Bible Review | The NIV Artisan Collection Bible

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Excuse my 50-year-old kitchen counters, and terrible lighting. 

The NIV Artisan Collection Bible by Zondervan is so pretty! There are four cover styles in this collected designed by Edna Marie Esparra, founder of Everlasting Words Designs. I’m reviewing the pink floral edition with Psalm 46:5 quoted in metallic script. The other designs include navy succulents, teal music notes, and pink daisies with butterflies for girls.

What’s really unique about this Bible is the hidden art when the pages are fanned! It’s such a cool feature! The pages are gold gilded with a hint of the floral design if you’re at the right angle.

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The other features include:  Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface (9.9pt), words of Jesus in red, not one but TWO ribbon markers, wide lined margins for notes and artwork, and a few lined pages in the back for notes.

While the pages do appear a bit on the thin side, they do feel sturdy and turn easily. They’re also not white, but more like… Almond? Using flash shows the color better than my awful kitchen lighting.

Overall, I’m very impressed with this Bible. If you’re looking for a super girly journaling Bible in a translation that’s easy to understand, this is the one for you! I hope my friend’s mom likes it! 😀

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

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Bible Review | Wiersbe Study Bible

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

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From the Publisher: Now you can experience Dr. Warren Wiersbe’s lifetime of powerful Bible teaching in one place. Whether through his bestselling “BE Series” commentaries or his popular “Back to the Bible” radio ministry, Dr. Wiersbe has guided millions into a life-transforming encounter with God’s Word. Now, in this single volume, you have access to Dr. Wiersbe’s trustworthy, accessible explanations of the Bible’s truths and promises, through his comprehensive system of study and application notes. Make the most of your time reading, studying, and reflecting on Scripture with The Wiersbe Study Bible.

I’m reviewing the black imitation leather edition. This study Bible also comes in hardcover, genuine brown leather, and a beautiful imitation burgundy leather with a floral pattern. The black Bible has silver gilded pages (that are so shiny and reflective you can probably take a mirror selfie in), blue stitching and two ribbons (one black, and one blue).

This Bible has two columns for both the Bible text and study notes. The size of the font is 10.5, and the letters of Jesus are in red. This Bible lays flat when opened, and the paper quality is really great.

This Bible contains thousands of verse-by-verse notes by Dr. Wiersbe, hundreds of Catalyst notes that dive deeper into biblical themes, “Be Transformed” sections in each book, and full color maps. Each book begins with an introduction on historical background, themes, and practical lessons.

What a blessing it is to have this Bible with Dr. Wiersbe’s notes! Plus, the concordance in this Bible is MASSIVE. It’s such an excellent resource for laymen and preachers.

Bible Review | NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

I requested this Bible months ago, but due to an inventory issue, I just got it the other day. The NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible was previously published as the Zondervan Study Bible. Aside from the name and cover design, a few things about the interior have changed (I don’t own the original Bible for a side by side comparison).

Features include:

  • 8 articles by authors such as D.A. Carson, Tim Keller and Kevin DeYoung
  • 20,000 verse-by-verse study notes
  • Hundreds of full-color photos, more than 90 maps, and over 60 charts
  • Comprehensive book introductions
  • Over 60 trusted contributors [See the list here]
  • Cross-references and the NIV Comprehensive Concordance
  • Single-column, black letter
  • Comfort Print 9.1-point print size

This Bible is quite large and about the same size as the ESV Study Bible. It is packed with a ton of information and full color pictures. The layout and colors are visually appealing. The paper has minimal ghosting, and seems to be coated so it turns easily.

The one thing I don’t like about the Bible is the crease design on both the Bible itself and the dust jacket. This Bible is also available in black bonded leather, burgundy bonded leather, tan/caramel leathersoft, and raspberry/tan leathersoft.

Bible Review | ESV Illuminated Bible, Art Journaling Edition

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

 

Today I’m reviewing the ESV Illuminated Bible Art Journaling Bible. The edition I have is the green hardcover (the dust jacket matches the cover, for those who don’t like dust jackets). This Bible has over 500 beautiful gold ink illustrations by Dana Tanamachi. I believe the book intro art is the same on the ESV Illuminated Scripture Journals.

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Features Include:

  • 9-point text size
  • Black letter text
  • 2-color printing
  • 64 full-page, custom book opener illustrations
  • 50 full-page verse illustrations
  • 250+ hand-lettered margin verses
  • 100+ other illustrations throughout
  • Thick, cream-colored paper
  • Wide margins
  • Single-column, paragraph format
  • Smyth-sewn binding

 

This Bible is absolutely stunning! You can’t tell from the pictures, but it has gilded pages, too. I love all the Bibles Crossway is coming out with, they’re so unique and pretty. The margins are wide enough for notes and artwork. The look and feel of the pages are very similar to the ESV Story of Redemption Bible I reviewed a while back.

Christian Book has this for $19.99 right now. You better snag a copy, or go follow me on Instagram (@journal.of.a.bibliophile) where I’ll be giving this away around Easter.

Bible Review | The Jesus Bible (NIV)

Last year, I purchased The Jesus Bible (NIV) simply because I found the interior visually appealing. At first, I was super disappointed with how tiny the text was. I’m glad Zondervan recently released a comfort print edition, but I’m kind of annoyed that it only comes in leathersoft (I prefer hardbacks).

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This Bible is the 2011 NIV with gender neutral pronouns. The content includes over 300 full-page articles, nearly 700 sidebar articles, and 7 essays by Louie Giglio, Max Lucado, John Piper, Ravi Zacharias, and Randy Alcorn (odd mix, I know!).

The pages are sewn together, but they’re glued to a piece of paper, and that paper is glued to a piece of canvas-covered cardboard. I can’t speak for the leathersoft editions, but the weight of the pages in the canvas edition easily tear the cover off… So you really have to handle it with care.

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This is a pretty neat Bible. I plan on using it next year for inductive Bible study. Also… This is probably weird… But the canvas is really rough and catches onto dry skin and hangnails, which is gross. 😂

Bible Review | ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible

 

I didn’t receive the ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible for review, I actually won it in a giveaway ages ago! I often get asked about this Bible. Is it worth it? How’s the quality? As you can see in the picture above, the pages are glued together (even though the details on Crossway’s website and Amazon say they’re sewn), which means it won’t last very long.

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This Bible has 9pt text in double columns. There are over 400 doctrinal summaries and 25+ longer articles on key theological topics. Each book has an introduction highlighting how the book contributes to the whole of Christian theology. This is a really great resource. I prefer hardcovers over leathersoft, it’s a total bummer the pages aren’t sewn together.

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The contributors are:

  • Gregg Allison
  • Bruce Ashford
  • Gerald Bray
  • Bryan Chapell
  • Graham Cole
  • David Dockery
  • John Frame
  • Michael Horton
  • Kelly Kapic
  • Michael Kruger
  • Robert Letham
  • Donald Macleod
  • Chris Morgan
  • Stephen Nichols
  • J. I. Packer
  • Michael Reeves
  • Fred Sanders
  • Sam Storms
  • Scott Swain
  • Stephen Wellum
  • David Wells

 

The Infographic Bible by Karen Sawrey

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

The Infographic Bible was created by conceptual designer and illustrator Karen Sawrey and has a foreword by Nicky Gumbel. This book was first published in Great Britain by Williams Collins before being published by Zondervan. Scripture quotations were taken from the New Revised Standard Version, New King James, and Good News Translation.

This doesn’t cover every story, but it covers topics such as… Created for Relationship, Relationship Broken, A Rescue Plan, The Plan Rejected, Jesus Comes, and Relationship Restored.

This is such a unique, creative, and fun take on the Bible. There are around 220 pages and 88 full color illustrations. The creator of this book used the views of Pentecostals, Roman Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, and Episcopalians. There’s a short church timeline, and a few pages on books of the Bible, along with the Apocrypha/Deuterocanon.

An unexpected bonus: There are activity pages such as coloring pages (as seen above) and some cut-out dice.

I really enjoyed this book, buuuut… The font is painfully small, and a lot of the graphics and text gets lost in the page ditch. Some of the color contrast is also a little hard on the eyes, and the book has to be tilted to see some of the tiny text due to the glossy page glare. Pleeeease make the font bigger, and the pages matte!

Bible Review | ESV Story of Redemption Bible

*I received a free copy of the ESV Story of Redemption Bible: A Journey through the Unfolding Promises of God from Crossway in exchange for an honest review. (Thank you!) All thoughts are 100% my own.*

From the website: The Bible is the epic story of the unfolding plan of God over the course of the history of the world. The Story of Redemption Bible: A Journey through the Unfolding Promises of God leads readers on a journey through this storyline from start to finish, with conversational commentary written by pastor Greg Gilbert interspersed throughout the full ESV text. With the aim of encouraging interaction and contemplation passage by passage, Gilbert explains how every part of Scripture fits together and is ultimately centered on Christ. Particularly suitable to those who are new to the Bible but rich with insights for even the most seasoned Bible reader, the Story of Redemption Bible will draw readers in as they see their place in the greatest story ever told. 

  • 897 notes written by pastor Greg Gilbert
  • All-new introductions to each book of the Bible
  • 80+ maps, illustrations, and timelines
  • Foldout timeline in the back
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Pages: 1,920
  • Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
  • Font: 9.25 (Bible text); 8.5 (notes)
  • Layout: single column
  • 1″ margins
  • Ribbon bookmark
  • Words of Christ  in black

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I’m reviewing the hardcover edition, but it also comes in TruTone burgundy/red, TruTone brown, and Top Grain black leather. Underneath the jacket, the Bible is black with a gold foil decorative spine.

When I first saw this Bible a few months ago, I fell in love with Peter Voth’s artwork. The gold foil makes it extra beautiful. When I saw it listed on Crossway’s review program, I was really excited!

 

The pages are smooth and turn with ease. There is some ghosting, but it’s not too bad. I’m not a note taker, and writing in books freaks me out, but for those who do like taking notes, there’s plenty of space!

There are short book introductions with gold artwork, and gold ink maps are scattered throughout. In the very back is a list of all the little seals and what they mean.

I really like how the notes are in the middle of the text, so you can easily stop and read them. The notes really help new believers, and are great reminders for others. I think this might be my new go-to Bible for new Christians, or those wanting to learn about Christianity who are intimidated by some study Bibles.

I’d have to say my favorite part is the timeline in the back! I really would like a poster or framed print of it.

Thanks again, Crossway! This comes out September 30th.

Bible Review | NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Third Edition

I received a free copy of the New King James Spirit-Filled Life Bible (in leathersoft brown) from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are 100% my own.

This is such a beautiful Bible. The interior has a great layout and colors that are easy on the eyes. The material is smooth, and the Bible lays flat no matter where you’re at. The pages aren’t too thin and have a coating that helps you turn the page with ease. The font is a good size, and the words of Jesus are in red. The pages aren’t tissue paper thin, so there’s minimal ghosting. I think it’s also worth mentioning that there are two ribbon bookmarks!

The Bible appears to be durable… Since I plan on giving this to a couple I went to school with, I don’t want to manhandle it too much. This Bible also comes in hardcover, genuine black leather, and burgundy leathersoft. The box does says you can sign up for a lifetime guarantee through Thomas Nelson. So if you’re interested in purchasing this Bible in synthetic or genuine (pricy!) leather, that’s something to consider.

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This Bible has a really neat feature called “Word Wealth”. There are over 650 word studies on the original Hebrew and Greek scattered throughout the Bible. There are also 192 guided prayers, Kingdom Dynamics (themes that are addressed in notes by preachers, teaches, and other contributors) and Truth-In-Action (thematic charts that provide practical application).

According to a podcast I listened to last week, Pentecostalism is the fastest growing Christian denomination (If I can find the postcast again, I’ll link it!). I hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith (click here to read an article), but I do enjoy learning what my brothers and sisters in other denominations believe, and why the believe it. (I think it’s important to read about all denominations and religions.)

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I don’t agree with the soteriology presented (I’m a Calvinist), but I do think this Bible contains a lot of helpful notes. The notes in Revelation are dispensational (as you can see above), but I was pleasantly surprised to see that a few pages are on eschatology! Most non-Reformed Protestants today are premillennial dispensational and believe in either a pre-tribulation, mid-trib, or post-trib rapture. Seeing amillennialism and postmillennialism was pretty great! I hope some people research those eschatological views after seeing those charts and stumble across Voddie Baucham, Jeff Durbin and R.C. Sproul.

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Bible Review | ESV Archaeology Study Bible

I received a free copy of the ESV Archaeology Study Bible from Crossway in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are 100% my own.

From their website: The ESV Archaeology Study Bible roots the biblical text in its historical and cultural context, offering readers a framework for better understanding the people, places, and events recorded in Scripture. With editorial oversight from Dr. John Currid (PhD, University of Chicago) and Dr. David Chapman (PhD, University of Cambridge), as well as contributions from a team of field-trained archaeologists, the Archaeology Study Bible assembles a range of modern scholarship—pairing the biblical text with over 2,000 study notes, 400 full-color photographs, 200 maps and diagrams, 200 sidebars, 15 articles, and 4 timelines. These features bring life to the ancient texts, helping readers situate them in their historical context while recognizing the truth that the eternal God became flesh entered human history at a specific time and in a specific place.

The contributors are:

  • David L. Adams
  • Barry J. Beitzel
  • David W. Chapman
  • Mark W. Chavalas
  • John D. Currid
  • Thomas W. Davis
  • Lawrence T. Geraty
  • Larry G. Herr
  • Richard S. Hess
  • Gerald L. Mattingly
  • Catherine L. McDowell
  • Stephen M. Oritz
  • Boyd Seevers
  • Mark Wilson
  • Paul H. Wright
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Photo Credit: Crossway

Details:

  • 6″ x 9″
  • 9-point type (main text)
  • 8-point type (notes)
  • 2,624 pages
  • Double-column, paragraph format
  • Cross references
  • Footnotes
  • 2,000+ study notes
  • 400+ full-color photographs
  • 200+ maps and diagrams
  • 200+ informational sidebars
  • 15 articles like “The Bible and History,” “Archaeology and Preaching,” “Major Biblical Finds,” and “Daily Life in the New Testament Era”
  • 4 timelines
  • Black-letter text
  • Presentation page
  • Book introductions
  • 4-color printing
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Packaging: L-Card

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I got this Bible a few weeks ago and have taken my time going through it. I love archaeology, so this is such a great and unique addition to my collection! Thank you, Crossway!

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The hardcover edition is what I’m reviewing, but it also comes in genuine black leather and TruTone brown. This edition is the same height as the well-loved ESV Study Bible. I’m weird about book heights, so I’m glad it isn’t a weird size like the Systematic Theology Study Bible Crossway released last year. Haha. 🙂

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The paper is strangely soft, and it’s easy to turn the page without sticking. The font is dark and crisp, so there is some ghosting, as you can see in the image above. If you have vision issues and need high contrast, some of the text on the opposite side of dark pictures (as seen below) might be a little difficult to make out.

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From what I’ve seen, the study notes don’t have anything on doctrine (ie: RCC vs Protestant, or Calvinist vs Armenian). The notes are written by actual archaeologists and cover archeology, geography, and history. I would have liked to see more on manuscripts!

I’m so glad Crossway came out with a Bible like this. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in archeology and apologetics!