Saturday, November 1, 2014

First Impressions, The Study Bible For Women, HCSB

The Study Bible for Women, HCSB. Edited by Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley. 2014. B&H Publishing. 1782 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I've spent almost a full week reading in the HCSB Study Bible for Women. From the Old Testament, I've read Ruth, Nahum, and Habakkuk. I'm currently reading in Psalms and Ezekiel. From the New Testament, I have read Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, and James. I'll be starting a gospel soon. 

My first impression?! It is LOVE. A full review will be coming later in the month. But it is so fun (for me) to share my initial thoughts on a new Bible. Especially since I'm taking the whole month of November to celebrate the Bible!!!

Here are a few of the things I "love" about this new Bible:
  • black letter, NOT red letter or words of Christ in red
  • two column
  • plenty of notes for each chapter of the Bible, notes which appear in side columns
  • thorough (but not overwhelming) book introductions
  • word studies!!!!! Greek and Hebrew word studies!!!!!!!!
  • charts and other features throughout each book of the Bible
  • the design and layout (love how the font (font color, font size) helps with the outlining of books)
The book introductions are great. Each book introduction has a timeline and an outline. Each introduction features questions and answers. For example, "Who wrote Ezekiel?" "Who were the recipients?" "When was Ezekiel written?" "Where did it happen?" "What is Ezekiel about?" "Why should women read Ezekiel?" "How do you read Ezekiel?" 

Features for Titus:
  • Book Introduction
  • Study notes 
  • "Doctrine: Church Leadership"
  • "Word Study: Slave (Doulos)"
  • "Self Control is the Key"
  • "Biblical Womanhood: Spiritual Mothering"
  • "Pattern for Pastors"
  • "Biblical Womanhood: Digging Deeper into God's Word"
  • "Titus: Written On My Heart"

From "Digging Deeper into God's Word":
Overwhelmingly women purchase more Bibles and more Bible study materials than men do. By all rights, just the amount of materials in the marketplace should make women the best equipped Bible students of the modern era. However, one only has to peruse those materials to see that there is a great gulf fixed between most of what is being produced by women for women and even the most basic devotional commentary. Inspirational thoughts, practical application, and systematic topical studies are all important, but women need more. Women can study the Bible in depth; they can learn to do genuine exposition or verse-by-verse interpretation of God's Words, using the best hermeneutical principles; and this study tool is a step in making available to women resources produced especially for them. Here is a clarion call to women to demand the best in biblical scholarship--even resources prepared by women and men who have been formally trained in biblical studies--and to spend the time necessary to dig deeply into God's Word and pull out its rich truths and full knowledge. (1561)
The editors of this study Bible also worked on these two commentaries: Women's Evangelical Commentary New Testament and Women's Evangelical Commentary Old Testament. The introduction suggests readers view these three tools--the two commentaries and the study bible--as a trilogy.

Features for Ezekiel:
  • Book Introduction
  • Study notes
  • Numerous Word Studies, too many to list word by word
  • Doctrine: Theophany
  • [Chart] Real Women vs. Images of Women in Ezekiel
  • Biblical Womanhood: Role of Women in Ancient Near Eastern Religion
  • Doctrine: Angels: Cherubim and Living Creatures
  • Hard Question: How can passages like these on child sacrifice practiced by some primitive idol worshipping religions apply to 21st century readers?
  • Doctrine: Holiness
  • Biblical Womanhood: Sexuality, Social Ethics, and Hermeneutics
  • Character Profile: The wife of Ezekiel
  • Doctrine: Holy Spirit
  • Doctrine: Eschatology
  • Ezekiel…Written on my heart
Overall, I think the features have depth and substance to them, which is EXACTLY what I expect any Bible calling itself a "study Bible" to have. 

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