Weighing in at about the same as a ream of paper (maybe a little heavier), and standing approximately 2 inches thick, this is one beefy Bible! I wouldn't exactly call it a "study Bible" per se, but it has its uses as a study Bible.
But first, let's talk about its features.
- Each chapter begins with a "Title Illustration", as well as an introduction. At the back of the Bible is an "Index of Title Illustrations", which provides a very brief (one or two sentences) explanation of that particular book's illustration. (See inset photo).
- The pages are single-column spreads, with hefty outside margins that are approximately 1.25 inches wide. This allows for ample note-writing space, which is prime real estate in the worlds of study Bibles.
- English Standard Version: I love the version! I'm a fan of the NKJV as well as the ESV, so this one is just fantastic.
- The commentary is not designed as other study Bibles....but probably because this is not another study Bible. Instead, because the commentaries are designed to enhance and explain the Bible's big-picture storyline of redemption, the commentaries are "in line" with the test of scripture. What that means is that whenever Greg Gilbert (editor) felt the need to explain certain aspects of the story of redemption, he placed the commentaries in a place that made literary sense. They could be at the end of a chapter, or even right in the middle. I appreciate this feature because reading through regular commentaries in study Bibles can get distracting when trying to read large portions of scripture, whereas this style intends to enhance the storyline.
- There is a "Chronological Overview" in the front of the Bible if the reader should choose to read cover-to-cover chronologically.
- Or, should you so choose, there's also a traditional "Daily Reading Plan" in the back.
- One feature I truly like is the simple "Story of Redemption Timeline" as the very last layout....a four-page spread! It's not too complex, but allows the reader to get a simpler glance to the Bible's history in a single layout.
- Overall, I think this Bible makes for a great tool for a new / new-er believer who is trying to wrap her mind around what the Bible means from beginning to end. For the new believer, a traditional study Bible can feel intimidating. That's certainly not to say this Bible is not useful for a "seasoned" believer, but it's simply not set up as a Bible that can be used to make and find cross references. Other good study Bibles help make those connections for the reader, but this one is designed with big-picture themes in view.
Overall, I give "The Story of Redemption Bible" 4 out of 5 stars....I knock just one star off due to the lack of cross references. Otherwise, I like it!
DISCLAIMER: I received this Bible free of charge from Crossway publishers in exchange for my unbiased review of it. All opinions are mine, and I was not required to provide a positive review of it.