NIV Archaeological Study Bible
Zondervan Publishing Co.
Grand Rapids, MI
ISBN: 9780310926054 (Hardcover)
Review by Ryan Ho
It’s not terribly difficult to find a Study Bible these days. New Study Bibles are published constantly, creating a wide selection on the market. Unfortunately, many of the newer Study Bibles only repeat what was said in the older ones, and it can be difficult to find a Study Bible with fresh material.
The Archaeological Study Bible, thankfully, is one of those fresh Bibles. A collaboration between Zondervan Publishing Company and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, this Study Bible is an absolutely excellent resource. If you are looking for something with new, interesting information, this is a Bible that you have to check out.
Translation-wise, the Archaeological Study Bible uses the ever-popular New International Version. The Bible itself is beautiful; every illustration and photograph is printed in full color, and the single-column format of the Bible makes it very, very readable. The Bible is filled with over 500 articles, covering five general categories: Archaeological Sites; Cultural and Historical Notes; Ancient Peoples, Lands and Rulers; The Reliability of the Bible; and Ancient Texts and Artifacts. There lots of other great features included as well, such as additional study notes on the bottom of each page, detailed book introductions, lots of charts and graphs, and side-column cross references. Overall, this Bible has a ton of useful and insightful information that will help clarify and explain much of what you are reading.
This Bible’s extra information won’t answer every question that exists, and it skips over a lot of issues that other Study Bibles deal extensively with (for a great example of a “typical” Study Bible, check out the Quest Study Bible). While I probably would never recommend this Bible to a new believer, this Bible is invaluable for those who have been in the church for some time and are seeking to deepen both their knowledge of the Bible and their relationship with the Lord. The Archaeological Study Bible is, in my opinion, a must-have for anyone serious about learning more about the culture and the context of the Bible.