NIV Zondervan Study Bible

Greg Strand – September 30, 2015 2 Comments

In 2011 the Committee on Bible Translation completed the most recent translation of the New International Version of the Bible.

This past August marked the publication of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, with D. A. Carson serving as the general editor.

To hear from Carson about the format and content of this new study Bible and to learn more about it, see the following link: NIV Zondervan Study Bible For further resources from which you can learn and share with others, go to the Share Page.

Zondervan briefly explains, “The NIV Zondervan Study Bible is built on the truth of Scripture and centered on the gospel message. It’s a comprehensive combination of newly crafted study notes [“20,000 all-new verse-by-verse study notes”], articles [“28 relevant and theologically rich articles”], book introductions and study tools [“hundreds of full-color photos, more than 90 maps, and over 60 charts”] that present a biblical theology of God’s special revelation in the Scriptures.”

Rather than attempt to summarize, it is best to give the floor to the Carson, the general editor, and allow him to articulate the characteristics of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible (“Preface,” xxiv).

First, all our contributors revere Scripture as the Word of God and joyfully bow to its authority. Our desire is not so much to be masters of the Word, as to be mastered by it. That shapes how we approach the text and how we write about it. Our aim is to bring glory to God by helping people think his thoughts after him, and to ring understanding and edification to his people as they do so.

Second, this study Bible is based on the NIV, which continues to be the best-selling, most widely circulated modern-English version of the Bible in the world. This version remembers that not only the words of the original languages – Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek – are inspired by God, but so also are the phrases, the sentences, the idioms, the kinds of writing that make up the Bible, and all must be taken into account and worked through to generate a smooth and faithful translation.

Third, this study Bible aims to provide enough detail to answer the questions that many readers raise when they read the Bible without indulging in all the details that might be better lft to separate commentaries.

Fourth, in addition to the notes on the biblical text, this study Bible provides an excellent collection of charts, maps, brief essays providing the historical circumstances when each biblical book was written, and may photos and illustrations.

Finally, this study Bible emphasizes biblical theology. By this we mean that we have tried to highlight the way various themes develop within the Bible across time. We hope to encourage readers to spot these themes for themselves as they read their Bibles, becoming adept at tracing them throughout the Scriptures.

All of us who have worked on this project will be satisfied if readers come away from the Bible with increased understanding, greater grasp of the gospel, greater confidence in Scripture, more love for the Lord Jesus, renewed fear of sin and renewed love for the church, and greater joy in God.

This has all the features of other study Bibles, and yet one of the unique contributions is the focus and emphasis on biblical theology. To carry out this approach Carson has included 28 essays on major biblical themes that are developed from Genesis to Revelation, focusing on “how God has revealed his word historically and organically,” thus engaging in a whole Bible biblical theology.

    1. The Story of the Bible: How the Good News About Jesus Is Central (Timothy Keller)
    2. The Bible and Theology (D. A. Carson)
    3. A Biblical-Theological Overview of the Bible (D. A. Carson)
    4. The Glory of God (James M. Hamilton Jr.)
    5. Creation (Henri A. G. Blocher)
    6. Sin (Kevin DeYoung)
    7. Covenant (Paul R. Williamson)
    8. Law (T. D. Alexander)
    9. Temple (T. D. Alexander)
    10. Priest (Dana M. Harris)
    11. Sacrifice (Jay A. Sklar)
    12. Exile and Exodus (Thomas Richard Wood)
    13. The Kingdom of God (T. D. Alexander)
    14. Sonship (D. A. Carson)
    15. The City of God (T. D. Alexander)
    16. Prophets and Prophecy (Sam Storms)
    17. Death and Resurrection (Philip S. Johnston)
    18. People of God (Moisés Silva)
    19. Wisdom (Daniel J. Estes)
    20. Holiness (Andrew David Naselli)
    21. Justice (Brian S. Rosner)
    22. Wrath (Christopher W. Morgan)
    23. Love and Grace (Graham A. Cole)
    24. The Gospel  (Greg D. Gilbert)
    25. Worship (David G. Peterson)
    26. Mission (Andreas J. Köstenberger)
    27. Shalom (Timothy Keller)
    28. The Consummation (Douglas J. Moo)

Here is an immediate use for me. In addition to our individual Bible reading, Karen, my wife, and I are reading and discussing these essays. They are truly rich, a veritable feast of biblical theology in bite-sized and nutrition-packed morsels (2-3 pages each). They illuminate the beauty of God and his Word in and through redemptive history.

There are many excellent study Bibles available today. This new one, the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, under the general editorship of D. A. Carson, who has taught at TEDS, our EFCA seminary for many years, is one of the best. I encourage you to purchase one. And even more so, I encourage you to read and learn from the notes and essays. But even more than that, I implore you to read God’s Word.

Greg Strand


Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

2 responses to NIV Zondervan Study Bible

  1. Thanks Greg! I’m ordering one today!

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