My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This review assumes that you are religious in some faith and looking to study the Bible. I’m planning another post later to explain why I think every writer should read the Bible, but that is not my point of this review. Nor will I be trying to convert anyone to Christianity; your religion is your business and I don’t want to force my religious preference on anyone. That being said, if you are a Christian and particularly a woman who is struggling to balance her religious role with her family and professional life I believe this is the study guide for you.
What makes this Bible unique is that it provides introductions to each book of the Bible outlining the author, history, key topics, and the role women played in that book. The left and right margins are filled with explanations of passages, religious hymns and poems, and additional reference materials. I found the text in the margins very helpful and looked forward to turning the pages to see what the commentary would be.
For those who keep a diary and journal this may be the perfect companion as it asks some very thought provoking questions to deepen your faith and expand your understanding. For those who want to read the Bible in a year this study guide offers weekly essays that reference passages that answer some of the toughest questions Christians ask themselves about God and the church.
There were only two things I found lacking in this study guide but neither will truly prevent you from enjoying and learning the Bible. First, I wish this book has Jesus’s words in red text. I have always found that a helpful highlighting in a Bible. Second, I discovered that many of the map references are incorrectly labeled throughout the book. There are several maps in the back of the book that provide excellent references for Jesus and the Apostles travels, but unfortunately the references often list the wrong map number. Fortunately, all the maps have titles, so just look at the titles and you’ll find the map you want. (Note: I bought my version in 2002 so later printings may have fixed the map references.)
I have to say that this is one book which is better appreciated the slower you read it. I started this book in May of 2002. It has taken me ten years to finish reading the Bible cover-to-cover. I’m proud to say I finished it and I feel that I have gotten more out of this study guide than I ever hoped to discover when I started. If you are looking to read the Bible I recommend this printing and hope you find everything you are looking to find.