Wednesday, September 28, 2016

#REVIEW: NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

Title: NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
Author/Editor: Craig S Keener, John Walton
Series: None
Publisher: Zondervan
Published Date: August 23, 2016
Pages: 2400
Genre: study bible
Bible Translation: New International Version

Buy it Link: Amazon | Zondervan

Synopsis: You’ve heard many Bible stories hundreds of times, but how many behind-the-scenes details are you missing? Sometimes a little context is all you need to discover the rich meaning behind the stories of Scripture.
That’s what the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible provides. Every page is packed with expert insight into the customs, culture, and literature of Bible times. These fascinating explanations will serve to clarify your study of the Scriptures, reinforcing your confidence and bringing difficult passages of Scripture into sharp focus.
Discover new dimensions of insight to even the most familiar Bible passages as you take a behind-the-scenes tour into the ancient world.
The Bible was originally written to an ancient people removed from us by thousands of years and thousands of miles. The Scriptures include subtle culturally based nuances, undertones, and references to ancient events, literature and customs that were intuitively understood by those who first heard the Scriptures read. For us to hear the Scriptures as they did, we need a window into their world.
The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, with notes from Dr. John H. Walton (Wheaton College) in the Old Testament and Dr. Craig S. Keener (Asbury Theological Seminary) in the New Testament, brings to life the ancient world of Scripture for modern readers.

  • The full text of the NIV
  • Targeted book introductions explain the context in which each book of the Bible was written
  • Insightful and informative verse-by-verse study notes reveal new dimensions of insight to even the most familiar passages
  • Key Old Testament (Hebrew) and New Testament terms are explained and expanded upon in two helpful reference features
  • Over 300 in-depth articles on key contextual topics
  • 375 full-color photos, illustrations, and images from around the world
  • Dozens of charts, maps, and diagrams in vivid color
  • Words of Jesus in red
  • Additional study Bible tools: cross references, a concordance, indexes and other helps

My rating: 4 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this Bible in exchange for an honest review.
While I have done literal studies of the Bible, as well as word studies in the Bible, I have always thought that with the amount of translating and re-translating that the Bible has gone through that something is lost. And that something is so vital. Not only that but culture has changed so much in the past thousand years, how much more has it changed in three thousand or five thousand years? And because of those changes, how can I possibly understand what the original writers of the Bible really meant when they put words to scraps of sheep skin or parchment, or whatever they used?

I was really looking forward to this Bible to help shed some light on the questions I have had for so long. And immediately, I wasn't disappointed when I looked into the Hebrew to English translation chart that is found at the very beginning of the book. Perhaps the introductions to each book didn't give me all the information I craved, but it helped me to understand the context more. It is very interesting when the authors do introduce information about surrounding  religions around the same time, to be able to see the little things that were similar to our own religion and beliefs. Sometimes I wonder what helped us to succeed where other cultures and religions failed. 

Overall, I can't say much bad about this Bible, though I did want a little more meat sometimes in the descriptions of some of the contexts.

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