Thomas Nelson NKJV Know the Word Study Bible review – Rating: 8.0

Thomas Nelson Know the Word Study BibleI requested an evaluation copy of the Thomas Nelson Hardcover NKJV Know the Word Study Bible through their BookLook Bloggers Program (HarperCollins Publishers) so I could review it. Overall, it’s a nice Study Bible.  They promote 3 ways to use it to study Scripture. First is by the book introductions that are typically done in most Study Bibles. Second is “verse by verse” which is the same thing that most typical Study Bibles have at the lower portion of the pages.  The third method is “topic by topic” which is more of a topical article approach.


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**

It may not be overwhelmingly impressive, but I was pleased by the Thomas Nelson NKJV Know the Word Study Bible.  Yes, it’s hardcover, but you can get it in a softcover and imitation leather format.  The publishers promote that there are 3 ways to use this Study Bible to study the Scriptures.  First is book-by-book, which is done via the Book Introductions and also some sidebar “Study the Book” articles. Second is “verse by verse” which is the same thing that most typical Study Bibles have at the lower portion of the pages.  The third method is “topic by topic” which is more of a topical article approach.  While I feel that this is a nice Study Bible for the price, nothing in it really stood out as being new and amazing.  It’s simply just a good Study Bible.  The Study tools are nicely designed, and I feel that it lives up to its purpose.  It is laid out nicely and is fairly compact.  It does have some show-through where you can see the text, but pretty typical and I don’t notice it for the scripture or study notes as much as I notice it for the colored backgrounds of the sidebar articles and book introductions.  It does have a pleasing type face, which appears to be the standard 9 point font that most Study Bibles are utilizing these days, but the study notes (verse-by-verse) seem to be about 7.5 point.  Overall, I would say this is a good 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 other binding formats if desired.



Type of Bible:  Study Bible
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publish Date: October 18, 2016
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 9780718041915
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is from They have it for $23.99 – suggested retail from the publisher is $39.99. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.

If you would like to purchase this book, please support my page and purchase by clicking any of the links to on this page like the one below.  If you want it in a different format, Click Here for those links.

041915: NKJV Know The Word Study Bible, Hardcover NKJV Know The Word Study Bible, Hardcover
By Thomas NelsonThe NKJV Know The Word Study Bible helps you to transition from being just a reader of the Bible to a student of the Bible.Experience the satisfaction of regular Bible study. Just because the Bible is a big book doesn&rsquo;t mean that Bible study has to be hard. By breaking down the key Bible topics and the books of the Bible into bite-size portions, Bible study can be approachable, rewarding and satisfying. This way it&rsquo;s easy to develop a regular pattern of Bible study, day upon day. One can choose to study book by book, verse by verse or topic by topic. Make the most of your study time.Features Include:

  • New King James Version (NKJV) Bible text
  • Three easy approaches to study the Bible:
    • Book by Book
    • Verse by Verse
    • Topic by Topic
  • Book introductions
  • Words of Jesus in red
  • Two-color interior page design
  • Index
  • Concordance
Bible Version: NKJV – New King James Version
Physical Characteristics:
  • Guaranteed for Life (click here for guarantee details)
  • Hardcover
  • Full color dust jacket
  • Two-color throughout text (study notes and other resources)
  • Smyth sewn
  • 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 other than miscellaneous ones in some of the study notes
  • 1,920 pages
  • Scripture type size looks like it is about a 9 point font
  • Study notes type size looks like they are approximately 7.5 point font
  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Approximate weight: 2.26 lbs
  • Printed in China


Pre-Scripture Text Pages

  • 1 page of Table of Contents
    • Typical Table of Contents and includes page numbers for OT and NT books.
  • 3 pages of Topic-by-Topic Articles
    • Listing of topical articles (including page numbers) that give a bird’s-eye view of the sweep of Scripture.  Most major theological topics are covered.
  • 2 page Foreword for NKJV Know 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 Introduction (Book-by-Book Study Feature)
    • Each book starts off with a pretty decent introduction that includes
      • A brief summary sentence or short paragraph that highlights the book at a very high level.
      • Key points or highlights of studying the book with the major points – think of it as a very high level outline of what you normally see in a Study Bible
      • “How to Study” section that gives some good thoughts and approaches to the book regarding studying it and what questions we should ask or should be thinking about as we study the book


  • Study the Book Sidebars (Book-by-Book Study Feature)
    • There are some really nicely done notes relating to many of the different people in Scripture.  I did like how they do a “previous” and “next” text at the bottom of the sidebar to show you where to turn to the previous or next Study the Book sidebar within the book you are studying.  That is helpful.  Here is just one example of how these sidebars look:


  • Verse-by-Verse Study Feature (Book-by-Book Study Feature)
    • Verse Study Notes
      • Very similar to the Thomas Nelson NKJV Foundation Study Bible, these verse-related study notes are a concise version of the Study Notes that were originally done for the NKJV Study Bible.  I didn’t look to compare every single one, but I did notice a few of the notes that were in the Foundation Study Bible were missing from the Know the Word Study Bible.  I can only assume that this is so they can fit in the different topical articles throughout this Study Bible.


  • Topical Notes
    • There are over 100 different articles throughout this Study Bible covering 21 different topics.  Each topic has between 5 and 7 articles pertaining to them.  Topics include: Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Love, Covenant, Bible, Salvation, Christ Follower, Church, Sanctification, Obedience, Purpose, People, God’s Will, Relationships, Evil, Sin and Temptation, Suffering, Faith and Works, and Last Things.  I did like how they do a “previous” and “next” text at the bottom of the Topical Note to show you where to turn to the previous or next Topical Note you are studying.


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


  • New King James Version translators’ footnotes
    • Typical footnotes from the translators for the New King James Version


Post-Scripture Text Pages

  • What Happened Between the Old and New Testaments
    • This is a very brief 2 page bullet point article on the different eras that happened between the writing of the Old Testament and New Testament.
  • 77 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.


  • 8 additional pages of 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 previously.
      • 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



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 easy to use.  I’m not going to go into the readability of this translation vs. that translation.  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 do have a natural flow to them.

Study Tools Helpful & Informative:

  • The Topical Articles – I did not read every single one of these articles, but the ones I did read were solid and very helpful.  The index at the beginning of this Study Bible is very helpful for when you would want to study one of the 21 doctrinal topics that are covered.
  • Maps – These are done very nicely in color and are the typical ones that are used in Thomas Nelson Bibles, however on some of the maps (at the back of the Bible), the font size is pretty 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.
  • Book Introductions – These are somewhat short compared to other more in-depth Study Bibles, but they are still done nicely – although don’t expect them to go into great depth.  They are typically about one and a half pages or so on average.   They are done more as a summary article as expected, but do cover the relevant main points to the Book.
  • Study the Book sidebar articles – These are actually very helpful in describing different people, places, things or even some doctrinal items.  I do like how they did these.

    • Like a majority of the Thomas Nelson Bibles that I have reviewed lately, this one 30-days-to-understanding-the-biblealso comes with the ability to download a free resource.This particular free download is the first couple of chapters of “30 Days to Understanding the Bible”.  I’m not sure why they didn’t include all of it like they did previous downloads, but from initial glance through the first two chapters, it looks like it would be a good resource for personal studying of the Scriptures.  Click HERE to see some details or purchase this book from

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 appear to be virtually the same Study Notes in most of the Thomas Nelson NKJV Study Bible.  I did notice a few study notes that were missing in this Study Bible when compared to the NKJV Study Bible, but doesn’t seem to be a lot missing.  The Study the Book sidebars, Book Introductions and Topical Articles all seem to be solid from the ones that I read.

Durability of Bible:

For a hardcover Bible, this seems to be fairly durable.  I have a personal preference toward leather-bound books, but even so, 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.

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 smaller in point size (possibly 7.5), but it is done in a very clean and easy to read font.
  • Scripture text and the commentary text are very clearly separated by a thick horizontal black line.
  • If you are a note-taker, there is not very much room to write in the margins of this particular Study Bible – outside margins are about 3/8″.
  • You will get a little bit of the distracting show-through that see in some Bibles, but it’s not as bad as what you see with other Bibles that use real cheap or thin paper.  You can see it, but I didn’t find it overly distracting.  It is more noticeable with the color background used in the Study the Book sidebars, but again, I wasn’t overly distracted by it.  If you are highly sensitive to show-through, then you will notice it for sure.
  • 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.  As I mentioned, the biggest show-through that you will notice is the Study the Book sidebar background boxes.
  • Full color maps in the back and normal print throughout this Study Bible is very good, although some of the maps in the back do have very small print which is harder to see.


Ease of Use:
Reading and studying in Philippians and is pleasant with how the publisher designed this Study Bible.  The book introduction and the study tools are all are done very nicely.

Study Tools Helpful & Informative:
The page and a half book introduction for Paul’s letter to the Philippians is very nicely done giving a quick summary sentence, then going into a little depth on how to study the book.  The introduction also includes an index of sorts of the different Study the Book sidebars that are included in the book.   As previously stated, there are no cross references in this Study Bible.  The Study Notes are clean and easy to follow without getting too wordy.

Does Commentary Convey Biblical Truth:
The commentary in Philippians does seem to be pretty solid.  As mentioned previously, the study notes (verse by verse) are pretty much the same ones in the NKJV Study Bible.  Sidebars used in Philippians seem to be solid as well.



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 or a particular translation.

Quality:  8.0  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 fine, but I am glad to see that it is Smyth sewn.  That helps the quality level from my perspective.
Appearance: 7.8   The appearance of this Bible is clean. The design that the publisher came up with does make it very easy to follow the different types of Study Notes and tools.
Value: 8.1   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: 7.9   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.  They give you a free sampler digital download of the 30 Days to Understand the Bible in a PDF format.  I wish it was the complete version of the book, but still the sampler is enough to give you a taste that it would be a good study resource
Other/Wildcard: n/a  No wildcards to speak of with this Study Bible

Overall Rating: 8.0 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 purchase each of them:

ISBN: 978-0718041915 (Jacketed Hardcover – This review)
ISBN: 978-0718079475 (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-0718081553 (Imitation Leather, Brown/Caramel)
ISBN: 9780718079482 (eBook)

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

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