December 11, 2018
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.
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
September 17, 2016
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