KJV Foundation Study Bible, editor unknown
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]
There is a great irony in this particular book. When the KJV was first edited in the early 17th Century, one of its appeals was its absence of the sort of pointed marginal study notes that I am particularly fond of in the Geneva Bible. As it happens, it has been more than two decades since I last owned a King James Version of the Bible, and the ability to obtain one for free to review was a great lure to me as a book reviewer. After all, even if I prefer the Geneva Bible or various other Tyndale-based versions, the KJV is a classic, even more than four centuries after its release. There are some people who will accept no substitutes for what they view as the authoritative text of the KJV . This is not so for me, but the KJV is a worthy version of the Bible, is based on a trustworthy text that, with a few exceptions (most notably the Johanine pericope in 1 John 5:7-8), is based on the solid ground of the Byzantine text as opposed to many recent Bibles based on the defective Alexandrian text. As someone who reads a lot of Bibles , this is a no-brainer if you want a KJV Bible that offers a worthwhile studying experience: thoughtful footnotes, detailed maps, indices, a concordance, and red-letter to make the words of Jesus Christ easier to read, and so on.
In terms of its contents, there is little in this book to surprise any readers. Its title alone gives its contents and features, and flipping the book open to any random page will give a fair selection of its contents. For example, the top of the page gives the page number and the starting (or ending) verse, making it easy to flip through, the books are ordered in the standard English format, with no Apocrypha. There are two columns per page, and roughly 2/3 or 3/5 of the page is taken up with verses, along with most of the rest via marginal notes that are direct and to the point and the bottom right corner of every page contains the cross-references for the verses in that page. This is a meat-and-potatoes, no-frills but designed and done well sort of Bible version. There is a lot to like, as long as one appreciates reading verses rendered like Jeremiah 7:11: Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.
This is the sort of Bible that is easy to recommend to its intended audience. Are you looking for a Bible that combines the best of traditional Bible printing features with an old-fashioned approach to text and presentation? Do you want a solid Bible that you can read with a solid textual basis going back more than four hundred years? Do you want an alternative to contemporary translations with their proliferation in novel readings, idiosyncratic word choice simply to differentiate from others? Are you the sort of person for whom what is tried and true, what is classic, what is venerable and old is best? If so, this is the sort of Bible one is going to appreciate. And if you simply want to add another translation to a fairly large list, this is a good one to add. This is the sort of work that needs to be introduced to its audience. If you like what this book has to offer, you know who you are.
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