Resolving to Read God’s Word More This Year?

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Sean Fowlds

Here’s a look at what’s new in Bibles.
If you are like many Christians at this time of year, atop your list of New Year’s resolutions is the goal of reading the Bible more. And if you are in the market for a new Bible, there are several new editions and other related products available just in time to accommodate your quest.

The Everyday Life Bible (FaithWords) uses the text from the Amplified version of the Bible and includes notes and commentary by popular Bible teacher Joyce Meyer. This Bible is available in both hardcover and bonded burgundy leather formats.

The Holman Illustrated Study Bible (Holman Bible) features the Holman Christian Standard Bible, one of the top-selling translations of the Bible. To assist readers in contextual study of the Scriptures, more than 1,000 four-color maps, charts, photographs, reconstructions and supporting graphics are placed within the biblical text.

For those who like archaeology, there is the Archaeological Study Bible (Zondervan), which is available exclusively in the best-selling New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. This study Bible features nearly 500 full-color photographs of places and artifacts that explain the historical context of the people and stories of the Bible.

Out just in time for resolution-making is The Maximized Living Bible (Nelson Bibles). Ben Lerner, author of the New York Times best-selling title Body by God, acted as general editor of this Bible and offers insights on living the abundant life one step at a time. The text is the New Century Version (NCV), and the Bible features contributions from several well-known ministers affiliated with Global Pastors Network, including Bill McCartney and Jack Hayford.

Sanctuary (Tyndale) is an attractive daily-devotional Bible for women featuring contributions from such female luminaries as Anne Graham Lotz, Elisabeth Elliot and Jill Briscoe. This version of the New Living Translation (NLT) of the Bible includes daily devotions on topics such as prayer, worship, hymns, women in the Bible and much more.

Book introductions and highlighted verses focus on the theme of sanctuary and intimacy with God. Attractive design elements include two-color interiors, a ribbon marker and gilded edges.

The new numbered edition of the most widely read paraphrase, The Message (NavPress), includes many new and improved features, such as black leather binding, a new size that’s 25 percent thinner and a full half-pound lighter than previous versions, handcrafted maps and charts, cream-colored interiors for enhanced readability, special reader-friendly typeset, and a lifetime guarantee.

Thinking Outside the Box

To serve the more technologically savvy, Bibles are available not only in print versions but also on portable computing devices, including at least one offering for the wildly popular iPod digital media player, the TNIV Bible for iPod (Zondervan)—an interactive DVD-ROM product. The text of this Bible is the Today’s New International Version (TNIV).

Another unique product is The Bible Experience (Zondervan), a dramatized audio recording of the Bible featuring more than 80 film and theater stars. Celebrities such as Angela Bassett (Esther), Blair Underwood (Jesus), Denzel Washington (Solomon) and Cuba Gooding Jr. (Judas) lend their voices to the project. The re-enactment based on the entire text of the TNIV New Testament includes dramatic performances set to sound effects and an original musical underscore.

For the potential audience of more than 80 million baby boomers, Nelson Bibles has introduced its latest BibleZine, titled Redefine. This Bible in a magazine format features the complete New Testament in the NCV and brings forth truth from Scripture that helps boomers look at life from a Christian perspective, particularly as they begin to deal with the many life changes that occur during aging.

Yet another innovative product is the Duct Tape Bible (Nelson Bibles). This Bible also features the NCV and is, you guessed it, wrapped in duct tape.

Available in traditional silver duct tape as well as camouflage, the only thing more durable than the packaging of this Bible is its life-changing message. It is designed to go virtually anywhere, including summer camps, music festivals and mission trips.

The Notemaker’s Bible (Tyndale) features a wide-margin, single-column NLT Bible on paper specially chosen for taking notes. Generous type size and additional note-taking or journaling space at the bottom of the page are features that differentiate this Bible from others. The outer margin measures more than 1-1/2 inches, and the one-column design reduces the need to write in the center of the Bible.

And just when you thought Bibles couldn’t get any more fashionable, out comes a Bible-purse combination product called Veritas (Tyndale), billed as “the fashionable and smart new solution for women who crave something different.” These stylish, full-sized purses come with a coordinating compact NLT Bible tucked away in its own easy-to-access compartment. The ample purse compartment includes cell phone holder, zipper pockets and an additional storage pocket.

The Journaling Bible (Crossway) uses the English Standard Version in a unique format with wide margins and ruled lines designed for writing prayers, observations, sermon notes and personal reflections. It also includes a one-year Bible-reading plan.

For some readers, the 7.5-point type may be on the small side, but the wide-margin pages offer readers nearly 2 inches of ruled writing space.

From devotional texts to study guides and from digital formats to audio editions, there is a Bible type for everyone and a translation to suit virtually any taste. Whether you are a pastor, Sunday school teacher or simply a layperson looking to enhance your biblical knowledge, there is a Bible made for you.

Sean Fowlds is a professional writer, editor and speaker who resides in Mount Dora, Florida.

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