Sunday, October 12, 2014

Rainbow Study Bible, First Impressions

I recently received a copy of the Holman Rainbow Study Bible, KJV Edition for review. I look forward to reading in it for several months to come. I will try to do a proper review of this one once I've had the chance to read more in it--some in the Old Testament, some in the New Testament. But I thought I'd share my initial impressions of the Bible.

It is the KJV translation of the Bible. I do love that. I would never say it's the only translation I read in, but, it's certainly one I enjoy reading. 

It is verse, verse, verse. In other words. It is not in paragraph format. I typically try to choose bibles in paragraph format. (Verse, verse, verse is very common for KJV publications. It is more rare to see the KJV in paragraph format.) Because this is a special Rainbow Study Bible, it makes perfect sense to have it in this format. Each verse of the Bible is color-coded. Paragraph format might make it more of a messy read.) 

The font is large enough to be easy on the eyes. It isn't GIANT by any means. But it is a wonderfully nice size. And the Bible itself is not too heavy. (I have found that it is often one or the other.)

It is NOT red-letter!!! Instead, readers will find that all words spoken directly by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit appear underlined throughout the Old and New Testaments. I am very excited about this approach. So far, I'm loving this idea.

It is color-coded. There are twelve subjects (and colors) in this color-code system. God. Discipleship. Love. Faith. Sin. Evil. Salvation. Family. Outreach. Commandments. History. Prophecy. Each subject is a heading, of sorts, covering many subjects. For example:

Love: joy; kindness; mercy; mourning; lament; comfort; compassion; peace; sympathy; humility; charity

Faith: prayer; miracles; courage; confession; repentance; fasting; healing; hope; confidence; conviction; belief

Discipleship: obedience; praise; service; worship; spiritual formation; commitment; fellowship; spiritual gifts; fruit

Salvation: blessings; deliverance; holiness; Heaven; the tabernacle; angels; eternity; resurrection; second coming; judgement of the godly; grace

Outreach: teaching; counseling; questioning; instruction; testimony; ministry; preaching; evangelism; gospel; doctrine; sayings

Every verse is color-coded; every verse has been categorized into one of the twelve main subject headings. At the bottom of each two-page spread, the colors/headings appear as reminders so you can easily interpret what the colors mean without having to refer back to the chart at the front of the Bible. However, I found it helpful to write on index cards the smaller subcategories under each. 

I've quoted Psalm 19:7-14, twice already today. But this will give you some idea of how it is color-coded. The purple is "God." The pale-peach is "faith". If you look up the subcategories, you'll find faith covers "confession" and "repentance" and "prayer" and "hope."

7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

I enjoyed reading the Words of Explanation at the front of the Bible. In fact, I would think it essential if you plan on reading this unique Bible.
The Holman Rainbow Study Bible is a simple yet thorough Bible based upon the premise that every verse of every Bible falls under one of twelve thematic headings. Each of the twelve headings is assigned a different color; then each verse of the Bible is color-coded to the heading to which it is most closely related…The Holman Rainbow Study Bible allows the serious Bible student the opportunity to study and teach the great Bible themes while avoiding a time-consuming or complicated system. 
Goals of the Holman Rainbow Study Bible:
1. To paint a picture of colors on every page and thereby make reading more enjoyable
2. To help every reader attain a further understanding of the message in each Scripture
3. To provide easy access for studying, giving devotionals, and teaching.
4. To provide an accurate breakdown of topics
5. To help every reader remember by color association where significant verses are located
6. To provide an easily recognizable format distinguishing the Words of God throughout the Bible.
7. To encourage more and more reading of God's Word.
I haven't read enough in this one yet to assess the (bold) statements in the introduction. (For example, phrases like "the premise that every verse of every Bible falls under one of twelve thematic headings" and "while avoiding a time-consuming or complicated system.")

I do love the way they list the books of the Bible in the table of contents. The chart makes note of divisions: law, history, poetry, major prophets, minor prophets, the gospels, the early church, letters of Paul, other letters, and prophecy. The chart also makes note of the number of chapters in each book. (So you can see at a glance facts like there are 66 books in the Bible, 39 OT, 27 NT. There are 1189 chapters in the whole Bible.)

The Bible does have--in addition to maps and illustrations throughout the Bible--several supplemental study aids found at the back. Notably, it includes "100 Popular Bible Passages" (50 OT; 50 NT), "365 Popular Bible Quotations for Memorization and Meditation" (selections from every book of the Bible), a "One Year Daily Bible Reading Calendar," and "A Harmony of the Gospels."

Feel free to ask me questions, and I'll try to answer them in the next post about this bible.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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