When reviewing bibles, a lot of common features tend to appear. The nice thing which happens is when a bible has multiple features coinciding within the work rather than having a single feature. Some of the more common features about which I am talking include book introductions, timelines, character profiles, footnotes, cross-references, etc. The more cohesive the background features, the more I enjoy using a given bible. I like to know the story behind the book, as well as key themes, key players and a general idea of how this all fits into the bigger picture of history.
Enter the Life Connect Study Bible, NIV. This bible has numerous of the aforementioned features. The books begin with the introduction, with and included timeline placing the book in its historically significant period. In addition to these features, the introduction section continues with a “Did You Know” fact section, a key themes section and an overview outline of the book you are reading.
The text of the bible is in a two-column format with a side-bar cross-reference system, as well as a place for taking notes on each page. Study notes are contained at the bottom of the pages, with much important insight into the text of the bible. LifeConnect articles help the reader understand how this section of the bible is applicable to them, and these are interspersed throughout the bible.
Probably the most unique feature of this particular bible is the SOAP study sections. S – Scripture, O – Observation, A – Application, P – Prayer. A few verses are chosen as the basis of these features, with an observation about them, and how to apply them in today’s world. The summation of the inset is the prayer which is, in essence, a prayer written to pray those selected scriptures. Additionally, there are some pages which contain nothing but lines on them for the reader to use for note-taking in greater depth than the side-bar note sections allow. The full-page note sections have a prompt at the bottom asking the user how the passage just read will affect their life.
This bible is pretty crammed with features, and being in the NIV translation, it is easy to read and highly applicable for the busy individual. It helps direct the reader, inform the reader, and draw the reader to a place of prayer in rather short order. Study bibles are an incredible resource, but a bible which focuses on life application is even better in my opinion. I believe this bible is a great option for a study bible with a life-application focus.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Book Look Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.