I have to admit I look forward to reading the Bible every day. There is just so much in our world (especially 2020) that drags us down and this is my time to take in something hugely positive and know I’m connecting with my Creator. It’s not a chore, it’s literally something I anticipate each morning with excitement (OK, some passages that are more genealogies or specifications of the temple don’t excite me so much, but even those I read through as I know they are important to God and perhaps there’s something I can pull from it as well).
But, if I could ask for something more in my time in God’s Word, it would be this: context. What was the world like around David? What did his slingshot look like? What was it like to be a shepherd? What would the wall look like when Nehemiah was rebuilding it? Where might the Garden of Eden have been located? What was the road like that Paul walked on to Damascus?
LifeWay recently released the CSB Holy Land Illustrated Bible. Wow. I’ve literally been searching for a resource that tracks with God’s Word to give some depth to what I’m reading—more of the historical and artifactual (Is that even a word? I’m going with it!) context. Coupling tangible facts that corroborate Scripture and bring to life the world around each Verse is HUGE!
One thing I’ve been doing each year is reading through a different translation. A Bible like the CSB Holy Land Illustrated Bible from Lifeway helps mix things up even more with several “pause points” to allow you to dig further into the passage you’re reading and get the most out of it.
Digging Deeper areas call out an area of Scripture with more background and history.
Sometimes reading plans have you reading more than one section of the Bible, so two bookmarks are helpful.
1,200+ images and illustrations throughout this Bible help understand the context of what you’re reading.
Of course every Bible is precious. It’s God’s Word. This one with the sidebars and “Digging Deeper” sections makes it even more helpful to me—someone who doesn’t have a cemetery degree…er, I mean seminary degree. I’m convinced this Bible is going to be one of my favorites and I plan to dig into it January 1. (You might remember the He Reads Truth Bible I reviewed awhile back. That’s the one I’m going through now and will finish this year.)
Why is this Bible so important? What if reading the Good Samaritan parable took on deeper meaning because you knew that Jews despised Samaritans as “half-breeds?” What if you knew the full extent of Jesus’ crucifixion and what He suffered on our behalf? What was Solomon’s kingdom—one of the richest ever—like?
1,200+ images, maps, and illustrations
275 full-length commentary articles
40+ “Digging Deeper” call-outs
None of these features or insights is earth shattering (the Holy Spirit makes reading God’s Word as is breathtaking). This resource just paints a bit more color to the canvas of Scripture. There’s far less wondering and more “aha” moments.
At the time of this review, this Bible is on sale for as low as $32.99 for the hardcover (normally $49.99) by going here and selecting LifeWay as the purchase option. I get no kickbacks from your purchase or this review, except they provided me a free Bible to review and one to give away to you.
Which brings me to this: would you like this Bible FREE? Just enter below and I’ll be giving away a Bible on Tuesday (12/15/20).