Reader Appeal: Mothers; Bible students; Teens
Genre: Study Bibles
FBSN Rating: B+
Envisioned by women, for women, and created by more than a dozen biblical scholars, The Study Bible for Women features the accurate-and-readable Holman Christian Standard Bible translation and a host of other study aids.
Each book of the Bible is prefaced by a summary that covers interesting “Who, When, Where” background. This is particularly helpful for many of the Old Testament prophesy books (such as Isaiah and Jeremiah). Additionally, each book introduction offers a “Why should women read…” section that really helps to draw relevance for today’s woman from the ancient texts. Learners will also appreciate “How to read…” tips for each Bible book, especially when trying to make distinctions between historical, poetical, and prophetic manuscripts. Very helpful.
The heart, and strongest appeal, of this Study Bible lies in the thousands of background notes and commentary placed in the margins (and sometimes in sidebars), always near the text that it discusses. The commentary is generally evangelical in nature, with an emphasis on accurate understanding of Scripture. I found the most interesting aspect of these sections to be the periodic “Word Study” sidebars that highlighted key words in Bible verses and then shed new light on the meaning and nuances of those words.
Essays on biblical womanhood also appear throughout, though I’ll admit these were hit or miss in terms of interest, with some being well-crafted and relevant, and others, well, not so much. Character profiles of people from Bible history were fascinating, offering rich cultural background and personality insights that added much to Scripture stories. Additional features in this Bible include:
- “Answers to Hard Questions.”
- “Written on My Heart” devotional readings.
- Timelines and book outlines.
- A short concordance.
- And more.
In all, The Study Bible for Women is an attractive, helpful resource for anyone wanting to gain deeper understanding of Scripture. It’s a great gift for the curious Christian woman in your family—mom or teen—and also worth buying just for yourself.
The Study Bible for Women edited by Rhonda Harrington Kelley and Dorothy Kelley Patterson
(Holman Bible Publishers)
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