Book Review: NKJV Prophecy Study Bible

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible, edited by John Hagee

[Note: This book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.]

As someone who reviews more than my fair share of Bibles [1], there is much about a review of a Bible like this that comes fairly automatically. As the textual base of this Bible is the NKJV, and as I happen to like the NKJV, appreciate the M-text basis of most of its translation choices, and use it as the predominant basis of my own quotations of scripture, this is a Bible that I enjoy and plan on using as a study/church Bible for years to come, along with my other NKJV. In terms of the Bible itself, therefore, those who like the New King James Version will find much to enjoy about this particular Bible on a translation level alone, and will likely have their own reasons for enjoying the Bible as I do, and so little needs to be said on a technical basis about the translation itself. To be sure, I would like to review translations I am less familiar with so that I may comfortably share aspects of the translations that are unusual, but that is not the case here.

That said, if one is looking for a Bible like this, it is likely because of an interest in the area of prophecy, an interest I have, and one that is shared, to even greater degree, by many people I know. One striking aspect of this Bible that is unusual for its type as a study Bible is the relative scarcity of marginal notes to be found in it. While there are cross-references and textual notes about the choice of wording used by the translators given the various options, Most of the pages of this Bible have no marginal notes at all, though, to give one example, Proverbs 24:6 has a somewhat lengthy marginal note extending onto the other page about knowing the will of God through circumstances and counsel. That said, this Bible does include outlines of the books of the Bible that are pretty extensive, summarizing the book and its title in various translations or versions, discussing questions of authorship and the time it was written in, as well as its relationship with Christology and an outline of its materials, that ought to be very helpful to many readers in their own study of the scriptures. In addition to this introductory material, the Bible is full of insets that give explanation to various scriptures, such as Psalms 23 and 119, among others, and also a somewhat arbitrary list of top 20 questions about Bible prophecy that seek to tackle such question as: who is the coming antichrist, Alpha and Omega insets that talk about material in Revelation or the names of Satan, and insets that remind readers about God’s promises for believers. These are all immensely helpful study materials focusing on issues of prophecy, written from a point of view that takes the Bible at its word, which is to be appreciated. Other notes include discussions of biblical monies, weights, and measures.

That is not to say that this book is perfect or entirely accurate in its understanding of biblical prophecy. For example, the editor of the book notably mistakes the scriptures about the first resurrection in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 as referring to a nonexistent rapture, and the editor makes the common mistake in viewing Armageddon as a battle rather than as a gathering place for those who are opposed to God’s impending rule before they march on to Jerusalem and their destruction at the hands of the returning Christ and His army. That said, the editors do include a helpful compendium of prophetic passages for the reader at the beginning of the book, so that even if their labeling of materials is sometimes faulty, readers are at least pointed to texts to recognize the importance of prophecy to the biblical material as a whole. The fact that the authors take the premillennial view of prophecy will make it of particular interest to those who share this general prophetic view even if there are disagreements about terminology and timing. This is a rare Bible that makes a worthwhile study Bible on the one hand and also a time-machine on the other hand, as it is likely to be of historical curiosity in the future, given the fact that this generation, like every generation before since the beginning of Christianity, has viewed itself as living at the time of the end. That fact alone is worthy of reflection and meditation, lest we make predictions as have so many unwary people before us, showing themselves to be false prophets speculating on areas where they lacked divine inspiration. Even if we have an interest in such eschatalogical matters as this book deals with in detail, it is worthwhile to remain cautious and humble in our own estimation of our understanding of such matters, while looking to what can be known from scripture and what rests on mere supposition and received tradition from those who created their own mental schemas of prophecy from their own hopes and fears.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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