NKJV Word Study Bible, edited by Thomas Nelson
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]
As someone who reads and reviews more than my fair share of Bibles , what I look for when it comes to a Bible is pretty straightforward. Since this particular Bible is a New King James Version, the textual apparatus is one that I have been familiar with since I got my first one as a child, and aside from some obvious issues with the text of 1 John 5:7, for example, the text is one I am comfortable with and enjoy, and that tends to make any enjoyment of a Bible far greater. Considering there are so many Bibles that come across my way that use a defective textual apparatus from Westcott and Hort, that is no mean consideration. In contrast to other Bibles that sometimes come my way, there is no strange division of the text based on the author’s suppositions of when they were written. This is a Bible in traditional Protestant order and with a text that millions are familiar with, and if you like that, you will likely enjoy this Bible a great deal.
So, what sets this Bible apart from others if its contents are so much like other Bibles, even to the point of having fairly ordinary cross references that are familiar in many other presentations of the NKJV? The main distinction this Bible offers is its extensive word study notes. About 1700 words in the Old and New Testaments have special sidebars that give the word in Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic, its range of translations, other verses it is found in, and its general usage in extrabiblical texts. This is no small feat, as it gives a great deal of depth to Bible studies. Those words which have word studies either on the page or elsewhere are underlined, for the convenience of the reader doing a word study-related sermonette or one’s own personal readings. Each of the books of the Bible comes with a short introduction that also includes some key words in the book that are worthy of special attention and consideration and help the reader have some idea of the particular word use of various biblical authors, something which is also useful in understanding scripture.
Having used this Bible at services as a way of testing how I liked it, I found the notes to be very worthwhile and they will likely help me in my own research. I particularly enjoyed the detailed indices in the back which included the Strong’s numbers for various words, which will be of great use in looking up words. In fact, I plan on making this my default Bible to read at Church and to use first when it comes to looking up word meanings for my own message preparation. As someone who appreciates a wide variety of Bibles, I can think of little praise I would rather give–in the main I consider this Bible to be similar to the NKJV study Bible I used until the binding failed and the pages started falling out. If the same fate happens to this particular Bible, I hope that there is another Bible at least equally useful on the way or in my library to replace it.
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