When Tim Keller speaks, I’m usually quick to listen. It’s no surprise that his influence has reached beyond the four walls of his church, out into the streets, and beyond the shores we call home. His teaching of the Word has influenced people the world over to correctly handle the Bible while reaching a dark and hurting world. When he says, “there are many Study Bibles, but none better,” you will do well to go and purchase the new NIV Proclamation Bible.
I own many study bibles, particularly in the NIV translation and this new publication has found its way there among the top. I remember my first bible in 1997. It was Christmas and as I opened the gift I remember the gleam of the gold foil lettering against the black faux-leather cover. I still own that bible, and after many markings, squished bugs, and bleeding pens, it is continually a valuable tool in my study of God’s word.
What sets this new NIV translation apart from the myriad of others Zondervan has published under the same translation? To start with, visually this bible is a beauty. The black text is softened by a blue hue in the paper it’s printed on which allows for a smoother reading experience as opposed to a stark black text on a bright white backdrop. Not only do the pages look good, the dual ribbon marker complements the blue pages by being a soft blue themselves.
Apart from the visual appeal, which may not be important, the NIV carry’s a swagger all its own as one of the most sold translations of all time. The amount of scholarship put into its wording and format is top-notch. The text is great for memorization and is a perfect blend of word-for-word and thought-for-thought translation, making this a perfect tool for people of all ages and from all walks of life.
The essays appear at the beginning of the Bible and are not inserted into the text so that you are not distracted as you read. The center column reference allows for easy research and the footnotes compliment the text perfectly without giving the reader too much overwhelming jargon. Each book is accompanied by an introduction which includes the message, the structure, points to consider, and a section on commentaries which may aid in deeper study.
I agree with Tim Keller that there may be a flood of study bibles out there but the NIV is still king of the hill. Although, I prefer the ESV, I enjoy being refreshed by the text using language that flows nicely and is easy to understand. The new NIV Proclamation Bible is great for use in personal study and is great for retaining the Word. I can easily see this version of the text reaching to the furthest parts of our world.