Book Review: The Jesus Bible, by Zondervan

The Jesus BibleMarketed as a Louie Giglio/Passion product, Zondervan’s The Jesus Bible claims “sixty-six books. one story. all about one name.” (As printed on the cover page.) I usually find gimmick and niche Bibles forced, unhelpful, and a rehashing of material (sometimes not even relevant to the gimmick) from previously published books. This one is better than many of those in one sense: there is a LOT of material trying to connect passages throughout the Bible to Jesus, and it took me quite a while to read every bit of it (I think I’ve reviewed five other books since I started this one). There are about thirty contributing writers in one fashion or another, but only the major essays note the authors. Those essays aren’t very helpful, but the authors’ names will likely help sales. General additional content is typically from a Reformed and Evangelical perspective, although I did find one contribution in Revelation that does not agree with the rest of the incomplete “faith only” comments through the text and rightly stated, “Believers today can take note: faith and works should go hand in hand. The relationship between faith and works is natural, and neither one should be overemphasized at the expense of the other” (p.1973). All additions in the Old Testament imply a conditional immortality stance on the afterlife, whereas additions in the New Testament hint at what many call the “traditional” view of hell. There are also hints of dispensationalism multiple eschatologies. So, there are inconsistencies that are often found with many contributors. Of course, the biggest problem is that every book in the Bible is not “about” Jesus, as is the central claim of this specialty Bible. Much “points to” Jesus, but little is “about” him. Some of the commentary is spot on, but much is a stretch, forced connection, or outright incorrect. So, overall, it’s better than many of these types of specialty Bibles, but I’d still recommend getting a proper study Bible if one wants commentary and the Bible in one collection.

 

Aesthetically, I will say that the gray cotton hardcover looks and feels great, and the black and white lettering accent well. However, the cotton dirties quite easily and the cover printing is paint that appears to be easily scratched off and will chip in time. The formatting of content within the text was done well, including side bars and pertinent timeline placement.

 

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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