August 18th, 2008

Stained Glass - Teaching

NLT Study Bible: First Impressions

A few weeks ago, I won a copy of the new NLT Study Bible by asking a question at the NLT Blog and getting randomly picked. The "contest" is going on for another week and a half and daily entries are low, so if you're interested and ask a question over there, you've got a decent chance of winning one, too.

Anyway, the Bible arrived today. I spent about two minutes with it so far, so my initial review is very much an uninformed first impression. So far, it's exactly what I expected based on what I've already read about it in various forums.

It's heavy enough that I'm probably not going to be carrying it to and from church with me -- it's going to end up on my desk and in my bookshelf at home. It's too big to "snuggle up" with, so it probably won't get much use for casual or devotional reading. It's not so big and heavy that it will be unwieldy to use in a "study" setting, though. I'll probably use it when preparing my Sunday School lessons, e.g.

I didn't really read any of the text as I thumbed through it this afternoon, but the words on the page appear to be readable. The main text is double columned (I'd prefer a single column). The font size and style appears to be readable. The notes are across three columns. That helps to visually set a difference between the main text and the notes, and I think I'm going to like that -- the columns appear to be wide enough that it won't be uncomfortable to read the notes. Thumbing through the New Testament, I noticed the words of Christ are in red. I'd rather they were in black, like the rest of the text, but I'll probably get used to it without much problem. The paper itself was thin, but not overly thin. I don't remember noticing much room in the margins for note-taking.

At first glance, this does not look like the Bible I'd pick if I were only allowed to have one Bible -- if for no other reason, it's not very portable. But it might be in my top five.

It's been a while since I've used the NLT for anything other than a quick glance. I'm looking forward to using this study Bible as a way to re-familiarize myself with that translation, as well as take advantage of what appears to be a good set of study notes.

After I've spent more time with it (perhaps giving 1 John and Jonah a thorough several readings), I'll probably write a more detailed review.

Edit: After spending some more time with the Bible, I wrote some more thoughts abut it.