers Bible for years to come.

Review by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, who received a complimentary copy from BookLook bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Precious Prayers Bible, NKJV, padded hardcover

I review for BookLook Bloggers

January 26, 2017

NKJV, Notetaking Bible

When I received my complimentary copy of the NKJV, Notetaking Bible, which Holman Bible Publishers kindly sent me to review, I immediately noticed the attractive cover and high quality of construction in this reader edition.

Besides having sewn-in pages to keep the book from falling apart with heavy, long-term use, the bonded leather cover has been stitched over board, sturdying the overall structure and creating a very attractive black and brown book that reminds me of a well-made diary.

I also like the size – 8.5 high by 6.5 inches wide, which works nicely for writing marginal notes, especially since the pages lay flat.

To aid notetaking, double-spaced lines run alongside the single-column text of the New King James Version of the Bible, which happens to be one of my favorite translations. This would also make an excellent journal for jotting down thoughts that come during reading or for noting the date of prayers using the adjacent scriptures.

As a regular reviewer of new editions of the Bible, I’ve received many fine study Bibles over the years, which I frequently refer to in private study or preparation for my Bible study group. When I lead a discussion, however, I like to make my own notes of information I want to share or points I want to remember, which makes a wide-margin or journaling Bible, such as this, ideal.

If the font were 9 points or larger, this notetaking Bible would be my new companion, but, sadly for me, the 8-point type is hard on my eyes. Nevertheless, the font is crisp and well-inked, which should make it work well for most readers and Bible students who want to take notes of helpful info and insights in a discussion group.

Clear maps in the back matter aid Bible discussions, too, as does the concordance, which I appreciate for looking up themes or topics to see what the Bible has to say about a particular subject. Then the double-spaced lines beside the scriptures gives readers a place to respond to and interact with God’s Word.

Review by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2017

NKJV, Notetaking Bible

December 13, 2016

NKJV Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible

When I received a complimentary copy of the new Kids Study Bible in NKJV (New King James Version) from BookLook Bloggers, the first thing I noticed was David Jeremiah’s name in goldish letters that stood out from the rest. This visual emphasis on a person rather than the translation or on the presentation of a study edition for children would quite likely have been a decision made by the publisher Thomas Nelson, rather than the author of the study materials, but a reversal would make more sense.

That said, the “Airship Genesis: Legendary Bible Adventure” logo on the slightly padded front cover will most likely appeal to the children for whom this edition exists. As they open the book and turn the title page, the bold lettering Psalm 119:105 will surely catch their eyes, informing young readers in all caps:


Now that’s an important emphasis!

Likewise, David Jeremiah’s warm greeting in the Foreword gets readers off to a blessed start and says, “The Bible is the best book you’ll ever own, and it’s important to read it each day.” That simple statement might be exactly what a child needs to begin a lifelong love of God’s Word. At least, that’s what happened when my Sunday School teacher said similar words to me, which got me started reading the Bible regularly as a child – a habit that continues decades later.

Even more important, the Foreword embraces each child with these loving words:

“My greatest prayer is that you’ll come to know the Hero of the Bible – the Lord Jesus Christ – as your Savior, Lord, and Friend. He has a wonderful plan for your life; and as you study His Word, you’ll understand it more and more.”

To help young readers understand, the next page bullet-points the author’s answers to “What Is the Bible All About?”

The Love Of God
The Results Of Unbelief
The Gift Of Life
The Reason Jesus Had To Die
The Importance Of Faith
The Result Of Faith
The Assurance Of Heaven

In addition to a Bible reference and brief statement about each of those points, the author then lets readers know they can ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit in their lives. The context and light touch make that very likely!

Next comes several kid-appealing action figures who will act as guides throughout this study edition. For example, Genesis 11 includes the “Rupert Report” on the Chaldeans which says:

“That h is silent: Chaldeans is pronounced Kal-dee-ens. They were a group of people that, in ancient times, lived in the place we identify today as Iraq and Iran. A very important Bible hero was a Chaldean: Abraham.”

Other sidebars place a spotlight on a variety of “Bible Heroes.” For example, 1 Samuel 15 gives a glimpse of “Samuel, the Bold Prophet” with this illustration:

“If you saw someone doing something wrong, what would you do? It depends. You might need to tell a teacher or your parent or another adult. Or you might have to say something yourself. That’s what a prophet named Samuel did. He knew that Saul, the king of Israel, had disobeyed God. And Samuel knew he had to say something to the king. So Samuel spoke to the king about what he had done. It was difficult because God removed Saul from being king. But Samuel knew he needed to be bold.

Being bold can feel scary. But God wants us to do and say the right things for Him. God can use us to make the world a better place.”

Still other sidebars present short articles, memory verses, and in-text maps to help readers envision and apply God’s Word as they read. In addition, “Power Force” insets focus on biblical truths or goals such as “Be Trusting,” which says:

“Sometimes little kids are afraid to jump off a diving board for the first time. So a parent gets in the pool and says, ‘I’ll catch you!’ The child has to decide is she trusts her parent or not. Almost always, the child jumps and learns that she can trust her parent to catch her. It’s the same with God. We trust His promises, His love, and His protection. Our job is to leap into His arms where we are always safe.”


Mary Harwell Sayler, poet-writer reviewer, ©2016

NKJV Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible, hardcover

NKJV Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible, imitation leather

I review for BookLook Bloggers

November 18, 2016

NKJV Know The Word Study Bible

For those of us who really, really want to know The Word of God, any reputable study edition will help us toward that goal. The new NKJV Know The Word Study Bible published by Thomas Nelson differs mainly by making that goal a strong focus as we read.

Having received a complimentary copy from BookLook Bloggers for my always-honest review, I like how this edition emphasizes three ways to study the Bible:

Book by Book
Verse by Verse
Topic by Topic

If you choose the latter as your starting point, the front matter immediately provides that option, right after the Table of Contents, rather than in the back matter, which typically occurs near the index. This upfront placement gives clear access to God’s Word by highlighting key topical verses and “Topic-By-Topic Articles” on the Trinity, Love, Salvation, Suffering, and other vital subjects.

For a Book-by-Book study, the edition offers introductions to each book with a Summary, How To Study that particular book, and the highlights covered in the text, which most study editions also provide.

For a Verse-by-Verse investigation of God’s word, footnotes offer insights and information that add to our understanding of the text, which, in this case, is the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible – one of my favorite translations.

The light font and bleed-through on thin paper make this edition harder to read than some, but it’s exactly the Bible I’ve been wanting to place on the bookshelf at church. When members of our study group forget to bring a Bible from home, they’ll have a good edition with helpful notes to contribute to the class discussion, and the Topic-by-Topic feature provides a fine choice for guiding future studies.

Mary Harwell Sayler, poet-writer, reviewer, ©2016

NKJV Know the Word Study Bible

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I review for BookLook Bloggers

September 17, 2016

Holman NKJV Giant Print Reference Bible

Almost everyone in the last few Bible study groups I’ve led or attended has needed reading glasses, but with the small fonts many Bible publishers now use as standard, a lot of squinting is going on!

Thankfully, Holman Bible Publishers has just released a giant print edition of the New King James Version (NKJV) in a very readable 14-point font on good quality paper. Even better, Holman kindly sent me a copy for review.

In addition to offering one of my favorite translations, this Bible includes color maps, a concise concordance, and one-year Bible reading plan.

You’ll also find a couple of unique features: Instead of the usual thumbnail-shaped index tabs, this edition has squared out corners, which I suspect will keep their shape longer. This does make the book names a bit harder to see, but if you hold the Bible in your hand and let the pages drape down, you can read the tabs readily.

This edition drapes nicely in the hand – as genuine leather is apt to do. But when I first took the Bible from its sturdy box, I wrinkled my nose at the slight chemical odor that overcame the expected smell of genuine leather.

The cover feels as though it has a light coating. And yet, that feature, stitched edging, flexible leather, and a sewn spine make me think this well-made edition is meant to last for years.

Mary Harwell Sayler, poet-writer, reviewer

Holman NKJV Giant Print Reference Bible, Leather, indexed

May 3, 2016

The Complete Evangelical Parallel Bible

My mid-week Bible study group welcomes different translations of the Bible since we’ve found this gives us deeper insight into God’s Word. If you have translated one language into another, you most likely understand this as you know many words have multiple meanings and many phrases have various options in keeping with the overall context. Those of you who have had an “Aha!” moment when hearing familiar verses in a contemporary version of the Bible have most likely experienced what I’m saying, too, as each synonym comes with its own connotations.

To get a good balance, at least four translations in our study group has helped us to go deeper into a passage, but juggling four separate volumes can be a bit awkward! Fortunately, Bible publishers have seen a need for parallel Bibles to assist in-depth study of God’s Word.

All sorts of combinations have gone in and out of print for Catholic, liturgical, and Christian readers in general, but most recently Hendrickson Bibles kindly sent me a review copy of The Complete Evangelical Parallel Bible.

The four translations in the volume apparently represent the favorite choices of evangelical Christians: the King James Version (KJV), the New King James Version (NKJV), the New International Version (NIV), and the New Living Translation (NLT), which Hendrickson placed in that particular order. However, I would have, too, since this arrangement begins with a word-for-word translation and ends with a thought-for-thought rendering of scripture with variations of both in between.

Although I have a strong preference for calfskin covers on reader editions and hardbacks on thick study Bibles, the publisher sent me a red/gray Flexisoft edition to review, and I must admit, I’m impressed. Imitation leather has come a long way, and this one feels nice, is sturdy, appears to have sewn-in pages, and lays flat when opened.

As you might expect, the type is necessarily smaller than a regular reader edition, which this is -- in quadruplet. Therefore, only the most necessary footnotes have been included along with front matter to tell about each translation and a page in the back to provide a “Table of Weights and Measures.” In addition, a one-ribbon marker has a synthetic or coated feel, which looks as if it will hold together well without fraying.

Most importantly, this edition offers two translations on each page with all four, side by side, and easy to follow as you read, meditate on, and discuss the depths and heights and wonders of God’s Word to you.

Mary Harwell Sayler, poet-writer, reviewer, © 2016

The Complete Evangelical Parallel Bible, hardcover

August 7, 2014

Thompson Chain Reference Bible update

If you’ve read my earlier review of the Thompson Chain Reference Bible published by Kirkbride, you know it’s not only one of my favorites, but it’s been a highly favored edition of Bible readers, students, and scholars for more than five generations! Why? The unique chain reference system takes your topical search from its first entry in the Bible to the last, giving you a full biblical view of the subject you want to investigate.

Instead of offering footnotes and commentary throughout the text as most study Bibles do, the chain reference system lets the Bible speak for itself with each new passage shedding light on prior verses and those yet to come. Nevertheless, the back matter of this edition includes such helpful resources as outline studies of each book, character studies of Bible people, a thorough concordance, maps, and an “Archaeological Supplement “from 4320 – Abel-Beth-Maachah to 4450 – Zoan.

Those numbers can seem intimidating at first, but the “Alphabetical Index” breaks the code. Say, for instance, you want to look up Bible prayers as I often do for my blog by that name. To find the first link in the chain, you would go to “Prayer” in the alphabetical list and see 2816 as the place to start a search of general references, beginning with Genesis. Also, under the main heading, you’ll find subheadings such as “Intercessory” to lead you to a particular aspect of prayer.

These features occur in every Thompson Chain Reference Bible in your choice of several translations, all of which I have. However, this last edition in the New King James Version (NKJV) came to me as a free review copy kindly sent to me by Kirkbride in a nice quality bonded leather. Lord willing, I’ll provide an Amazon link below to the exact copy I’m looking at along with my highest recommendation.

Comparing this edition to the one published earlier and previously discussed, I find the text easier to read because of extra white space allotted in the layout. Also, the addition of subheadings in each chapter helps me to locate a passage more readily, especially when I know the book but am not sure of the chapter or verse.

Other updates in the Thompson NKJV include clearer photographs in the “Archaeological Supplement” – perhaps, not with as many pictures, but with the addition of new information or revisions of the text. For example, when Rev. Dennis W. Cheek revised “G. Frederick Owen’s Archaeological Supplement,” he began by defining archaeology and adding a word about its value in biblical research – an important word as people occasionally have strong views on this topic without adequate knowledge. As Rev. Cheek explains, however:

“Archaeology is a human science that attempts to uncover and interpret remnants from the past in order to gain insights into historical cultures and peoples. These remains, or archaeological artifacts, include buildings, city walls, pottery, metal objects, and records written on stone, clay, paper, and other materials.// For the Christian, archaeological discoveries in the ancient Near East make two main valuable contributions. They illuminate everyday life in biblical times, and they provide extrabiblical information that helps the modern Christian better understand the Bible.”

If better understanding of biblical topics is your goal, too, this encyclopedic edition will help you to dig into far more than archaeology and, for me anyway, provide a real “find.”

© 2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, reviewer, is a traditionally published author of 26 books in all genres, including two poetry books: the Bible-basedOutside Eden and the environmentally-oriented Living in the Nature Poem.

Thompson Chain Reference Bible, NKJV, bonded leather

Thompson Chain Reference Bible, NKJV, regular size, genuine leather

July 18, 2013

Ignite: The Bible for Teens

The best way to know if a teenager will respond well to this 2013 edition of the New King James Version (NKJV) is to ask. So I did.

Previously, my thirteen and a half-year-old granddaughter had chosen NKJV as her favorite, saying she liked the poetic sound when we read the same verses aloud from a half-dozen translations. Me too. And, having memorized KJV verses when I was her age, I could also relate those verses to this contemporary rendering.

But back to my grand reader. When she picked up this edition, she commented on the simplicity of the cover with its red-orange flame above the word “Ignite” that's been embossed into a thick paper cover with the look of parchment. She liked it.

Inside that non-curling cover, the color motif serves more than decoration as dark orange highlights study aids with such lively titles as “Sparks” (of God’s Promises), “Spotlights” (like headlines for a story), “Flashpoints,” (flashing back to questions or thoughts teens are apt to have during the day), and “White Hot Topics” (to link Bible stories and show their relevancy to concerns teens typically have.)

In addition to those study aids throughout the book, chocolate-colored “Soul Fuel” gives readers an array of delectable verses to taste, remember, and hold close.

Each of those colorful aids will help young people enjoy the Bible on their own and turn to appropriate pages in times of crisis too. For example, the “Find It Topical Index” in the opening pages will help teens know where to look for biblical responses to diverse topics ranging from “Abortion,” “Alcohol,” “Ambition,” and “Anger” to “Witchcraft,” “Worry,” and “Worship of Idols and Heroes.”

Most likely, teens will look up those subjects when alone or with a BFF, but this Bible stands up well to group study too. Besides the key-word concordance and maps at the back of the book, a reader can quickly find any book in the Bible by going to the alphabetical list just inside the flyleaf. A few pages later, a standard table of contents has been included too, and for additional help on finding one’s place or keeping up with the group, large vertically-printed letters show the book, chapter, and verse on the edge of each page.

Although I want to thank Thomas Nelson, Inc., for this review copy, I give deep thanks for an edition that doesn't try to do too much but actually ignites teen interest in what the Bible has to say and shows its relevance to their lives. May God keep these sparks alive and aglow in Jesus’ name.

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler

I review for BookSneeze®

To order this particular edition from Amazon, click on the ad below:


March 5, 2013

Spirit-Filled Life Bible, NKJV

The previous article on the Bible Reviewer discussed “Bible editions for research and accuracy,” ending with my list of personal favorites, but I forgot the study Bible I often borrow from the most scholarly and liturgically-minded person in my home – the Spirit-Filled Life Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) published in 1991 by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

In the “Introduction” of this innovative edition, the General Editor Jack W. Hayford explains: “The Spirit-Filled Life Bible is the first of its kind, in which a broadly representative team from more than twenty denominations and independent fellowships has been banded together to produce a study Bible integrating the Pentecostal-Charismatic viewpoint.”

Since that viewpoint comes from such a wide-ranging group of believers, common beliefs needed to be established first to prepare a work that would be acceptable and helpful. Interestingly, these basic points of agreement included the main convictions of most denominations, who come together as one in the Body of Christ held by these beliefs:

Belief in the virgin birth of Jesus
Belief in the sinless life of Jesus
Belief in the atoning death of Jesus
Belief in the Risen Christ
Belief in Christ’s ascension into Heaven
Belief in the divine inspiration and authority of the Word of God
Belief in the Holy Spirit, at work today, empowering Christians and the Church Body of Christ

With the above beliefs and ongoing prayer to unify the team, this study edition opens with a large section on “Kingdom Dynamics” from Bible teachers and pastors whose names you might recognize from television – men and women, who love God and continually devour Holy Scripture.

Each of these contributors presents a theme topic with a short description and list of “Kingdom Dynamic” principles keyed to relevant scripture. When you turn to those verses, you find a box inset in the text, briefly expounding on that particular passage.

Other textual inserts include “Word Wealth,” which defines words we often hear without always knowing the origin or imagery they’re meant to convey. For further options in word studies, the back of the book includes a concordance followed by pages of very clear and colorful maps.

As typically occurs in the fine quality of Bibles published by Thomas Nelson, the font used throughout this edition is clear and readable in the text but also in the footnotes. Those footnotes, in fact, drew me to investigate the above, so I could tell you about the insights and interesting info I found, but better, the notes can show you.

For example, remember the story where some believers bring a paralytic friend to be healed, but crowds prevent them from getting anywhere near Jesus? So what do they do? They lift the tiles off the flat roof of the house where He’s teaching and lower the paralyzed person down from the ceiling! As the New King James Version (NKJV) goes on to say:

“When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’,” Mark 2:5.

If you grew up hearing Bible stories, you’ve surely heard that one. I had too, but the footnote in the Spirit-Filled Life Bible came as news to me! To quote that note with my parenthesis and italicized emphasis added:

“The response of Jesus reflects the Jewish view (at that time) that forgiveness of sins must precede physical healing.” (i.e., Since the friends undoubtedly knew that, Jesus addressed the whole situation from their understanding, background, experiences, and perspective as they peered down on their paralyzed friend.) “Whether or not this particular disease was the consequence of sin, Jesus went to the heart of the matter. Sin and disease are effects of evil, and Jesus reveals God’s opposition to evil in any way it may manifest. His goal is to bring complete wholeness to people.”

Amen and amen!

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler

P.S. Well, once again, I went to Amazon’s website to find the study Bible just described and discovered a newer edition! That would not, of course, change the genuine leather-covered copy I hold in my hand, but it might mean you can find a good price on one like it with a little searching on the Internet. (My search would start with If, however, you want the updated version, here’s a place to order a paperback copy of the newest edition:


March 12, 2012

Bible Reviewer on NKJV reader edition

Having grown up with the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, I did not become an instant fan of the New KJV when Thomas Nelson released it in 1982. Then (and now as new English translations appear) my first inclination was to compare Bible verses, especially those favorites I memorized as a child and did not want anyone to change! Thirty years later, however, a God-incidence changed me and my mind.

During Lent, I felt drawn to reading the Bible cover to cover without footnotes or articles to distract me, which meant I needed a reader edition. Since I prefer either paperback or genuine leather, the poor quality bindings available in the Christian book store discouraged me, and I was prepared to leave empty-handed when I saw a box labeled “genuine leather” but available only in the NKJV. I started to pass it by then saw it been marked down. Below $50 seemed like an incredible price for a good quality leather Bible – even one with Thomas Nelson’s lifetime warranty. Although that Bible publishing company has had a fine reputation for over 200 years, I still felt skeptical as I opened the box, but here’s what I found:

Genuine Leather – Thick, supple, and of good quality, this leather looks and feels sturdy and long-lasting. By applying a leather conditioner or handling with hands very lightly coated in mineral oil, the softness increases even more.

Font Size
– The very readable 9-point font looks to be the equivalent of a 10 to 11-point type found in word processing software such as Microsoft Word.

Single-Column Bible – Instead of the line breaks that typically occur with a KJV or NKJV, this edition has the regular paragraphing used in most books, which make reading more natural and easy on the eyes.

Headings – The addition of headings also adds visual interest and helps readers readily locate passages.

NKJV – Considered to be a word-for-word translation like the KJV, this English version is highly accurate, too, but with the advantage of biblical scholarship in areas such as word origins or etymology. Like the KJV, the NKJV offers intelligent word choices, a devotional tone, poetic quality, and literary excellence while offering easy-to-comprehend contemporary English.

The format and paragraphing has made this Bible as easy to read as any book, but the translation itself has certainly helped too. Instead of comparing this verse to that, I immediately got caught up in the ongoing story of our relationship with God and settled in to enjoy this good, good read:


© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler. If you want your church, Bible study, or other group to have this information, please tell people where you found it. Thanks. For more Bible topics and articles for Christian poets and writers, see Blogs by Mary.