It may be an inferiority complex on my part and I'm not too proud to admit it, but I sure do like things that make me look smarter than, um, I did before I started using them.
About a month ago, Thomas Nelson Publishing sent me a copy of their new Chronological Study Bible to read, use, and review.
Seriously? I mean, I've never been really shy about giving my opinions but this seemed a little beyond my skill set. Fortunately, I love me some Bible and this one will certainly sit at my bedside for a long time.
My children attend a private school that is both classic and Christian and their history lessons don't distinguish between world history and biblical history but instead tie them all together so that a greater comprehension of the two can be had.
For someone like me, who was not taught the two in tandem, this bible has been a gift.
The different books of the bible are interwoven so that they represent as closely as possibly, the chronology of the bible from Creation to Revelation. Alongside the Scripture are notes about the daily life at the time of writing such as 'Culture and Society', 'Politics and Government, 'Religion and Worship', and 'Health and Medicine'. These notes help clarify references throughout, hence, making me look smarter. I know it's not really about me but listen to this... 'the salt used in ancient times was not refined, and there was always some proportion of chemicals present in addition to sodium chloride. If the fraction useful for flavoring food was leached away by dampness, what remained was without value. It was sometimes strewn on paths like gravel since it was "then good for nothing."' Ok, totally helps clarify the passage in Matt. 5:13 which says, 'You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses it's flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.'
See what I mean? Totally smarter.
The Chronological Study Bible also includes beautifully illustrated maps, articles on world leaders and significant characters, and helpful time panels and charts.
On the website, there is a daily reading plan that is designed to lead you through the entire bible in either one or two years' time.
It's a great resource for bible studies, writing sermons, or daily devotionals but not necessarily the best for taking to church and trying to keep up with your pastor's sermon. The scriptures are put in chronological order and not the traditional order we're used to seeing them in so finding a specific passage would be better done with a traditional bible.
Love this bible and the way it makes me look a little more like I know what I'm talking about. The next book I'm reading is on humility. Coincidence? Hmmm. I don't think so.
Have a great day!