If you read my initial review on the Chronological Life Application Study Bible, you may recall that I really like Bibles that are in full color (which seems to only apply to study Bibles from what I have seen so far). I also mentioned this in both of my detailed reviews of the Holman full-color KJV Study Bible (hardcover and genuine cowhide cover).
Now, I want to do a full in-depth review of the Chronological Life Application Study Bible.
You may recall that this was a Bible that I ordered for myself some time ago and really do like it from my use so far. However, with that said – I would not classify this as a typical Bible that I would carry around with myself on a daily basis simply because it is Chronological (see details about that below).
**See all sections below for full detailed review**
I originally came across this Bible online because I was trying to find a full-color Bible. The full color photos, maps, charts, etc. are done very well and very pleasing to use. I am VERY pleased with this Bible, however I have to throw out one caveat to my readers. If you are expecting a normal Bible that is in the traditional (canonical) sequence of books, then this Bible is NOT for you. This is a chronological Bible which means the scriptures are in the sequence that scholars and historians feel they were actually written. I caution you because I took this Bible to church one day when I first got it and went to open it to read some scriptures and had to look at the quick guide in the beginning to find that scripture I was looking for (Psalm 90 is in the middle of Deuteronomy for example). With that said – IF you are looking for a chronological study Bible, I would HIGHLY recommend this particular one. You can get this in either NLT (New Living Translation) or KJV (King James Version).
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BIBLE:
Type of Bible: Study Bible
Bible Version Reviewed: NLT (New Living Translation) Second Edition
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-1414339283 (LeatherLike Brown/Tan)
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is at Christianbook.com. They have it for $44.19– suggested retail from the publisher is $79.99. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.
If you would like to purchase this book, please support my blog and purchase by clicking any of the links to Christianbook.com on this page like the one below. If you want it in a different format, Click Here for those links listed below in this review.
|NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible, Leatherlike Brown/Tan – Slightly Imperfect
By Tyndale House
- LeatherLike Brown and “Tan”
- Smyth sewn
- 1 ribbon marker (brown)
- Words of Christ are not in red
- Cross References are not in this Bible, however it does have markings for parallel passages (like in the Gospels where each Gospel covers the same Scripture concept – see information in details below)
- 2,168 pages (not including Pre-Scripture Text pages and final Maps at end)
- Type size is approximately 9 point for Scripture (smaller for study notes – probably 6 or 7 point for those)
- Dimensions: 6 ¾ wide (outside spine to cover edge – cover hangs past pages by about 3/16) x 9 3/16” high (top edge of cover to bottom edge of cover – cover hangs over top and bottom of pages by 5/32”) x 1 7/8” thick (including cover thickness)
- Approximate weight: 3.75 lbs
SPECIAL CONTENT OF THIS BIBLE:
Uniqueness of Chronological vs. Canonical Bible
Just so you have an idea of the differences in a Canonical (normal) Bible vs. a Chronological Bible, below is a definition showing each as a comparison. Please keep in mind that this may affect how you would end up using this particular Bible. Here are some very basic definitions of Canonical vs. Chronological:
- Canonical – the books of the Bible recognized by the Christian church as genuine and inspired. The books and scripture within a Canonical Bible will be in the traditional order that most Bibles will be which is what most readers are used to.
- Chronological – puts the different portions of books in the sequence in which they were written per what scholars feel to be correct time frames. For example, Psalms spread over hundreds of years by many different authors. Others cover the same events but from different perspectives, like the books of Kings and Chronicles, or even the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
In my opinion, most people would use this Chronological Life Application Study Bible as a study Bible and not as their normal every day reading bible. You can fairly easily find specific scriptures by looking in the front of the Bible which has a “Canonical Table of Contents” which helps you to locate what page specific Scripture fall within this Chronological Bible.
Please note that the publisher is not suggesting that the canonical sequence is incorrect by doing a Chronological Study Bible, but rather, they want to provide a helpful tool to help gain insight into the meaning, message and significance of Scripture. As stated by the publishers on page A17:
“…it is helpful to see the Gospels mingled together in one common narrative, with parallel passages together, but it Is not a substitute for reading the book of Matthew as a whole, unbroken story about Jesus’ life and his significance“. The publisher goes on to say: “it should not replace a traditional Bible in any sense.”
I will do a separate post that shows the differences between the Chronological sequence of this Bible vs. the traditional sequence in a canonical Bible.
Pre-Scripture Text Pages
- Contents page
- 1 page of Using the Canonical Table of Contents (gives Scripture sections color coded – more on that in the details)
- 8 pages of Canonical Table of Contents (listing what pages normal “canonical” Scriptures fall on)
- 8 pages of Introduction to the Chronological Life Application Study Bible (gives a great overview of the unique things about this Bible. Some pertain to the Chronological portion of this Bible, while others pertain to the Life Application Study Notes portion of this Bible – see details below)
- 11 pages of Chronological Survey of the Bible (very nicely breaks the Bible into sections of time to help the reader understand when scholars believe that certain portions of Scripture were written. Gives a very nice overview of each Chronological Section.)
- 10 pages of Complete Biblical Timeline (gives a wonderful full-color timeline showing when books were written and also showing different Biblical events as well as world events to help put the timeline into a perspective that a majority of readers may find very helpful)
- 1 page of A Note to the Reader (this is a Publishers’ note from 2007 regarding the New Living Translation version)
- 5 pages of Introduction to the New Living Translation (from the Publishers, giving the background of how the NLT came about and their translation goals and methodology)
- 2 pages listing out the NLT Bible Translation Team
- 1 page listing out the following:
- Chronological Life Application Study Bible team
- Original Life Application Study Bible contributors
Scripture Text Pages
As stated previously, this particular Bible is placed in Chronological (order of when things were written or happened) order. To do this, the publisher broke the Scriptures into 10 chronological “eras” or sections. The publisher didn’t give a name to these sections that I can see, so for reference sake, I will call them “Chronological Sections” from here out. These Chronological Sections include the following breakout:
- Beginnings (Undated – 2100 B.C.)
- God’s Chosen Family (2100 – 1800 B.C.)
- Genesis & Job
- Birth of Israel (1800 – 1406 B.C.)
- Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy & Psalms
- Possessing the Land (1406 – 1050 B.C.)
- Joshua, Judges, Ruth & 1st Samuel
- United Monarchy (1050 – 930 B.C.)
- 1st Samuel, 2nd Samuel, 1st Kings, 1st Chronicles, 2nd Chronicles, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs
- Splintered Nation (930 – 586 B.C.)
- 1st Kings, 2nd Kings, 2nd Chronicles, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk & Zephaniah
- Exile (586 – 538 B.C.)
- 2nd Kings, Psalms, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel & Obadiah
- Return & Diaspora (538 – 6 B.C.) (Diaspora = the dispersion of Jews beyond Israel)
- 1st Chronicles, 2nd Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Psalms, Daniel, Joel, Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi
- Jesus Christ (6 B.C. – A.D. 30)
- Matthew, Mark, Luke, John & Acts
- The Church (A.D. 30 – Present)
- Acts, Romans, 1st Corinthians, 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st Thessalonians, 2nd Thessalonians, 1st Timothy, 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1st Peter, 2nd Peter, 1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John, Jude & Revelation
- Each Chronological Section starts off with a very nicely done Section Introduction that includes many elements
- An Overview element – which is a brief summary statement or overview describing the chronological section with some general lessons and applications for the section
- A Timeline element – which puts the Bible books or passages of that particular chronological section into its historical setting and includes key events and dates these events occurred.
- People and Culture – provides an overview of important people and cultural background of what was historically happening at that time.
- Books in the Section – lists the different books that this particular section includes:
- Who the author is
- Who the audience is
- What the purpose is
- When it was written
- Where it was written
- Article – which explains some important Biblical or theological concept related to that section.
- Megathemes – provides the main themes of the chronological section and explains the significance as well as why they are important for us today
- Maps – these show key locations in the chronological section
|“The Church” Chronological Section – showing the Overview
and Timeline on pages 1502 -1503
|“The Church” Chronological Section – showing the People and
Culture and Books In This Section on pages 1504 -1505
|“The Church” Chronological Section – showing Books In
This Section continued on pages 1506 -1507
|“The Church” Chronological Section – showing Books In This
Section continued and MegaThemes and start of Maps
on pages 1508 -1509
|“The Church” Chronological Section – showing Maps
continued on pages 1510 -1511
- Chronological Section Tabs – At the top of each page is a full color header showing you which Chronological Section you are currently in when you read through the scriptures. The light tan header tabs are the other Chronological Sections – the dark green is the Chronological Section you are currently looking at.
- Book Overview – There is a brief overview at the beginning of each book that is relative to the Chronological Section. This overview is done very nicely and is from the application point of view, so it gives some concepts of how the reader can apply key points from the book.
- Chronological Life Application Study Notes – You may already be used to the Life Application Study Notes. These are the typical ones, but this particular Bible also has additional Life Application Study Notes related to the Chronological approach. There are a large number of study notes that help to give application of Scripture for the reader, historical background, cultural background, context and much more. The study notes do seem to be pretty solid from the examples that I have looked at. By no means have I looked at them all though.
- Maps – there are 168 full color maps provided in this Bible which are broken into two types of maps. There is the Chronological Section Map that gives an overview of key locations within the chronological section, but then throughout the Life Application Notes, there are “thumbnail” (smaller) maps that help pinpoint most geography points in the Bible. The writing on the full color maps are very easy to read. 15 additional full color maps are at the very back.
|Section Map and legend showing on pages 1258 – 1259.|
|Thumbnail map in Study Notes showing on page 1372.|
- Photographs – Throughout this Bible, there are 211 full color photographs (some full page, some smaller) or Illustrated Verses which have a key verse pulled from the section.
- Timelines – as previously mentioned, there is an excellent 10-page master time line at the beginning of the Bible, but then each Chronological Section has its own timeline pertaining to just that section. There is a third type that appears in the margins of the text and is a running timeline of key dates indicating when in history that passage took place
- Parallel Passage Indicator – some bibles will indicate via cross references when there is a parallel passage of some kind. However, the publisher did this in a very unique manner. Since this is a Chronological Bible, Scriptures of the same idea/concept/event are placed right next to each other. For example, when you look at the section on page 1286 entitled “Jesus’ Childhood in Nazareth”, you will see the parallel symbols showing two colored in circles. This indicates that for this Scripture, there are two parallel passages. Then, right below that is Matthew 2:23 showing two circles where the first one is colored in and the second one is not. This indicates that this is parallel passage 1 of 2. Directly after that is Luke 2:29-40 with two circles where the first one is not colored in and the last one is colored in, which indicates it is parallel passage 2 of 2.
|Another Parallel Passage example showing one of
the parallel passages in a group of four
on page 1287.
- Archaeological Notes – provide 158 full-color images that show important places, archaeological discoveries and historical artifacts providing nice historical context.
- Charts and Diagrams – this Bible has 258 charts and 8 diagrams providing information and significance as well.
- Personality Profiles – There are 128 great insights to many Biblical people including accomplishments, mistakes, strengths, weaknesses and key lessons from their lives
- Textual Notes – this is relating to the NLT version and includes the following items to certain scriptures (I am not certain what they have for this in the KJV version of this Bible):
- Alternate translations
- Meaning of Hebrew and Greek terms
- Old Testament quotations
- Variances in reading in the ancient Biblical manuscripts
- Sectional Headings – these are the lower part of the 3 tier outline format in the Chronological Life Application Study Bible. These will not have a letter or number designation, but are the typical section separators that many Bibles have in them, such as “The Lord’s Sword of Judgement” for Ezekiel 21:1-17.
- Harmony of the Gospels – The publisher created a nicely done visual harmony of the Gospels in this Bible. It is 9 pages and provides a summary of how many Scriptures and which chapters and verses they occur in the different Gospel books. The larger the colored dot, the more verses that are covered for the particular event in that book. For example, when Caiaphas questions Jesus, this happens in 3 of the 4 Gospels (not John), but more verses cover that event in Mark (14:53-65). There are 3 sizes to the circles – smallest is 1-5 verses, medium is 6-12 verses and larger one is 13 or more verses.
Post-Scripture Text Pages
- 14 pages of “A Christian Worker’s Resource” which includes the following:
- How to Become a Christian
- How to Follow Up with a New Believer
- “Mining the Treasures of the Chronological Life Application Study Bible
- So You’ve Been Asked to Speak…
- Taking the Step to Application
- 75 pages of “The Bible Book-By-Book”
- This gives a very nice overview of each book giving the meaning and message for each book of the Bible and contains to following sections for each book:
- Book Overview where it explains the highlights and summary of the book
- “The Blueprint” where it gives a high level outline and explanation of major events
- “MegaThemes” where it gives the major themes of each book and gives an explanation of the theme topic as well as the importance of the theme.
- This gives a very nice overview of each book giving the meaning and message for each book of the Bible and contains to following sections for each book:
- A page of abbreviations used in the Master Index
- 113 pages of “Master Index” which is kind of like a concordance, but specific to this Bible because it includes not only Scripture, but also reference points to all of the extra-Scriptural material like charts, outlines, profiles, maps, archaeological notes, etc. This is very nicely done and very handy if you are doing a study on a certain topic or person.
- 6 pages of “Features Index” that shows on what pages you can find the different Bible study helps such as Charts, Maps, Personality Profiles, Archaeological Notes and Illustrations
- 122 pages of “NLT Dictionary/Concordance” which is a nice tool that gives a nice small concordance that includes definitions to some topics. Very nicely done. I would assume that the KJV version has the dictionary/concordance related to the King James Version, but cannot confirm that at this time.
- 2 pages of Image Credits
- 15 pages of additional full color maps on thicker paper. These final pages also include a page dedicated to the Biblical (Hebrew) Calendar as well as the Temple in New Testament Times.
Durability and Quality of Bible:
I would say that this appears to be a pretty durable Bible. Although it is not real leather – it is called “LeatherLike” which so far has held up pretty well for me with no issues. The edge of the cover is nicely sewn which not only gives it a nice look in my opinion and also gives it some more stability long term. This Bible is Smyth Sewn (or section sewn), which means it will hold up better than some strictly “perfect bound” or glue back Bibles (similar to general paperback books). I would easily consider this Bible a “carry around with me” Bible with one exception. The exception is the fact that this Bible will take a little getting used to since it won’t always be in the order you might expect since it is in Chronological order.
“LeatherLike” bound cover and spine:
Please note that I have a personal preference toward leather bound books – especially the finer leathers such as cowhide. This Bible is not genuine leather – it is a material the publisher calls “LeatherLike”. It does have a decent feel to it, but if you have held an actual leather Bible, you can tell the difference. The stitching on the outside edge of the cover and also where the two tone “LeatherLike” materials meet is very nicely done and looks clean. The inside of the cover has a leather-like (probably synthetic) material glued in place, which is fairly typical in Bible production these days unless you want to purchase a pretty expensive Bible.
The publisher says that this Bible has a brown and tan (two tone) cover; however I wouldn’t call it that. I would call it more of a brown and “burnt sienna” as the “tan” has more of a reddish hue to it based on my copy (see picture below) . Don’t get me wrong – I think it looks very nice – it just doesn’t seem to be the best description in my opinion.
The Bible does have very nice stitching around the outside edges of the cover and stitching between the two-tone LeatherLike materials. In my opinion, this gives the Bible a little more durability vs. just gluing the cover at the inside edge. Also, this stitching gives the Bible a very classy look (see picture directly below).
The publisher had the cover stamped so writing on the cover is pushed down into the cover material. I really like how they did this and feel that it gives a very nice and clean look to the Bible.
- Front cover stamping: “Chronological Life Application Study Bible”
- Spine stamping:
- Top: “TYNDALE”
- Middle: “Chronological Life Application Study Bible”
|Example of the nice stitching, stamping and reddish “tan”
color leather on the front cover of the Bible.
Similar to the Holman Cowhide KJV Study Bible Review, this Bible is what I would call a square back vs. round back.
I will honestly say that so far, this Bible is the among the best to lay flat for me in this price range. For example, many Bibles that you open to the very first pages will not lay flat unless you open a larger number of pages up. This one does very nicely in this aspect making it a nice Bible to study from without having to place some kind of paper weight on it to keep it open.
|You can see it remains nicely open even when only
turned to the first few pages (Contents page in this case).
Gilding of the pages:
The gilding is the gold or silver edge of the pages. You can’t easily see it by looking at a single page, but with the Bible closed, the edges of all the pages look either gold or silver. For this LeatherLike version, the gilding is gold. As I’ve stated before, I’m not sure that I have a preference as to gold vs. silver for gilding. Again, this is really just an aesthetic addition to any book that makes the Bible look nicer.
|Not the best shot, but an example of the gold
colored gilding that this Bible has.
Similar to what I mentioned with the gilding in my review of the Holman Cowhide KJV Study Bible Review, I did notice that the full color bleed pages had the gilding stick a little more in the corners. Not a big deal, just an observation. My normal “fanning” of the pages easily separated the non-full color bleed pages as I would expect.
|This picture is from a previous post (Holman cowhide KJV
Study Bible), but does show exactly how this Tyndale
Chronological Life Application Bible behaved on the
full-bleed pages as well.
This Bible has the typical rounded corners that you see in leather or “LeatherLike” Bibles. Personally, I like this technique from an aesthetic purpose as well as a functional one. In my opinion, the Bibles that don’t have rounded corners tend to get bent corners more easily than those that have rounded corners.
|Showing what a typical hardcover book
without rounded corners looks like (picture from the
Holman Hardcover KJV Study Bible review I did).
|Showing what the rounded corners look like
in the Tyndale Chronological NLT
Life Application Study Bible.
Typeface and Print:
- Scriptures appear to be about 9 point font, which tends to be fairly standard size and font used in many bibles.
- The study notes are smaller in point size (maybe a 6 or possibly 7), but it is done in a very clean font (possibly Arial or Verdana, but I’m not sure).
- Study Notes verse number references are done in a nice olive green and the text is black
- Scripture text and the commentary text (and maps and charts) are very clearly separated by an olive green colored horizontal dotted line separating the two areas into an upper section (scripture) and a lower section (study notes, maps, charts, etc.)
- The section headers (such as “Christ Is the Perfect Sacrifice” for Heb 9:11-18 on page 1772) are in an olive green color which gives it a nice distinctness from the actual scripture text which is in black.
- Words of Christ are not in red – all scripture text is done in black ink
- There is a little bit of room to write in the outside margins to write in if you desire (just about 5/8″ outside margin). Not much if you like writing in margins a lot, however… or write very big letters.
- Paper used for this Bible is a nicely opaque paper so you don’t get nearly the show through that you do with other bibles that use cheaper/thinner paper.
- Full color maps, photographs, charts, timelines, and other content are done very nicely and the print is very good quality.
OK, this is the part where I get to tell you about how I like or dislike this Bible in a detailed manner. What I typically try to do is do a quick glance over the entire book at a high level to get a feel for it. Then I will go in depth in a shorter book such as Philippians so I am comparing the same thing from bible to bible. That gives my reviews a certain consistency to them.
MY OVERVIEW OF ENTIRE BIBLE:
Ease of Use:
I would say that this Bible is extremely easy to use. I’m not going to go into the readability of this version vs. that version. To any Bible reader/student, the tools and layout/design of this Bible are done nicely thus making the usability very high in my opinion. The extra-Biblical reference materials and commentary have a very natural flow to them. The only caveat that I would give is what I have already stated that this is a Chronological Bible – so it would most likely end up being more of a study Bible vs. an everyday reading Bible.
Study Tools Helpful & Informative:
- Quite a lot of study notes – the majority of the study notes seem to be from the perspective of actually applying God’s Word to our lives rather than just gaining knowledge.
- Also, the publisher has put out a free Daily Devotional based on a “Two-Year Chronological Walk” that you can subscribe via email. http://chronolifeapp.com
- You can also download a PDF example of this Bible to see it for yourself by clicking HERE.
Does Commentary Convey Biblical Truth:
From what I have looked at so far for the study notes, it does seem to have a pretty solid foundation.
Durability of Bible:
Please note that I have a personal preference toward leather bound books. While this one is not real leather, and is instead called “LeatherLike”, it still seems to be very durable to me. This Bible is Smyth Sewn (or section sewn), which means it will hold up better than some strictly “perfect bound” or glue back Bibles (similar to general paperback books).
MY EVALUATION OF SINGLE BOOK (Philippians):
Ease of Use:
Reading and studying in Philippians and is very easy to do with how the publisher laid out this Bible. With that said, Philippians is not broken apart since Paul’s letter to Philippi was written as a single letter, so chronologically speaking, it doesn’t break apart in the midst of other books/passages. Thus, using Philippians doesn’t give the most perfect feel for what it would be like to study with this Bible. However, overall readability and usability of this Bible are very good if you are looking for a chronological Bible.
Study Tools Helpful & Informative:
The study notes seem to be solid and there is reference in them to the personality profiles for Paul and Timothy which were done very nicely. The study notes did a nice job of balancing theology with cultural and historical background which is critical to understanding the Word of God. My personal preference would be to give just a little more on the cultural background, however,. It also has a nice photo of the ruins of Philippi that still exist today. Very nicely done charts in Philippians as well such as the one on page 1723 titled “Training for the Christian Life”.
Does Commentary Convey Biblical Truth:
The commentary in Philippians seems to be pretty solid and seems to be very helpful. Just a little more on the history and culture would have been good to cover, however.
MY CHRISTIAN REVIEWER RATINGS:
Below, we have the overall ratings that I would give to this particular Bible with a 1 to 10 range. Keep in mind that when I am doing these ratings, it is based on the physical makeup, format, extra-Biblical content and value of the Bible, not rating the Word of God itself as that would be off the chart 🙂
NOTE: My original quick review of this Bible resulted in a final score of 8.5. However, after doing a more in-depth review, this score has been adjusted for this more complete and updated review.
Quality: 8.5 – As I have stated in other reviews, I have a preference toward genuine leather – especially the higher quality leathers. While this Bible is not genuine leather, I am rating this one pretty high. The LeatherLike material feels durable and, in my opinion, the stitching in it ups the quality level to a higher level even though it is not real leather. Printing is very good in it. Binding appears to be solid.
Appearance: 9.3 – The layout and colors are very nicely done – Personally, I really like the color scheme that they used in the printing of this Bible. To me, it just felt very inviting and easy on the eyes. Just personal preference though – You may prefer the color scheme of other full-color Bibles more. The printing was very nicely done, giving this Bible a great appearance.
Value: 8.9 – This Bible is a very good value in my opinion. For the price, you get a good quality Bible that is very easy to use and looks very good. Had it been real leather, then I would have made this score higher.
Innovation: 9.7 – The full-color pages seem to make it much easier for me personally to read and use this Bible. I really loved their innovative approach to handling Parallel Passages in the Scriptures. Their use of timelines is quite possibly the best I have ever seen…so far. They are very helpful. The charts and illustrations are getting big thumbs up from me as well.
Other/Wildcard: 9.2 – The study notes are good and come from an application perspective, which in my opinion is what we all should be doing with the Word of God anyway.
Overall Rating: 9.1 out of 10
Bible Formats and Options:
Here are some of the different formats that this Bible comes in per the publisher. You can simply Google the ISBN number to find where you can get your desired version
- ISBN: 978-1414339283 (NLT LeatherLike Bown/Tan – This review)
- ISBN: 978-1414339276 (NLT Hardcover)
- ISBN: 978-1414378213 (NLT eBook)
- ISBN: 978-1414397047 (NLT LeatherLike Black/Onyx)
- ISBN: 978-1414339290 (NLT LeatherLike Brown/Green/Dark Teal)
- ISBN: 978-1414380582 (KJV Hardcover)
Tyndale House Publishers was started back in 1962 with the publication of Living Letters printing 2,000 copies. It was launched by Ken and Margaret Taylor and operated out of their dining room. Since then, privately owned Tyndale has grown significantly and publishes many Bibles and Christian resources like the Life Application Study Bible and novels such as the “Left Behind” series.