NIV Faithlife Study Bible — Review

I had the good fortune of being sent the NIV Faithlife Study Bible for review purposes. I am thankful to Zondervan and their marketing team for making this available.

Over the years I have shied away from study Bibles. They are big and bulky and even then they are too limiting in the ability to truly study the Word. I’ve taught students and my church for years on ways to get away from study Bibles. Does that take people away from study Bibles and into the Word so they study it for themselves? Nope. 

I truly do not like the idea of having something “spoon fed” to a reader of the biblical text and they just stop at that point. However, there is a place for the study Bible if it can create thirst. We don’t want to stop at a small note in the margin and think, “Well, that’s what that verse means!”

I carry plain text Bibles most of the time but I have come to utilize digital Bibles more and more for study. I love being able to expand my notetaking ability in a digital format. I can hardly read my own handwriting and the margins of any printed Bible are far too small for me to make adequate notes as I study.

Years ago I received the gift of Logos Bible Software from my church and it has become a much used tool for my personal study. One main component of Logos is the Faithlife Study Bible. I have found that tool incredibly useful as a starting point in my studies.

Zondervan has now published the NIV Faithlife Study Bible and in looking over this volume, I must say if I had to really own a study Bible, or if I could give one to people who I could encourage to use it as a starting point of study, I would easily recommend this one.

I have to also be honest and know that people will stop with a simple note at the bottom of the page, so if they have to… this is a good study Bible to have at hand! 


There are some impressive features in a print Bible. It is a big volume, but that’s how study Bibles are. It’s why I’m glad for digital formats as well.

There are articles by significant scholars scattered throughout the volume. They actually managed to include women scholars as well!

Articles Table of Contents

There is even a section on “How to Study the Bible” by Douglas Stuart.

How to Study the Bible

There are hundreds of notes and illustrations. Full color is utilized. It is a good looking format. (Click on each image to enlarge.)

I will continue to enjoy digging into this great volume. The scholarship is great. The notes are helpful. They help lead the student of the Word to dig deeper. (Please don’t tell my students I actually

(Please don’t tell my students I actually like a study Bible!)

NOTE: Zondervan sent me this Bible for review purposes. I am not obligated to give a positive review.



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