I thought that I would begin the description of the Bible with a general overview describing the details of this Bible and its related resources. First, the Bible that I have is a hard cover. It comes in hard cover, bonded leather, or genuine leather formats, each with or without a thumb index. Regardless of the format, this is a big Bible (9.5 x 6.5 x 2.25), and it is heavy. Personally, I have a separate Bible that I use to preach and teach from as well as to carry to church. This Bible is solely for my personal study. My hard cover has held up to a lot of use. I have done some repairs (the inside hinge ripped). I also covered the entire Bible with clear contact paper because the binding was beginning to weaken. I must confess that it doesn’t look the greatest, but it continues to faithfully serve.
The pages are laid out with a single column. References are on the inside margins and there is a large outside margin for notes. The font is advertised as “9-10” point, and I find it very clear and readable. The color maps in the back are average for most Bibles available today; I wish they were better. The material in the front of the Bible includes an overview and simple examples of the study method. The front also has a detailed color Bible time line. In addition to the maps in the back there are sections on “Understanding the Value of God’s Word,” “Major Events in Israel’s History,” “Historical and Grammatical Helps,” a Bible reading schedule, a Harmony of the Gospels, Indexes to the 60 Historical Charts, 25 Topical Study Carts, 80 maps, and 56 Illustrations, a detailed concordance, and a few blank pages for study notes.
Each book of the Bible is sandwiched between a very brief overview, some study hints and tips, “Things to Think About” at the beginning, and pages at the end to record conclusions and results of your study. I will discuss these more in a later post.
Besides the Study Bible there is a companion book by Kay Arthur, How to Study Your Bible, that details the study method (see Table of Contents). I also found Discover the Bible for Yourself at a local used bookstore. This book contains all of the study helps and book overviews found at the beginning and end of each book without the Scriptures themselves. I have found each of these resources to be excellent and recommend them.
In my following post I will attempt to provide some insight into the study method and how the Bible contributes to successfully exercising it.