Bible + Book Reviews
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Did you know you don't need to go to seminary to learn the Greek???
Okay... you probably do need to go to seminary to learn the Greek...
BUT What if I told you there was a Bible that can help you learn Greek words? Would you be interested?
Have you ever wanted to see some words in the original Greek so that you could get a better hold of a passage? This is the Bible for you!
Quick story, and then I will get on with the review.
Two weeks ago I stumbled upon this Bible at an Ollie's in Scranton (if you are ever looking for "good stuff cheap", Ollie's is the place to go). It was appealing to me, but I decided to hide it and buy it next time because I didn't want to spend money that day.
I went back today to find that my hiding place wasn't good enough! NO! IT'S GONE!
It was the only one there that I've ever seen, and I just lost my chance of buying it. I frantically started digging through their unorganized book shelves in the religious section, hoping that somehow, someway the Bible would appear to me.
After about ten minutes of searching... Behold! The Bible was found hidden behind other white books causing it to blend in. I made sure to check out with it today so I wouldn't lose my opportunity next time, and I am so glad I brought it home.
This Bible is AWESOME. If you're like me, and like to dive a little deeper than the surface of a verse you will also love this Bible. It helps you do just that.
Why key words are so important-
Maybe you are wondering, "Why's this Bible so great? Why are key words so important to study."
Have you ever heard or even spoken a sentence that could mean two things. Here's a good example that many English teachers in high-school would use.
We saw her duck.
This could mean any of the following:
We looked at a duck that belonged to her.
We looked at her quickly squat down to avoid something.
We use a saw to cut her duck.
I know that sounds ridiculous, but you get the point. Some words in English can have multiple meanings. This is the same for many languages. For example, my girlfriend's mom told me there are multiple ways to say "pig" in Spanish. It depends on where the origin of that Spanish is from, what kind of pig you are speaking of, and the context of the sentence.
In saying all of that, don't you think it'd be important to really understand a verse in the Bible that may be confusing or understood multiple ways?
Here's an example of how our English may be misleading at times:
I stood upon the deck.
I stood above the deck.
I stood among the deck.
Here are three prepositions that at times can be used in a sentence and the sentence will mean the same thing, but there are other times that they cannot. What if I wasn't standing directly on the deck? Then the word upon could be misleading. Among would make more sense. See the difference?
Some words have a much more specific meaning, while other words have a much broader meaning. I could say someone is prideful, but you can be prideful in many ways. If I said they were boastful, now you have a more specific version of prideful. See the difference? I could also say someone is proud, and that could mean two things. May I mean they are satisfied; maybe I mean they are arrogant. The word proud, without seeing the context, can be misleading.
This is why this Bible is so handy!
Instead of just assuming we know what the scriptures mean, we can read the word in Greek with a definition. Assuming what the Bible says is very ignorant; the right response is to study and to work at understanding God's word. We don't want to put words into God's mouth.
I don't think God ever meant to be confusing, but that also doesn't mean we shouldn't have to put work into our studies. I don't think God wants us to read a verse, assume we understand it, and then move on. God gave us a great book of His word to study and to learn from.
2 Timothy 2:15(NKJV) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
God wants us to read His word with discernment. This Bible will help you do just that. If you are looking for a way to dig deeper into God's word, check this Bible out! It is really fascinating to read some of the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic words that are in this Word Study Bible. Here is an example of one of the words from John 3:16.
If that still doesn't make sense, I have picture examples below of my personal Bible. In the beginning pages of the Bible, they have examples and guides on how to use the Bible. Some of the guides are attached below. Hopefully from the photos you can get a sense and understanding of how useful this Bible truly is!
Like I said above, the Thompson Chain Reference Bible takes verses and puts them into a topic of what the verse is speaking about. There are over 4,000 chains to see in the topic finder page. The two ways to use the chains is either by looking up a topic to find verses on or by reading a passage and see what topic it is tied to. For example, you can go to the topic finder and look up verses on "courage". This is a good way to find verses for a study. This can also help immensely with tying the old testament and new testament together. The other way to use the topic finder would be, for example, if you are reading the book of John and want to see what topics the passage consists of, you can easily see the topics in the margin.
Another great tool this Bible includes is character studies. Character studies are very helpful for understanding the life of a one whom lived in the Bible. You can see below, I have attached their example of Moses. There are many character studies throughout the Bible that help show where this name comes up in the Bible, you can see an outline of what they did, and it gives a small summary of how God used them.
Lastly, The Thompson Chain Reference Bible includes category studies. Again, I have a photo below for you to see what this is like. The Bible takes very common categories, like attitudes for prayer, and will take you to different passages to help you study that subject. Like the topic chain, this is very useful when it comes to trying to find specific passages speaking upon one topic.
Overall, I love the Thompson Chain Reference Bible. It's easy to use, and a really great study tool! I like to personally use the character and category studies for devotions. I can take a week of time and read through a character study for devotions with their outline guiding me.
I would highly recommend this Bible to anyone who is looking for a useful study tool for devotions. It would also come in handy if you are teaching. If you have a topic you are teaching on, this Bible would be very useful for finding verses that are tied together talking on the same point. Below the photos are a few links to where you can pick up your very own Thompson Chain Reference Bible. You won't regret it!
The Journal Bible is a Bible style produced by both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan that has a unique squarish look and feel. Unlike most Bibles (and books for that matter), these Bibles are not as narrow and tall. Instead they are a little wider in the pages to give room for notepad margins and single column reading. As you can see in the photo I shared, these Bibles leave PLENTY of space for writing notes. This is a photo of my personal NKJV Journal Bible. (They also have other available translations such as NIV, ESV, and KJV)
I am someone who likes to see proof that a Bible is in use. You probably have that one friend who has a Bible that looks brand new still sitting on the shelf that it has sat on the past five years, right? Or maybe that's you... Personally, I think a good looking Bible, is a well used Bible. I like the Bibles that have signs of war, sorrow, joy, and growth all over them. That is one of the reasons this is my daily use Bible.
It fits comfortably in the Bible case I bought for it so the spine and cover are not ruined while I can still use the inside almost daily. Taking notes on passages is fairly easy with this Bible, and the margins make note-taking great as the columns are not too wide or too thin. I have just enough room to fit five small words or one-two large words on each line. Also, because of the wider page size, the Bible is easy to lay flat on a table or my lap. I have no problem taking notes during church with this Bible.
I would say that one thing I wish this Bible had was a small loop on the cover to hold a pen. If it had one, I would not have bought the Bible case. When I first used this Bible, I realized I would forget a pen often when I went to and fro with it, which was very annoying as it is for note-taking. Buying a Bible case that had a pen-holder inside was an easy solution, but the issue could have been avoided if there was one included on the Bible. All that to say, if you buy this Bible and you're as forgetful as me, I'd recommend buying a case that can hold a pen and highlighter or this Bible won't get the use it deserves.
One of the things I love about this Bible (other than the note-taking) is the color of my pages! It's hard to tell in the picture I took, but they are a bland yellow color, close to something like an off white with a yellow tint to it. It really gives you that notepad feel when writing. It is very nice for anytime you decide to write outside; you won't have to worry about the sun's reflection on white paper blinding you. It is also not a problem with any pen color I have used. Most of my writing is in purple or black, but I have also used a pretty light blue and have no problem reading it on the yellow background. I am pretty sure that some of these Bibles do come with white pages also so make sure you read the description before purchasing if that is something important to you.
Overall, I recommend this Bible to anyone that wants to take notes during sermons or devotions. It can be used for note-taking like I do, or more of a sketch Bible where you do some creative art on the sides writing verses in calligraphy, or even a diary/journal Bible where you can write dates and about your life at the time of reading certain pages.
If you're like me, this is one of the best Bibles for someone who likes to write down doctrines/principals in their Bible. I have pages where I can highlight verses and then write (for example) "sanctification..." giving the definition. This way I know this passage teaches this term. I also really like that in the very back of the Bible, there are a few extra pages with the header "Notes". I use these pages for when I want to quote someone.
Here are some of the Bible cover styles they have. Just click on a cover you like!
The Bible has many routes you can take with it. Bibles like these leave the use up to the user, so get creative! I have used my personal Journal Bible for two years now; it's almost time for a new one! They come in leather, hardcover, and even some really nice hard cloth covers. I will leave a link below if you want to check them out. I hope you enjoy our new Journal Bible as much as I enjoy mine!