Study Bibles are rolling off the shelves like hotcakes these days. How does one go about choosing a study bible that suites them best? Apart from the specialty versions such as the Chronological, Archaeology, and the Reformation study bible, there are so many translations the Bible comes in that it can be a daunting task to find the right one. There are websites and checklists devoted to making sure you’re picking the right one. Choosing a bible is sort of like customizing your dream car. What color do you want it to come in? And the finish? What about the translation, are you an Old-English kind of person or do you prefer a paraphrase? Do you enjoy the words of Christ in red or do they suit you better in black? Are you near sighted or far sighted? Would you prefer a goat or cow to cover your bible? There are so many variables you can pick from that the options are almost limitless, so why add to the mix?
In one of their newest releases Thomas Nelson has produced The NKJV Study Bible Full-Color Edition. This bible is everything one can expect from one of the largest Bible producers out there. Not only does the “study” portion of the Bible make this volume hefty the full-color pages add a bit of heft as well. The updated language, which flows from the KJV, is a breath of fresh air. The full-color really makes the pages pop and highlights additions like the word studies and articles scattered through the text. The word studies connect readers with a good working definition of some of the verses along with adding the Strong’s number for further study.
This Bible follows the standard two-column format with the references shaded in blue separating the two columns. Another very helpful feature of this study bible appears in the Gospels. The editors chose to include in each story that is repeated, a reference where one might find the same story told by a different author. For example, in Luke 3 we read of John the Baptist. A reference appears under the heading indicating that for further study I can also read the story of John in Matt.3:-12; Mark 1:2-8; and John 1:19-31. This can be most helpful especially in trying to put a study together which might want to contain all the pertinent information belonging to that story.
This is one handsome volume. I received a hardback cover which came in a coffee finish and included a longer-than-average place keeper ribbon. Some of the printing was skewed in the OT and there were visual differences on parallel pages with the print but it didn’t detract from the overall feel of the text. One thing I did enjoy but thought they could have gone further on, was in the book introductions. Without adding another 500 pages to this text, I thought they could have made the “Christ in the Scriptures” portion bigger. I feel that the point of Scripture could have gotten more than just a little paragraph at the beginning of each book. Overall, though, I felt this study guide was an excellent tool for those wishing to grow in God’s word. It’s the kind of quality, minus the two misprinted pages, that we have all come to expect from Thomas Nelson. May they keep up the good work of growing deep disciples of God’s Word for years to come.
Radmacher, E., Allen, R., & House, W. (Eds.). (2014). The NKJV Study Bible Full-Color Edition(Second ed., p. 2400). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.