Any time that a new resource comes out that helps someone understand Scripture better, I am very interested in checking it out. B&H Publishing recently came out with a very unique resource that quite honestly is very impressive. The Christ Chronological is what I would classify as a harmony of the gospels, but done in chronological order of the events . It is based on their relatively new CSB (Christian Standard Bible) translation or rewrite of the HCSB if you will.
I requested a copy from B&H Publishing (Holman Bible Publishers) through their BH Bloggers program to see if this new resource would be beneficial for people to understand better about what they believe.
In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by B&H Publishing 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
**See all sections below for full detailed review**
To call B&H Publishing’s Christ Chronological just a harmony of the Gospels would not do it justice by any means. When people think of a harmony of the Gospels, they think of a few pages of a chart that is in the back (or middle pages) within their Study Bible that highlights an event and then shows which of the four gospels the event was recorded and the Scripture references for them. This Bible (of the four Gospels) really is so much more than that.
Rather, Christ Chronological goes so much further than the typical harmony of the Gospels. Yes, it similarly shows where certain events are covered, but it does them first in a chronological order of when the events occurred. Not only does it list out the events, but it actually puts in the CSB translation of the actual Scriptures within each gospel where each event is covered in a side-by-side manner so you can easily compare the different Gospel accounts.
If I were to “classify” this particular Bible, I would say it is a “Chronological Parallel Harmony of the Gospels With Some Commentary” Bible. Wow, was that a mouthful!
The different Gospel accounts of these events are uniquely color-coded, so you easily will know which Gospel you are reading by just noticing the color of the font.
They followed the CSB concept of using a bold font for any Old Testament quotations that are used in the Gospels. However, I do wish they went one step further and did some cross references like they do in the majority of the CSB Bibles that I have seen. With that said, if you have a CSB Bible, you already have that ability to see anyway. It just would have been nice to put that cross-reference feature in the Christ Chronological.
There are also some commentary points that are beneficial to understanding the subtle and not-so subtle differences between the different Gospel accounts of the events.
Overall, this is a very good resource that I would highly recommend for anyone to have in their library. I received a copy of this Parallel Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BIBLE:
Type of Bible: Bible Reference
Publisher: Holman Bible Publishers / B&H Publishing (November 1, 2017)
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-1433646034
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is at Christianbook.com. They have it for $14.99– suggested retail from the publisher is $19.99. 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.
|CSB Christ Chronological, Hardcover
By Holman Bible PublishersCSB Christ Chronological provides a unique way for readers to experience the life of Christ in chronological order with each Gospel writer’s account of events side-by-side. Featuring a parallel format, commentary notes for each section to provide background and context, and color-coded text to differentiate between the accounts in each Gospel, readers are able to gain fresh perspective on the life and ministry of Christ. Ideal for pastors, teachers, students, and laypeople. Size: 9.5″ x 8.75″ x 1″. 160 pages, softcover from B&HCSB Christ Chronological features the highly reliable, highly readable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), which stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity. The CSB’s optimal blend of accuracy and readability makes Scripture more moving, more memorable, and more motivating to read and share with others.
- Smyth-sewn binding
- No Cross References used in this Resource Bible
- 160 pages
- Dimensions: 8.7 x 1 x 9.4 inches
Chronological Sequence of Events
Christ Chronological takes the different events described in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and puts them in chronological order and where applicable puts them in parallel columns next to each other much like a harmony of the Gospels, but with the full text rather than just the book, chapter and verse numbers.
Old Testament Quotations/References in the New Testament
As I have seen in each CSB Bible so far, they followed suit with how they referenced Old Testament quotations/references like they did in the HCSB translation. They did this by using a nice bold font for the Scripture text that is the reference. This makes it very easy to see the reference are used in any New Testament text to indicate Old Testament quotations or any obvious allusion to any Old Testament text. Of all the methods of referencing Old Testament Scripture that I have seen so far, my favorite way is how they do it with the HCSB and CSB Bibles where they bold the font of the actual text. I hope Holman keeps this format going forward.
With that said, I do wish that they took Christ Chronological just one small step further to provide the cross-reference information for these Old Testament quotations. However, if you have any other CSB Bible that has cross references (or HCSB Bible as well), then you can use that Bible for those references if needed. It just would have been nice to have it directly in the Christ Chronological.
There are some commentary notes that pertain to the event or topic covered. These commentary notes are very interesting to read as they often describe the differences and nuances of each Gospel book that the event described in.
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.
MY OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE:
Ease of Use:
I would say that this Parallel Gospels Bible is very easy to use. The layout is very nice and easy to follow once you see how it is laid out. Overall, the design efforts that went into this Bible paid off very nicely.
Durability of Bible:
I would say that this appears to be a fairly durable Parallel Gospels Bible. It is a hardcover Bible for the version that I received, but this Bible is Smyth Sewn (or section sewn), which means it will hold up better than most “perfect bound” or glue back Bibles (similar to general paperback books). I would consider this to be a tool for studying or reading.
Typeface and Print:
Scriptures are very readable for the Scripture text. The commentary notes are a little smaller, but still very readable. One of the things that I have to give the publisher accolades on is the use of the four colors that differentiate the Scripture text as being either Matthew (blue type), Mark (green type), Luke (red type) or John (purple-ish type). They also put a key code at the bottom of each page that looks like it’s part of the design. This approach makes it consistent and easy to know what book you are reading from in each of the columns.
Paper used for this Bible is actually very nice. Since this is strictly a Gospel account comparison Bible and is not the full text of the Old and New Testament, they could afford to produce it on a nicer opaque stock without having to worry about it being too thick.
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.
Quality: 9.2 – I am going to state that when I rate the “Quality” section, I am basing it partially on how the product is made when compared to the actual price. With that said, I would say that for the price of this particular Bible, you are getting a good quality for the price. It is a hardcover Bible, but overall, it is actually pretty good quality.
Appearance: 9.5 – The appearance of this Bible is very nice. The fonts used are very pleasing and easy to read font in my opinion. The use of the different text colors to make it easy to know what book you are reading from really are a very nice design approach.
Value: 9.5 – I personally like Bibles that are Smyth sewn better simply because they are typically made better and will last longer. Yes, this is a hardcover Bible, but overall, it feels pretty well made nonetheless.
Innovation: 9.3 – To be honest, I think I do have to give some innovation points to Holman on this one. Simply because this is the first time I personally have seen the Gospels done in a way that is chronological and parallel like this. Very nicely done in my opinion.
Other/Wildcard: n/a – There aren’t any real wildcards for this one that stood out to me, so I am marking this section as not applicable and not including it in the rating.
Overall Rating: 9.4 out of 10
In 1993, A.J. Holman Bible Company was acquired by Broadman Press to form B&H Publishers. Then in 2014, B&H Publishing combined with Lifeway Church Resources. They are based in Nashville, TN and have roots that go back to 1738.
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