I’m not a fan of the King James Version. It is based on outdated scholarship, uses words that aren’t commonly understood by modern readers, and has become a sort of idol to many who hold to it as the only “Authorized Version” substituting in that definition the authorizer of the version, King James, with God, basically making this translation the equivalent of the original autographs.
I recognize that there are a lot of people who feel the same way about the KJV so, without spending an inordinate amount of time on the topic, the good news is that the New King James Version is much, much better. It uses the most current scholarship, changes the “thee” and “thy” to modern equivalents, and helps overcome the incorrect belief that any modern translation is equal to the autographs. That said – and I think it must be said for many modern readers – this NKJV is a translation that is worth having for those who prefer complete equivalence translations. If you don’t know what that means, then simply put: this is a very good translation that is true to the Biblical texts and a good option for those who appreciate the formal beauty of the original KJV.
As to this version, it has quickly become my favorite NKJV. First, it’s really well made. The hardback version has a slipcover that is solidly backed by lamination and is a coarse woven paper that feels nice and is tough to tear. The insides are full color – and color is on every page – and very easy to read on slightly thicker than normal paper. Unlike many Bibles this paper is hard to see through.
As to the “study” part, this Bible also brings quite a bit to the table in terms of additional content.
• Understanding the Bible – thousands of maps, illustrations, diagrams, charts, etc similar to most study Bibles.
• Applying the Bible – one page life studies of sixty-six historic followers of God that aim to show how we can make a difference in our modern world.
• Thinking Independently – articles without clear forced answers allowing the reader to think through theological issues.
• Themes Highlighted – community, work, government, economics, ethics, ethnicity, the church, laity (that’s us), the family, the city, witness and missions, knowing and serving God, personal growth and development, and the environment.
I found the additional content to be insightful and on par with what you would expect to find in other study Bibles. It isn’t all footnotes like many of the common study Bibles (think NIV Study Bible by Zondervan). Instead the insights and additional info is in full color inserts on each page. If you want to read around them you can, but most likely you’ll find yourself reading about the passages in more depth.
At the end, you’ll find a full topical index, weights and measures, an index of all the great person profiles, an index of locations in the Bible, and a huge Themes to Study section where the highlighted themes can be searched by passage.
This is an excellent study Bible and the best NKJV that I’ve ever read. Very well made all around and definitely worth your closer inspection.
This Bible was provided by the publisher as a review copy.