The bottom line: (4.99 stars): Buy this Bible if you want an easy-to-read version, and desire to “dig deeper” into the text.
First, let me just say that this review is NOT of the content of the Bible itself, only of those items surrounding the text.
I have been using The Zondervan NASB Study Bible for many years now, and I develop a novel appreciation for this Bible each and every day. Because of this book I am always learning something new, and its greatest value lies in its endless wealth of information and references that not only facilitate the reader’s understanding of the Word itself, but of the other forces at play shaping the Biblical narrative behind the scenes.
The additional resources include (1) center-column references so you can cross-reference words, ideas and concepts to other areas of the Bible. This proves especially helpful in the New Testament so you can easily locate a reference in the Old Testament. (2) The footnotes at the bottom of the pages are adapted from the NIV Study Bible and help to expand on and explain verses or groups of verses. By itself, the footnotes are enough to make up a book, and they illuminate historical, political, social, and geographical (you get the idea) concepts that bring new light to the Scriptures. (3) There are plentiful maps and timelines that help you to locate people and events in history. (4) Many in-text charts organize theological themes and ideas. For example, there is a table of “Major Covenants in the Old Testament” placed within Genesis 9 that details covenants from the Noahic to the new, has scripture references, details the participants, and describes the pact in detail. (5) In the end matter are indexes to subjects as well as a mini-concordance and full-color maps. (6) Before each book is a 1-4 page chapter summary that gives information on author, dating, historical setting, theme and purpose, and unique characteristics.
The only negative thing I have to say about this leather bound copy (and why it falls short of 5 starts) is that after many years of heavy use, the binding of the spine has come loose in several areas. I’ve had to resort to using tape to tack some sections/pages back on. Granted, I use this text very heavily and I would expect that if you are a casual Bible reader, you would not run into this problem.
Even if this leather bound Bible cost, $100 it would still be a bargain.
Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal