“In the divine Scriptures, there are shallows and there are deeps; shallows where the lamb may wade, and deeps where the elephant may swim.” – John Owen
I remember sitting in French class in college not knowing what I got myself into. I felt lost and confused. I needed lots of help at the beginning while adjusting to this new study.
We all have been there. A new phase of life begins and we feel lost or confused and need help as we get started.
The new life in Christ can be overwhelming at the start. You gave your life to Christ. You are forgiven of your sins. You are now apart of the Body of Christ, the Church.
And, as the story goes… As soon as you make a profession of faith, someone hands you a large book called the Bible. You are told this is your guide to life. Read it, and study it with care. This is how you get to know Jesus and understand how to live your new life in Him.
Getting a Bible when starting your new life with Christ can feel daunting. The book is larger than most books you have read. There are many books within the Bible. The language may seem archaic and strange. How in the world are you supposed to study and understand everything in this book?
A Study Bible to Start Your Quest
Zondervan recently rereleased the NIV Quest Study Bible. This Study Bible is a great tool to start your new journey as a Christian.
The contributors on the Quest Study Bible have taken the task to create a study Bible that is understandable, easy to access, and easy to use for those who are new to the faith as they seek to know God through His Word.
I have personally used this study Bible in the past and have found it helpful in my Christian walk with God. There are so many aspects of this Bible that are beneficial to new believer that I would like to walk through a few of them as you consider this Bible as a tool to start your walk with Christ.
A Study Bible that is Easy to Understand
The NIV translation is a great place to start when studying the Bible. The language of the NIV is easy to comprehend as one makes their way through some of the tougher passages and long paragraphs. Paul can be confusing sometimes, but the language of the NIV can clear some of the confusion up.
Also, many of the other study Bibles have notes that involve Greek and Hebrew key words, deep theological notations, and other such things. The study notes in the Quest Study Bible are set up as questions. These are quite helpful when studying the Bible for the first time. Not only are the notes at a good level to understand the Bible, but the questions help the reader begin to ask questions of the Bible. This is a great way to begin studying the Bible with some depth. The questions are found on the side margins of each page and are linked with the passages next to it.
When one feels lost or confused with a passage, just look to the side and a question will help you on your way. The language of the study notes help clear the confusion, and at the end of the note are references to other passages and notes to help with clarity.
The study features in the Quest Study Bible aid new believers in the ability to study the Bible for themselves. Taking Bible classes or attending Sunday School classes on how to the study the Bible is great. However, the ability to study the Bible on one’s own time is a crucial skill for the believer. The Quest Study Bible‘s question format helps develop the individual’s skill of studying the Bible with clarity.
A Study Bible to Guide your Quest
When approaching Bible reading and study, many believers take a Bible reading plan, and by about the second month the feeling of being overwhelmed can easily set in. This can happen to new believers, and can cause great discouragement when starting out.
Those who put together the Quest Study Bible thought up a brilliant solution to this issue. In the front of the Bible (as opposed to in the back like many other study Bibles), the reader will find three different “courses” of Bible reading. Course 1 is an “Introduction to the Bible”. Course 2 is a “Guided Tour of the Bible.” Course 3 is “Every Word in the Bible.” Each course takes a different amount of time to complete. The Quest Study Bible‘s reading plans start with a good survey of the Bible and end with reading through the entire Bible. This is a brilliant pathway to work your way from the shallow end of Bible study and into the deep end.
Another helpful tool, that is found in the front of the Bible, is an overview of each of the books of the Bible. Understanding a brief statement of the contents of each book helps the reader develop a map to navigating each book.
A Study Bible to Keep the Motivation of the Quest Going
Lastly, a good study Bible will help the reader stay motivated throughout their study. Even though knowing God deeper and living His calling out to the fullest is the ultimate motivation for studying the Bible, a new believer has a different perspective. A new believer has just had their world turned upside down and needs help staying motivated in their pursuit of knowing God.
This is a great feature of the Quest Study Bible. When one begins a book, the first thing to notice that, instead of seeing who wrote the book, the question of why should I read this book is answered. Knowing the why can help motivate one to read each book of the bible – even the so called “boring” books of the Bible (i.e. Leviticus).
Also, sprinkled throughout like a trail of bread crumbs are the numerous vignettes of special notes (i.e. Top 100 Questions, maps, charts, and other articles). These help a reader dive deeper into the depths of God’s Word and interact with Scripture through the maps and charts. All of this helps keep the motivation throughout the quest to study the Bible.
Come on in, the Water is Great
New life in Christ is an adventure from salvation till we see our Savior face to face. Getting to know our Creator and Savior by studying the Bible can be overwhelming and daunting for new believers. The Quest Study Bible is a great way to start and a great tool to have on your shelf and on your lap.
Making God’s Word understandable, accessible, and usable is a challenge, and the contributors of the Quest Study Bible have done an excellent job. I highly recommend this study Bible to new believers as you start your walk with Christ. This study Bible will help you learn how to study on your own, and study deeper without the discouragement that can come as one begins to study the Bible.
II Timothy 2:15 says to do your best to handle the Word of God. This is a great study Bible to start just that.
The quest may seem overwhelming and wonderful starting out. Yet, the Quest Study Bible can help you take those first steps in Bible study.
*I received a free copy of this study Bible from BibleGateway to review as I am a member of their Blogger Grid