Friday, October 9, 2020

NIV Study Bible -2020


NIV Study Bible, Fully Revised Edition, Comfort Print, hardcover (red letter)

Way back when, just before my birthday, my friend and I went to the local bookstore (pre joshua’s, or life way...I can’t remember the new. It may have had something to do with grapes...). We bought matching 10 year anniversary NIV Study Bibles. We were at that age where we had matching plaid converse, matching journals with locks and of course we needed matching bibles!

Honestly, I think I learned more out of that bible than any other. Reading the notes, following the verse reference chains, meant more to me than the “personal” or relatable stories the pastor may have shared. I can’t recall any of his sermons, but my notes and highlights stayed with me for 2 decades. (Up til the fire.)

When I was given the opportunity by Bible Gateway to review the newest, updated and fully revised 35th Anniversary NIV Study Bible, the above memories came to mind. And there is a photo I wish I still had of us in our Baja sweaters, plaid converse shoes, and holding our study bibles. 25 years is a long time!

Sometimes, the notes were biased and often when it came to basic Jewish culture, they were just wrong. This is why I was very excited to see what the editors have revised and changed. The beginning pages give an extensive history on the version, the translation, and I always recommend reading it in any edition of the Bible you pick up. You will gain insight into how it was translated and get to know the editorial team and their wording choices a little.

First of all, just the massive improvement of the graphics we have been gifted with new technology!

These are not just improved graphics, there are beautiful full color photographs!

Each book in the Bible has an in-depth introduction, these used to be a page or even just a few paragraphs. The book of Numbers has a 5 page introduction so that you know, who wrote it, how it acquired its name, the theology points that are about to be given to you, a timeline, and an outline. 

Psalm 119 contains the typical “anglicized “ WAW instead of VAV or BETH over BET, and TAW over TAV. The are the names of Hebrew letters. WAW does not exist! ו however is a vav. But there are shockingly very few translations that EVER have vav, etc... so it was expected.

The note for Psalm 89 v 9-10 states that David borrows ‘poetic imagery from ancient near eastern myths of creation..’ because he states that Gd ruled over the chaotic waters implying procreation. I am not sure what the editor is trying to imply here. This one is gonna need some research!

There are beautiful editions and a variety of covers to chose from when shopping for the 35th Anniversary NIV Study Bible. I have the hardcover. Lovely end papers, well stitched, and lays flat beautifully.

The back of the Bible gives numerous study aids as well, for the notes index, a concordance, and more.

This Bible is full, it has a easy on the eyes typeset ( Comfort Print® typeface ), and is large. (‘I like bib Bibles and I can not lie...’...sorry, not sorry!) Seriously though, this is a STUDY Bible, it is not a small toss in a little handbag Bible. It has weight to it! I am very much looking forward to getting to know it better.


  • Complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV) updated in 2011
  • Over 21,000 study notes, with icons to make important information easy to spot
  • Over 125 topical articles, full-color maps, the full NIV concordance, and subject note indexes enable even deeper study
  • Sixty-six book introductions and outlines along with six section introductions provide valuable background information for each book of the Bible
  • Maps, charts, diagrams, and illustrations visually clarify the stories in the Bible


Friday, July 3, 2020

Bible Gateway App July 2020

What apps do you use for Bible study? (Ones that you dont just download to your device, but actually open up on a regular basis?

Bible Gateway has long been a trusted web based resource. They have recently revamped their website and created a companion app.

The app slimlines most of the web based content you are probably already familiar with. The big improvement for Reading Scripture lies in the ability to chose book, chapter, and verse without having to click through multiple screens. This may seem minuscule, but it speeds up the process.

With more and more opting for the convenience of a device over carrying a large book around, this makes pulling up a scripture in a group setting a bit faster. (Personally, nothing is as quick as holding a bible that you are familiar with. Maybe that is just from years of sword drills at camp and youth groups.)

There are numerous Bible translations available for comparison or personal preference.

Along with translations, there are numerous resources, both free and subscriber content. 
If you highlight a specific verse, it will pull up the applicable information for you to begin a more indepth study.
You can also go directly to resources through the menu.
An audio version is also available so that you can have scripture read to you as you go through your day or your daily commute. Audiobooks have become a staple for so many multitaskers. One bonus is visually reading scripture at the same time it is being read to you, this using of multiple senses helps in retention and learning. 

Along with these, Bible Gateway has included "Scripture Engagement", as shown in the menu. What is scripture engagement? These are ideas and helps to groind you and help you absorb more scripture.

From Bible Gateway:


The different Scripture Engagement practices are listed below; each section consists of an overview of the practice, a set of practical tips for engaging in it, and a list of resources for further exploration.

If this is your first time exploring these Scripture Engagement articles, we strongly recommend that you begin by reading through the Overview of Scripture Engagement Practices; it describes each practice in detail. However, for the sake of convenience, each of the practices is also listed below.


This material is © Phil Collins, Ph.D., 2014. This material was created in partnership with the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement

Over all, this is a great app. It is educative and creative in helping the church advance in knowledge and application of scripture. 

If you chose to become a subscriber (for the annual price of a good study Bible) the small ads are removed and many other resources open up. If you don't,  the ads are not obtrusive and the app thankfully does not lose any of its functionality. 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

NIV, Artisan Collection Bible for Girls

NIV, Artisan Collection Bible for Girls, Cloth over Board, Multi-color, Art Gilded Edges, Red Letter Edition, Comfort Print

Features include:

  • Stunning marbled-look cover design on soft, durable cloth
  • Page edges with shimmering foil art gilding
  • Lined, wide margins for journaling, notes, and art
  • Complete text of the New International Version, the world’s best-selling modern English Bible translation
  • Words of Jesus in red
  • Satin ribbon marker
  • Exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface
  • 9.5-point print size

This is a beautiful Bible. I am not sure why it is marketed for ‘girls’. There are no child geared notes or how to play well with friends kind of things that would make this for a specific age group. I would add it to my own library easily. I would recommend it for any age.

Colored pencils glide beautifully on the pages. It was good margins for notes or art. I have not tried paints or markers. The dark pencils had no ghosting thru the pages.

I love this Artisan line of bibles and I am looking forward to how it develops.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Jesus Bible- Artist Edition

This week is a rough one. We can't renew the lease on the house we have rented since the fire in Paradise. We cant find a rental for 6 in a decent price range cuz let's face it...prices have gone nuts since the fire and insurance is running out, but prices are not going to drop back to normal. In addition, our rebuild is stalled. I cant even get the woman at the office to give me a final price estimate or remember to put our names on inspection lists...
So in the midst of packing and moving and having to take our kids on a wild adventure of homelessness.... this lovely Bible arrived from Bible Gateway. The title kinda makes you smirk, Jesus Bible, because isnt Jesus the point of every Bible? 

The cool thing about this one is Passion who has brought us a few decades of great worship cds and conferences have backed this project. Their vision speaks depths to where we are as a family and community right now: "And in a world where the weight is often heavy, we want to lift people, speak life, stand for justice, add value and celebrate the goodness of our God in the best of times and when the road is steep."

The cover is taken from the art of Britt Bass. And the intention is to point to the 'scarlet thread' of Jesus being represented through the entire work of the Bible. 

Britt Bass:
She focus on movement in art and how one strike's movements bring on the next.

This is represented in the piece used for the cover as well: Artist Edition Jesus Bible ESV

The ESV and the NIV have different art pieces represented on the covers. I was sent the ESV.

There are essays included by well known Passion speakers such as Lou Giglio.  It is fitting he writes for Genesis and Creation. How not hear Lou chant the sounds of the universe proclaiming "He is big! He is really really big!"

You can DOWNLOAD a sample here:

Following bible journaling trends, this version has wide margins for pouring your heart into and highlighting the truths that peirce your heart.
(photos from the new RV table top which is about to become our norm.)
This is a beautiful Bible. The cover is lovely and one that isnt easily mussed up, great texture over the art work and life friendly wipe able, which as a mother of 6 is greatly appreciated. 

sixty-six books. one story. all about one name.

Encounter the living Jesus in all of Scripture. From the Passion Movement, The Jesus Bible, NIV Edition, with exclusive articles from Louie GiglioMax LucadoJohn PiperRavi Zacharias, and Randy Alcorn, lifts Jesus up as the lead story of the Bible. Profound yet accessible study features help you meet Jesus throughout Scripture. See him in every book so that you may know him more intimately, love him more passionately, and walk with him more faithfully.

  • Encounter Jesus from cover to cover
  • 350 articles, 700 features revealing Him throughout scripture
  • Journal your thoughts as you experience the living Jesus
Sign up for a free 7 day devotional here:

Paradise, Ca  update: January FBCPARADISE fed 1,744 people. In 2019, they fed over 10 THOUSAND individuals. Water is no longer being shipped in even though there is not a consistent or reliable source for clean drinking water. Keep praying for us!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

NIV Life Application Study Bible, 3rd edition

When I unboxed this bible for review, my heart leapt a little.  It is so much like the husband had before our home burned down last year. It was just a little extra blessing the familiar leather and weight.

This is a completely updated version from the one he owned and preached out of. It has all the features we have come to expect from  Life Application bibles.

This has a beautiful lay flat binding with double ribbon markers. Words of Messiah are in red for easy identification. There are bios on individuals that include their strengths and weaknesses,  accomplishments,  and lessons we can learn from them.

The harmony of the gospels is also laid out beautifully in a chart for reference.

Features: (Enhanced, updated, and with new content added throughout)
  • Now more than 10,000 Life Application® notes and features
  • Over 100 Life Application® profiles of key Bible people
  • Introductions and overviews for each book of the Bible
  • More than 500 maps & charts placed for quick reference
  • Dictionary/concordance
  • Extensive side-column cross-reference system to facilitate deeper study
  • Life Application® index to notes, charts, maps, and profiles
  • Refreshed design with a second color for visual clarity
  • 16 pages of full-color maps
  • Quality Smyth-sewn binding—durable, made for frequent use, and lays flat when open
  • Presentation page
  • Single-column format
  • Christian Worker’s Resource, a special supplement to enhance the reader’s ministry effectiveness
  • Full text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV)

Monday, September 30, 2019

Quest Study Bible [NIV]

The Quest Study Bible, Q & A format Zondervan 2019

Have you ever wished that you had a way to communicate to a new believer clearly, concisely, and effectively some of the basic truths that a lifetime of study has revealed?

The original Quest Study Bible has recently been restructured and reborn as a more effective Bible study tool.

This is a great resource. If you have found daily reading of scripture to be daunting and have felt like attending a bible study is out of your comfort zone because you just do not know what they are discussing or how the story of Nineveh could even remotely be applied to your life...then this Bible was compiled for you.

"Why did the kings go to war in the spring?"
"How much was a shekel worth?"
"Why would the son of a godly king murder his brothers?"
"Are some rulers beyond accountability?"
"What gives contentment?"

Personally why I like this Bible:
Culturally, asking questions is a very Jewish way to study the Bible. For years, Christians have viewed questions equitably with doubting ones faith. This has in the past created isolation rather than deepening community and faith.
The questions presented do not make you feel ridiculous or inferior. They are real, sensible questions and are presented with information that contains life applicable answers and resources.

From over 7,000 updated notes presented in Q & A format to a comfort print font, the Quest Study Bible makes reading scripture an enjoyable and informative experience.

Subject Index
350 articles
Reading Plans
9.9 text size


I was graciously provided with a copy in exchange for my review.
Thank you.

Our Bibles were consumed November 8, 2018 in the Camp Fire fire that destroyed Paradise, Ca. Since the fire we have distributed over 600 copies of the Bible in English and Spanish.
If you would like to help spread hope on the ridge here in Paradise, please contact First Baptist Church of Paradise.

As per usual, translation disclaimer: the NIV post 2011 is the blended version of both the NIV and TNIV.

Friday, September 6, 2019


So to keep my children safe on the internet, I have always written that we lived in NorCal. No one knew where Paradise, Ca was anyways. Trying to explain our distance from LA or SF or "do you know where Sacramento is??" were just headaches.

However, since the fire swept through our hometown in November 2018, Paradise is on the map. And more so than Aaron Rodgers or Amber Sauer. People now react when they ask where you are from and they hear Paradise, Ca.

Yes, we lost our home.
5 friends died that day.
My husband's churches are still standing...both of them.
We want to rebuild, but they are making it so impossible.
Most of our children have now left California and we are here in temporary quarters, waiting on direction.

It is beautiful, it is devastating to drive 10 mins from the house and go through the chaos and constant changes to every street.
All our trees are being removed.
It is not the same. But we have hope. And we know who holds the ridge in His hands.