I was very intrigued when I heard that AMG was working on a new translation for their Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible lineup. To my excitement, I found out that the translation they were doing it with was the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) from Holman that I have been spending some time in recently via reviews and my own personal studies. So far, I have found that I am enjoying the readability of the CSB and the reliability from what I have seen so far is pretty good. So now, AMG has come out with their fantastic Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible in the CSB translation! There are not major differences between the NASB Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible and the CSB Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible outside of them being different translations, but I will do the full review of the CSB version and call out any differences in the details of this review and show picture examples of the differences.
Much like the NASB edition, this CSB Key Word Study Bible is really geared toward anyone that really wants to dive into the Word of God and study it for themselves rather than just reading the Bible or even relying on study notes that others have done. It can really come in handy if you are doing deeper studying of the Bible like when I taught the class at our church on how to do your own Inductive Bible Study a few years ago.
In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by AMG Publishers 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 had pretty high expectations going into this particular review project based on what I saw from the NASB Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible that I previously reviewed for AMG Publishers. I can honestly say that this Bible actually exceeded my already fairly high expectations in both content and quality. AMG is no longer making the 1984 NIV Key Word Study Bible, so it would seem that this CSB edition is the replacement for the 1984 NIV in their Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible line up.
Much like the NASB and other versions of this Study Bible, this is not the normal Study Bible where you read someone’s interpretation of most of the Scripture verses at the bottom of the page. This Study Bible is really geared toward anyone that really wants to dive into the Word of God and study it for themselves utilizing the original Biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek rather than relying on study notes that others have done. Yes, it has explanatory notes at the bottom of the page, but they aren’t what I would call Study Notes like other Study Bibles have. They are more explanatory about the original language aspect.
It takes many the key and important words and gives you a reference for either the Strong’s information or in many cases, the Strong’s as well as AMG Dictionary definitions.
I did notice some differences between the NASB and CSB Key Word Study Bibles relating to the Key Words. One of the first things I noticed was that the NASB version has more words identified in it compared to the CSB. Don’t get me wrong – there are a ton of key words identified in the CSB. I just noticed that the NASB has more numbered in the text in a few spots. This is because back around 2008, AMG did some updating to key words used in their translations, but the NASB was not updated, so there are some differences between the NASB and other translations like the KJV, NKJV, ESV and CSB which use the newer updated Key Words.
The tools used in this Study Bible may take just a small adjustment time for someone to get used to, but if you have done anything that uses Strong’s numbering system, you will feel right at home. Quality is great, print is overall very good and nicely laid out, I would highly recommend this Study Bible.
AMG does provide a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects and when I registered mine, I got a free e-book of A Word for the Day by J.D. Watson which is a very nice surprise. This e-book is a daily devotional that gives you a daily original Greek word with a devotional aspect related to the word in Scripture. It actually fits in very well with the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible.
You can get this Bible in the following translations: NASB-77, KJV, NKJV, ESV and CSB and many different formats for each of these translations. I received a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review from AMG Publishers and all opinions are my own.
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BIBLE:
Type of Bible: Study Bible / Original Language Studies
Publisher: AMG Publishers @AMGPublishers
Publish Date: March 1, 2018
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-1617155161
Bible Version: CSB (Christian Standard Bible)
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is at Christianbook.com. They have it for $61.99 – suggested retail from the publisher is $89.99. 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 would like to purchase it in a different translation and/or format, Click Here for those links listed below in this review.
|CSB Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, genuine leather, black
By Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, ed. / AMG PublishersThe Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible combines essential tools for studying Hebrew and Greek with an accurate and clear translation. The Strong’s Dictionary numbering system makes this study Bible an ideal choice for every student of God’s Word, no matter what age. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible is a complete English Bible text for cross-reference study.Features Include:
- Genuine Leather in black color
- Gold gilded pages
- Smyth sewn
- One black ribbon marker in this version
- Double Column format
- Fairly wide margins
- Words of Chris in red text through entire New Testament (not just the Gospels)
- Center column cross references
- Type size: Scripture text is a very readable 9 point font
- Dimensions: 7 x 2.8 x 9 inches
- Approximate weight: 3.6 lbs
AMG Publishers did two really nice videos on the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible. First is the shorter video overview and a quick summary of how to use it. Check it out here:
Second, if you would like to see a little more detail in a longer video, check out this video from AMG Publishers:
SPECIAL CONTENT OF THIS BIBLE:
Pre-Scripture Text Pages
- 1 Presentation Page
- The typical presentation page that contains the Presented To, From, Occasion and Date for you to write in.
- 1 page of table of Contents
- 1/2 page of a Preface from AMG (the publisher)
- 3 pages of the Translator’s Letter
- This is the typical letter from the translators for the CSB. As I have said in many of my Bible reviews, I really can’t emphasize enough the importance of reading these articles in all Bibles – it helps you to understand more of the background of the translation and the drive behind the particular translation.
- 2 pages of How the Names of God are Translated
- This provides the translation teams method of how they translated the different names of God.
- 1/2 page of Abbreviations in CSB Bibles
- provides a quick summary of the different abbreviations that are used in the translation notes throughout the CSB translation.
- 1 page of A Tribute to Dr. Spiros Zodhiates
- A brief tribute to Dr. Zodhiates who really was the one that spearheaded AMG and led it for six decades and wrote over 200 hundred English books and 82 Greek books.
- 2 pages of how to use the features of the Hebrew-Greek Key Word portion of this Study Bible
- 1 page of Special Features in this edition of Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible
- 1 page of the books of the Bible
- 1 page of Abbreviations of the AMG Study Materials used in this Study Bible
Please note that in the photos for this review, I will use the same section of Scripture or same view of a feature that I used in my NASB edition review of the Key Word Study Bible. This is on purpose so you can see the differences between the two editions side by side if you wish.
Scripture Text Pages
Individual Book Introductions
The Book Introductions are typically about a quarter to a half of a page in length. It is fairly typical to what you see in most Study Bibles, but this one does nicely go into a little more depth than most when it comes to customs and/or history of whoever the book is written to or about. From the examples that I compared, the book introductions are updated and thus not quite the same as what was in the NASB edition.
Study or “Explanatory” Notes
These study (or explanatory) notes are not the typical notes that you find in most Study Bibles. They are another key and extremely helpful feature that this Study Bible has. These notes are not a commentary like most Study Bibles, but rather they discuss theological, exegetical, historical and geographical points that help you to understand the text. Keep in mind that the theological portion of these notes will be biased toward the author’s beliefs. As I brought out many times in our Inductive Bible Study Class at our church, my opinion is that you should do your own study and not rely on another person’s work to start your studies. It’s perfectly fine for a sense check after you have done your own work.
Cross References are done in between the columns of Scripture text. Fairly standard cross references. The type is not too bad of a size for cross references as you can see in the photo.
- These have the typical usage where an italicized letter preceding a word in the Scripture text denotes a cross-reference.
- If the letters preceding the Scripture text are not in italic type, then they are grammatical notations and not cross references. For example, “psa” in front of a word means that the word is grammatically a “present subjunctive active” word. More on this feature a little later in this review.
These are the standard CSB translation footnotes that you would find in most CSB Bibles.
Old Testament References in the New Testament
Oblique (slanted) text is used in any New Testament text to indicate Old Testament quotations or any obvious allusion to any Old Testament text. Some people may call this text italicized but technically, they aren’t the same thing. In the purest sense, an oblique is a roman font that has been skewed a certain number of degrees (8-12 degrees, usually). An italic is created by the type designer with specific characters (notably lowercase a) drawn differently to create a more calligraphic, as well as slanted version
To be honest, I’m just a little torn on this one just because I really like how the other HCSB and CSB Bibles that I have seen work where they use Bold text instead. I understand that with how much is in this Study Bible, use of bold text may have made it too busy to read comfortably. You can see the comparison of how it is done between the CSB Key Word Study Bible and the NASB edition which utilizes a small caps approach. They really serve the same purpose, I just have my own personal preference toward the bold font because I think it’s easier to notice.
Strong’s Numbers in Scripture Text
There are Strong’s numbers keyed directly in the Scripture text and these directly relate to the Strong’s words found in the back of this Bible in either the Annotated Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary for the Old Testament text, or the Annotated Strong’s Greek Dictionary for the New Testament text. One thing to call out is that while each of these numbers represent a Strong’s dictionary word, AMG has gone a step further and annotated many of these Strong’s words with their own AMG Compete Word Study of either the Old Testament or New Testament.
Normal Strong’s only words are denoted by a normal number directly following the word in the text. Words that AMG has annotated in addition to the Strong’s words are denoted by a bold number following the word in the text. All you have to do is locate that number, then turn to the back of the Bible to the dictionary (Old or New Testament as applicable) and locate that number in the dictionary listing which are sorted numerically in the sections in the back.
As I mentioned in my Quick Summary section above, I did notice some differences between the NASB and CSB Key Word Study Bibles relating to the Key Words. One of the first things I noticed was that the NASB version has more words identified in it compared to the CSB. Don’t get me wrong – there are must as many, if not more, key words identified in the CSB. I just noticed that the NASB has more of the numbers in some portions of the text (like in the letters to the churches in Revelation, has none, however preceding and following chapters have many in them. This is because back around 2008, AMG did some updating to key words used in their translations, but the NASB-77 was not updated, so there are some differences between the NASB and other translations like the KJV, NKJV, ESV and CSB which use the newer updated Key Words.
In the example picture for the NASB edition, you can see in James 4:16 how the word “boast” has a non-bold number of 212, where “evil” has a bold number of 4190. You would just turn to the Annotated Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament and look for the entries for 212 (page 2089) and 4190 (page 2258). However the CSB does not have the word “boast” keyed with a Strong’s number – this is from the updated keying that was done around 2008. The CSB does still use the bold and non-bold numbers the same way that the NASB does, which is a great feature.
Words of Christ in Red
As I stated in my NASB edition review, I really like it when Bibles actually do the red lettering all the way through the book of Revelation rather than stopping at just the Gospels. It is a big plus in my book that AMG did just that with the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible.
One of my gripes about the NASB edition was that they print of the red lettering was not very consistent (see the pics below). However, I am happy to report that the CSB edition of the Key Word Study Bible has a much more consistent look to the red lettering and it is easy to read in my opinion. Well done, AMG.
Margins on Scripture Pages
Similar to the NASB edition, this CSB edition of the Key Word Study Bible has a decent amount of room in the outside margins to write some notes and seems to have a little more room than most other Study Bibles that I have seen.
– Top Margin (outside of Scripture reference on outside header) =3/4″
– Outside margin =7/8″
– Bottom (foot) margin =1/2″ (below study notes area)
Post Scripture Pages
- Table of Weights and Measures
1 page of the fairly typical chart that you see in many Bibles. In the NASB edition, this felt a little out-of-place for me personally as it was stuck right between the Old Testament Dictionary pages and the New Testament Dictionary pages. However in the CSB edition, the placement feels much better.
- Grammatical Codes to the Grammatical Notations
1 page that covers the codes used in the Scripture text of the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible. These codes are found as small codes preceding certain words (upper left of the word) in the text and they provide constructions found in the Greek New Testament to help provide the grammatical usage of the word you are looking at. For example, if you encounter “ppt” in the word, you can look up what that means either on this page or the handy bookmark included with the Bible. You will then see that “ppt” means “present participle” and then you can look up what this means in the Grammatical Notations portion (next section of this review). This is really a very handy tool to have to help you understand the original languages better. In this page, the applicable Grammatical Categories are shown by their number at the end of the description. This number corresponds to the definitions in the following section on the next page and really tie hand in hand with each other.
- Grammatical Notations: Grammatical Definitions of the Grammatical Categories
4 pages that provide a very clear understanding of the 44 different grammatical categories so you can better understand how this word was used more clearly. In many cases, they provide an example to make the definition more clear to the reader. Here you can see what “ppt” actually means (the Present Participle) so you can have a better understanding of how the word is used. This section really ties in with the previous one and are intended to be used together. As a bonus, they include a very nice bookmark that has the grammatical codes on it in alphabetical order with the Grammatical Notation numbers to help you so start to understand the grammatical usage of the words used in Scripture.
- Scripture Index to the Footnotes and Introductions
44 pages of an index that provides scripture references between the different footnotes and introductions that are used in the CSB Key Word Study Bible
- CSB Concordance
78 page concordance for the CSB translation. Similar to the NASB edition, this concordance is very nicely done.
- AMG’s Annotated Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary of the Old Testament
This is one of the many powerhouse tools of this Study Bible. This section is 401 pages (compared to the NASB edition’s 287 pages). It starts with a single cover page, then a page that covers the Transliteration (how to pronounce) of Hebrew Consonants, then a page of Transliteration of Hebrew Vowels and Special Symbols that are used in the dictionary. Then it goes into the Old Testament Dictionary.
- AMG’s Annotated Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament
This is a continuation one of the powerhouse tool we looked at a little bit ago as we continue from the Old to the New Testament. This section is a total 342 pages (compared to the NASB edition’s 246 pages). It starts with a single cover page, then two pages that cover the Transliteration (how to pronounce) of Greek Alphabet, Consonant Combinations, Diphthongs (double vowels), Breathing Mark and Special Symbols that are used in the dictionary. Earlier in this review, we covered how the Strong’s numbers are shown in the Scripture text by looking at James 4:16. You would just turn to the Annotated Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament and look for the entry for “evil” #4190 (page 2282).
- Full Color Maps
8 pages of the standard full color notes that everyone is putting at the end of most Bibles. These maps seem to be the same ones used in the NASB edition. However, the color is just a slight amount brighter than the NASB edition – very pleasing to use them. The font size and color on the maps makes it very pleasant to use.
Typeface, Print and Binding:
- OK, if you have followed my blog for any duration of time, you know that I am a HUGE fan of real leather Bibles. And I’m not talking that bonded leather stuff either. Similar to the NASB edition that I reviewed a year ago, this CSB Bible has really nice feeling leather – just has a nice feel and texture to it. It has a different texture than the NASB edition. The smell of the CSB Bible doesn’t have quite as strong of a leather smell that the NASB edition has, but it is still very pleasant. I really like it very much and feels very solid in the hand. It does not feel flimsy at all like some of those cheaper imitation leather Bibles do sometimes. Similar to the NASB, they did not do perimeter stitching on the CSB’s leather cover, but still it feels very sturdy.
- The gold gilding on the edge of the Bible does have some discoloration that you can see a little in the pic below in the face of the pages. It is really only noticeable if you look at an upward or downward (like the pic below) angle and is not very noticeable if you look at it straight on. To me, this is a very, very minor issue as the gilding is strictly cosmetic anyway.
- This Bible lays nice and flat. The leather cover is not flimsy, but yet flexible.
- Smyth Sewn which really helps to have a more durable Study Bible.
- Scriptures are a very readable font, and the print is actually very nice
- The Red Letter Words of Christ are good and very consistent in printing. But I do love how they did red lettering all the way through Revelation. You don’t see that too often in Bibles, but I wish it was more common practice.
- I have to call this one out. In the NASB edition, the line-matching (printed lines on the front of the page vs. the back side of the page) was pretty good for the most part. It was at most off about a 1/4 of a line in some spots that I saw. Line matching is always a challenging thing to get 100% right on every single copy of a book, but in this case, they did a fine job. HOWEVER – on this CSB Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, AMG must have paid very close attention to it. In the scripture text it is extremely good in every page that I looked at. Not an easy task, especially for a Study Bible. Very well done in this CSB edition!
- The paper used in the CSB edition is much more white than the paper that was used in the NASB edition, making the reading of the text much easier I think.
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 specific translation.
Quality: 9.8– This particular Bible that I received is genuine leather and black and feels pretty sturdy in my hands, so I think it will stand up pretty well – especially since it is Smyth sewn. You can get this in the genuine leather like the one in this review, or you can get it in other formats as well (see the list below for links to the available formats).
Appearance: 9.5 – The appearance of this Bible is very clean – design and layout is done very nicely making it a very pleasant experience reading it. If you have never done any work with word studies and Strong’s numbering system, this may take a very small adjustment to get used to using it. The use of the whiter paper compared to the NASB edition is a very nice touch. Overall, it just looks really nice – nothing flashy, but just clean and nicely done.
Value: 9.6 – The value of this Bible is actually quite good – especially considering the reasonable price for what you get. It is high quality genuine leather plus with the features that are in this Bible, I would rate this very high value. It is well worth the investment of purchasing a copy for yourself.
Innovation: 9.5 – I’m really not sure if I can classify this as an innovation, but the Hebrew-Greek word study tools are so good, that I felt I had to give it a boost here. With that said, I wouldn’t let your study and understanding of original Bible language studies remain, just with this resource. However, this Study Bible is an amazing tool that you can do many of your word studies all within one single book.
Other/Wildcard: 9.7 – I will throw in the wild card value for the free e-Book that you get when you register your Bible for the lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects. It is a very nice addition to the CSB Key Word Study Bible and helps you to dive even deeper into the original languages.
Overall Rating: 9.7 out of 10
Bible Formats and Options:
Here are some of the many different formats and Bible translations that this Bible comes in per the publisher. You can click on the ISBN number below for your preferred version to buy it from Christianbook.com:
ISBN: 978-1617155161 (CSB – Genuine Leather – Black – This review)
ISBN: 978-1617155178 (CSB – genuine leather, black-indexed)
ISBN: 978-1617155185 (CSB – genuine leather, burgundy)
ISBN: 978-1617155192 (CSB – genuine leather, burgundy-indexed)
ISBN: 978-1617155208 (CSB – bonded leather, black)
ISBN: 978-1617155215 (CSB – bonded leather, black-indexed)
ISBN: 978-1617155222 (CSB – bonded leather, burgundy)
ISBN: 978-1617155239 (CSB – bonded leather, burgundy-indexed)
ISBN: 978-1617155246 (CSB – hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0899577548 (NASB – genuine leather, burgundy)
ISBN: 978-1617159886 (NASB – genuine leather, burgundy-indexed)
ISBN: 978-1617159879 (NASB – genuine leather, black-indexed)
ISBN: 978-1617159855 (NASB – bonded leather, black-indexed)
ISBN: 978-1617159862 (NASB – bonded leather, burgundy-indexed)
ISBN: 978-0899577500 (NASB – 2008 New Edition, hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0899577487 (KJV – 2008 New Edition, genuine black leather)
ISBN: 978-1617159831 (KJV – genuine leather, black-indexed)
ISBN: 978-1617159848 (KJV – genuine leather, burgundy-indexed)
ISBN: 978-1617159824 (KJV – bonded leather, burgundy-indexed)
ISBN: 978-1617159817 (KJV – bonded leather, black-indexed)
ISBN: 978-0899577456 (KJV – 2008 New Edition, hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0899579160 (ESV – genuine leather, black)
ISBN: 978-1617159985 (ESV – genuine leather, black-indexed)
ISBN: 978-0899579177 (ESV – genuine leather, burgundy)
ISBN: 978-1617159992 (ESV – genuine leather, burgundy-indexed)
ISBN: 978-0899579146 (ESV – bonded leather, black)
ISBN: 978-1617155062 (ESV – bonded leather, black-index)
ISBN: 978-0899579153 (ESV – bonded leather, burgundy)
ISBN: 978-1617155079 (ESV – bonded leather, burgundy-index)
ISBN: 978-0899579184 (ESV – soft leather-look, black)
ISBN: 978-1617159978 (ESV – imitation leather, black-indexed)
ISBN: 978-0899579139 (ESV – hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0899578682 (NKJV – genuine leather, black)
ISBN: 978-1617159893 (NKJV – genuine leather black-indexed)
ISBN: 978-0899578699 (NKJV – genuine leather, burgundy)
ISBN: 978-1617159909 (NKJV – genuine leather, burgundy-indexed)
ISBN: 978-0899578675 (NKJV – hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0899579191 (RVR – Spanish Bible – black bonded leather)
From the publisher’s website: In 1980, AMG Publishers, Inc. was launched by AMG International, Inc. to minister through the written Word. Since its inception, AMG Publishers has become a leader in the Christian publishing with the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, award-winning youth fiction, exhaustive reference, multiple Bible studies and Patriotic literature. AMG Publishers publishes under the imprints AMG Publishers, Living Ink Books and God and Country Press. Our products can be found in many languages all over the world.
AMG Publishers is a wholly owned subsidiary of AMG International. Profits from AMG Publishers are invested in the ministries of AMG International.
AMG International is an evangelical Christian missionary agency ministering to needy people in some 40 countries of the world. AMG has provided hope through the Good News of Jesus Christ since 1942.
Many are brought to a personal belief and trust in Jesus Christ through evangelism carried on by AMG missionaries, national workers, church planters, schools, radio programs, and newspaper evangelism. Thousands of hungry children are fed and cared for in AMG childcare centers, and broken bodies are given medical help in hospitals, clinics, and leprosy centers.
AMG’s goals are to provide every person on earth at least one opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel, to express the compassion of Christ as God allows, and to serve the pastor and his local church through informing, challenging , and encouraging them to fulfill their worldwide responsibilities.
When you pray for or financially support AMG, you can feel satisfied knowing you have made a positive difference for many hurting people. We are God’s children meeting the needs of others in the name of Jesus Christ. Please pray for our ministry.
Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.