There are countless study Bibles available in many different translations. The New International Version (NIV) seems to be one of the most popular, with all types of study Bibles for various audiences.
However, Thomas Nelson recently released a new study Bible for those who prefer to use the New King James Version (NKJV). And it’s different than most standard study Bibles.
What exactly is the New King James Version?
Millions of Bible readers use this translation worldwide, preferred for its “unparalleled accuracy, beauty, and clarity.” It balances the familiarity of the King James Version tradition with “an extraordinary commitment to preserving the grammar and structure of the underlying biblical languages.”
Today’s translators rely on the traditional Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts used by the 1611 King James Version translators. Yet, comprehensive translator notes “offer important insights about the latest developments in biblical manuscript studies. The result is a Bible translation that is both beautiful and uncompromising – perfect for serious study, devotional use, and reading aloud.” (Thomas Nelson)
For those who ask me what the difference is from the King James Version (with the old English) versus the New King James Version, I explain that the New King James takes out the “thee and thou” and replaces it with words we use today while keeping the original context from long ago. (Read more about the story of the New King James Version on page xix of The Bible Study Bible.)
Here is an example of the difference between the King James and New King James using 2 Timothy 2:15:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth. (KJV)
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God,
a worker who does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth. (NKJV)
The Bible Study Bible Difference
The hard copy edition has a dust jacket that is the same as the hardcover.
I received a review copy of The Bible Study Bible from Zondervan to explore and share with you why this study Bible is one you should consider.
The Bible Study Bible is different than many other study Bibles, where scholars explain the contest of the verse or passage in footnotes. This Bible has a study guide for every chapter of the Bible. Yes, every chapter, and every book from Genesis to Revelation.
What I like about the chapter study guides is that they don’t dictate to the reader what the passage means. Instead, it asks questions and offers activities to help the reader grow in their knowledge of the Bible and God. Also included are prompts for worship, additional exploration, prayer, and what to do next. It is ideal for small groups, as the study guide questions are perfect for leading a discussion. (Refer to “How to Lead a Great Group Discussion” Guide on page xi.)
One thing that is always important to me is whether a study Bible has a thorough concordance. This Bible has one: 126 pages providing the reader with many additional references for study.
At the beginning of each book of this study Bible is a synopsis: the author, theme, date, key verses, and what the reader should pay attention to as they study.
Like most study Bibles, this one also has maps in the back with notations on locations.
Finally, this study Bible uses the original Thomas Nelson NKJV Typeface, or what’s called Comfort Print. It’s a clear, readable 9.5-point font. All pages are in the traditional two-column arrangement, with the study guides clearly inserted with blue borders. My review copy was the hardcover edition with a dust jacket. It’s sturdy and appropriate as a second source for your personal Bible study. Even if you are using another translation, such as the NIV, this study Bible will work along seamlessly, giving you another version to read, compare and understand.
If you want a new challenge with Bible study or a resource for your small group, then The Bible Study Bible may be what you need. The study guides create opportunities to reflect or journal about what has been read, and the reader learns how the reading relates to today, encouraging further study and prayer.
Disclosure: As a Bible Gateway Blogger Grid (BG2) member, I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. Links are included for the reader to purchase this book from the FaithGateway store and Amazon. I do not receive a commission from these specific links.