As strange as it may sound, Bibles are difficult to review. Since the reader has no authority to argue or critique the content, the features of a particular Bible are all that are left to critique. Recently I received the NIV Proclamation Bible for review. I would have to say that the first thing that caught my attention was a quote on the front cover from Tim Keller saying, “”There are many Study Bibles, but none better.” Keller missed the boat there. The NIVPB is certainly not a study Bible. The publisher doesn’t even call it a study Bible. Within a study Bible you would expect to find commentary notes throughout giving further clarification and explanation to the text itself. The NIVPB has none at all. Also, a study Bible would be expected to give a thorough introduction to each book. The NIVPB doesn’t do that either. The best way to review the NIVPB is to simply give the good and the bad.
I am not sure if this good, but there is a feature that is unique to the NIVPB. Included within is an approximately 60 page section of articles on subjects ranging from the study, interpretation, and preaching of the Bible. The NIVPB does contain the standard fare of most every other Bible; concordance, weights and measures table, maps, double ribbons, cross referenced text, dual-column design, and hardcover.
I have already mentioned that the billing of this Bible by a well-known theologian as a study Bible fell miserably short. Although introductory articles are present, you will find something of the like in most “real” study Bibles. These articles are so common to most Bibles I don’t feel obliged to include them here. The book introductions were terribly out of balance. The introduction of Philemon (a 25 verse book with one primary theme) and Genesis (a 50 chapter book with multiple foundational and critical themes necessary for understanding the entire Bible) were given the same treatment. Several of the book summaries seemed to me “God has saved us and, as we travel through the wilderness of this world, we need to go on exercising faith to enter the inheritance Christ has secured for us.”) I am not sure if the editors support an ongoing, works-based, or reformed approach to soteriology.
In conclusion, if you desire a Bible for simply the purpose of reading, the NIVPB will suit the need. However, if you are looking for a “real” study Bible that will aid in your teaching, preaching, and in-depth study of God’s Word, you will need to go elsewhere.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”