Review | NIV Grace and Truth Study Bible

Dr. R. Albert Mohler with his editorial team at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary brings us the much-anticipated NIV Grace and Truth Study Bible. Compiled by a group of scholars and pastors, this Bible was designed to present the Gospel to all believers, whether they are new to the Christian faith or have been following Christ for most of their lives.

The NIV Grace and Truth Study Bible is set to release on August 24, 2021. It will be available in hardbound, leathersoft, and premium leather covers. I am reviewing the hardbound edition. It has a blue cover with a dust jacket, and measures 6.5 x 9.5 x 2 inches, and weighs 3 lbs., 10.6 oz.

Design and layout

The design and interior of this Bible are simple and elegant. It follows a blue and copper color scheme. This color setting is good and it works well with me. However, the copper color tends to glare under direct light, and I’m afraid that it might be difficult to read for individuals with color vision deficiency. It is the accent color used on the book titles, section headings, cross reference verse numbers, page numbers, as well as on interior aesthetical designs. Physically-wise, this Bible has a nice built. It is smyth-sewn which causes it to lay fully flat. It has a paper liner, blue head and tail bands, and a double-sided satin ribbon marker.

The layout of this Bible is neat and well-organized. It is typeset in a double-column paragraph format with a center-column cross-reference system. The study notes are printed in two columns at the bottom of the page. The scripture text is set in a 9-point NIV typeface designed by renowned 2K/Denmark, while the study notes are in 8-point font. The words of Christ are in red.

The texts are very readable. Honestly, I was a bit confused with the color that they used on the scripture text and study notes. At first, I thought it was gray, but looking at it closely, I am convinced that it is a dark, dull shade of blue. I am pretty sure that it is not black. Also, I do not know if the texts are supposed to be line-matched because there are pages where they are, and there are others where they are not. Nevertheless, the highly opaque paper greatly contributes to the overall readability of the texts. It has a 32 gsm thickness. It is white, smooth, does not glare, and easy to turn. It is definitely one of the nicest papers I’ve seen in a hardbound Bible.

The NIV 2011 Issue

This Bible showcases the 2011 edition of the NIV text. This came as a shock to many since the general editor of this Study Bible, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, endorsed a resolution way back in 2011 that called the NIV 2011inaccurate” due to its gender-neutral methods of translation. Of all Bible translations, many didn’t expect that Dr. Mohler would use the NIV 2011 for this Study Bible. I have no issues with this, but I hope it becomes available in other translations in the future.

What do the features of this study Bible offer?

With so many study Bibles readily available in the market today, it could be a difficult thing to pick the best fit for us. Like any other study Bibles, the NIV Grace and Truth has the usual features like book introductions, cross-references, concordance and maps, and of course study notes. On the other hand, it does not have illustrations, in-text maps, graphs, and theological articles as found in other study Bibles.

So, what more does this study Bible offers? The answer is found in its name—GRACE and TRUTH. These two words are not just fancy words brought together just to present a fancy name for a study Bible. Everything that you will see and read in this Bible was written in light of these two noble and biblical words. As Dr. Mohler puts it, the title is not accidental. This Bible is committed to displaying grace and truth in every text of scripture. Dr. Mohler also explicitly noted that this study Bible is graciously evangelical, Reformed, and complementarian, and that it affirms historic Christian orthodox teaching.

This is what I love most about the NIV Grace and Truth Study Bible. The study materials found in it are very accessible and readable. The historical, theological, Christological notes and content are not watered-down. They are sound and solid but not overwhelming. I really believe that Dr. Mohler and his editorial team succeeded in their aim to produce a study bible that is accessible to new believers, and at the same time, something that long-time Christians would still find full of new riches.

If you are a new Christian in search of your first study Bible or someone who is interested in the Reformed and Southern Baptist theology, look no further. The NIV Grace and Truth Study Bible is a good place to start. This Bible is printed in China and retails for $49.99.

Disclosure: A review copy of the  NIV Grace and Truth Study Bible  (ISBN 9780310447122) was provided for review by Zondervan, from whom you may purchase a copy.

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