Study Bibles have a great advantage over other types of Bibles in that they have a broad base of information available to the reader rather than a narrow or specialized focus. A devotional Bible frequently does not give a lot of cultural context or historical data. A reference Bible does not have a lot of study material typically, it has a system of interconnecting verses throughout the Bible. A study Bible on the other hand can contain any number of features, depending on the goal of the publisher.
The Starting Place Study Bible is an amalgamation of five other study Bibles and the Essential Bible Companion. The five different study Bibles included are the Quest, Foundation, Archaeological, Student and Rock Solid Faith study Bibles. The benefit of this combination is a broad platform of information is interwoven into the NIV text of the Bible. One of my favorite features is the “Context Notes” feature. These are insets throughout the Bible. They are presented in a folder format presentation. The types of folders are People, Lands & Rulers, Culture & History, Archaeology, Ancient Texts & Artifacts and Reliability. The type of information included with the note is designated by which folder tab is highlighted.
There are study notes throughout the Bible as well, and tables spread through the text of things such as the Messianic Psalms and a Harmony of the Gospels. There are maps through the Bible, reading plans, subject index, etc. A wide variety of material is included. While the study aides do not go as far in depth as the individual study Bibles they are drawn from, they do a fantastic job of drawing the most useful information from the individual works and combining to make this study aid heavy study Bible.
I received a free copy of this from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review. The review did not have to be positive. All thoughts are my own.