The Modern Life Study Bible (NKJV)http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/140167514X/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1QNA7MXKQPF970H9DFZR&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846
This new study bible entitled The Modern Life Study Bible (NKJV) is a unique addition to the myriad of Bibles on the market. The aim is to bring the eternal truth of the Bible to reckon with the world we live on and its various problems, which are not too different than the ones back in the Garden of Eden. This study Bible is bent on addressing the issues of life in the private and public spheres and bringing God’s Word to bear on all of life. The editors write, “…but as Christians living in the modern world, it is imperative that we recover the often forgotten public dimension of the gospel.” (xvii) This focus on the public dimension of faith is as important as ever in a world that is seemingly losing its grasp on key biblical foundations.
In line with the public dimension of faith, the Insight section on Genesis 41:42-26 was excellent. The editor writes, “Yet Joseph was able to diligently maintain his faith in his environment. Consider his strategies: He maintained his integrity. He did his best when his situation was at its worst. He carried out the task he was given. He used his power and influence compassionately.” (73) We know from the biblical text that Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, power, and a hard life of work, yet he did not give in. It is these Insight sections that I thought really encapsulated the intended message of the bringing the public and private spheres together in which faith can flourish. From an Insight on characters such as Pharaoh to one on Just War, the Modern Study Bible is replete with truth in all its various ways.
I also greatly enjoyed the Focus sections throughout the study Bible. These sections are designed to narrow our focus in on a theme or person in the Bible to bring out its significance. One corollary application point made concerning marriage and divorce that was very good comes in connection to Deuteronomy 24:1-4. The editor writes, “As much as God hates unfaithfulness and divorce, He offers compassion to any who fall short of His expectations. He readily forgives and restores people who seek his pardon.” (295) The overarching concept of God’s forgiving grace is evident here even in the midst of sin and brokenness. This kind of help is needed in our culture of divorce and remarriage.
At times, there was a lack of focus on how the OT prepares people for the coming of the King, namely Jesus. We don’t get any connection to the Messiah from the notes on 2 Samuel 7:14 but we do get some background from Psalm 22. Also, it would have been helpful to have more connection between the many chapters on David and his connection to the Christ. Another quick note is that there needed to be more of a comprehensive Key New Testament Passages.
Overall, I really enjoy reading the Modern Life Study Bible and also its focus on key people in history who have shaped the faith in remarkable ways.
Thanks to BookSneeze and Thomas Nelso Publishers for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.