I am an avid follower of Thomas Nelson on Facebook. One time, a video featuring a Bible translation called NET or New English Translation caught my attention. I was astonished as it was my first time to hear about this particular translation which is not widely known here in the Philippines. I reached out to Thomas Nelson to request for a review copy and they gladly sent me one! I received a copy of the NET Comfort Print Bible, Full-Notes Edition (Black imitation leather) in exchange for my honest review.
What is the New English Translation (NET) Bible?
New English Translation – History
The New English Translation is a free online English translation of the Bible, sponsored by the Biblical Studies Foundation (aka Bible.org). In November 1995, twenty biblical scholars, working directly from the best currently available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts, began work on a digital version of a modern English translation to be accessible over the Internet and on CD-ROM without cost for the user. The New English Translation claims to be non-sectarian and evangelical. The first edition, made available in November 2005, may be downloaded free of charge and is also available in printed editions. The first edition comprises the Protestant canon, while the apocryphal/deuterocanonical books are undergoing translation and will be used in some future editions. A Chinese translation team is currently at work on a new translation which incorporates the New English Translation’s notes in Chinese, making them available to an additional 1.5 billion people. Parallel projects involving other languages are also in progress. (source: https://www.gotquestions.org/New-English-Translation-NET.html)
Product Details | NET Comfort Print Bible, Full-Notes Edition
Format: Imitation Leather
Number of Pages: 2400
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2019
Series: Comfort Print
Text Color: Black Letter
Thumb Index: No
Retail Price: $69.99
Printed in China
The overall size of the NET Full Notes Bible is 9.2 x 6.2 x 2 inches, and it weighs 3 pounds 11 ounces. At this size and weight, I won’t mind to carry it around.
Binding and Cover
This particular edition comes with a stunning white box that the publisher has obviously put so much effort into. It is smyth-sewn in soft leather-look black imitation leather with perimeter stitching and pasted-down gray paperboard liner. It perfectly lays flat and very comfortable to use.
While the paper is thin, maybe because the publisher wants to accommodate all its content without making it too bulky, it is adequately opaque. It has two double-sided satin ribbons (in red and black) and gold-gilded edges.
I was surprised the first time I saw the layout of the NET Full Notes Bible. I find the single column-surrounded-by-study-notes layout very brilliant and innovative. Both the layout and the typeface were designed by 2K/Denmark. The font is at 8.75 for scripture text and 7.25 for study and translation notes. Overall, the print looks pretty neat and easy to read.
As I said earlier, the NET Bible is new to me. As a person who has access to different translations of the Holy Scriptures, I know for a fact that a lot of today’s English Bible versions either lean on the word-for-word approach or thought-for-thought approach in terms of translation. The NET Bible moves beyond this “readable vs. accurate” divide. It is uncompromised, clear, and dependable. Its extensive notes offer complete transparency to every major translation decision.
To give you an idea of the clarity in this translation, here’s The NET version of John 3:16:
16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Is this a study Bible? I would say yes. While it mostly contains translators’ notes, it also has study notes and text-critical notes to show alternate readings from Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew manuscripts. Some might say putting this so much load of content in a single volume is absurd and drowning. Well, this is the very essence of this particular edition and this is also what I love most about it. About 25 Bible scholars worked on this translation, and there are over 60,000 translators’ notes. This gives us terrific scholarly insights and an in-depth look through the Holy Scriptures from a translator’s point of view.
Some additional content found at the latter part of this edition includes the NET Principles of Translation, Table of Abbreviations, List of Cited Works, and full-color maps.
Looking into the religious climate here in the Philippines and in many countries of the world, many people have very poor or limited access to biblical study materials. This maybe a reason why many fall into traps of extra-biblical beliefs and practices. With that in mind, I must say that the Thomas Nelson NET Full Notes Edition is a great resource in studying the Holy Scriptures. While this is not your one-stop aid in terms of biblical studies, the extensive notes are a huge help to know more about a specific text in the Bible. Highly recommended!
Thomas Nelson | https://www.thomasnelson.com/
NET Bible Online | https://netbible.org/
Purchase the NET Bible on Christianbook.com | https://www.christianbook.com/comfort-bible-notes-edition-leather-black/9780785225164/pd/225164?event=AFF&p=1207743
Disclosure: A review copy of the Thomas Nelson NET Full Notes Edition was provided for review by Thomas Nelson, from whom you may purchase a copy.