I received the NIV Cultural Background Study Bible to review. I really looked forward to receiving it and learning more about the culture of the Bible. I have many study bibles but none that really explain the culture behind the books.
I have the hardback version which really in my opinion only lends itself to home study. I don’t believe I would really want to carry it around with me.
The beginning pages include: Presented to page, Title Page, Quick Start Guide, Table of Contents, Author Introduction, Acknowledgements, About the Authors Page, Abbreviations (General, and Old and New Testament Bible book abbreviations), Preface, Hebrew to English Translation Chart, Ancient Texts, and Old Testament Chronology. Ending pages include: Table of Weights and Measures, Index of Articles in Canonical Order, Index of Articles in Alphabetical Order, Concordance, Index to Maps (with codes listed), and colored maps (each map is numbered and includes letters and numbers to locate rivers, mountains, towns, etc from the Index to Maps listed). And the books of the Bible are divided up in sections of: 1) The Torah, 2) Narrative Literature, 3) Wisdom of Hymnic Literature, 4) Oracles of the Prophets, 5) The Gospels and Acts, 6) The Letters and Revelation.
As others have noted the notes area is printed in light gray but this wasn’t an issue for me. The print is really small but had it not been the bible would be too thick to be able to handle. There are some really nice colored illustrations and photography throughout as well as charts and maps.
I believe the “cultural” part in my opinion is kind of minimal at the beginning of each book. Maybe I’m missing something but it is just a quick synopsis although it does help understand more of what may have been happening during the time. I focused on the book of Esther because that is what we are studying in my Sunday School class at this time. I haven’t had the chance to dive into a lot of the information so it may get deeper as I study more. Overall I am really pleased to have this study bible in my collection and I think it will be helpful. I am sure I will reference it frequently when studying.
I received this book at no charge from www.booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.