Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: NIV Spiritual Renewal Study Bible: Experience New Growth and Transformation in Your Spiritual Walk

This NIV Bible version contains notes written by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Arterburn hosts a Christian counseling program and Stoop is a licensed clinical psychologist and appears as a co-host on the Arterburn program from time to time.  Together the publisher has compiled several helpful features for the reader follow in seeking spiritual renewal.  My comments will address those items only and leave the Biblical text commentary to the experts.  

The introductory section suggests starting with the Spiritual Keys Devotional Reading Plan (xv) which, to me, resembles a twelve step approach that use seven stages rather than the usual number.  Each Key provides two weeks of devotionals prompted by an accompanying Bible reading. The reading that follows is noted and leads to the next.  Both the Old and New Testaments are considered within each of the seven keys.  A serious reader can benefit from following this track.  That is not the only approach offered in this Bible.  There are character profiles interspersed throughout the text which are listed in a helpful index.  The index also includes an abbreviated list of readings that pertain to spiritual disciplines and a subject index with Biblical references that are related to each of the subjects.  Overall, this Bible provides those seeking spiritual renewal several options to use.  I found the recommended Spiritual Keys plan the most helpful.  The others were more of an overview or introduction in my view.  I would also recommend discussing your renewal progress with your pastor or other trusted person rather than attempting this alone.    

I received a hardbound copy for this review.  The dust jacket is attractive, and the book lays flat when it is opened or held.  The pages are substantial enough for marking, although highlighting markers can bleed through a little, or did for me anyway.   

Overall I can recommend this version to most readers.  Why only most?  Because some will prefer another translation. The notes in this Bible can be used with other translations though, in my opinion.  So pull up your preferred version alongside this one and use this one for its notes.  

Two other things need to be mentioned.  This Bible has an older edition that is available as well from an online site.  I do not know if any changes have been made to this one.  There is also an ebook version available which I did not view.  

This book was provided by the publisher to me in exchange for a review.

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