Book Review: NIV Quest Study Bible
Publisher: Zondervan ISBN: 9780310941484
I’m glad I waited awhile before reviewing this Bible. I originally spent some time with it and formed a first impression, but after living with it for a couple months now my first impressions have changed a bit.
This is not your grandpa’s study Bible. At first, I thought this was not a good thing and didn’t care too much for the format of the Quest Bible. Things weren’t where they were supposed to be and didn’t appear in the fashion I was used to seeing in other study Bibles; this was especially so when I was looking for cross-references and links to supporting Scripture passages. I “cut my study Bible teeth” on the Scofield Reference Bible and the Thompson Chain Reference Bible, so the stylistic differences were profoundly obvious to me. I continued to stay the course with the Quest NIV and found that, stylistic differences aside, I like it! I have discovered there really are no missing “study” components. In fact, I have found everything I like about a study Bible intact and a few of the things that I found cumbersome in study Bibles discretely removed in the Quest NIV.
One of the features of this Bible is the side-column notes. This, in effect, makes the Scripture text a single-column read. This took a bit of time for me to get used to, but once I adjusted to this style I have grown to favor it. Scripture reading in the single-column format remains fluid and the side-column notes are aligned with the text they support. Practically speaking, this means I don’t have to break away from what I am reading to hunt for clarifying notes, a simple shift of my eyes and that information is there for me and I can quickly return to the text.
I also appreciate the approach the editorial team used for the notes used to support the texts. The notes deal with issues such as: cultural context, “reasonable cause” for God’s mysterious action, fair summations of controversial passages, explanations of particular types of writing, and cross-reference links to similar events and topics.
As I mentioned earlier, all of the expected components of a study Bible are included in this version such as: subject index, dictionary, reading plans, concordance, maps, charts, and specially selected articles. I’m glad that I pushed past my personal biases and gave this Bible a second look. While I wouldn’t call it a replacement for my other study Bibles, I do consider it a worthy companion for them.