Book Review: NIV Essentials Study Bible

I am a big fan of study Bibles, so I was excited to hear about the NIV Essentials Study Bible. This amazing Bible incorporates parts from six other reference books throughout its pages:  NIV Study Bible, NIV Quest Study Bible, NIV Archaeological Study Bible, NIV Student Bible, The Great Rescue Bible, and The Essential Bible Companion. With all of these great tools, anyone who enjoys studying the Bible is sure to find invaluable information throughout the pages of this study Bible.  So, what should one expect when perusing the pages of the NIV Essentials Study Bible?  First of all, each book of the Bible contains an introduction.  Each introduction contains key concepts, a summary, key verses, key teachings, key terms, a timeline, and a map. This Bible also has verse by verse study notes at the bottom of each page, as taken from the NIV Study Bible.  "Question and Answer" type sections are found throughout this Bible, too.  These sections go over various concepts about how to live the Christian life.  For example, the question "What kind of wisdom does God give?" is mentioned because of Solomon asking God for wisdom.  However, the notes also explain how God's wisdom pertains to readers today. Small blocked off sections highlight and then simply explain concepts and verses that might be difficult to comprehend.  There are also "People in Focus" sections which discuss some of the amazing people found in the Bible.  Questions at the end of the "People in Focus" sections ask the reader questions about his or her own life.  "Dig Deep Look Close" sections uncover the relevant archaeological concepts.  Often, these sections include pictures, which help the reader understand the times in which the Biblical events occurred.  "Insight Lens" sections are written like magazine articles and include relevant background information and then have "life questions" to have the reader reflect on what was read. "Reflect and Respond" sections are devotionals that have a part to read, to think about, to live by, and then a challenge to help take one to the "next level." Various photos, charts, and maps can be found throughout this Bible, too. All of these great sections combine to give the reader opportunities for more insight, more knowledge, and more personal reflection. 

It's a nice concept to have so many study aids in one book--as opposed to sitting somewhere with numerous resources open everywhere.  Of course, these are only highlights from each of the study aids, but I really appreciate the opportunity to "test drive" all of them. Yet, the information seems thorough and does not appear to be lacking anything without the full text from all six study aids.  In addition to the six reference books mentioned above, there is a nice concordance in the back of the book and also a subject index. To top it off, there is a list of several reading plans:  "One Year Through the Bible," "60-Day Overview of the Bible," "20 Not-So-Famous Bible Stories," "30 Days of Great Faith," or "30 Days with Jesus." 

This Bible could have had the potential of being too busy, but the editors did a beautiful job avoiding that issue. The font chosen for the words of the Bible is nice and dark, very readable, and a nice size, too. While most of the text is black, some headings are in blue. The study notes are set apart by either lines or boxes.  This "setting apart" is tastefully done with the colors blue and black and, sometimes, a different font size.   Additionally, I am glad to see that all of the sections from the study aids pertain to the nearby biblical text, as opposed to just having random notes strewn throughout the Bible haphazardly.

Chock full of information, this is a Bible I will continue to look forward to reading. I believe it will become an "essential" part of my Bible study time.


Book Description

The NIV Essentials Study Bible helps you quickly and easily understand, interpret, and apply God’s Word to your life. The variety of features in this Bible presents a multifaceted, exciting format for studying Scripture. There are many different ways to explore God’s Word: question-and-answer studies; detailed in-text study notes; timelines, photos and charts; helpful devotional insights; and profiles of Bible characters. Now you don’t have to choose, because the NIV Essentials Study Bible provides you the chance to explore the Bible using all these study methods and more. With each of these lenses included in one Bible, you will discover how to best understand the essentials of Scripture.This edition includes the entire NIV Bible text with the world’s best notes for learning. It incorporates the finest content, images, and study tools from the most popular Bibles that are loved and used by Bible readers just like you. It features:

  • Flyover Lens: Start each book of the Bible with the right perspective from easy-to-read introductions from the popular Essential Bible Companion.
  • Unpack Lens: Easily understand and interpret Bible passages with bottom-of-the page study notes and in-text charts from the best-in-class NIV Study Bible.
  • Dig Deep, Look Close Lens: Understand the fascinating historical significance of the Bible with articles and photos from the bestselling NIV Archeological Study Bible.
  • Q&A Lens: Get concise, easy-to-grasp answers to your most perplexing questions about the Bible with questions and answers from the beloved NIV Quest Study Bible.
  • People Lens: View Scripture from the perspective of the 100 most important people in the Bible with notes for the student of any age excerpted from the timeless NIV Student Bible.
  • Guided Tour Lens: Get a bird’s eyes view of Scripture with a Guided Tour, also excerpted from the category-leading NIV Student Bible.
  • Insight Lens: Find meaning in the Bible by reading these magazine-style call-outs from the NIV Student Bible.
  • R&R Lens: Reflect & Respond with this quick inspirational focus time, which unveils the sweeping narrative of the Bible as seen in the award-winning The Great Rescue, NIV.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”