Sunday, March 1, 2015

First Impressions, NIV Rainbow Study Bible

Holman Rainbow Study Bible: NIV Edition. New, Improved User-Friendly Design. Purple Leathertouch Indexed. B&H. 1632 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I recently received a review copy of the Holman Rainbow Study Bible in the NIV edition. I'll definitely keep reading in it, and will be writing another post about my reading experience, a 'proper' review--if you will--later on in March or April.

It is similar but not identical to the KJV Rainbow Study Bible.

About the cover itself. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the purple!!!! This is such a gorgeous Bible!!!! If you're not a fan of purple, there are plenty of other colors/designs to choose from.

It is the NIV translation of the Bible. I believe the KJV and NIV are the only translations currently available in the Rainbow Study Bible.

It is in paragraph format! The KJV Rainbow Study Bible was in verse, verse, verse format. I am not a fan of breaking up the flow like that. Paragraphs make for much easier reading! So this is a definite improvement!

Another improvement, in my opinion, is that they've added references for parallel passages!

The font is a great size. It isn't too big or too small.

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 love this concept. I do.

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:
Salvation: blessings; deliverance; holiness; Heaven; the tabernacle; angels; eternity; resurrection; second coming; judgement of the godly; grace
Love: joy; kindness; mercy; mourning; lament; comfort; compassion; peace; sympathy; humility; charity
Commandments: offerings; laws; priesthood; feasts; Sabbath; tithing; baptism; Lord's supper; church; deacon; growth
Prophecy: promises; covenants; revelations; vows; visions; dreams; oaths; pledges; insipiration; fulfillment; future
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 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.)

So far I've read Isaiah, Mark, Romans, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter.

Here are three examples to give you a taste of what it feels like to read a color-coded Bible.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (Discipleship, God, Faith)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Romans 5:6-11 (Love, Salvation, Love)

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Matthew 11:27-30 (God, Love)

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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