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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful background-explaining study bible
A friend got me started on reading through the New Testament, which whetted my appetite for reading through the Old Testament and then the whole bible, which I did first time round using the ESV Reformation Study Bible, a terrific theological resource.

I'm now reading through again using this Zondervan Archaeological Study Bible, and finding it a great help to...
Published on 1 Dec 2006 by Gontroppo

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5 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Study Notes but Absurdly Affixed to a Poor Choice of Bible Version (N.I.V.), and Without the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals)!
The "Archaeological Study Bible" is a fine work, useful and convenient for studying the text and times of Holy Scripture. Other reviews have recounted adequately its excellent features. The comments here, by contrast, focus on two failings of considerable importance, especially of the N.I.V. edition of it; fortunately, there is an A.V. edition of the work which is...
Published on 18 Jun 2009 by Gerald Parker


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful background-explaining study bible, 1 Dec 2006
This review is from: Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture (Hardcover)
A friend got me started on reading through the New Testament, which whetted my appetite for reading through the Old Testament and then the whole bible, which I did first time round using the ESV Reformation Study Bible, a terrific theological resource.

I'm now reading through again using this Zondervan Archaeological Study Bible, and finding it a great help to understanding the world of the bible, the cultures, history and to a lesser extent, geography. [I find it hard to make sense of all those unfamiliar place names, despite the quality maps in the back of is bible.]

Like other reviewers, I'm sorry the editors did not use the TNIV, but the NIV is still an excellent translation, merely needing a little tinkering with here and there, as was done by the TNIV translators.

The only text I find too small is the small font used for identifying verse numbers and footnotes, but the rest of the text is fine, for these eyes.

I think every bible reader would benefit from using this study bible for learning more about the background of the times and places where the biblical books were written, but a theological resource such as the ESV Reformation Study Bible is also a great help for understanding the unifying message of the bible.

Highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great study Bible, 9 Aug 2008
This review is from: Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture (Hardcover)
This is great study Bible for those interested in the history. It helps the Bible seem more real having information about things that have been discovered from the past linked with the Biblical history. The CD-rom is a nice addition too. Good value in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars impartial edification, 14 Aug 2013
This review is from: Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture (Hardcover)
Great tool for personal deeper study, enhancing knowledge and understanding of the times and customs of the characters of the Bible. Looks impressive also.
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5 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Study Notes but Absurdly Affixed to a Poor Choice of Bible Version (N.I.V.), and Without the Apocrypha (Deuterocanonicals)!, 18 Jun 2009
By 
Gerald Parker "Gerald Parker" (Rouyn-Noranda, QC., Dominion of Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture (Hardcover)
The "Archaeological Study Bible" is a fine work, useful and convenient for studying the text and times of Holy Scripture. Other reviews have recounted adequately its excellent features. The comments here, by contrast, focus on two failings of considerable importance, especially of the N.I.V. edition of it; fortunately, there is an A.V. edition of the work which is lacking in one of these principal faults.

It is disconcerting how many publishers release potentially good study (or "annotated") Bibles where the wealth of useful notes are attached to a defective translation, such as the popular but (at best the best that one say for it) mediocre and unreliable New International Version (N.I.V.). A scholarly Bible should take a scholarly translation as its base! The N.I.V. is very nearly an outright paraphrase, so loosely does it translate! The resort to "dynamic equivalency" (i.e. paraphrase) simply occurs far too often, in passages where a "formally equivalent" (i.e. more literal) rendering would be quite adequately clear, readable, and understandable.

One can only encourage readers to prefer Zondervan's K.J.V. "alternative" edition of the "Archaeological Study Bible", published later (in 2010, the ISBN shown on the harback edition being 978-0-310-94261-0), which really ought to have taken prominence as the first and principal edition to appear. That superior edition has arranged this good study Bible from the earlier and inferior N.I.V. edition as Zondervan re-edited the work to fit its study aids to the great and far more accurate Authorised "King James" Version (A.V., a.k.a. K.J.V.) of the Bible text, a responsible full equivalency translation rather than a rather gross paraphrase such as the N.I.V. most assuredly is. Even if, later, Zondervan goes on to ally the study notes with some other English Bible translations of better quality than the N.I.V., such as the New King James Version (N.K.J.V.) or the English Standard Version (E.S.V.), the edtion with the A.V. would remain superior to them all because of the excellence of that translation.

Atop that, for heaven's sake, why would a Bible making so much of archaeology and biblical antiquities omit the Apocrypha? These deuterocanonical writings of the Old Testament are of inestimable historical importance for the often labelled (and very long) "inter-testamental" centuries (even if these ancient writings may include, according to Protestant and sectarian writers, a few minor anomalies here and there, which the editors of a study Bible could note); including them in whole or in part serves as a much needed documentary transition to the New Testament. Including the deuterocanonical writings could provide an appropriate text on which to attach study notes of great archaeological relevance! Merely to mention cursorily the Apocrypha, as the "Archaeological Study Bible" at least does, is not sufficient.

My advice on this matter would be to include at least those Apocryphal (deuterocanonical) writings which present narratives of incontestably genuine historical matter; the remaining deuterocanonical writings have less direct importance for a project of this sort (although they hold enough interest regarding the development of Jewish religious thought and the impact of Hellenism to justify including all of the writings of the Apocrypha). The less historically and archaeologically interesting of the Apocrypha writings ould be omitted with little loss, though it really would be better to include all that are part of the extended canon of the Authorised some other Protestant versions.

The English Standard Version (E.S.V.) in 2009 published an edition adding the Apocrypha, and resort to the New King James Version (N.K.J.V.) could draw on the translations of the deuterocanonical writings which appear in the N.K.J.V.-based "Orthodox Study Bible" (2008), thus avoiding the need for any resort to another Protestant or Roman Catholic translation for a better N.I.V. edition of the "Archaeological Study Bible" in an eventual revision (if Zondervan really believes that a N.I.V. edition ought to remain on the market at all). In the A.V. edtion of the Archaeological Study Bible, the A.V.'s own Apocrypha could be included in revisions of the A.V. edition of the work.

As for yet other edition(s) of the Archaeologial Study Bible, both of those modern versions (the N.K.J.V. and the E.S.V.), as already noted, are far superior to the lackluster N.I.V., so either the N.K.J.V. or the E.S.V. would make for a much better choice than the woefully inadequate N.I.V. as a translation on which to base any future edition of the "Archaeological Study Bible" with deuterocanonical writings included using any relatively recent Bible version as its base. The E.S.V. does come in an edition that includes the Apocrypha in its own translation, and the N.K.J.V., as already suggested, could draw on the deuterocanonical writings as they are included in "The Orthodox Study Bible", the non-deuterocanonical text of which is based on the N.K.J.V.

The "Archaeological Study Bible" certainly supplies a need, but it incontroveribly could have done so to better effect, and more definitively, if the defective N.I.V. (New International Version) text had been shunned! As it is, many wise buyers will bypass any edition this publication, unless their interest in archaeology is particularly keen, if they already posess Zondervan's own 1983 guide to the subject, the "New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology", by E. M. Blaiklock and R. K. Harrison (the latter of whom, incidentally, was one of the chief architects of the Old Testament both of the N.I.V. and of what R.K. Harrison himself considered to be the far finer N.K.J.V.).
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