Study Bibles for Expositors--The NIV Archaeological Study Bible--Zondervan

The fourth study Bible that I would like to recommend to those who are endeavoring to develop into being an expositor is one that is very useful in looking at a text in a bit of a different light.  The NIV Archaeological Study Bible published by Zondervan is another excellent tool for those who would be critical of the biblical text.  A preacher will preach to a wide variety of people that visit the church where he will pastor.  For the most part the vast majority of apostolic churches have people who attend that believe the Scriptures to be authentic, inspired, inerrant, and authoritative.  But we have unbelievers who attend that do not have the same shared confidence in Scripture that we might not have and we have college students who attend schools where professors and other students can be militantly hostile against the Word of God.  This Bible is very helpful in combatting some of that rhetoric. 

The NIV Archaeological Study Bible was primarily put together by the staff at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary who worked diligently to take biblical events, people, and historical settings and connected them with biblical archaeological.  This study Bible comes in the New International Version from the 1984 edition that did not have many of the changes that occurred in 2002 that changed many of the gender-based into a neutral idea.  The study note contributors set forth some reasons why they focused on historical, literary, and cultural content of their work:

·      Context is crucial to interpretation.
·      The biblical world is complex and spans a great deal of history.
·      A study of the context is an encouragement to faith.
·      Awareness of the context of the Bible is an antidote to the dangerous dismissal of history that we see too often in both the church and the academy. 
·      Awareness of the world instills within us a deeper appreciation for the writers of Scripture and a deeper love for the Bible itself.

The NIV Archaeological Study Bible has some of the following features:

·      More than 500 various articles that deals with the geography and history of the Bible that falls into several categories:  Cities; cultural and historical Notes; ancient people, lands and the rulers; the reliability of the Bible; and ancient texts and artifacts.  
·      Helpful study notes at the bottom of the page that are very well cross-referenced to other areas of study in the Bible.
·      Book introductions (although they are not nearly of the same depth that the ESV Study Bible, MacArthur Study Bible and the Zondervan NIV Study Bible [2015] are.)
·      Very good indexes to the study articles and photos. 
·      An excellent subject index to the articles throughout the Bible.  (One of particular interest under the subject heading about Baal is “Tattoos and Self-Laceration in Ancient Religion.) 
·      It has a collection of the usual Bible maps that are in most Bibles. 

Obviously this Bible is one that will be to a person who has a little more time to dig out the material that he will be preaching.  However to the man who is very thorough about his work, he will find numerous articles that will combat some of the modern critics of the Bible who claim that some of its characters, battles, and even miraculous events did not take place.  Overall I would commend this study Bible to you but lower down on the priority list. 

Thanks for reading. . .

Philip Harrelson     


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