I have received the most unique and gorgeous Bible to review, from FrontGate Media. And its format and beauty have absolutely won my heart. Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson, along with Bible Gateway and the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement, have created a Bible that totally lives up to its name: “Abide.” Its full name is the NET Abide Bible. I am just filled with joy to share this with you–and also, to tell you that you can not only enter to win a copy for yourself, but that you can also access a free 21-day Bible study!
What is the NET Abide Bible?
The NET (New English Translation) Abide Bible is designed to help you to engage with God’s Word. No matter which book of the Bible, or which chapter or verses you open to, you will find unique, creative, and thoughtful helps which will enable you to approach Bible reading, and even Bible study, in a way that’s quite different from any other that I’ve seen. Specifically, these helps include ideas and specific directions, scattered throughout the entire Bible, for:
- Contemplation: meditating on, resting in, and listening to what God has to say to you, on each chapter or passage
- Journaling: responding to what the Scriptures say, whether it’s verses that impact you, questions you have, ideas for putting verses into practice, and more
- Picturing It: applying your imagination to the text. If you had witnessed the verses as they happened, what might you have apprehended with your 5 senses?
- Praying Scripture: Praying actual verses, or letting them inspire you to praise
- Engaging through Art: This Bible includes many reproductions of famous paintings, sculptures, and photographs, with prompts for the reader. These include art of Biblical scenes or passages, or other art which can inspire prayer, with verses to ponder.
Each Bible book begins with a description of what is contained in the book, its historical and literary context, and how readers can prepare themselves for the book, and what God might wish to teach or show them.
This Bible is available in a variety of cover designs (hardback, leathersoft, leathersoft with designs, in a variety of colors). It also has two attached ribbon markers in a satiny finish. It contains a 365-Day Bible Reading Plan, colorful Bible maps, and some thoughts on Bible reading.
My thoughts on the NET Abide Bible
I have to admit to you that I fell in love with this Bible before I ever held it in my hands, and I anticipated reading and engaging with it long before I opened it! I am not a great artist myself; or really even a good one. But I do love beauty, and I am inspired by creativity. In addition, for years I loved teaching the Bible and art to children in a complementary way. So much of the world’s great historical art is based on Bible passages or parables, like Rembrandt’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son” painting, Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes, or the many paintings of Jesus and moments from His life. But even when a piece of art isn’t specifically of a Bible scene, it can still inspire us to beautiful thinking, remind us of God’s love or creativity, or help us to apprehend something He’d have us to know about Him. The NET Abide Bible reprints dozens and dozens of pieces of art, and directs readers to particular Scriptures plus observing the art, all with the aim of helping them grow closer–to abide–with the Lord. It combines the some of the things I love best in the world–God’s Word, and beautiful art–so that I can draw near to the Lord in creative ways.
Now! This Bible is not only focused on engaging the reader with visual art. Because really, we need to engage with the Lord in other ways as well. The ideas for prayer, the directions for preparing our hearts for what we’re about to read, the journaling directions, the thoughts for meditation and contemplation, are all incredibly rich, quite varied, and also faithful to the text. They’re scattered through this Bible quite thoroughly, so that there is hardly a page without them.
In the end, I think that this Bible is just the thing for anyone who wants to grow closer to God. It is perfect for devotional reading; for daily Bible reading; for family worship times; for teaching children; for listening to God. I so recommend it to you!
Some of my favorite parts of my new Bible
Of course, I LOVE all the art, and being able to use beloved artworks in my quiet times and in order to draw near to God is such a wonderful experience for me. I love the thoughtfully-created prayer, journaling, and contemplative readings. I love the way that the authors of the prayer and journaling prompts cross-reference Old Testament passages with the New Testament, and vice versa. I love that this is the perfect Bible for travel, in that it is sufficient for significant study time even without other study books.
Here are some of my favorite prompt passages (and you’ll see some of my favorite art scattered throughout this blog post!):
- “READ. In this passage (Isaiah 60:19-61:11) Isaiah provided a poignant picture of God’s planned restoration. As you read, make note of the main improvements God has in store for His people…Ask God to reveal Himself to you more consistently and enable you to confidently look forward to a positive future with Him.” (p. 1020)
- “JOURNAL Psalm 19:1-14…Where do you see God’s glory in the natural world around you, despite living in a fallen world (see vv. 1-6)? Verses 7-10 call attention to God’s Word. How does reading the Bible revive your soul?” (p. 741)
- “PRAYING SCRIPTURE (Philippians 3:10-14) Paul knew exactly what he aimed for. He was not floundering or lost. He had a clear goal…But Paul pursued the knowledge of Jesus. He did not dwell on the past; he stretched toward what was ahead (v. 13). What is your primary goal in life?…Ask God to help you press on toward your reward in Christ.” (p. 1660)
Sign up for a free 21-day Bible study
Thomas Nelson Bibles has created a 21-day Bible study on the Gospel of John. It’s full of video teaching, daily devotionals, and a free pdf download of the Gospel of John from the Abide Bible for you to use as you study. Just click on the link below that says “Free Gospel of John Abide Study.”
Free Gospel of John Abide Study
And…enter to win your own copy of the NET Abide Bible!
You can enter a giveaway to win your own copy of the NET Abide Bible. Just click on the link below that says “Enter giveaway here!” That will take you to the Blessed Freebies website where you can enter to win. Enter by July 24, 2022. The winner will be selected on July 25, 2022. Best wishes!
You can purchase this Bible here:
Just click on the link below to purchase the NET Abide Bible.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this Bible from FrontGate Media. I’ve expressed my own honest opinions in this review.