Reviews by Fraser Sims
August 23, 2020  |  3:01 PM   |    Good (4)
I find study bibles are really useful when reading a text and my dead tree go to was the jerusalem bible.

My first electronic study bible was the niv on windows in the 90s. When i moved to mac i looked for an niv study bible and bought a zondervan cd which had accordance as its underlying program. The mac version with accordance was light years ahead of the windows version with all the tagging and i was hooked.

The original niv study bible was my electronic go to until i got the jsb, jant and ...
I find study bibles are really useful when reading a text and my dead tree go to was the jerusalem bible.

My first electronic study bible was the niv on windows in the 90s. When i moved to mac i looked for an niv study bible and bought a zondervan cd which had accordance as its underlying program. The mac version with accordance was light years ahead of the windows version with all the tagging and i was hooked.

The original niv study bible was my electronic go to until i got the jsb, jant and esv study bibles which became my go tos in accordance and have remained so.

There was a lot of hype and very favourable reviews when the new zondervan niv study bible was released. I succumbed one sale but while the essays are always useful and worth reading, i have failed to find much in the actual bible study notes though they are slightly more extensive than the original niv study bible. With the rebranding, i am even less convinced that the notes really add any great theological insight to justify the new title. I still find information in the first volume that is more insightful than this later volume.

I find its always worth having a translation specific study bible and while i got the original niv study bible on the cd, it isnt available on the accordance store so if you havent already got a niv specic study bible, then this is useful. However if you already have the original niv study bible in accordance, this is an update but im not sure its worth adding to your library.

This volume isnt one of my go to study bibles and i havent used it much since reading the essays and when i have used it, i havent been struck by any insight that hasnt already been covered by one of my go to volumes, esv, jsb and jant.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
August 17, 2020  |  1:44 PM   |    Fantastic (5)
Its really useful as it works on ios so i have it on my ipad and iphone open in the second window next to the na27.
August 4, 2020  |  9:05 AM   |    Good (4)
I dont think you can ever have too many dictionaries.

When i got married, my wife already had ungers and a 22nd impression of the 1940 publication of vines nt expository dictionary. So this has been my go to for nearly 40 years before i started building my accordance library with all the fantastic resources.

I find this resource a bit uneven.

For example in the nelsons ot section there are just under 20 words defined for 'A' and just under 30 words defined under 'B'. The definitions vary ...
I dont think you can ever have too many dictionaries.

When i got married, my wife already had ungers and a 22nd impression of the 1940 publication of vines nt expository dictionary. So this has been my go to for nearly 40 years before i started building my accordance library with all the fantastic resources.

I find this resource a bit uneven.

For example in the nelsons ot section there are just under 20 words defined for 'A' and just under 30 words defined under 'B'. The definitions vary considerably in length and most letters have minimal definitions. But this isnt in the original vines which was only for the new testament so its very much an add on.

In the Vines new testament section, the dictionary really comes into its own with many more words listed under each letter as can be seen from the screenshot on the product page and where a word is defined, the definitions provided are generally much more detailed compared to the nelsons section.

Another example where i find it uneven is in the selection of words defined. There is an entry for messiah in the nelson section, but although messiah is also used in john, there is no entry in the nt section although there are 54 flex hits which spans both sections of the tool for english content. However i dont get any hits for either the greek or strongs number. Thank goodness for the accordance search functionality, being able to search certainly adds an important advantage over the printed copy, especially when using the different search options That accordance has tagged the resource with.

Its certainly worth having at the introductory sale price, this is a sentimental purchase for me and i wouldnt have bought it at its listed full price. Nor do i think this will be my default dictionary as the nelson section is no where near as comprehensive as the Original Vines nt section so limits the usefulness of this resource.

But i find its always useful to have a selection of dictionaries and this is one i am very familiar with and have a soft spot for but for me, vines will always be associated with the nt and not the complete bible and i can see myself mainly using this for the nt section!
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
May 23, 2020  |  6:32 PM   |    Okay (3)
I like study bibles. My first was the Jerusalem bible which i bought in about 1974 and was my go for about 40 years. I also got both the jewish study bible and jewish annotated new testaments in hard copy. However as i started to use software i got the niv study bible first in windows and then on mac. my accordance library grew including the esv, noab and both editions if the jsb and jant study bibles and eventually the excellent holman bible atlas!

I mainly use accordance on my iPad and b ...
I like study bibles. My first was the Jerusalem bible which i bought in about 1974 and was my go for about 40 years. I also got both the jewish study bible and jewish annotated new testaments in hard copy. However as i started to use software i got the niv study bible first in windows and then on mac. my accordance library grew including the esv, noab and both editions if the jsb and jant study bibles and eventually the excellent holman bible atlas!

I mainly use accordance on my iPad and before the latest release, used the esv study bible in the second pane so that i can see maps as i read the bible text. When i saw the holman illustrated study bible has many of the maps from the the brilliant holman bible atlas, i decided to get it, especially as it was at a very attractive price.

First the maps.
There are about 95 maps that are common to both volumes though some of those have been cropped in the study bible.
There are about 5 maps which are unique to the study bible and another 5 which are just crops from other images.
There are about 37 maps which are unique to the Holman atlas and have not been included in this study bible.

Images
The holman illustrated study bible has lots of images taken from a wide variety of styles. The vast majority are unique to the study bible but i find that the quality is incredibly variable and many appear very pixilated when viewed full screen on an ipad.

Text
The above screenshot on the product page is not typical of the study bible notes, you can see where the text is located from the menu on the left.

The actual study bible notes include introductions to the books of the bible but these are quite different to those presented in conventional study bibles. Each introduction has a section titled 'God’s message in the book' which includes a sub-section called 'Christian worldview elements', then there are sections called 'Christ in...' (eg Genesis), 'God’s story', 'Literary features' and 'Original historical setting'. This last section isnt as detailed as in my other study bibles. Some may find the other sections helpful starting points as they offer a different slant to those book introductions found in conventional study bibles.

The study bible 'notes' to the actual bible text are very minimal, frequently just a sentence. There is often just one 'note' for a full chapter but most 'notes' have an image Associated with them.

Two examples from the book of Exodus, both these quotes are under a photograph:
In Exodus 14 the note occurs at verse 15 :
'Lake Timsah, possibly the place where the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea.'

The next note occurs at Exodus 15 verse 27:
'Date palms (15:27) near En-gedi on the Dead Sea.'

However within the notes are lots of tables which are very useful presenting summaries and links to themes etc. Compared to the atlas, the atlas has a considerable amount more information which is laid out clearly, its just not organised around the biblical canon.

Summary
I got this resource so i could have the maps scroll with the bible text on my mobile devices and for this it is excellent, especially as many of the maps are duplicated, particularly in the gospels. But i can now open my Holman atlas in a second window on my iPad so although it doesnt scroll, i can now see all the maps in their full glory and select them from the menu. Scrolling in the study bible will be useful for following the text in sermons and at conferences or small group discussions but opening the atlas will be better for personal study and has become my preferred method.
.
The study bible is also useful for the images to illustrate the text, though many images are of poor quality.

As a study bible, this doesn’t add much to the actual bible text and i will continue to use my other 'proper' study bibles for study; esv, jsb and jant for the formal canon and noab for the apocrypha.

Personally i dont find this to come anywhere near the claim to be the 'most informative bible ever created for daily reading and study'!. It is certainly not a substitute for one or more conventional study bibles which offer more detail and information as a first port of call for any form of study or daily reading and, for me, it is not a substitute the holman atlas which is still the best resource for maps.

This study bible does have its uses and is worth adding to your library when you have purchased all your important resources and have some spare budget.

But it is certainly very, very illustrated!
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April 1, 2020  |  5:08 PM   |    Fantastic (5)
This is the second volume in a series of four. At just over 200 pages it can only be considered as an introduction to this huge topic. However, it is very readable and therefore is an excellent starting point for the journey.

From the books introduction:
"rather than covering the incarnation or the Trinity by casting a net across seven hundred years of patristic reflection...spending an evening in deep conversation with Athanasius or Cyril of Alexandria on the incarnation might well s ...
This is the second volume in a series of four. At just over 200 pages it can only be considered as an introduction to this huge topic. However, it is very readable and therefore is an excellent starting point for the journey.

From the books introduction:
"rather than covering the incarnation or the Trinity by casting a net across seven hundred years of patristic reflection...spending an evening in deep conversation with Athanasius or Cyril of Alexandria on the incarnation might well supplement the riches we can gain by a wider overview. By doing so, the reader will become acquainted with a father in some depth, with the additional benefit of accompanying that same father as he explores and explains a key subject."

In this volume we do spend quality time with a selection of fathers as they develop theology from the scriptures.

We spend time with Athanasius as he counters Arius’s explanation of the Son’s relationship to the Father.

We spend time with Gregory of Nazianzus and Augustine’s as they reflect on the Trinity.

We spend time with Cyril as he takes on Nestorius's reluctance to speak of Mary as the mother of God (theotokos).

We spend time with Basil the Great, bishop of Caesarea as he expounds on the Holy Spirit.

But the get into some of the detail of the debates at the time such as between Augustine and Pelagius on the nature of sin..

If you read my review of "reading scriptures with the fathers" you will know that i was expecting to spend time reading scriptures with the fathers and instead i got a good introduction into the lives of the fathers in context to the time and where they were living but not much time with them in amongst the scriptures. Not so here! The value of this book is that it spends time with fathers from a wide spectrum seeing how they read and connected the scriptures. But also spends time with them working out how the scriptures could be interpreted and applied in their day.

This is a valuable introduction and anyone can value from reading it for many of the questions the fathers struggle with are still being raised and relevant today.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
March 19, 2020  |  6:23 PM   |    Fantastic (5)
You will get a better indication of the contents of this book from the screenshot And not from the title.

I didnt spend enough time looking at the image on the product page so from the title, I was expecting passages of scripture with various interpretations by the fathers. That really comes in the subsequent volumes, such as learning theology with the fathers.

Having said that, this volume is an excellent introduction to the church fathers and the kinds of thoughts that were developing ...
You will get a better indication of the contents of this book from the screenshot And not from the title.

I didnt spend enough time looking at the image on the product page so from the title, I was expecting passages of scripture with various interpretations by the fathers. That really comes in the subsequent volumes, such as learning theology with the fathers.

Having said that, this volume is an excellent introduction to the church fathers and the kinds of thoughts that were developing around the same time as the early church was sorting out what being a Christian meant.

I dont feel i have been reading scripture with the fathers in this volume (though i certainly do in his other volumes). Rather i feel that i have been given an insight into the life of the fathers and a snapshot of how they used the gospels, paul and genesis in coming to Christianity or discussing theological developments with each other.

There are some great insights into the early issues such as Athanasius and Gregory of Nazianzus refuting the teachings of Arius. This is important as Arian thoughts are still promoted today.

In addition to expositions on the scriptures, there are excerpts from letters to their congregation. There is a touching glimpse of the pastoral nature of John Chrysostom as he counsels Olympias to take care of her own health because of the oppressive nature of sickness and its tendency to sap away spiritual strength.

We also get a glimpse into the different approaches used to interpret the scriptures between the church fathers in Alexandria and Antioch.

This book is an excellent introduction into the world of the fathers and helps in setting the context to what follows in subsequent volumes.

Each chapter finishes with a detailed list for further reading.

My one criticism is that if you are reading a book on the fathers, the first two chapters are a bit redundant.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
January 4, 2020  |  6:53 AM   |    Fantastic (5)
I am not a scholar but i have really benefitted from having these two lexicons in my library and think they are extremely valuable resources.

They provide a lot of detail and are well structured. They may not cover every word in the original language text, but what they do cover is very useful and i certainly wouldn't want to be without them now.

My only disappointment is that mounce links to the abridged original nidntt and not to the later complete 'e' volume but on the positive, mounce d ...
I am not a scholar but i have really benefitted from having these two lexicons in my library and think they are extremely valuable resources.

They provide a lot of detail and are well structured. They may not cover every word in the original language text, but what they do cover is very useful and i certainly wouldn't want to be without them now.

My only disappointment is that mounce links to the abridged original nidntt and not to the later complete 'e' volume but on the positive, mounce does link to nidotte!
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
April 23, 2019  |  3:21 AM   |    Fantastic (5)
I have been investigating the history of the early churches for some time now and i am so pleased that this has been added to the list of accordance resources as i really enjoy exploring it.

This volume gives an excellent overview of the spread of christianity from about 70 to 2000 ce and provides a summary of the major events and many key players in both text and maps. The text is very readable and provides a great snapshot of the events. However, the maps really bring the text to life ...
I have been investigating the history of the early churches for some time now and i am so pleased that this has been added to the list of accordance resources as i really enjoy exploring it.

This volume gives an excellent overview of the spread of christianity from about 70 to 2000 ce and provides a summary of the major events and many key players in both text and maps. The text is very readable and provides a great snapshot of the events. However, the maps really bring the text to life helping you visualise events and are superb. They can be zoomed in on and look fantastic on an iPad (i havent tried projecting them yet but think they should look fantastic enlarged). The maps also contain more information than the text and the detail and cartography are really excellent. This and its sister volume really raise the bar for cartography. Just what an atlas should be with the focus clearly centred on the maps and the text and photos playing a supporting role.

This resource follows the same format as the sister volume, 'atlas of european reformation', which is one page of text and a map. At 160 pages covering 2000 years, this volume can only provide an overview so there are a couple of maps before constantine, a couple for the councils, a couple for the great schism, and then three sections detailing spread to the different continents. The text is not strictly chonological but the information is usefully grouped. As a result, there is some skipping about, for example the fransicans are mentioned a few pages before a more detailed account of their formation. However there is a very detailed chronology set out at the back which is clearly laid out with an interesting Diversity of information up to 2015.

@ 160 pages, there are going to be omissions, such as the only mention of origen is of his death in 250 in the chronology (and i only found that because of the search functionality in accordance, i didnt find it when looking in the hard copy). It provides a good overview of the reforms prior to the reformation. Inevatably there are about 10 pages of text and maps that cover the same period though not to the same depth as its much more detailed sister atlas on the reformation. However, there is a 5th section picking up where the sister volume leaves off covering 1720 to the present day showing the missionary spread to all the continents.

I find these two atlases very useful as they provide a top level view of what was happening where so you can easily visualise what is occuring and put a name in context either to its geographical location or in its chronological location with other individuals.

Personally i think this volume majors on the western tradition and is a bit weak on the orthodox churches (though they are represented well initially, there are very few references after the great schism dealt with on page 68 till we get a map of russia on page 148 and then a map of eastern orthodox church on page 152.)

The texts are very easy reading and not indepth studies but the bibliographies give pointers to where you can go for more information. (Though i would be warey of just relying on the Diarmaid MacCulloch volumes and i couldnt see any from orthodox scholars listed.)

When not browsing through this over a morning coffee, i will be using it to provide an overview for the detailed resource i am using (particularly behr, young or stevenson revised by frend) and this is the essential companion volume to whatever i am reading as it gives me the context and the ability to stand back and quickly see the bigger picture and how it fits together. Plus its on my ipad and phone so is with me most of the time when im out rather than a paper copy left at home so i can explore other areas over a coffee or pint while waiting to meet someone.

I am very thankful for accordance for introducing me to these two resources which i was previously unaware of. While waiting for the history of christianity to be added to accordance, i finally spent time with the hard copy of both and was immediately struck by how much better the maps are in accordance where in the paper copies, the maps often are cut across by the binding which hides some of the information. This is particularly true in this volume where the majority of the maps cross the stitching.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
April 2, 2019  |  2:38 PM   |    Good (4)
I was very strongly encouraged to get this by my tutors many years ago so i got it as a hard back copy. Later i got the cd version but found it was virtually unusable with a very poor interface. Scroll forward a couple of decades and its now in accordance with all the links and accordance magic as well as search and indexes.

For me its strength is the apocrypha material as i have a number of good commentaries on each of the standard canon. (I havent got the Eerdmans which dan rates so cant ...
I was very strongly encouraged to get this by my tutors many years ago so i got it as a hard back copy. Later i got the cd version but found it was virtually unusable with a very poor interface. Scroll forward a couple of decades and its now in accordance with all the links and accordance magic as well as search and indexes.

For me its strength is the apocrypha material as i have a number of good commentaries on each of the standard canon. (I havent got the Eerdmans which dan rates so cant compare it. I also took the descision to wait to see if accordance could get this from oup as i was already familiar with it and already had the abridged ebc, rather than get the Eerdmans.)

My first single volume commentary was peakes published in 1962 and for over 30 years of use, i was very happy with it. I am sure there are bits which have been superseded by more recent discoveries but overall, i found peakes very useful. However, When i was studying, the oxford was more recent and certainly more readable with a larger font but i never felt it was a major step up on peakes though my tutors believed it was, hence their recommendation. The oxford commentary itself is now virtually 20 years old and i feel it has worn well but i guess there will be some who will criticise it for also being superseded by more recent discoveries. Personally, i dont like to keep changing my resources despite newer thinking, because i get used to a style and familiar with how a resource is set out. Pre accordance, this became my go to but i have been out of the habit of using it because of the inconvenience of using a hard copy when most of my resources are now in accordance and on my iPad and phone as well as my mbp.

Now having the oxford bible commentary in accordance is great for a quick look but i suspect that i will continue to use my jps/wbc/nivac combination for most of my detailed study and in practice i find i am still using the abridged ebc when i want a quick overview Of the normal canon or for something not covered in WBC and am looking for more than is covered in a study bible. But having it on my ipad and phone is just so much more convenient than using the hard copy which my wife still uses. And it is useful for the apocrypha!

It is good but then there are also other good single volume commentaries in accordance. you will certainly not be disappointed if you are after a comprehensive and clear single volume commentary, but its worth comparing other similar resources and reviews available in accordance before you jump (unless its recommended by your tutors in which case follow their advice)!
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February 25, 2019  |  5:22 PM   |    Good (4)
While i was training, the tutors were using the 4th version of this and kept trying to get me to change to it from the study bible i was using. I got the oxford commentary edited by barton and muddiman which they also 'suggested' but got the spiritual formation bible (a renovare resource) as i wanted a study bible which took a radically different approach to my other study bibles. Both of these were hard copy and in my pre accordance days.

Jump forward several decades, i still like study ...
While i was training, the tutors were using the 4th version of this and kept trying to get me to change to it from the study bible i was using. I got the oxford commentary edited by barton and muddiman which they also 'suggested' but got the spiritual formation bible (a renovare resource) as i wanted a study bible which took a radically different approach to my other study bibles. Both of these were hard copy and in my pre accordance days.

Jump forward several decades, i still like study bibles but I also like to have a study bible that relates to the translation i am reading in accordance. (I know accordance allows you to use any study bible with any translation.)

I have been holding off getting an nrsv study bible in the hope that the noab would eventually come to accordance.
For me, the good news about this module is that it includes notes on the apocrypha which is useful and missing from all my other study bibles. There is also a parallel module which appears to be tailor made for the nrsv parallel module.

The notes are also a little more detailed rather than some of the one line comments found in some study bibles but my initial impression is that they are not as detailed as those in either the esv or the zondervan niv study bibles.

So, why only 4 stars? When buying a hard copy nrsv, you either get the cross references or you get a study bible or just the text with notes. Unlike the niv and esv study bibles, you dont get both study notes and cross references. Also, the maps are clear but only in monochrome unlike the full colour and slightly more detailed ones in the esv and zondervan niv study bibles.

Yes, there are lots of cross references in the noab study notes but we dont get the complete cross references that are included in the specific cross reference hard copy. Not sure why nrsv has taken this policy because it is the same with all the publishers of the hard copy.

Like all study bibles these days, there are lots of essays at the end and accordance have worked their magic on linking references and tagging and the contents index is brilliantly structured.

I am pleased to finally having a nrsv study bible in accordance as the nrsv is the bible used throughout our diocese. For me, i am looking forward to using it and getting to dig around in it but i doubt this will become my 'go to' because of the missing cross references which i have become used to in the esv study bible as i have been running this in parallel with the nrsv translation while waiting for noab as the translations are similar. The esv study bible also has a good range of maps in colour and scrolls with the text on my ipad (though i now can open my holman atlas in a second pane and use the index).

I suspect the noab will be mainly called on when im delving into the apocrypha as i got used to the esv study bible.

I would also get the spiritual formation study bible if it were to be made available in accordance as i still find its approach to be radically different to all my other study bibles and still go to my hard copy along with my hard copy jerusalem bible study notes.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
February 25, 2019  |  4:46 PM   |    Fantastic (5)
In the days of Christian book shops, i used to enjoy browsing and was really pleased when i discovered the first version and bought it immediately. I then got the Jewish Annotated nt. This was pre accordance for me. For many years my Jewish study Bible and then the Jewish Annotated New Testament have been my go to study bibles along with the esv. I then got them as electronic versions in accordance as soon as they were released.

I havent had enough time to spend comparing the notes of the two ...
In the days of Christian book shops, i used to enjoy browsing and was really pleased when i discovered the first version and bought it immediately. I then got the Jewish Annotated nt. This was pre accordance for me. For many years my Jewish study Bible and then the Jewish Annotated New Testament have been my go to study bibles along with the esv. I then got them as electronic versions in accordance as soon as they were released.

I havent had enough time to spend comparing the notes of the two versions but The number of essays has been substantially increased and those i have read are of the typical excellent quality.

This is a significant revision and well worth getting. According to the preface in the second version of the jps:

"The first edition ... Many readers found the essays to be an extremely valuable resource for learning about the world of the Bible, the history of Jewish Bible study, and the methods of modern scholarship. We received so many positive reactions to the essay section that we thought it would be useful to augment it substantially, offering even more background on a wider variety of topics.

But the essays are not the only new feature of this edition. Biblical scholarship is dynamic and ever-changing. We have therefore encouraged all the original contributors of both annotations and essays to revise their work; and in some cases, we sought new annotators to reflect more recent scholarship and to include more women and Israeli scholars. Thus, this volume is over one-third new."
ADELE BERLIN
MARC ZVI BRETTLER
February 2014

I am looking forward to spending more time with it and one day i may even be able to compare the notes from both 1st and 2nd versions on the same screen on my ipad along with the jps text.

If you are coming to this review from the upgrade page, then you already know how good the 1st version is. If you were getting the second version in hard copy, you would have to pay full price again so the fact that you have an upgrade price is an added benefit.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
February 25, 2019  |  4:28 PM   |    Fantastic (5)
For many years my Jewish study Bible and Jewish Annotated New Testament have been my go to study bibles along with the esv. I bought the hard copy of the first versions of both of these and then got them as electronic versions in accordance as soon as they were released.

I havent had enough time to spend comparing the notes but
The number of essays has been substantially increased and those i have read are of the typical excellent quality.
The formatting has been improved over the first ...
For many years my Jewish study Bible and Jewish Annotated New Testament have been my go to study bibles along with the esv. I bought the hard copy of the first versions of both of these and then got them as electronic versions in accordance as soon as they were released.

I havent had enough time to spend comparing the notes but
The number of essays has been substantially increased and those i have read are of the typical excellent quality.
The formatting has been improved over the first version. In that the in text essays were at the end of the biblical book but were in line with the notes in the printed copy. In this second version, the in line essays are spread through the text.
The list of contents has also been restructured so its easy to see the links to the essays, in line essays and charts.

This is a thorough revision and well worthe getting.

If you are coming to this review from the upgrade page, then you already know how good the 1st version is. If you were getting the second version in hard copy, you would have to pay full price again!
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
December 9, 2018  |  1:58 PM   |    Fantastic (5)
I first came across this translation when i bought the jewish study bible in the bookshop in Durham Cathederal, soon after publication. The study bible together with the jps translation became my 'go to' to complement my Jerusalem bible with study notes which i had had rebound.

The paper copy of the jps has one major disadvantage, it isnt tagged. As soon as i got accordance both this tagged version and the jewish study bible were among my earliest purchases.

While the jewish study bible can ...
I first came across this translation when i bought the jewish study bible in the bookshop in Durham Cathederal, soon after publication. The study bible together with the jps translation became my 'go to' to complement my Jerusalem bible with study notes which i had had rebound.

The paper copy of the jps has one major disadvantage, it isnt tagged. As soon as i got accordance both this tagged version and the jewish study bible were among my earliest purchases.

While the jewish study bible can be used with any translation within accordance, this is the translation that goes with it and the tagged version is the best one to own.

As a translation, i find this very refreshing and there are some subtle variations and insights that for me, make it an essential component in my library. Compare
Gen. 1:1 ¶ When God began to create heaven and earth—
Gen. 1:2 the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water—
Gen. 1:3 God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
(Gen. 1:1–3 JPS)

With the hebrew and your usual translation

This volume comes with the notes that include the translators philosophy.
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December 5, 2018  |  7:00 AM   |    Good (4)
This is a very good general overview book, but not an essential. One of those to add to your library so you have something to read by the fire when you want to relax and not exercise your mind too much. I could also see this book being used in a home group situation as it is very approachable and not technical so could be used by all age groups and backgrounds.

Much of it will be familiar to a bible scholar but it gathers together information which is presented in a very readable and enjoyable ...
This is a very good general overview book, but not an essential. One of those to add to your library so you have something to read by the fire when you want to relax and not exercise your mind too much. I could also see this book being used in a home group situation as it is very approachable and not technical so could be used by all age groups and backgrounds.

Much of it will be familiar to a bible scholar but it gathers together information which is presented in a very readable and enjoyable form.

I first read 'how to read the jewish bible' by Marc Zvi Brettler which i enjoyed and is very similar and covers virtually the same material as in Carasik's volume. Both books are very readable, but both books come at the material from different directions and are organised in a different way. If you have read one, you probably dont need the other but as the bible's many voices is in accordance, this is a major benefit as you can see the biblical references and explore diferent translations while reading the book.

Because i had already read 'how to read the jewish bible', an additional voice i keep hearing when reading Bible's many voices is Marc Brettler's voice. Its good to read something that complements and is consistent and confirms something else you have read and the different arrangement adds a different perspective.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
September 10, 2018  |  6:00 PM   |    Fantastic (5)
A picture is worth 1000 words and for me, nothing comes near a good map for understanding context.

In my opinion, this is the best atlas out there with very beautifully clear colourful detailed maps!

In 2008, i decided it was time to get a good atlas rather than rely on the ones in the back of my printed study bibles. I spent a long time in foyles in london comparing all the different atlases on the market at the time and the holman stood out clearly with the most comprehensive list of maps, ...
A picture is worth 1000 words and for me, nothing comes near a good map for understanding context.

In my opinion, this is the best atlas out there with very beautifully clear colourful detailed maps!

In 2008, i decided it was time to get a good atlas rather than rely on the ones in the back of my printed study bibles. I spent a long time in foyles in london comparing all the different atlases on the market at the time and the holman stood out clearly with the most comprehensive list of maps, with the clearest cartography and the sort of detail i was looking for.

Since then, this has been my go to atlas and no matter what i was looking for, there was a map that covered it.

I have looked at other atlases as they have been published, but nothing comes close (the carta bible atlas has many more maps and covers the detail but is sadly still in monochrome. This is based on the initial reproduction descisions despite the move to modern colourful data projection and colour printing technology, perhaps the next version will rectify this, but until then...).

In accordance i got the zondervan atlas but was very disappointed, not only by the limited number of maps compared to my holman, but also by the poor cartography and lack of detail on the maps. I quickly stopped using it and has been deleted from my mobile devices.

For the last few years i have used the esv study bible to follow talks on my mobile devices. The study bible has a better range of maps than the zondervan atlas and it scrolls with the bible text in a second window on iOS. The esv maps are ok and most have been included in the crossways atlas, but like the zondervan atlas, they are no where near as clear or detailed as the standard set by the holmans. (Currently, the holman Is classed as a general tool so it has to be opened on its own and cannot be opened in a second window on my ipad, but i live in hope that this will be resolved in a future version of ios accordance.) in a recent sale, i have also purchased the holman illustrated study bible as it has about 75% of holman atlas maps in it so that this will scroll with the bible text. Its early days to see which i will use as switching resources in accordance isnt as quick as it could be and the notes in the holman are very poor compared to the esv.

when preparing sermons, i would still scan my holman atlas as they are the best for clarity with the most comprehensive set of maps. When i have projected or shared these maps, they have always been appreciated and commented on by the congregation or small group.

I now have my go to bible atlas with me whenever i need it on ios so am no longer restricted to just using my hard copy while at home plus i no longer have to edit the scans of my maps as accordance has worked marvels with the formatting of the maps. The maps look stunning full screen on a retina display or projected!

This is a truly excellent resource and it was definitely worth the wait for it to be available in accordance and able to open it in a second window with my text.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
July 30, 2018  | 11:39 AM   |    Fantastic (5)
This was my introduction into Brueggemann.

The model of orientation—disorientation—new orientation was Refreshing and linked in with john bell's musical settings (wild goose or Iona). It is a very top level introduction to the model and helps give a fresh look at the psalms (and may even challenge the reader to think about our worship pattern on Sunday's). Something i have read and may dip into to reacquaint myself with the model but not something i would return to for detailed study.

@about ...
This was my introduction into Brueggemann.

The model of orientation—disorientation—new orientation was Refreshing and linked in with john bell's musical settings (wild goose or Iona). It is a very top level introduction to the model and helps give a fresh look at the psalms (and may even challenge the reader to think about our worship pattern on Sunday's). Something i have read and may dip into to reacquaint myself with the model but not something i would return to for detailed study.

@about 240 words per page and 70 pages long, it is very short (the screenshot shows three pages!). However, this is very readable over a pot of coffee and while not challenging (the screenshot is an excellent typical example), got me thinking and wanting to explore his other writings which i am enjoying.

The longer message of the psalms is on my 'to get' list after i have worked through my current backlog of volumes (which are mainly longer and heavier than this).

If its a choice between the two, get the full version.
But get this if you want to explore this author or
are on a very limited budget or
you want something 'light' to read over a pot of coffee or
you want a fresh top level perspective on the psalms.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
July 17, 2018  |  6:01 AM   |    Good (4)
This is the primary translation used within our church.
Having the tagged version on phone, tablet and mbp is excellent. However i have a number of issues, hence only 4 stars.

The notes that accompany this start with abreviations and do not include the 4 pages in a hard copy of the translators forward explaining the translation descisions or texts used. This is a major oversight and should be resolved as a matter of urgency, obtaining and including the etext from the publisher.

My other ...
This is the primary translation used within our church.
Having the tagged version on phone, tablet and mbp is excellent. However i have a number of issues, hence only 4 stars.

The notes that accompany this start with abreviations and do not include the 4 pages in a hard copy of the translators forward explaining the translation descisions or texts used. This is a major oversight and should be resolved as a matter of urgency, obtaining and including the etext from the publisher.

My other concern is with the publishers descisions. You can get the text (as with this), the text with cross references or the text with a study bible MINUS the cross references.

I would have preferred the notes to have included the cross references as well as textural variance notes. Even if this meant that the cost was increased (as is the case with the hard copies).

For this reason, i tend to use the esv and niv as my two normal bible translations and only use the nrsv when preparing for a service or reading during a service where the nrsv is being used. Both the niv and esv notes include full translators introduction and cross references to other scripture passages.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
July 15, 2018  |  7:21 AM   |    Okay (3)
For me, a good study bible is essential and i usually have one open when reading a passage. And it is good to have a study bible for your go to translation, if not specific ones for each translation you use frequently.

I started using accordance when i moved to mac from windows because it was included on the zondervan cd with the original niv study bible.

My accordance library grew and i started using the esv study bible in preference to the niv because of the 200 maps in addition to the ...
For me, a good study bible is essential and i usually have one open when reading a passage. And it is good to have a study bible for your go to translation, if not specific ones for each translation you use frequently.

I started using accordance when i moved to mac from windows because it was included on the zondervan cd with the original niv study bible.

My accordance library grew and i started using the esv study bible in preference to the niv because of the 200 maps in addition to the quality of the notes and the tagged esv was included in all accordance ios package.

I eventually got this updated niv zondervan study bible when it was on sale at a very good price because of the reviews but like bat man's review, i have failed to see what the Hype is about.

The formatting is better than the original study bible with links to other notes rather than links to other passages and then having to find the attached note. But the notes are not desperately enlightening and i still use the original niv study bible in preference despite the slightly more convoluted way of getting to referenced notes. For articles i still go to the jps study bible and jewish annotated nt study bible. For maps, the esv study bible, not sure if i have mentioned that before.

At church, our standard is the nrsv and while i wait for the oxford annotated study bible to be available in accordance for notes on the apocrypha, i use the esv as my go to study bible with the nrsv, because the translation tradition is very similar, the notes but especially the maps! This is followed by the jps or jant depending what i am looking at, then the original niv study bible and in that order!

It took me ages to decide to get this particular resource and I use it occasionally only because i have it, but having bought it and used it for a while, i find i could quite happily have continued to live without it as i only refer to it after the others listed above if and when i have plenty of time to click through the resources on ios.

For me the esv is the must have study bible as it works with any translation but especially the tagged esv which comes with accordance. The niv zondervan is a nice to have study bible if the niv is your bible translation of choice and you havent managed to get the original 2002 niv study bible in accordance.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
February 23, 2018  | 12:09 PM   |    Good (4)
I find this very uneven. Some sections are a few sentences and add no more information than a good study bible. Other sections are fairly detailed. The gospels are fairly well covered but the pastoral letters are a bit lightweight.

There is no book introduction or summary on author or time or social/political setting or overview to help you orientate yourself as you find in a typical commentary. The commentary launches straight into the text. For example from letter 1 & 2 peter:
1Peter 1 ...
I find this very uneven. Some sections are a few sentences and add no more information than a good study bible. Other sections are fairly detailed. The gospels are fairly well covered but the pastoral letters are a bit lightweight.

There is no book introduction or summary on author or time or social/political setting or overview to help you orientate yourself as you find in a typical commentary. The commentary launches straight into the text. For example from letter 1 & 2 peter:
1Peter 1:1 Kefa is the name Yeshua gave Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan when he called him to be his talmid (Yn 1:42&N, Mt 4:18N); in most English versions it is written, “Cephas,” following the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic word. Yeshua, upon Shim‘on’s being first to acknowledge him as the Messiah, revealed the significance of the name: “You are Kefa [which means ‘Rock’], and on this rock I will build my Community, and the gates of Sh’ol will not overcome it”(Mt 16:17-18&NN). The New Testament emphasizes that significance by usually rendering the name in Greek as “Petros” (“rock”), normally transliterated “Peter” in English.

2 peter opens with
2Peter 1:1 Shim‘on bar-Yochanan and Kefa are names for Peter the emissary (apostle). See Mt 4:18, 10:2-4, 16:17-18&NN; Yn 1:42&N; 1 Ke 1:1&N.

Giving no indication if the author is the same as the first letter or where David Stern stands on the discussion. later the commentary states

2Peter 1:14-15 As our Lord Yeshua the Messiah has made clear to me. Yeshua indicated how Kefa would die at Yn 21:18-19, though without saying when. Here Kefa knows it will be soon. According to tradition, Kefa was crucified upside down, saying he did not deserve to be crucified right side up like his Lord.

In practice I find myself turning to the Jewish annotated New Testament first and then to this volume if I have time When looking at a passage in the lectionary. There are references back to torah throughout but I feel you need to use it when working through a book.

It’s certainly not the first resource i turn to but is definitely Worth having in your library for a Messianic Jewish perspective but I think of it more as a study bible rather than a commentary. But I certainly think you need to get more typical commentaries first and think of this as a secondary nice to have resource for a non traditional perspective.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
January 26, 2018  | 10:49 AM   |    Good (4)
This is a very ‘chatty’ commentary. I find it more extensive than tyndale but I still need to refer to a technical commentary for the background and structure such as wbc.

I am fortunate that I have time to read round books and don’t regret getting this set compared to some of my other purchases. This series is certainly a good read but don’t find I am making extensive notes. The content is clearly presented but I find his style to be almost like listening to a lecture. If it was live it w ...
This is a very ‘chatty’ commentary. I find it more extensive than tyndale but I still need to refer to a technical commentary for the background and structure such as wbc.

I am fortunate that I have time to read round books and don’t regret getting this set compared to some of my other purchases. This series is certainly a good read but don’t find I am making extensive notes. The content is clearly presented but I find his style to be almost like listening to a lecture. If it was live it would be fine, but I find reading makes it slightly harder going and slightly verbose. I find the information useful and it is readable but more like a rather one sided conversation with the author.

It’s a good addition to my library but I wouldn’t consider it essential or an initial purchase (unlike wbc and nivac).

However, I have just purchased his book on isaiah which has recently been released in Accordance so he is worth persevering with.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]

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