The NKJV Women’s Study Bible Review
Thomas Nelson recently released a redesigned full-color version of their best selling NKJV Women’s Study Bible. With contributions from over 80 women (of various ethnic, denominational, and occupational backgrounds) and edited by Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Kelley they hope this bible will help “women of all ages experience the renewal, hope, and transformation that only God’s Word can bring”.
COVER & BINDING
This Bible has a sewn binding. The edition I have is the hardcover but it is also available in pink/pink floral cloth over board edition (with or without thumb indexing) and a brown & burgundy imitation leather edition (also with or without thumb indexing). The hardcover edition weighs 3 1/2 pounds and measures 8.5″ x 6.5″ x 2″.
The paper is thin, white, and decently opaque. I had no problem with glare or turning pages while using it.
The text is presented in double-column paragraph format with poetry set in stanzas. The header has the page numbers in the middle and index verses in the outer corners.
The font is approximately 9.5. The words of Christ are in red, as are the subject headings, page numbers, verse numbers in the footnotes, and outlines. The book names, articles, and quotes from women in history are in blue ink and almost everything else is black. The print darkness is consistent throughout. All these different colors add to the beauty and ease of navigation in this Bible.
It has extensive book introductions that include author, date written, main themes, and a complete outline of the book. It also includes a background section to help you better understand the original audience and purpose of each book.
The NKJV Women’s Study Bible has a wide variety of note types.
Annotations (N) presented as footnotes these notes identify people and places, comment on certain verses, and attempt to explain difficult passages.
Charts (C) these notes provide overviews of biblical themes and life situations and helpful comparisons that are easy to spot.
Maps (M) In text maps to help you understand the geographical situations of the scriptures, some of which focus on biblical women.
I rarely bother to turn to the maps in the back of a Bible but frequently refer to in text maps if they are available so I find this a very useful feature.
A lot of what you’ll find in the first 3 kinds of notes are very close to what you’d find in other study Bibles it’s the last 2 types that make this a Women’s Bible.
Portraits (P) there are over 100 brief biographies or “portraits” of women mentioned in the Bible. The portraits all have a dark flowered border and a red title banner so they stand out from the text.
I like that they’ve included references to characteristics and topics very relevant to each biography at the end.
Topical Notes (T) These all have a medium flowered header, a golden brown title banner, and a pale gray background which marks them as different from both the text and the portraits.
There are over 300 Topical Notes specifically written about topics relevant to women today. They cover a huge range of topics including our christian walk (prayer, contentment), stages of life (adolescence, aging), personal issues (fatigue, infertility) and even political issues (sanctity of life, homosexuality).
There is a 24 page index to help you find these notes when you are looking for a certain topic.
While I enjoyed just thumbing through this Bible and reading what caught my eye, this index makes study of specific topics much easier, especially since it’s keyed (with capital letters in parenthesis) so you know what kind of note you’ll find when you get there.
Those unfamiliar with the order of books in the Bible may wish they had included page numbers and not just Biblical references in the index.
It has a 68 page three column concordance that, while nowhere near complete, is large enough to be helpful most of the time. Here are some sample entries with their number of references to help you compare to other Bibles:
- Christ – 13
- Christian – 1
- Christians – 1
- Faith – 40
- Faithful – 20
- Faithfulness – 5
- Faithless – 2
- God – 38
- Godhead – 2
- Godliness – 4
- Godly – 3
- Gods – 5
- Praise – 25
- Praised – 4
- Praises – 2
- Praiseworthy – 1
- Praising – 3
- Pray – 14
- Prayed – 2
- Prayer – 16
- Prayers – 5
Besides the presentation page and family history (family tree) pages found in the front of a lot of Bibles this also contains a Ketubah Marriage Contract (both an explanation and a place to fill out your own), two pages to record special family memories, and a My Spiritual Mothers page all on slightly glossy thicker paper.
There are four longer articles in the front. These are on overview of the Bible topics (God cares for women, a balanced life, women and archaeology, women and children).
There are quotes from godly women throughout history here and there throughout the text.
I have to admit this is one of my least favorite features. While some of the quotes are lovely and extremely relevant to the nearby Bible passage some seem out of place and almost all disrupted the flow of my Bible reading. Personally I would rather have all these quotes gathered together in the back of the Bible or in a separate book.
They have included 7 full color maps in the back in addition to all the in text maps.
Women and men both have something to learn from the men and women of the Bible and from each other. But it can be nice and extremely helpful to have a more focused topic and similar viewpoint like this Bible provides for women.
The NKJV Women’s Study Bible is a good study Bible. It is beautiful to look at, well laid out and easy to navigate. As with all study Bibles remember that the notes are not equivalent to God’s word and may contain doctrinal biases.
Photography by hannah C brown
Thomas Nelson provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review – only an honest one. All opinions are my own.