If anyone is seriously considering buying a new study Bible,I am sure you want to know a little bit about its features. In today's article I intend to examine a few of the features that make the Transformation Study Bible unique.In the introductory section of this Bible is a diagram that describes the following features:
- Introductions--at the beginning of each book
- Book Outlines--providing the key theme and key verse of each book
- Book Overviews--a conversational overview for each book
- Be Transformed--about life-changing impact of each book
- Catalyst Notes--discuss important themes and character issues
- Study Notes--approx. 10,000 expository notes for key passages
- Cross References--links to other verses in Bible that relate to current verse
- Maps--full color; keyed to the NLT
All study Bibles have links or cross references in a middle column between two columns of text, notes at the bottom of each page and some sort of concordance in the back. Most of them also have some maps to assist in studying. And of course, they have notes to go with the passages. These notes, however, are basically taken from the 50 study books in the Be series. From the few Bibles I have used, this one is perhaps the most detailed.
A couple of the special features that set this apart are the "Be Transformed" section of the introductions and the "Catalyst" notes. I chose a couple of examples to show you (intentionally short ones so it won't get too tedious for anyone)
"Be Transformed" (this is from the introduction to Hebrews)
The letter to the Hebrews opens with an important declaration: "God...has spoken to us through his Son" (1:1-2). Near the close of the book, the writer stated, "Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the one who is speaking" (12:25). In other words, the theme of Hebrews seems to be "God has spoken; we have his Word. What are we doing about it? What we need to do about God's Word is to respond in faith. His Word represents him, and one of the ultimate decisions that transforms life is our answer to the question: What are we going to do about God's invitation to trust him? Hebrew's great chapter on the heroes of faith (chapter 11) presents not only practical and challenging examples of faith but also a key warning about the centrality of faith in dealings with God. "It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek him" (11:6). The writer of Hebrews give us a beautiful unfolding picture of the superiority of Jesus in every way. Faith is a reasonable response to who Jesus is because no one is like him. No matter who we compare to Jesus (and Hebrews contains some of the main candidates), no one can compare. He is ultimately worthy of trust. That's why he can say to us, as he said to his disciples, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me" (John 14:1). Learning to trust Jesus this way will result in living a transformed life.
Catalyst ( taken from 2 Corinthians 3:7-13)
Catalyst: Radiating the Glory of God
Under the old covenant, only Moses ascended the mountain and had fellowship with God; but under the new covenant, all believers have the privilege of communion with Him. Through Jesus Christ, we may enter into the Most Holy Place (Heb. 10: 19-20)--and we don't have to climb a mountain. Moses reflected the glory of God, but you and I may radiate the glory of God. When we meditate on God's word and in it see God's Son, then the Spirit transforms us! We become more like the Lord Jesus Christ "as we are changed into His glorious image" (2 Cor 3:18). This wonderful process cannot be achieved by keeping the law. The glory of the law faded away, but the glory of God's grace continues to increase in our lives.
This was chosen at random, again looking for brevity. It's very hard to find a short note; Wiersbe is quite deep. The verse is Luke 20: 25, when Jesus said, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God."
The note here: Jesus desires that we live as good citizens when we obey the authorities fir the Lord's sake. When obedience to God conflicts with obedience to man, then we must put God first (Acts 4:19-20, 5:29), but we must do it in a manner that is honorable and loving.
Not wishing to make this interminable long, I shall stop with these examples. I hope it gives the readers something to think about. As far as I can see, the Transformation Study Bible is an excellent study tool and, hopefully, one that help transform lives.