Zondervan Archaeological Study Bible

Well, I got one. Now that Chris Heard is famous, no doubt he’ll roll his eyes behind his oversized sunglasses, and over his soy iced mochaccino no whip with a splash of crème de menthe. Yet, I jest, with such serious work ahead of us.

Chris was entirely spot on, of course, in his review of the preview materials for this new Bible. And that’s good for Chris, and for those of us who share his opinion, but it’s bad for readers of this Zondervan NIV Archaeological Study Bible. Here’s why.

First let me say the good I can say about this Bible. The presentation is beautiful. It has definitely benefitted from modern advances in printing technology. Every page has some color on it, a kind of faint sepia background and header at the very least. The paper (thin but opaque) and printing are of such excellent quality that the full-color photos are crisp on the pages and do not bleed through. The maps are the only glossy pages, with all the rest of the paper being non-glossy, which is what makes the quality of the printing so striking. It very likely heralds a new direction in Bible presentation. They’ve also chosen the single-column presentation of the NIV text, which is quite nice, despite the choice of a slightly cramped font. There are numerous short and some longer excerpts from other ancient literatures scattered throughout, which is quite nice, though the potential for such was insufficiently explored. There are numerous high-quality photographs of artifacts and so on scattered in roughly 500 inserts throughout the entire Bible (which they call “articles”).

Now to the basket of prunes . . . .

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