Book Review: Chronological Study Bible

This is another book I received through Thomas Nelson’s Blogger Book Review Program. I was very excited to see it on the list when I signed in. I have long wanted a Chronological Study Bible and this seemed like the perfect fit.

When I was in college, my Con Law professor told us to always remember historical context when reading supreme court decisions. Since then, I have never failed to take that advice. Since then, I have come to believe that placing events in historical context is quite valuable for understanding them and the point that is being made.

The Chronological Study Bible helps put those historical contexts in perspective by arranging the Bible (to the extent possible) in chronological order. This means that books are not necessarily kept together, but instead that portions are arranged with portions from other books. Similarly, a book such as Jeremiah has been reordered to be chronological rather than its current arrangement.

This book comes with some excellent explanatory notes that explain the choices made by the arrangers. I am sure that Biblical scholars can endlessly debate how to chronologically arrange certain elements of the Bible. However, the notes explain the different options available for placement and why one option was chose over the others.

In addition, the Bible also contains large numbers of sidebars that detail information about topics such as agriculture, architecture, culture, society, daily life & customs, family, and politics. Also included are some great photographs of relevant locations, timelines that help put historical events in context, and a variety of maps to place things in a geographical context.

The book is beautiful, with full color pictures and illustrations throughout. Additionally, color is used to make the pages attractive and easy to read. Most importantly, however, the tops corners of the pages are color coded to allow easy access to each of the nine epochs into which the book is divided.

This book is well put together and would be an invaluable aid to anyone in their Biblical studies. I found the information included in the various sidebars to be quite informative and believe that they do an excellent job of providing additional information to help place the various passages in a greater context of the time period involved.

The only quibble that I have with the book is that the scripture index is found only in the back of the book. Every Bible I have ever seen includes a table of contents at the front that tells you where to find the various books of the Bible. I understand that this Bible is quite different in that it is chronological. However, I think it would be nice to have the index that was at the back, also included at the front.

If it matters to you, the translation used is the New King James.

On the whole, however, if have any interest in Biblical studies at all, I would highly recommend this book to you.

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