Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: The Alphabet of Grief

Andrea Raynor's The Alphabet of Grief: Words to Help in Times of Sorrow (Waterbrook, 2017) is a short, compact book but is an invaluable guide to navigating the process of grief. Written in a warm, approachable way that combines pastoral excellence with scriptural integrity, Raynor uses each letter of the alphabet to present a systematic way of coping with loss. The stories are honest, the emotions are raw, and, at the end of it, you will emerge a stronger person because of the hope dispensed by Raynor's writing. The author does an excellent job of using biblical stories and principles in a way that avoids platitudes, truisms, and other cliches and does not knock them over the reader's head. This is a highly recommended text for pastors and parishioners who are trying to understand morality in the scope of eternity.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: The King James Study Bible

The King James Study Bible (Thomas Nelson, 2017) is a full-color, magnificent Bible for the lover of the KJV. With a beautiful, flexible leather lay-flat design and large text, this Bible will make a fantastic resource for those interested in going deeper in God's Word. It has a colorful design, study footnotes with pictures and aids that move from interpretation to application, and introductions to each book with a corresponding outline. The back of the book has study helps, such as a concordance and maps.

I was very impressed by this study Bible. However, the pages in this Bible are somewhat thin and consequently cause the pages to stick together. Additionally, the width of the Bible is somewhat thick, although it is a manageable size. Center column references and full color pictures are certainly a welcomed addition. Overall, this is a fantastic Bible if you want something that possesses both content and beauty.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

The NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Zondervan, 2017) is a fantastic resource to peek behind the pages of Scripture and discover the context behind the text. This hardcover Bible is, first and foremost, bulky. It is thick and filled with information on the background of seemingly mundane Bible stories. Introductions to each book place it within its historical context and frame it in a way that prepares readers to enter its setting. There are maps, diagrams, charts, and pictures of archaeological finds that attest to the historicity of the biblical narrative.

This is an excellent Bible that should be on the shelves of all scholars, pastors, and laypeople who want to explore the Bible deeper. I used Luke 15, the familiar parable of the prodigal son, as a test case, and found that its cultural background notes indeed went beyond the surface level interpretations. Most readers will find these notes interesting and will want you to dig deeper into the world of the Bible. The goal of this study Bible is to make you more fascinated with Scripture—and it indeed succeeds at this task.