Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spiritual Renewal Study Bible

 9780310417378

The NIV Spiritual Renewal Study Bible is a devotional Bible with the goal of guiding the reader to “experience new growth and transformation in [his] spiritual walk.” Features unique to this NIV Bible include:

  • Bible Book Introductions that emphasize the spiritual renewal themes in each book.
  • Text Notes that help the reader relate each passage to his own spiritual life
  • Character Profiles that describe each character’s strengths and weaknesses and lessons from his or her life.
  • Spiritual Keys Devotionals
  • Spiritual Disciplines Devotionals
  • Spiritual Disciplines profiles that focus on the specific spiritual disciplines described in Bible characters’ lives

I began with the Spiritual Keys Devotional Reading Plan. This includes 7 devotionals for each of the 7 Spiritual Keys for the Old Testament, and another 49 devotionals for the New Testament. Each is printed on or near the page with a corresponding Bible passage and directs the reader to the next day’s reading. Each devotional was based on scripture and helped me to relate it to my own life. Topics include:

  1. Seek God and Surrender to Him
  2. See the Truth
  3. Speak the Truth
  4. Accept Responsibility
  5. Grieve, Forgive and Let Go
  6. Transform Your Life
  7. Preserve Spiritual Gains

There are many other ways to approach this Bible. The reader could pick a spiritual discipline and read the three to seven readings on each discipline. He or she could do a study of Bible characters, reading through the profiles on each. Because even the text notes are indexed, one could do a study on a theme, such as anger, communication, choices, or boundaries, reading the passages or notes for each.

I liked that most of the features corresponded to a chapter or so of  the Bible, making it a Bible study instead of just a devotional based on a verse or two. I think it would be particularly helpful for readers who need help relating scripture to their own actions and feelings.

I especially enjoyed the character profiles. I think most of us relate to other people, and reading about the right or wrong choices characters made and how God used them was helpful in relating the concepts to my own life. I am also interested in doing a study of the spiritual disciplines (fasting, prayer, service, solitude, etc.) and think this feature will be very helpful. I do like how there are many ways to use the devotions and features, depending on the reader’s needs.

One change I would like to see made is to put the indexes to the devotional readings, profiles, and spiritual disciplines at the front of the book instead of in the index. Since these are a prominent feature of the Spiritual Renewal Study Bible, having them at the front rather than hiding at the back would allow the reader to manage reading plans and understand the study features of the Bible. Despite the wonderful study features, I didn’t find it easy to navigate.

I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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