Book Review : The NIV Integrated Study Bible

nivIt seems that almost daily there is a new study Bible on the market. Each one offers something special and significant that the others do not. At times, many fail to deliver on the promise of something fresh and new. The NIV Integrated Study Bible edited by John R. Kohlenberger III is one such new study Bible. Kohlenberger has made major contributions in the area biblical reference/study, editing over four dozen reference works. The cover says that the NIVISB is “a new chronological approach for exploring scripture”. Is it really? This is certainly not the first chronological Bible ever produced. What makes it different?

Our modern English Bibles are arranged by content (their substance and message) rather than chronologically (as it relates to a historical timeline). We have become accustomed to opening our Bibles and having the same format, divisions, and structure. For example, our English Bibles break the Old Testament down into the Books of Law, History, Wisdom and Poetry, and the Prophets. The NIVISB gives a different approach; offering a running text the biblical narrative. For example, in the NIVISB you will find Genesis, Job, and then Exodus. There are seven major historical sections in the NIVISB. They are:

1. Creation Through the Patriarchs

2. Exodus to Conquest

3. Conquest Through United Kingdom

4. Divided Kingdom and Exile

5. Return to the Land

6. The Life of Jesus

7. The Early Church

A unique feature to the NIVISB is the parallel passages found throughout the book. The editor, desiring to maintain continuity of the overall biblical account, inserts passages that chronicle the same story or account. For example, when you arrive at Deuteronomy 16:1-8 (The Passover), you also have Exodus 12:14-20, Leviticus 23:48, and Numbers 28:16-25 alongside in grayed-out headings that let you know they correspond to the primary passage. Another interesting and helpful feature is the timeline at the bottom of every page. This timeline allows the reader to know where the biblical narrative falls on the timeline of history.

Although I am not a fan of the NIV version, I really like the NIVISB. This study Bible will appeal to a narrow audience. If you want to know how everything “fits in”, this chronological approach is for you. The NIVISB is not a Bible that you will use during a small group study or to follow along during a Sunday morning worship service. At times integration is a little tricky. The reader has to get comfortable with, while reading one passage, seeing the same passage in the book to come on the same page. Likewise, the reader will need to get comfortable with seeing the books that they have already read from on the same page. This is not the typical study Bible with exhaustive editorial notes at the bottom. There are however helpful charts along the way. Overall the NIVISB is a great study resource for those wanting more than a casual reading.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program (with Zondervan). 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.”

Free Book Friday : What Are You Afraid Of?

afraidofIt is time once again to take a book off my bookshelf and give it away. I am giving away a copy of Dr. David Jeremiah’s newest book, “What Are You Afraid Of? Facing Down Your Fears With Faith”. Dr. Jeremiah introduces the ten areas where we are most likely to experience fear in this life. He also provides the scriptural help to overcome them.

To be entered to win, you must do (2) things.

1. Follow my blog by clicking on the button at the bottom of the page.

2. Answer the following question by leaving your answer in the comment stream.

What event or activity brought the most fear into your life?

Good luck. Deadline to enter is October 25th, 2013. Winner will be announced on October 25th.

Some Needed Structure

I enjoy writing. I enjoy sharing my experiences with others. Sharing what God is doing in my life as a pastor, husband, father, and student is the reason why I started The Road Less Traveled. Personally, I need structure. I need a schedule. I need something to keep me on track and focused. I guess that you could say that I need routine in my life. I don’t function well in its absence. Ask my wife. I order to be more disciplined in the craft that I love; writing, I am putting a sense of structure in place here. I hope to follow this “schedule”.

Monday. I will begin a new blog series entitled Missional Mondays. Each week I will share a story, church missions project, an article, a resource, or highlight some missions organization that is making a kingdom difference.

Tuesday. I am dedicating Tuesdays to book reviews. I enjoy reading immensely. I review books for several publishing companies (Thomas Nelson, Tyndale, Waterbrook Press, and Bethany House to name a few). To keep a sense of order and expectation, I’ll post my reviews on Tuesday unless the review calls for a certain date.

Wednesday. Throughout the course of my reading, both recreational and in sermon preparation, I come across words that are “worth repeating”. Wednesdays will be dedicated to this discovery.

Thursday. Random thoughts. Maybe.

Friday. I enjoy giving away books that I have been given to me. As I have the opportunity, I will continue Free Book Fridays. I will also continue my devotional thoughts as a part of Friday is for Scripture.

Saturday and Sunday. Random thoughts. Maybe.

It is my prayer that you will be encouraged, blessed, challenged, enlightened, or inspired by something you read here at The Road Less Traveled. Thanks for stopping by.

Free Book Friday : Transformational Church

transformchurchIt is time for me to give away another book from my bookshelf.  I am giving away a copy of Thom Rainer and Ed Stetzer’s “Transformational Church”. In their new book, Rainer and Stetzer discuss the necessary changes  churches must make in order to become more effective disciple makers.

To be entered to win, you must do (2) things.

1. Follow my blog by clicking on the button at the bottom of the page.

2. Answer the following question by leaving your answer in the comment stream.

If you could change or restructure one thing about the local church in order to make it more effective in reaching the lost and making disciples, what would it be? Be specific.

Good luck. Deadline to enter is July 12th, 2013.

And The Winner Is…

The winner of Chip and Dan Heath’s, “Decisive” from Waterbrook Press is Sean Johnson. He will be receiving his book in the very near future. Sean please get me your address and I will get your book out to you. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to take a look and share.