Thomas Nelson Hardcover NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Review – Rating: 9.0

NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers

NKJV Hardcover Apply the Word Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

I requested an evaluation copy of the Thomas Nelson Hardcover NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible through their BookLook Bloggers Program (HarperCollins Publishers) so I could review it. I wanted to get a copy of this Bible because through my Inductive Studies, one of the crucial steps is for us to apply the Word to our lives so we can be changed.  The publisher says that it “brings you to an intimate understanding of the Bible’s message, helping God’s Word come alive with easy application to your daily life”.  In this review, I will be evaluating thephysical makeup of this study Bible, the study tools and features as well as comparing it to the claims made on the back jacket page.

In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by Thomas Nelson or BookLook Bloggers 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.”



**See all sections below for full detailed review**

I was really pleased by the Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible.  As many of you know, I have a preference for the leather-bound Bibles, but this review is of the hardcover version of this Study Bible.  With that said, this really is a nice Study Bible for the price.  The Study tools are nicely done, and I feel that it does do a nice job .  About the only thing that I think could have made it a little better would have been to possibly put an index of the application notes so people could go to a specific one they are looking for.  With how many application notes there are in this Study Bible, I know that would have been quite a few extra pages at the end of the Bible.  Overall, this Study Bible would be highly recommended for a believer that wants to be guided through many different aspects of how they can apply God’s Word to their lives.  It is laid out very nicely and is nice and compact.  This Bible is printed on pretty good opaque paper (less show through from back side of pages), and has a very pleasing type face, which appears to be the standard 9 point font that most Study Bibles are utilizing these days.  Easy to use and compact so it feels good in the hands.  Overall, I would say this is a very nice study Bible (even though it is hardcover) – especially if you are looking for one on the less expensive side.  Please note that you can also get this Study Bible in Imitation Leather, Indexed and also King James Version as well (at least after November 15, 2016 when the KJV options are released).



Type of Bible:  Study Bible
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (2016)
Publish Date: March 8, 2016
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-0-7180-4252-3
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this Study Bible from is  They have it for $21.99 – suggested retail from the publisher is $34.99 but they are selling it for $24.49.  See below for a breakout and links to the different prices from some major resellers and the publisher.  Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.
Bible Version: NKJV – New King James Version
Physical Characteristics:
  • Guaranteed for Life (click here for guarantee details)
  • Hardcover
  • Full color dust jacket
  • Full color throughout text (study notes and other resources)
  • Smyth sewn and glued back (not perfect bound)
  • Slightly rounded back
  • No ribbon markers in this hardcover version
  • No thumb indexing
  • No gilding
  • No rounded corners
  • Double Column format
  • Words of Christ in red text
  • Not self-pronouncing text (accent marks to help pronounce places and people’s names)
  • No cross-references
  • 1,632 pages
  • Type size looks like it is about a 9 point font
  • Dimensions: 5 3/4″ wide x 8 3/4″ high x 1 3/4″ thick
  • Approximate weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Printed in China


Pre-Scripture Text Pages

  • 1 page of a Presentation page (typical basic one: Presented To, By, and Date)
  • 1 page of Table of Contents
    • typical Table of Contents and includes page numbers for OT and NT books.
  • 1 page of Abbreviations of Books of the Bible
  • 2 page Foreword for NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible
    • This includes the breakdown of the features that the publisher designed into this Study Bible.  See the “Scripture Text Pages” section below for more detailed information on how they designed this study Bible
  • 6 pages of Preface to the New King James Version
    • This is the typical “letter” from the translators

Scripture Text Pages

  • Book Summary
    • Each book starts off with a nice summary page introduction that includes
      • Information about the Author of the book
      • Approximate time when the book was written
      • The major theme of the book
      • Key Events or Verses within the book

        Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Book of Daniel Introduction

        Introduction to the Book of Daniel on page 1022

  • Study Notes are not the typical verse-by-verse that you see in a majority of the Study Bibles.  Instead, this Study Bible takes different topical, person and location notes and breaks them into short articles or blurbs that help you to apply God’s Word to your life.  Many of these Study Notes have a “Think About It” or a “More” section at the end which can drive home the application portion of Scripture.  I have reviewed the Chronological Life Application Study Bible by Tyndale which has more detail on application notes, but this is more of a topical application approach.  Like I mentioned in my Quick Summary section, I would have liked to have seen an index of the different topical items that are covered in this Study Bible.  Below, I have listed out the different type of Study Notes and provided some examples of what they look like.
  • People Notes
    • There are some really nicely done notes relating to many of the different people in Scripture.  Here is just one example of how these look:

      Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible People Notes about John Mark

      People Notes about John Mark from page 1340

  • Places Notes
    • One way that we can better understand Scripture is to understand the environment and places that are referenced in the Bible.  The publisher did a very nice job giving some excellent background information on the different places mentioned in the Bible.  Here are a couple of the many examples:

      Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Places Notes about mapping the Life of Jesus

      Places Notes Mapping the Life of Jesus on page 1224

      Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Places Notes about Alexandria Egypt

      Places Notes covering Alexandria, Egypt on page 1348

  • Application Notes
    • As I have mentioned in many of my posts and reviews, the key to the Bible is applying it to our lives, thus letting God’s Word transform us into His image.  There really are some good application notes throughout this Study Bible.  Here are a few examples:

      Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Application Notes about offerings

      Application Notes about Offerings on page 1204

      Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Application Notes about servant leadership

      Application Notes about Servant Leadership on page 1294

      Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Application Notes about living a quiet life

      Application Notes about Leading a Quiet Life on page 1457

  • Helpful Application Charts
    • I broke this out separately – the publisher doesn’t necessarily call these out differently, but there are some application notes that are done in chart format.  I really liked how they integrated these into this Study Bible.  Here are a couple of examples:

      Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Application Chart about Love God, Love People and Ten Commandments

      Application Chart comparing Jesus Saying “Love God, Love People” to the Ten Commandments on page 238

      Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Application Chart about New Testament rulers

      Application Chart showing the New Testament Rulers on page 1220

  • Subject Headings
    • Nothing you haven’t seen before in almost every Study Bible.  These Subject Headings are nicely called out in a larger font that is dark blue calling it out to differentiate between the heading and the Scripture text.  Here is an example:

      Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Subject Heading example

      Example of the Subject Headings on page 1202.  They are dark blue, but not easy to see in my picture.

  • Words of Christ in red
    • The Words of Christ are done in a very nice red font and easy to read.

      Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Words of Christ_in red example

      Example of the Words of Jesus Christ in Red on page 1147

  • New King James Version translators’ footnotes
    • Typical footnotes from the translators for the New King James Version
Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible NKJV Translator's Footnotes

Example of the NKJV Translator’s Footnotes on page 1309

  • 57 page concordance
    • Very nice, but not exhaustive, but then again, if you’re a serious Bible study person, you probably have a separate concordance like Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance or something similar.
Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Concordance example

Concordance Example on page 1581

  • Two Types of maps
    • In-Note full-color maps to help give some reference point to the topic within the Study Note.
Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Application Note inset map example

Inset Maps used in the Application and People Notes Example on page 1520

    • 8 additional full-color maps
      • These are the same maps that are found in the Thomas Nelson Hardcover NKJV Foundation Study Bible that I did a review on last year.
      • World of the Patriarchs
      • Exodus and Conquest of Canaan
      • Land of the Twelve Tribes
      • Kingdom of David and Solomon
      • Jesus’ Ministry
      • 2-pages of Paul’s Missionary Journeys
      • Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus
Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible full-page full-color map example at end of Study Bible

Full-Color Map Example from the Back Page of the Study Bible



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.


Ease of Use:

I would say that this Study Bible is actually very 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 in a nice manner.  The extra-biblical reference materials and commentary really do have a very natural flow to them.

Study Tools Helpful & Informative:

  • Quite a lot of Topical Study Notes – as I mentioned before, these Study Notes are geared to the application of God’s Word to the life of the believer.  Don’t expect these to be your typical Study Notes that you see in other Study Bibles, though.  These are more snippets of portions of Scripture done in a way that you can apply Scripture to your life. In many cases, they designed the notes to get you to think more about the particular topic.  As I mentioned, I wished there was an index of some sort to quickly find some of these Study Notes by topic.
  • Maps are done very nicely in color, however on some of the maps at the back of the Bible, the font size is very small which would make it hard for some people to read without some kind of magnifying tool.  With that said, the layout and printed type on the maps are done very nicely.  I especially like the maps that are done throughout some of the different Study Notes in the Places and People Notes.
  • Book Introductions are done nicely – although don’t expect them to go into great depth.  They are done more as a quick summary, but do cover the relevant main points to the Book.

    • I was VERY pleasantly surprised by this one.
      Free gift with purchase of Study Bible - Nelsons Complete Book fo Bible Maps and Charts 3rd Edition

      Free Download from the Publisher – a $10.99 value

      Initially, I didn’t think much of it sitting on the back cover saying “To receive your free download, visit….” with a link.  I thought – I’ll see what the download is.  I figured it would be some reading plan or a few pages of study helps or something like that.  To my surprise, it was a digital copy of Nelson’s Complete Book of the Bible Maps and Charts (3rd Edition).  It’s a whopping 479 pages of some amazing insight and study helps for every single book of the Bible.  Click HERE to see some details about this resource on Amazon.  Even the digital (Kindle) copy of this book goes for $10.99 and Thomas Nelson is giving it to you for free.  VERY impressive, Thomas Nelson… Very impressive!

      NOTE: I do not know if it will always be this particular download that is available, but this is what it was when I used the link.  Please leave me a comment if you purchase the NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible and the free gift is something else so I can update this post.

Does Commentary Convey Biblical Truth:

From the quick glance through hitting multiple random commentaries, it does seem to have a pretty solid Study Notes.  Again, as I said previously, these study notes are more of a topical set of notes compared to typical verse-by-verse(ish) notes in most other Study Bibles.

Durability of Bible:

For a hardcover Bible, I would say that this seems to be a pretty durable Bible.  Again, please note that I have a personal preference toward leather-bound books.  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) in my experience and opinion.

Thomas Nelson NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Smyth Sewn example

Showing the Smyth Sewing that is done to keep the page sections bound better

Lifetime Guarantee:
According to the Thomas Nelson does have a lifetime guarantee on this Bible as shown on the back page of the dust cover.  You can see more about their guarantee hereNOTE: From their website, they do expect you to register your Bible to activate the lifetime guarantee as it states on the aforementioned link.   Although, through some communications with the publisher, I don’t think that it is an absolute requirement.

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 a tad smaller in point size (possibly 8 or 8.5), but it is done in a very clean and easy to read font.
  • Scripture text and the commentary text are very clearly separated by how they designed the layout.  The Study Notes are contained in colored background boxes to very easily differentiate between them and the Scripture text.
  • If you are a note-taker, there isn’t very much room to write in the margins of this particular Study Bible – outside margins are about 3/8″.
  • 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.
  • The line-matching (printed lines on the front of the page vs. the back side of the page) aren’t lined up the best, but it isn’t the worst I’ve seen either.  However, with that said, the paper is pretty opaque, so I wouldn’t knock down my rating like I have in some other Bibles that I have reviewed in the past.  The biggest show through that you will notice is the orange dark-colored Study Note header background boxes, but even that isn’t too awful.
  • Full color maps in the back and normal print throughout this Study Bible is very good.


Ease of Use:

Reading and studying in Philippians and is actually very easy and pleasing to do with how the publisher designed this Study Bible.  The book introduction and the study notes are all are done very nicely.

Study Tools Helpful & Informative:

The 3/4 page short book introduction for Paul’s letter to the Philippians is very nicely done giving some good background to the writing of the letter as well as the theme of the letter.  The introduction finishes out with Key Verses that are contained within Philippians. As previously stated, there are no cross references in this Study Bible.  The application Study Notes are done cleanly easy to follow without getting too wordy.  Keep in mind that the Study Notes are not the typical notes like most Study Bibles where you have the page divided in half where the top half is Scripture text and the bottom is Study Notes pertaining to each (or a majority) of the verses.  The Study Notes in this Bible are more of a topical approach.

Does Commentary Convey Biblical Truth:

The commentary in Philippians does seem to be pretty solid.  As mentioned previously, to notes don’t go into great depth by design since the no” study Bible, but overall, I would say it seems to be very helpful.


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  🙂

Quality:  8.3 (I never rate the quality of a hardcover book higher than a nice bound leather book simply due to long-term durability.  Basically, this means without proper care, any hardcover Bible type will not last as long as the leather-bound sewn version of that same Bible.  With that said, for a hardcover book, the quality is pretty good especially since this one is Smyth sewn.)
Appearance: 9.0 (The appearance of this Bible is actually very clean – layout is done nicely for what I would call more of a Topical Study Bible. The design that the publisher came up with does make it very easy to follow the Study Notes)
Value: 8.7 (Basing this rating as a hardcover Bible – the value of this Bible is pretty good – especially considering the low price for what you get)
Innovation: 9.4 (Don’t forget to look at the back of the dust cover – they have a website link that has some good reading plans and study resources available to you. I also really did like they way that they handled the application notes and extra-Biblical commentary. It really is laid out very nice for an inexpensive hardcover Study Bible.)
Other/Wildcard: 9.8 (The reason that I am going to rate the Innovation so high for this Study Bible is that they give you a free digital download of the Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts in a PDF format.  I haven’t looked all the way through this resource, but what I have seen is pretty impressive – especially as a free gift from Thomas Nelson!.)

Overall Rating: 9.0 out of 10


Bible Formats and Options:

Here are some of the different formats that this Bible comes in per the publisher as well as links to the Publisher’s page for each of them.  You can simply Google the ISBN number to find where you can get your desired version:

ISBN: 978-0718042523 (Jacketed Hardcover NKJV – This review)
ISBN: 978-0718042578 (Imitation Leather, Burgundy/Black, Indexed NKJV)
ISBN: 978-0718042561 (Imitation Leather, Burgundy/Black NKJV)
ISBN: 978-0718042554 (Imitation Leather, Black, Indexed NKJV)
ISBN: 978-0718042547 (Imitation Leather, Black, NKJV)

Please note that the KJV version of this Study Bible isn’t being released until Nov 15, 2016, but will be available for pre-orders on August 17, 2016 from the publisher.
ISBN: 978-0718084097 (Hardcover, Large Print, KJV)
ISBN: 978-0718084158 (Imitation Leather, Black, Large Print, KJV)
ISBN: 978-0718084196 (Imitation Leather, Black, Large Print, Indexed, KJV)
ISBN: 978-0718084202 (Imitation Leather, Pink/Cream, Large Print, KJV)


Company Summary:

In 1798, Thomas Nelson founded his first publishing house in Edinburgh, Scotland, determined to make books, particularly Christian classics, affordable to the common man.  In 1931, Pat and Bernie Zondervan began their publishing journey in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they began buying and selling books and Bibles.  HarperCollins Publishers acquired Zondervan Publishers in the 1980s and Thomas Nelson in 2012, integrating the two similar, yet uniquely different, publishing groups under one leadership.  Today, the strength of these great names—Thomas Nelson and Zondervan—continue to represent the highest quality in Christian publishing, creating the Company’s foundation.

HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc. is a world leading Christian content provider. Our parent company, HarperCollins Publishers, is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world and is a subsidiary of News Corp. Though the Company formed in 2012, its heritage dates back to the late eighteenth century. Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, two highly sought-after Christian inspirational brands, are the keystone publishing programs.

@ThomasNelson @HarperCollins @BookLookBlogger

Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.

– Michael

This entry was posted in Apply the Word, Bible, Bible Study, Full Color, Hardcover, Harper Collins, Maps, NKJV, Reviews, Scriptures, Study Bible, Study Bible Reviews, Thomas Nelson, Word of God. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Thomas Nelson Hardcover NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible Review – Rating: 9.0

  1. Pingback: The NIV Faithlife Study Bible Is Now Available | Belgian Biblestudents - Belgische Bijbelstudenten

  2. It looks like a really nice bible. I purchased the standard version of it (no leather). I am looking forward to it.


  3. Pingback: Thomas Nelson NKJV Full-Color Study Bible Personal Size review – Rating: 9.3 | The Christian Reviewer

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