Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"Don't copy the behavior and customs of the world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasant and perfect. (Romans 12:2, NLT)"
The verse on the cover of the Transformation Study Bible sums up the basic emphasis in Dr. Warren Wiersbe's notes and observations for this new study Bible. The Word of God has the power, is the power, to transform lives. Reading, meditating on, studying and applying scripture are essential to maturing as a Christian and growing closer in a relationship with God. To this end, a good study Bible is a great tool for any serious student of the Bible.
These days there are any number of study Bibles on the market, and many of them are veryhelpful. I think back to the days when the only study Bible I knew was Scofield's; I still have my prized and marked-up copy to this day. Nowadays there are study and reference Bibles for teens, for women, for pastors, for kids, for recovery and for just about every translation available.
And so the question is: why another study Bible? What's so special about this one? (I know that's two questions, but they're connected, okay?)
First, this one is the New Living Translation. Although the first edition came out in 1996, there were a few changes in 2004 and 2007 editions. Although it is listed as a translation, some consider it a paraphrase because of some of the very modern phrasing and word choices. It seems to me that if it is a paraphrase, it is still close enough to a translation to be quite reliable. The advantage is that this is an easy-to-read version, making it accessible for those who are newbies and the young. There is also a very helpful website at newlivingtranslation.com
The real difference, though, is that the general editor, the man responsible for the study supplements of this Bible is Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Dr. Wierbe has been called "the pastor's pastor" because of his encouragement to ministers (from B&B Media Group press release), and Billy Graham has called him "one of the greatest Bible expositors of our generation." The notes and extra material in the study Bible are largely based on the 50 books in Wiersbe's BE series--Be Mature, Be Wise, Be Strong, Be Courageous... you get the idea. I have been in Bible study groups myself that used several of these books, each one going deep into one book of Bible (or in a few cases, several small books that are grouped together). What has always impressed me about his books is the depth that is still quite understandable for the average Bible student. Wiersbe has the gift of teaching, in my opinion, and is one to finds theme, outlines, and teaching points in each passage. These are the strengths of The Transformation Study Bible: Wiersbe's excellent teaching gift accompanying the text to make it accessible to all seeking to understand, from pastor to housewife to college student to everyman.
If you get copy of the Bible, I strongly urge you to take the time to read the introductory material. This includes an excellent foreword, "What Your Bible Will do for You if You Will Let It" and a graphic detailing the components of the study bible (introductions, outlines, book overviews, catalyst note, study notes, "be transformed" portions, and maps). I'll go into these components in a more complete manner tomorrow.
From what I have seen reading out of this Bible over the past three weeks, I believe it is a good product and a welcome addition to anyone's Bible study tools. Tomorrow I will go into further depth on individual parts of the supplements.
Product information copied from Christianbook.com. Information will vary for softcover and leatherbound products.
Number of Pages: 2100
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.25 X 2.50 (inches)