I have often found that people are reading their Bible, but they do not take time to consider the culture in which the words were written. Rather than seeking to hear the words through their original culture, we tend to read it from our modern vantage point. This can sometimes lead to confusion and even frustration as we get things wrong. I am glad that there has been a study Bible released to help us bridge this gap.
Let me be quick to say that I can already sense the mumbling coming from the mouths of seminary scholars. I know that this Bible will not address every facet of the culture and will not outline everything as neatly as you would. However, I am thankful for its existence to help educate everyday readers to the culture of the Bible.
Throughout the Bible, we are given chapter summaries, maps, and snippets of everyday life for the Jewish people that were the first recipients of Christ’s message. These are just a few of the many things that are addressed on the pages of this Bible. To fully appreciate Scripture, it helps to know the connotations in which it was written. You can relate more to the struggles that were facing the original audience and grasp a little bit more what it meant to have a relationship with God. For the relatively compact size, this Bible packs a lot of information. Could there have been more information? Absolutely, but then it would have been too big to move around. While it is still large to preach or teach from, it is not unbearable for personal study at home.
I received the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible for free in exchange for an unbiased review from BookLookBloggers. The words expressed here are my own and have not been influenced in any way.