Monday, May 17, 2010

‘Life Application Study Bible (Personal Size) – New Living Translation’ – Review

Buzz this
Whenever a new Study Bible finds its way into my hands – one that is worthwhile – it’s a time to rejoice!  Well, here I am rejoicing!

Tyndale House has recently released their 'Life Application Study Bible – New Living Translation – Personal Size.’  I like it for several reasons:
  •          It’s the Word of God
  •          It’s a handy size
  •          The notes are indeed highly applicable to life
  •          It has a great cover!
    Here is the write-up on this Bible from its box:

You’re holding the Holy Bible, New Living Translation. An authoritative Bible translation, rendered faithfully into today’s English from the ancient texts by 90 leading Bible scholars. The NLT’s scholarship and clarity breathe life into even the most difficult-to-understand Bible passages—but even more powerful are stories of how people’s lives are changing as the words speak directly to their hearts. That’s why we call it ‘‘The Truth Made Clear.’’

Here is its description:

Today’s #1–selling study Bible contains notes that not only explain difficult passages and give information on Bible life and times but also go a step further to show how God’s Word speaks to every situation and circumstance of your life! It’s the one Bible resource that incorporates today’s top scholarship in answering your “now what?” questions. The Life Application Study Bible includes nearly 10,000 Life Application notes and features designed to help readers apply God’s truth to everyday life. This Personal Size edition in the New Living Translation features a new LeatherLike binding with the Lord’s Prayer on the cover.

My husband Fred has owned an NIV Life Application Study Bible translation for years; I have borrowed it regularly over the years!  Now I have my own personal edition, and am very grateful! 

I had not read the New Living Translation up until this point.  I am always interested in exploring different Bible translation.  I have found the NLT to be highly readable; I really have become an admirer! 

Here is the answer to the question, ‘How does the NLT compare to other modern English translation’ from the New Living Translation website:

The New Living Translation follows a dynamic-equivalence translation philosophy [thought-for-thought versus word-for-word]. As a result, it differs in style from other modern versions that follow in the venerable tradition of the King James Version--namely, the Revised Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version, the New King James Version, and the English Standard Version. The New Living Translation also differs from other literal translations (such as the New American Standard Bible and the Holman Christian Standard Bible) and from versions that are denominationally based (such as the New Jerusalem Bible and New American Bible, both Catholic versions). The New Living Translation is a fresh translation produced by translators with divergent denominational ties, and it is a translation that seeks to communicate the meaning and content of the original biblical text in language that English readers will readily understand.

Being that Philippians 4:13, which is an encouragement to me and others during our marathons – ‘For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength’ - is one of my favorite verses in the Bible, I wanted to check out its note:

Can we really do everything?  The power we receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do his will and to face the challenges that arise from our commitment to doing it.  He does not grant us superhuman ability to accomplish anything we can imagine without regard to his interests.  As we contend for the faith, we will face troubles, pressures, and trials.  As they come, ask Christ to strengthen you. (p. 2023)

And here’s the note to another favorite, Romans 8:28 – ‘And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them’:

God works in “everything” – not just isolated incidents – for our good.  This does not mean that all that happens to us is good.  Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good.  Note that God is not working to make us happy but to fulfill his purpose.  Note also that this promise is not for everyone.  It can be claimed only by those who love God and are called by him, that is, those whom the Holy Spirit convinces to receive Christ.  Such people have a new perspective, a new mind-set.  They trust in God, not in worldly treasures; their security is in heaven, not on earth.  Their faith in God does not waver in pain and persecution because they know God is with them. (p. 1909)

On an aesthetic level, I really like the look and feel of this Bible.  It is a handy size; its dimensions are 8.7 x 6.4 x 2.4 inches and it weighs 2.8 pounds.  The cover is Leatherlike Brown, with the Lord’s Prayers on the front cover. 

I also like its detailed maps in the back, introductions and statistics for each Book, and useful character studies throughout.  Here is an excerpt about the apostle Paul, one of my favorite Christians ever!:

No person, apart from Jesus himself, shaped the history of Christianity like the apostle Paul.  Even before he was a believer, his actions were significant.  His frenzied persecution of Christians following Stephen’s death got the church started in obeying Christ’s final command to take the gospel worldwide.   Paul’s personal encounter with Jesus changed his life.  He never lost his fierce intensity, but from then on it was channeled for the gospel.
Paul was very religious.  His training under Gamaliel was the finest available.  His intentions and efforts were sincere.  He was a good Pharisee who knew the Bible and sincerely believed that this Christian movement was dangerous to Judaism.  Thus, Paul hated the Christian faith and persecuted Christians without mercy.
….God did not waste any part of Paul – his background, his training, his citizenship, his mind, or even his weaknesses.  Are you willing to let God do the same for you?  You will never know all he can do with you as you allow him to have all that you are! (p. 1837)

I really love this Bible, and I look forward to continue to dig deeper into it for the rest of my life!

You can order this book here.

This Good Book was provided by Tyndale House for review purposes (thanks, Adam!).

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