Monday, October 5, 2015

First Impressions: NIV Zondervan Study Bible

NIV Zondervan Study Bible. August 2015. Zondervan. 3008 pages. [Source: Bought]

And this just became my new favorite NIV Bible. I've been reading from the NIV Zondervan Study Bible for almost a month now. And I am LOVING it. I am loving it for many reasons.

Here's what I think you should know.

  • Do NOT confuse the NIV Zondervan Study Bible with the NIV Study Bible. The two are VERY different. And not just because the NIV Zondervan Study Bible is new this year, and has a colorful, reader-friendly design. What has changed is the content, the perspective of the contributors. It is REFORMED. 
  • It is edited by D.A. Carson and features articles by names you may just recognize if you read a lot of theology. Timothy Keller. D.A. Carson. James M. Hamilton Jr. Henri A.G. Blocher. Kevin DeYoung. Paul R. Williamson. T.D. Alexander. Dana M. Harris. Jay A. Sklar. Thomas Richard Wood. Sam Storms. Philip S. Johnston. Moises Silva. Daniel J. Estes. Andrew David Naselli. Brian S. Rosner. Christopher W. Morgan. Graham A. Cole. Greg D. Gilbert. David G. Peterson. Andreas J. Kostenberger. Doublas J. Moo. 
  • It is absolutely packed with information. Book Introductions. Study notes for each chapter. Maps. Charts. Timelines. Introduction to the Old Testament. Introduction to the Pentateuch. Introduction to the Historical Books. Introduction to the Wisdom and Lyrical Books. Introduction to the Prophetic Books. From Malachi to Christ. The Time Between the Testaments. Introduction to the New Testament. Introduction to the Gospels and Acts. Introduction to the Letters and Revelation. 28 articles. These articles cover almost everything it seems including sin (Kevin DeYoung), the glory of God (James M. Hamilton Jr.), the covenant (Paul R. Williamson), the law (T.D. Alexander), the gospel (Greg D. Gilbert), worship (David G. Peterson), etc. It is like a study Bible with a couple extra books thrown in too. 
  • But it isn't just that it has tons of information. It is presented clearly and concisely. It is designed with readers like you and me in mind. It doesn't matter if this is your first study Bible or your twentieth study Bible. This one is accessible. And the notes so far have all been worth reading. 
  • It is the NIV Translation, the 2011 update to the NIV.
Note on Ephesians 1:4
1:4 he chose us. In vv. 3–14 Paul emphasizes God’s eternal decision to grant salvation to believers in the following ways: “he chose us” (v. 4), “he predestined us” (v. 5), and “we were also chosen, having been predestined” (v. 11). Since this divine election of believers occurred “before the creation of the world” (v. 4), it is based solely on God’s gracious decision and not on any human merit (cf. God’s choosing Israel to be his treasured possession in Deut 7:6–8, or God’s choosing of Jacob over Esau before they “were born or had done anything good or bad” in Rom 9:11). See also John 5:21; 6:37, 39, 44; 15:16; 17:6; Rom 8:29–30; 9:6–26; 11:5, 7, 28; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 1:4; 2 Thess 2:13; Titus 1:1; 1 Pet 1:1; 2:9; Rev 17:8. to be holy and blameless. The goal, not the basis, of God’s election is ethical purity.
Note on Ephesians 1:5
1:5 predestined. Predetermined. See note on v. 4. adoption to sonship. In the Roman world, sons were adopted to carry on the family name and maintain property ownership. The adopted son was no longer responsible to his natural father but was only responsible to his new adoptive father. Similarly, all believers, male and female, who receive the Spirit that brings about adoption (Rom 8:15, 23) acquire a new status with its accompanying privileges and responsibilities. We are no longer obligated to our old father, the devil (John 8:38, 44).
Note on Ephesians 1:11
chosen. Jewish believers in Christ “were made heirs” (see NIV text note), or more specifically, God claimed them as his inheritance and possession in much the same way that he claimed Israel as his possession and heritage in the OT (Exod 19:5; Deut 4:20; 9:29; 32:9). predestined. See note on v. 4. works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. Emphasizes God’s providence and sovereignty. Everything that happens results from God’s will in some way, and everything that God planned will certainly come to pass (Dan 4:35; Rom 11:36). At the same time, God never does evil and Scripture never blames God for evil or sin (Job 1:21–22; Rom 5:12). Humans are still responsible for their actions (Eccl 7:29; Rom 9:19–20). They should do right and not grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:30).

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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