Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First Impressions of the Chronological Life Application Bible

It has been almost a month since I received the Chronological Life Application Bible. (It was a Christmas present.) As soon as I knew they had come out with the Chronological Life Application Bible in the King James translation of the Bible, I knew I really, really *needed* it. (KJV Bibles have a way of calling to me!) Fortunately, I discovered this just days before Christmas! And fortunately it was one of the 50% off Bibles in the special Christmas sale!

This Bible is beautiful inside and out. I love the color. I do. I love the fact that it's in the KJV. I would have been just as happy perhaps if it had been in NASB or ESV. But the KJV does make me especially happy. I find myself drawn more and more to this translation the older I get.

I was super-impressed by "A Chronological Survey of the Bible." In a relatively short span of pages, this bible does an incredible job of explaining the big picture of the Bible, how it all fits together. The narrative is fabulous, in my opinion. It is detailed enough to actually be useful. In other words it's more in depth than say, "Adam and Eve sinned. Sin is bad. Everyone sins. Jesus came to save us from sin because we could not save ourselves. Believe in him and be saved. The end." But it remains big-picture. It even covers the intertestamental period of history. I found it very accessible. It also impressed me because I have read whole books that attempt to do just this and fail to make an impact (with me), and yet this simple-but-not-too-simple introduction does it marvelously, almost effortlessly.

I like the fact that the Bible is divided into ten segments:

  • Beginnings: Undated-2100 BC
  • God's Chosen Family 2100-1800 BC
  • Birth of Israel 1800-1406 BC
  • Possessing the Land 1406-1050 BC
  • United Monarchy 1050-930 BC
  • Splintered Nation 930-586 BC
  • Exile 586-538 BC
  • Return and Diaspora 538-6 BC
  • Jesus Christ 6 BC - AD 30
  • The Church AD 30-Present 

The Chronological Life Application Study Bible helps the reader see the larger story by breaking up the traditional books of the Bible into 10 major eras of biblical history, intermingling the Scriptures into a single, unified story from Creation to the end. This provides readers with a unique viewpoint on the biblical story, and it can give fresh and exciting insight into books of the Bible that might have been difficult to understand apart from knowing where they fall chronologically. For example, see the way the prophets Haggai and Zechariah are interacting with what is happening in the book of Ezra. Intermingling the prophets with the historical books can give us a new perspective on the issues they were dealing with. In this case, it shows how the people responded to God's call on their life through the prophets: The temple was rebuilt and proper worship in Jerusalem was restored! This is only one of many examples...
And I really appreciate their honesty:
Although a chronological Bible gives us a new and exciting outlook on the message of Scripture, we do need to remember that the Bible was not written as a single story. God gave us the Bible as a collection of 66 individual books, not a chronological rearrangement of those books. While helpful as a tool for gaining insight into the meaning, message, and significance of Scripture, a chronological Bible is not a substitute for a traditional Bible. The Chronological Life Application Study Bible does contain every word of the Bible, but because it is rearranged and books are often presented out of canonical order or broken up into smaller pieces, we should remember that the books of the Bible are intended to be read as whole books. It is helpful to see the Gospels mingled together in one common narrative, with parallel passages together, but it is not a substitute for reading the book of Matthew as a whole, unbroken story about Jesus' life and his significance. With that in mind, it is our hope that the Chronological Life Application Study Bible will be a vital tool in helping you understand the Bible, but it should not replace a traditional Bible in any sense. 
I am definitely enjoying the life application features. I like the notes. I really like the character profiles. I love the introductions to each section.

There is also something comfortable about reading the Bible chronologically. It's very nice to know exactly where you are and where you're going. It's very pleasant to not have to think what book do I read next, where should I go from here.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible


Anonymous said...

My son has this...

Monica said...

I am reading through the bible chronologically via Biblegate Way on my phone each morning. I love how it flows. This sounds like a great Bible to add to my library. I love love love the KJV. All the features you shared makes it sound extra terrific! Thanks for the review! adding it to my wishlist!

twiga92 said...

I have this Bible but in the NLT. I love Bibles and tend to "collect" different ones for the different features. Do you also like the NKJV? I recently got the Modern Life Study Bible for review in the NKJV - it is jam-packed with all kinds of neat features!