Bible Review: NKJV Word Study Bible

I received a digital version of this Bible, so this review will not include any details about the physical binding of the Bible.

The Nelson NKJV Word Study Bible includes very brief word studies of 1,700 key words throughout the Old and New Testament of the New King James text. The introduction says that there is at least one word study per chapter of the Bible with more in most chapters. There are 929 chapters in the Bible, so if you divide the 1,700 word studies evenly – which they do not claim to have done – that would be an average of 1.8 word studies per chapter. Obviously, the 1,700 chosen “key words” would be repetitive throughout the books of the Bible, and there are cross-references included where the same word is used in other “key” passages.

The eBible version that I received for review includes a section on “How to Use This eBible.” Other sections include a very good “Forward to the NKJV Word Study Bible,” the standard “Preface to the New King James Version,” and the ever-helpful “Table of Monies, Weights, and Measures.” There are also the standard Nelson full-color maps (9 maps).

The Word Studies are indexed in four different ways: 1) alphabetically by the NKJV English word; 2) textual order (Genesis – Revelation); 3) Strong’s numbering for Old Testament Hebrew and Aramaic words (H); 4) Strong’s numbering for New Testament Greek words (G). The Strong’s indexes also provide a great resource for cross-referencing other, more thorough, word study reference works (like Strong’s Concordance, Vine’s Expository Dictionary, and Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, among many others).

The NKJV Word Study Bible also includes introductions to the 66 books of the Bible. These are the same Nelson introductions used in the popular center column reference NKJV, with the addition of “Watch Words” for the book.

For my review of the Word Studies, and how they are keyed to the text, I went through some key passages for the gospel plan of salvation – which is how I typically check any study Bible. Here are the included Word Studies I found keyed to these passages and my impression of how helpful they are to their study.

Hear:

  • Romans 10:17: there is a cross-reference to the Word Study at 1 Peter 1:23-25 for “word” (Gr. rh?ma). The Word Study is brief, to the point, and good. Someone would get the correct understanding that Paul is saying a person must hear the preaching of the gospel in order to have biblical faith.

Believe:

  • Mark 16:16; John 8:24; Acts 16:31: no word studies or cross-references.
  • John 3:16: cross-referenced word study to Acts 10:43. The Word Study is “okay,” but I like the connection to Hebrews 11:6, which says this passage “sums up the life of the believer.” A more thorough Word Study on biblical “belief,” though, should certainly include the idea that true “belief” is always connected to action.”

Repent:

  • Acts 2:38: cross-referenced word study to Acts 26:20. It’s pretty good, with a connection between the change of lifestyle repentance requires and the “good works” evidenced in the penitent lifestyle.

Confess:

  • Romans 10:9, 10: no word study or cross-reference.
  • The word “confess” is not given a word study, which is a little disappointing considering the confusion over the nature of the confession “with the mouth…unto salvation.” It is the open expression of belief that Jesus is the Son of God (cf. Acts 8:35-38).

Be Baptized:

  • Romans 6:3, 4: cross-referenced to Matthew 21:25. This is where most “Study Bibles” fall apart. It seems that they give more space to explaining away the necessity of baptism than to just expounding what the baptism passages actually mean. While I would like it to be a little stronger, the NKJV Word Study Bible, at least, correctly defines it as immersion. It correctly connects baptism to the response of believing in the saving power of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, and being added to the church. It just does it in a somewhat ambiguous manner, leaving room for deniers to “wiggle around.”

In my review of these passages, I like the word studies provided. While each of these passages didn’t have a word study associated, I was able to find a passage with the aid of the alphabetical index – except for “confession.” I feel like this would be a good introductory resource to those wanting to do a deeper study of God’s word in the original languages. The inclusion of the Strong’s numbers also allows those wanting to go further, with more exhaustive word study resources, to do so without having to know the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. I could comfortably recommend this Bible.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required 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.”

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