Beyond Suffering Bible Review

The Beyond Suffering Bible was developed by Joni Eareckson Tada and the experts at Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability. It was specifically designed to help the millions of people dealing with disabilities, chronic illness, and grief and the people who love, care for, and/or minister to them.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781414392028

Tyndale provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.

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This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Thrift Books

and many local Bible bookstores

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CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS

The hardcover edition measures approximately 6.75″ x 9.5″ x 1.75″ and weighs 2 pounds, 15 ounces. It comes in a thin cardboard slipcase with a shoreline image that matches the dust cover. The cover is solid teal with John 10:33 in copper on the front and copper lettering on the spine.

It has a sewn binding. The paper is a nice weight (guessing mid 30s gsm), easy to turn, and fairly opaque.

This Bible is also available in softcover, 2 different LeatherLike covers, and digital format.

TYPOGRAPHY

This bible is laid out in a double column paragraph format with a 9-point font. It is all black text and has blue chapter numbers and section headings. Psalms is laid out in stanzas.

The header has page numbers on the inside corner with book name and chapter number on the outside corner.

Translation notes and a few cross references are included in the footnotes which can be found in the bottom of the right column of each page that has them.

The introduction to the NLT , NLT translation team list, and a list of contributors for the study notes and design of this Bible is included.

READING PLANS

The reading plans included with this bible are not your typical get through the Bible in a year plans. Instead they are 5 to 7 day reading plans to help you gain Biblical perspective in trying times. The specific reading plans are for:

  • Comforting those Who Mourn
  • Disability and the Image of God
  • Growing Spiritually through Suffering
  • Intellectual Disability and Salvation
  • Healing: A Proper View
  • The Role of the Church in Suffering and Disability
  • Praising God through Suffering
  • Suffering and Spiritual Formation
  • What Causes Disability?
  • Victory through Weakness

TOPICAL GUIDE TO FEATURES

From Abandonment to Worship this Bible has study aids for a wide variety of topics. Included are a few topics you are unlikely to find in other Bibles like Angelman Syndrome, Response to Suffering, Spina Bifida, & Power of Words.  While the majority of this Bible is devoted to coping with suffering in a variety of forms many core Bible truths that are good topics for anyone to study are also included. This Topical guide not only indexes all study aids by topics it divides them by type of study material you’ll find within each topic.

STUDY MATERIAL

What makes this Bible so different from others is the information contained in the 5 different types of study aids. A large portion of the study material deals with suffering in many forms (disabilities, chronic illness, grief). It helps people get a Biblical perspective and still hold on to hope in the midst of suffering. It works to explain that while God doesn’t want people to suffer that sometimes  “God permits what he hates to accomplish that which he loves”

FROM JONI

This Beyond Suffering Bible starts with a letter from Joni Eareckson Tada about the purpose for this Bible and contains several devotionals written by her.

BOOK INTRODUCTIONS

The book introductions give the basic overview of each book of the Bible including author, date written, and purpose. The introductions also highlight the suffering and disability themes present in each book.

CONNECTION POINTS

The connection points are found within the text. They are located in the bottom portion of the left column. The light blue background they have makes them easy to find and helps separate them visually from the Word of God. These are short notes offering possible further explanations of the verse or insights drawn from it.

DEVOTIONALS

Several one page devotionals are scattered throughout this Bible. Each one dealing with a specific verse and an important question or common emotion you might be dealing with.

PROFILES

Many short profiles are included. Some of these help you to get to know characters from the Bible and what they suffered. Others are of modern day people and how God and His Word are still relevant to their lives, giving them strength to get through temporary situations and emotions and endure what doesn’t change.

ARTICLES

Some topics take many verses and a more in depth discussion to properly deal with. 8 such topics are dealt with in articles included in the back of the Bible.

  • God’s Story of Disability
  • A Biblical View on the Sanctity of Life
  • Why Am I Disabled?
  • The Constant Distraction (Living with Chronic Pain)
  • An Innocent Addiction (Chronic Pain sufferers who have become addicted)
  • How to Be a Loving Friend to Those Affected by Disability
  • Becoming a Welcoming Church
  • Hope: Heaven, Our Real Home

I haven’t read all of these yet, but those I have read are excellent resources and not just for those who are currently suffering.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

Included is a list of additional resources. It contains books, church curriculum, Joni and Friends websites, and additional websites dealing with suffering, healing and disabilities. It’s followed by 4 sheets of blank paper where you could add to the list or write down notes.

NLT DICTIONARY/CONCORDANCE

This Bible includes a double column 114 page concordance complete with definitions for many of the entries. The concordance font is nearly as large as the text on the main Bible. Some old English words are included, to help those familiar with KJV, with the modern English translation in italics in the references. It also includes some prominent characters in the Bible with references to key points in their lives.

Here’s a list of the number of references found in this concordance for some sample entries to help you compare.

  • Christ (n) – 95
  • Christian, Christians (n)  – 3
  • Faith (n) – 57
  • Faithful (adj) – 43
  • Faithfulness (n) – 15
  • God, Gods (n) – 89
  • God-Breathed (KJV) – 1
  • Godliness (n) – 4
  • Praise, Praises (n) – 18
  • Praise, Praised, Praises, Praising (v) – 44
  • Pray, Prayed, Praying, Prays (v) – 42
  • Prayer, Prayers (n) – 20

MAPS

These are the full-color maps on thick glossy paper that are common in many Tyndale Bibles.

Maps include:

  1. Topography of Palestine
  2. World of the Patriarchs
  3. Exodus from Egypt
  4. Twelve Tribes of Israel
  5. Conquest of Canaan
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Deportations and Returns under Assyria and Babylon
  8. Assyrian and Babylonian Empires
  9. Greek Empire
  10. Palestine Between Old and New Testaments
  11. Old Testament Jerusalem
  12. New Testament Jerusalem
  13. Roman Division of Palestine
  14. Ministry of Jesus
  15. Paul’s Missionary Journeys
  16. Paul’s Journey to Rome
  17. Roman Empire and the Spread of Christianity
  18. Israel and the Middle East Today

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEYOND SUFFERING BIBLE

Tyndale’s NLT Beyond Suffering Bible is a nice edition that helps the reader understand and deal with suffering from a Biblical perspective. I’m glad we have speciality Bibles like this that make it easy to study important topics and in this case be encouraged. While I have not personally had to endure the type of suffering this Bible is written for it will be useful for compassionately dealing with those around me who are in the midst of suffering.

As with any study or devotional Bible I remind you to take God’s Word over any added notes.

Tyndale provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.

_________________________________________________________

This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Thrift Books

and many local Bible bookstores

_________________________________________________________

Photography by hannah C brown

About The Author

Lucinda Brown

Homemaker, Pastor's Wife, and former homeschooler (my kids graduated). I love to read (especially God's Word) but am a reluctant writer. Besides reading I enjoy cooking, gardening, and a large variety of crafts. I don't consider myself an expert at any craft and am always finding new crafts and art mediums I want to try.

3 Comments

  1. James

    If God wants people to be sick and crippled, then Jesus’ entire ministry was against the will of God.

    Reply
    • Stephen

      Whatever

    • Lucinda Brown

      This Bible never says God “wants” people to be sick and crippled. It was written to give hope and encouragement to those who are sick or disabled and to help those who minister to them. Also healing was not Jesus’ entire ministry.

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