Showing posts with label Thomas Nelson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thomas Nelson. 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

To order, click on your preference:

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
Habbakuk
Comfort in God

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

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

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

Hook
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


December 11, 2018

Compact but Info-packed Bible Commentary


I love my study Bibles, and Lord knows, I have a bunch! Sometimes, though, I just want a trustworthy commentary packed with information and insights that might not otherwise come up in my Bible study group. So when I saw that Thomas Nelson still published the Nelson’s Quick Reference: Chapter-By-Chapter Bible Commentary by pastor and Bible teacher Warren W. Wiersbe, I ordered a copy.

The contents of this fat little 4x5.5” book do not disappoint. However, the chunky size seems apt to come apart, even though the pages appear to be sewn into the coated paper cover. Despite my wish for a more manageable size that would easily stay open on a desk, you can carry this edition in a purse or book bag.

Since my Sunday School class is studying 1 Samuel, I turned to the comments on chapter 12:

“Samuel’s message was the combination of a coronation address, a revival sermon, and a farewell speech. He pointed out the greatness of their sin in asking for a king and then called for new dedication. A key theme in the address is witness (vv. 3,5).”

The author goes on to list and define:

“The witness of a godly leader (1-5).
The witness of history (6-15).
The witness of God’s power (16-18).
The witness of the covenant (19-25).”


In expounding on the latter, Rev. Wiersbe says:

“The people had forsaken God, but He would not forsake them, for He is true to His Word. They had the assurance of God’s faithfulness as well as the prayers and ministry of Samuel. Had the king maintained his friendship with Samuel and obeyed the Word, he would have led the nation to victory.”

That did not happen, of course, until David replaced King Saul as leader of the nation. Centuries later, King David’s descendant Jesus began His kingly reign over us, as we reside in the ever-present Kingdom of God.

The beloved Apostle John beautifully speaks to the reign of Christ throughout his gospel, but since my Wednesday morning Bible study group is on chapter 20 this week, I’ll focus on that commentary.

John 20

Confusion (1-10). Mary jumped to conclusions and soon had Peter and John on the run. They were busy, but they had nothing to say and were accomplishing little. They saw the evidence for the Resurrection, but it did not change their lives. They needed a meeting with the living Christ.

Love (11-18). Unbelief blinds our eyes to the Lord’s presence. When He speaks His word to us, faith and love are rekindled. Mary was changed from a mourner to a missionary when she met the living Lord.

Peace (19-23). Locked doors will not give you peace, nor will they keep out your loving Savior. He comes with the message of peace based on His sacrifice on the cross (v. 20, Rom. 5:1).

Faith (24-31). The Lord tenderly deals with our doubts and unbelief. We today cannot see Him or feel His wounds, but we have the Word of God to assure us (vv. 9, 30-31). When your faith falters, do not ask for signs. Open His Word and let Him reassure you.”


Besides ordering this recommended commentary for deeper study of God’s Word, search through the posts on this blog to find THE edition of the Bible that best suits your present needs and those of the people on your Christmas list.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018, poet-writer and Bible Reviewer


Nelson's Quick Reference Chapter-by-Chapter Bible Commentary: Nelson's Quick Reference Series
, paperback




August 8, 2017

The King James Study Bible


Produced by Liberty University and edited by Dr. Edward Hindson, The King James Study Bible, which the publisher Thomas Nelson kindly sent me to review, now comes in a hefty full-color edition with maps, illustrations, and photos of biblical sites.

Other features of this impressive work include highlighted center-column references, book introductions, book outlines, personality profiles, and well over 5,000 study notes with 100 archaeological summaries.

Evangelical Christians will welcome the “Introduction to Doctrinal Footnotes” for a conservative view of theological issues, and almost every reader will wecome the page “God’s Answers to Our Concerns” with scriptural references to God’s Word on a particular subject.

Besides the easy-to-read fonts, which I greatly appreciate throughout the text and footnotes, my favorite parts can be found in the back of the book.

• “Topical Index to Christ and the Gospels” – with key words from “Abide” to “Zacchaeus” and what Jesus had to say to or about that person or subject

• “Teachings and Illustrations of Christ” – with topics alphabetized for a quick search

• “Prophecies of The Messiah Fulfilled in Christ” – with charts showing the prophecy and the fulfillment of God’s Word in The Word

• “Concordance with Word Studies” – a unique list that includes over 200 words followed by discussions of their meanings in the original Hebrew or Greek language.

Slick color maps in the back matter help Bible students get grounded in time and place, but I wish this edition (and every other study Bible) would include a present-day map of the Holy Lands for those of us who want to follow the biblical history of a place throughout all of history. (Does anyone do that?)

However, so many other valuable study aids have been included, I suspect this edition will be one of the first I grab from my desk when researching a biblical topic I feel led to write about or when getting ready for my Bible study discussion group.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2017

The King James Study Bible, hardback, cloth over board




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April 18, 2017

KJV Thinline Bible, large print, hardback


BookLook Bloggers sent me a copy of the large print KJV Thinline Bible in a colorful green hardback to review, and I really like the sturdy quality, double ribbon markers, words of Christ in red, and especially, the rounded, well-inked 10-point font that the publisher, Thomas Nelson, commissioned for their production of the King James Version of the Bible.

Although this edition does not have all of the books included in the original KJV (aka Apocryphal books), it does include clear, colored maps and "30 Days with Jesus" to take readers through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord.

As you probably know by now, I prefer quality leather covers for regular reading, but I requested this particular reader edition for several reasons:

• A sturdy hardback works best on the bookshelves in our Fellowship Hall as this won’t flop around like a paperback or get musty as quickly as some leather covers might.

• The easy-to-read font works well for church members who forget their study Bibles and/or their reading glasses.

• The attractive green cover brings to mind Christ as the Vine and we as the branches who have no spiritual life or power apart from Him.

• This thinline edition is easy to carry and makes an excellent choice for reading in a waiting room, on a train or plane, or anywhere you happen to be.

Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, is a poet-writer, reviewer who welcomes review copies of new editions and translations in 10-point type or larger, reader editions in premium leather, sturdy hardback study Bibles, Bible storybooks, children’s Bibles actually designed for children, and Bible resources such as a Bible dictionary, atlas, or encyclopedia. Send your review copy to Mary Sayler, P.O. Box 62, Lake Como, FL 32157.

KJV Thinline Bible, large print, cloth over board hardback




I review for BookLook Bloggers

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

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:

"YOUR WORD IS A LAMP TO MY FEET AND A LIGHT TO MY PATH.”

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.”

Amen.

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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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:


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© 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.

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