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NIV Zondervan Study Bible, Hardcover: Built on the Truth of Scripture and…

by D. A. Carson

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294268,240 (3.57)None
"This NIV Zondervan Study Bible is a tremendous tool for informed Bible reading and study. I highly recommend this publication." Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City "Let the NIV Zondervan Study Bible equip you for more faithful theological thinking and doctrinal integrity." R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary The NIV Zondervan Study Bible, featuring Dr. D. A. Carson as general editor, is built on the truth of Scripture and centered on the gospel message. An ambitious and comprehensive undertaking, Dr. Carson, with committee members Dr. T. Desmond Alexander, Dr. Richard S. Hess, Dr. Douglas J. Moo, and Dr. Andrew David Naselli, along with a team of over 60 contributors from a wide range of evangelical denominations and perspectives, crafted all-new study notes and other study tools to present a biblical theology of God's special revelation in the Scriptures. To further aid the readers' understanding of the Bible, also included are full-color maps, charts, photos and diagrams. In addition, a single-column setting of the Bible text provides maximum readability. The accessible and fresh interior design will capture your attention and enhance your study experience. Along with your purchase, you'll also receive free electronic access to the NIV Zondervan Study Bible. 8.9-point type size… (more)
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Review: NIV Zondervan Study Bible
D A Carson, General Editor


The NIV Zondervan Study Bible is a new study Bible which uses the NIV translation and which is structured in the following manner:

Quick Start Guide
Table of Contents which is divided into the following sections:
Each book of the Bible and its location
Maps
Charts
Illustrations
List of Articles
Abbreviations and Transliterations
Acknowledgments
Editorial Team
Editor's Preface
Preface
The Bible
Weights and Measures
Articles

The Bible proper is introduced with Chronological maps for both testaments and each Bible book is preceded by an Introduction which generally describes the author and place of the book's composition, the date of the book, the genre to which the book belongs, the style, content, and challenges of the book and the purpose for which it was written. Canonicity, Themes, and Theology of the books are also summarized. Some book introductions have more than these topics, some less. At the end of the Introduction, there is an outline of events in the Bible book.

Each page of the Bible takes up about --on average-- 50% of the page with verse-by verse commentary taking up the bottom half of the page. Verse cross-references are in tiny columns on the upper right edge of the pages.Illustrations are found throughout. Sub-chapter sections have summary headings that are printed in green. Corresponding Bible stories are listed under each topic heading.

The Articles in the Study Bible begin after the book of Revelations and are very good for the most part. Some writers write more accessibly than others. There are two or three women contributors, but for the most part the writers are men. The writers are also primarily European and from mainstream seminaries, denominations and theologies.

Unlike many Bible studies where verse-by-verse commentaries focus more on the spiritual application, exegesis, and meaning of a verse, the study portion of the Study Bible seems to have been written for story or reading comprehension. Historical backgrounds, insights into motivations and actions of Biblical characters as well as analyses of ramifications and consequences are shown for verses, individually or collectively. Most of the explanations are historical and spiritual. There are moments, however, when certain cultural biases or ignorance creep in, sometimes at the cost of truth. (This is often the reason why Study Bibles can be detrimental. Because human opinion is placed beside God's word, careless readers will incorporate the assumptions and biases of the Study Bible's editors and writers. )

For instance, a writer states in the commentary on Daniel 1:8-16:
"...this refusal of the royal diet has nothing to do with keeping kosher, avoiding political connections, or refusing food offered to idols; rather, they are giving God room to work. Their healthy appearance at the end of the chapter is the result not of diet but of God's grace." NOTHING? Nothing is a big word.

and Daniel 1: 13-14:
"A diet of vegetables and water rather than the royal food and wine would naturally make the four men look worse." NATURALLY? Based on what?

The commentator even states that Daniel not eating the king's choice food was only temporary and cites Daniel 10:3 as proof that Daniel later ate the king's food. But "choice food" is not the same as the king's choice food. And one can eat choice food according to the Torah without it being choice food from the king's table..even if one returns to meat-eating. Seems like a big leap to me.

Reading such a line makes the reader wonder if this is someone out to defend the meat diet. Is the writer speaking against vegetarianism? And the writer's parochial notion of what is healthy also causes him to dismiss the possibiity of Daniel actually keeping the diet prescribed by the law. The writer has a good point; God is the ultimate keeper of one's health. But in attempting to show this truth, he goes overboard. "NOTHING to do with keeping kosher?"


Did this man in one commentary on a verse totally dismiss Daniel's allegiance to the Kosher diet? What about the verse where Daniel decided he would not defile himself with the king's meat?

This kind of questionable opining is everywhere.
For instance, the description of what a spiritual mystery is in the commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:2 reads as follows: "Because nobody understands the language [when someone is speaking in tongues] what is being said is a mystery."

The writer is saying this is a spiritual mystery because no one understands what is being said. Certainly the word "mystery" turns up in other Bible books. "Great is the Mystery of our faith" is mentioned in Phillipians for instance. And "mystery" doesn't mean simply not understanding a language. But here, mystery is not defined as it is in other Scripture. One gets the feeling that some of the writers of this Bible Study don't read the Bible much.

The analyses are very insightful and helpful or sometimes just plain obvious to a longtime Bible reader. Although nothing in this Study Bible will cause anyone to stray from theological truth, it's best if the reader use two or three Study Bibles instead of just one. It is not a bad book. It is even a good and helpful book but it could be better.

The font used for Scripture is thin and perhaps should've been heavier but it is still readable. This book was sent to me free of charge in exchange for a fair and honest review. ( )
  CaroleMcDonnell | Aug 6, 2020 |
When first received my copy of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible in the mail, my first impression was amazement over its size and weight, it is HUGE! It is quite impressive on the inside as well, the text of the NIV is laid out in a one column format instead of the usual 2 columns. The cross references are placed on the side of the column and study notes on the bottom. I loved the charts throughout, especially in the OT which included charts summing up what was in certain sacrifices and offerings, and charts on the Lord's appointed festivals, census results, Levite Numbers and responsibilities…etc. Very helpful. There were many photographs of Biblical areas throughout, and also pictures of various archeological finds having to do with many biblical events and people. Those are quite fascinating and interesting.

Many of the study notes seem quite intricate and useful and exegetical. Several of the pages are quite packed with notes. There were various scholars writing the study notes for each individual book of the Bible and you can see the negatives and positives to that. For instance, I was pleasantly surprised (shocked may be the better term) that the person who did the study notes in 1 Corinthians actually took the literal view of chapter 7, where Paul repeats, affirms and perhaps expounds upon, the Lord's command, "To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife." 1 Cor. 7:10-11 The writer of the study notes comments: vs. 11"...There are only two options for a divorced woman: (1) remain unmarried or (2) reconcile with her husband. a husband must not divorce his wife. Just as a woman must not divorce her husband; again Paul formulates no exception." Vs. 15, 'Let it be so.' when a non-Christian spouse divorces a Christian spouse, the Christian cannot do anything about it. not bound in such circumstances. it is often suggested that this allows a deserted Christian spouse to remarry since the Christian is not 'bound' to the marriage that has been dissolved. This interpretation is not plausible: (1) In v. 11 Paul prohibits remarriage in cases where divorce has taken place. (2) The Greek verb does not mean 'bound'; it means 'enslaved' or 'under bondage.' (3) The thrust of the context is maintaining marriage. (4) Paul speaks of 'freedom' for a new marriage only in cases when the spouse has died (v. 39; Rom 7:1-3). If a non-Christian spouse leaves the marriage, the Christian spouse is not responsible for the divorce. Christian spouses may not initiate divorce from non-Christian spouses on religious grounds..." But then where you turn to Christ's comments on divorce and remarriage in Matthew 7 and 19 you find the usual view espoused (dissolution of a marriage before God in the case of adultery)by whomever wrote the study notes.

But now I must talk about the negative aspects of this Bible. One is not so bad, but some may find it quite inconvenient, and that is that the font is (or seems to me) quite small, and that is aggravated by the fact that it is difficult to lift the book closer to one's face to take a closer look because it is so heavy. I am curious as to how big the large print edition is as it seems to me that if they made the font any bigger the Bible's overall size would be impractical and it would probably end up having to be treated like some old gigantic Bibles of the past where would you just designate a place for it to be left open on its own stand as it would be difficult to transport.

The second negative was that the person(s) who wrote the study notes on Genesis did not come down firmly on a literal 24 hour day creation. For instance in the introduction to Genesis it is stated that, "The question of the age of the earth is not automatically resolved with the use of the seven days in 1:1-2:3. In 2:4, Moses uses the same Hebrew word for 'day' to summarize all the work of creation…Of course, this does not mean that the term 'day' cannot refer to a 24-hour day in the seven days of creation. But it may also serve other purposes." And therefore of course, they also do not firmly promote a global flood in Genesis 6-7 but leave it open to the possibility of its being a regional flood.

The third negative is that the Bible has at least a few engravings, paintings and other forms of art picturing unclothed people. I'll mention three of them here: First there was a picture of a naked Adam and Eve holding a few tiny conveniently placed leaves…I don't get why they don't at least depict them in the clothing of leaves they had tried to make, or why don't they picture them when God clothed them with animal skins? Why depict the father and mother of all mankind in what is now their shame??? It is STILL their SHAME, why is it okay for their offspring to have pictures of them in that state???????I don't understand that at all. And then there was an engraving or something showing circumcision being performed on men and it was completely unnecessary, I didn't need to see that. And lastly there was a painting in the introduction to Psalms that showed unclothed and scantily clothed Egyptian women musicians, the only connection to the Psalms was that they were musicians. Why? Why choose that one? I don't care if they are ancient archaeological finds and are considered 'a work of art', I don't care how old it is, there are bad/immoral works of art from history just as there are bad works of 'art' today! I don't understand how a person can think that pictures depicting naked people are justified to have in a Bible, rather I see it as an affront and a contradiction to the teachings of the Bible itself. Think of Christ's statement: "Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. "(Mat 5:27-28 ASV). What if a picture was placed beside it showing a lewdly dressed woman with the caption "ancient depiction of a prostitute", wouldn't that seem a little (sarcasm) contradictory?

I'm sorry to have to be so negative but I simply had to say something. I would have rated the study Bible higher if it hadn't been for the bad pictures.


I received a free review copy of this book from the Booklook blogger program in exchange for my review which did not have to be favorable.
( )
  SnickerdoodleSarah | Apr 13, 2016 |
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"This NIV Zondervan Study Bible is a tremendous tool for informed Bible reading and study. I highly recommend this publication." Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City "Let the NIV Zondervan Study Bible equip you for more faithful theological thinking and doctrinal integrity." R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary The NIV Zondervan Study Bible, featuring Dr. D. A. Carson as general editor, is built on the truth of Scripture and centered on the gospel message. An ambitious and comprehensive undertaking, Dr. Carson, with committee members Dr. T. Desmond Alexander, Dr. Richard S. Hess, Dr. Douglas J. Moo, and Dr. Andrew David Naselli, along with a team of over 60 contributors from a wide range of evangelical denominations and perspectives, crafted all-new study notes and other study tools to present a biblical theology of God's special revelation in the Scriptures. To further aid the readers' understanding of the Bible, also included are full-color maps, charts, photos and diagrams. In addition, a single-column setting of the Bible text provides maximum readability. The accessible and fresh interior design will capture your attention and enhance your study experience. Along with your purchase, you'll also receive free electronic access to the NIV Zondervan Study Bible. 8.9-point type size

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