Posted by: futurefaith | December 1, 2010

Start! The Bible for New Believers

Recently Booksneeze provided me with a complimentary copy of “Start! The Bible for New Believers” edited by Greg Laurie and published by Thomas Nelson. The “Start!” Bible uses the New King James Version of the Bible, a commendable translation. Its notes and commentaries are geared for the new convert. After taking several weeks to explore this Bible I have developed some particular thoughts on it. At first glance (or at just a glance) this bible looks like any other book. The “Start!” seems to be marketed to look like a modern publication (a regular book), something I noticed right off and wasn’t impressed with. Secondly, the commentary could be sparse and absent in many areas (especially in the O.T), though the New Testament seemed much more adequate. Thirdly, the commentary contained a theological bias in the way it interpreted and explained salvific passages. I understand that establishing theology isn’t the focus of the commentary, however, understanding most always determines interpretation and as such will be factor of concern for many in circles outside of the General Editor’s persuasion.
As for the things that I did appreciate about this Bible. The fact that the Bible was focused on new believers was commendable. The “Secrets to Spiritual Success” in the front of the Bible was a very good idea and helpful for giving the reader understanding of what it means to be a believer and how they should start their new life in Christ once they have come to faith. I loved that each book had a small introduction to it. My favorite portion of the commentary was the “Essentials” section at the end of the Bible which explained in detail the attributes of God and Jesus Christ. This section made God (and consequently Jesus) tangible and personal. This was well done and a great way to finish this particular Bible.
As for the publication itself. I liked the size. It measured literally 8 3/8 in. tall, by 5 3/8 in. wide, by 1 in. thick. A perfect size to carry or pack. The print size was perfect for me, but then again I have the young eyes of a 31 year old. Someone with poorer eye-sight may not appreciate the smaller font size. The font type was good, very readable and typical. The format was good and everything was easy to find. The use of colors was a help, mainly black, red and gray. The paper was thin, but durable (I didn’t underline or mark on it). The spine was glued, but laid open very well. The cover is laminate so the plastic separates from the paper cover quickly with consistent use. The Bible is priced somewhere around $16. As far as a personal recommendation I would say it depends on one’s understanding of salvation since this Bible is heavily concerned with that area. If you are of the Arminian/Free Will persuasion. I would say buy it by the case. If you happen to be of the Reformed/Predestinarian persuasion, you should look elsewhere.

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