21 August 2015

Book Review: KJV Foundation Study Bible

At home I have lots of Bibles. Perhaps dozens in many different translations. Plain Bibles. Study Bibles. Paperbacks. Hardcover. Goatskin. What I didn't have, however, was a King James Version, so I took the opportunity review the KJV Foundation Study Bible by Thomas Nelson (2015).

When I do reviews of Bibles, I like to discuss the operating system. This particular Bible is in the King James Version, originally published in 1611 and enduring the test of time--it is over 400 years old--the KJV remains one of the most beautiful translations available.  Many people hold that the KJV is the only acceptable translation, though it is based upon later manuscripts (Byzantine) than many of the newer translations, which are based upon earlier texts. 

Both the Old and New Testaments are included. However, it also includes many additional useful features. Each of the 66 books contains a brief, half-page introduction discussing authorship, theme, and key verse. Substantial study notes were included, taking up perhaps a 1/3 of each page. Finally, on each page, there is a small box listing a number of cross references.  The number of study notes is not as extensive as something like the ESV Study Bible or the MacArthur Study Bible, though they will provide a useful addition. Finally, at the end, there is a 77 page concordance, a useful feature when you are looking for a specific word. The Bible concludes with 8 color maps.

The Bible itself is 1462 pages, yet fairly compact for a study Bible, about 6 x 9 x 1.75 inches. It is presented in a 2 column format and the font is a reasonable size. The words of Jesus are in red, a feature I do not personally prefer. In their attempt to produce a smaller study Bible, there is minimal room in the columns or at the bottom for notes, though there is slightly more space at the top. I would not count on writing in the interior margin (the gutter) because there simply not enough space. There is slight ghosting (seeing one page through another), but not enough to detract from the reading.

I have said previously that one of the features I like in a Bible is whether it will lay flat when you open it. Opening to Jeremiah resulted in the pages staying open without assistance. Even turning to Genesis 1 and Revelation 22, the Bible stayed open. Once the dust jacket is removed, the underlying hardback Bible also has writing on the cover (KJV Foundation Study Bible \\\\\ Build Your Life On It) and on the binding. The overall construction seems sturdy. 

On the whole, this is nice little Bible that serves a variety of needs--smaller size, sturdy construction, and numerous tools to aid Bible study. The list price is $19.99, which is a pretty good deal for a study Bible. If you are looking for a basic study Bible in the KJV translation, you can't go wrong with this one.

A complimentary copy of of this book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for a review through Nelson Books and the Book Look Bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review of this book. The review represents my own viewpoint.

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