About This Blog

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The NIV QuickView Bible

TITLE: NIV QuickView Bible
AUTHOR: The Zondervan Quickview Bible Team
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012, (1110 pages).

This is one of those love-at-first-sight Bible resources to have. Included with the entire New International Version English Bible translation (latest 2011 version), the Bible is filled with vivid colours that are refreshing, and illustrations that bring out the Bible's truth with clarity and insights. Using more than 360 intelligent visual infographics, it makes navigating the Bible a richer and more exciting adventure. The Bible team recognizes that 83% of all human learning occurs visually. At the same time, the QuickView Bible brings a refreshing new perspective on the stories, the messages, the histories, and the ancient texts, making readers more excited to get into the text for themselves.  There are many visual eye-candies like:
  • Colour coding the ten different divisions of the whole Bible;
  • Simple explanation of how we get our Bibles;
  • Breakdown of Noah's 375 days in the Ark;
  • Life story of Jacob, Moses, and others clearly diagrammed;
  • Jewish Calendar and our modern equivalents;
  • Table of all the kings of Israel and Judah;
  • Contrast of Jesus' teachings about light and darkness
  • Paul's Teachings;
  • Spiritual Gifts;
  • Maps of Canaan, the Divided Kingdom, Palestine, Israel, and many more;
It is hard not to like this book. Old Testament laws are clearly laid out with the purposes of them weaved with the mercy of God. The gospels are also full of charts and diagrams to give readers a glimpse of the idea flow, which encourages the reader to read the text more carefully to check the biblical texts for themselves. There are three things which I really appreciate about this Quickview Bible. Firstly, it enhances the reading of the Bible with some brilliant bird's eye view of the Bible story. For instance, in the book of First Samuel, we read how the biblical author narrates the different characters who change their allegiances. There is also a highs and lows chart to show the erratic life of Saul, how he rises valiantly at the beginning, fumbles along in the middle, and ultimately kills himself at the end. Secondly, the maps are incorporated appropriately in the texts that help readers appreciate the geographical aspects of the texts being read. Normally, we will need a Bible atlas to accompany the study of the Bible. This Quickview Bible incorporates some of the most important maps within the Bible itself, enabling the reader to remain on the page without having to flip open another book to refer to the same thing. Thirdly, from a preaching and teaching perspective, the infographics are powerful ways to communicate the big ideas of the Bible. The colours are well used. The adjectives are carefully chosen. The placement of the infographics are sensitively placed to enable readers to read the texts with the big ideas in mind.

Having said that, there are some drawbacks with regards to using such a Bible. First, readers may unwittingly pay more attention to the infographics rather than the Bible itself. After all, if 83% of people learn better with visual material, will that also mean about 83% of the attention will be biased toward the infographics rather than the text? Second, the infographics are by themselves an interpretation. There is little explanation of why, how, and what are the facts leading up to the way the charts and illustrations are done. From a scholarship perspective, there is no way to cite any individual or individuals for each graphic. For example, what are the factors leading up to the declaration of the "Top 5 Reasons to Praise God in Psalms" on page 524? Where are the proof texts pertaining to the big ideas in the "Song of Songs" or Jeremiah? Third, the very idea of a "Quick view" can pose a problem for cultivating the spirituality of waiting and contemplation.  Some of the best spiritual exercises are only cultivated through patience. While it is quick as far as mental grasps of the facts are concerned, reading the Bible is not just about knowledge, but the application of such knowledge in wisdom and in discernment.

That said, I still consider this Quickview Bible a precious resource for learning and teaching. As long as readers understand the pros and cons of using such a resource. I highly recommend this as a learning supplement, not a full replacement of the reading of the Bible. If you like to check out some of the infographics, click here.

Rating: 4.75 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Zondervan Bible Marketing Team without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

1 comment:

  1. www.HolyBibleSearch.net & www.BibleGateway.com are helpful tools to search, study & read the Bible online.