Christian Basics Bible – Review

The Christian Basics Bible from Tyndale is an NLT study Bible made with new converts in mind. Its purpose is to provide a simple study Bible with the foundations of faith to help lead them on their Christian journey. In this review I’m taking a look at the hard cover edition, ISBN: 9781496413550.

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)


and many local Bible bookstores



My review copy is hard cover with a dust jacket. It’s sewn and lies open to any page with no problems. The paper is thin, maybe around 30gsm, and has a slight rough texture and is white in color. The show-through isn’t bad, especially considering how thin the paper is. It’s more noticeable in poetic settings and where there’s color on the reverse side of the page.

I had no issues turning the pages. The overall size is 9 5/16 x 6 1/4 x 1 3/4″. It comes with a simple slip case.


The text is presented in double-column format with poetry in a poetic setting and letters are indented. The header shows book names and chapter numbers in the outer margin with page numbers next to them. Footnotes are placed under the last verse on the page. The section headings, header, and chapter numbers are printed in a nice shade of blue. Short articles and charts are placed at the bottom of the page.

The font is 9 point black letter. It’s decently dark and sharp. The text is clean and easy to read. It has around 38 characters across with around 7-9 words per line.


An article in the front, titled What is the Bible?, provides an introduction to God’s Word. It discusses the authors, types of writing, and includes a timeline of the Bible’s events so you can see them in chronological order.


Book introductions take about 1-2 pages and covers the author and audience, what the book is about (which provides a summary of the events in the book), what it means for us, and provides a short overview as an outline. The introductions provide good information to help new converts understand the setting, audience, and purpose of the book. They’re easy to read without getting bogged down with technical terms, which is perfect for their audience.


Rather than providing verse-by-verse commentary, over 500 short articles are placed under the text throughout the Bible. The articles cover many topics including people, places, events, situations, holiness issues, answers to common questions, and lots more.

They’re great for personal growth in our walk with God. Some do include theological bias, so I recommend you do your own study and only use the notes as reference.


It includes two Bible reading plans:

Plan 1 – An Introduction to the Bible – a four week plan that takes you through the basics of the Christian message, who God is, what He has done, and how we should respond.

Plan 2 – An Overview of the Bible’s Story – 180 days of reading that takes you through the whole Bible, hitting the highlights to show you key themes.

It’s good to have an overview, but I would like to see a plan that includes the entire Bible as well so readers don’t get in the habit of reading certain things and ignoring others.


This is a 133-page guide called Basic Truths of the Christian Faith. Its purpose is to provide answers to basic questions about life and faith. It provides the topic, a short description, key Scripture, and several sub-topics with Scripture references. It does include theological bias, so you’ll want to use it as reference material and do your own study, but it does include lots of Scripture and is a good starting point.


This is a 14-page glossary that works as a supplement to the topical guide and notes in the Bible. It gives a more concise definition with topic names and page numbers where you can see the topic covered in more detail.


This is an 8 page index to where all of the topics are covered. It shows the page numbers and provides alternate terms to look up. This is a handy feature because it provides one place to look up the topic rather than having to look it up in the various study features.


The Visual Overview is an interesting feature. It has maps, but this is much more than a map section. It provides a visual overview printed on thick glossy paper that includes maps, charts, and infographics to show the big picture. They provide an introduction, pages to see the topic in more detail, Scriptures, etc. This is an excellent tool for study and is one of my favorite features.

It includes:

  1. World of the Patriarchs
  2. The Plagues of Egypt
  3. Exodus From Egypt
  4. Israel’s Annual Calendar
  5. Twelve Tribes of Israel
  6. Kingdoms of Israel
  7. The Book of Psalms
  8. The Prophets
  9. The Exile
  10. The Ministry of Jesus
  11. Prophesies of the Messiah
  12. The First Journeys of Christian Leaders
  13. Paul’s Missionary Journey
  14. The Old Testament in the New Testament Letters


Tyndale’s Christian Basics Bible in NLT is unique in study Bibles in that its purpose is to introduce new converts to the Word of God. Like all study Bibles it does have theological bias and I recommend only using the doctrinal points for reference and do your own study. It does a good job of providing an overview of Scripture and Christian concepts. I especially like that the concepts are provided as short articles rather than verse-by-verse commentary. I also like the indexes and the visual overview, which is my favorite tool in this Bible. For anyone interested in a Bible that focuses on an overview and the basics, this one is worth a look.


This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)


and many local Bible bookstores


Photography by hannah C brown

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.

About The Author

Randy A Brown

WordPress writer by day, Bible reviewer by night, pastor all the time. And there's also that author thing.


  1. Alexander thOmson

    Many thanks for this review, with which I concur! I had just bought the paperback edition (ISBN 9781496423567), quite sturdy, and at an excellent price of £14/$20. As you say, there is theological bias, but nothing that we don’t all have, and no barrier to learning with private srudyband discussion with other believers! The production values are high, and the features etc. are imaginative. Publishers of other, even more literal, translations could profit from the example of this edition! As to the translation, I’ve still to come to a decision, as I’m more of a “literal” bod – but I’m glad that I could put this edition into the hands of a serious enquirer or new (or even not-so-new!) believer.

  2. Alexanderthomson

    I have just noticed that Amazo US are offering the paperback edition at half-price ($10/£7)! What an absolute bargain – the non-text items alone are worth the purchase. (So, even if the translation were to be disliked, the other items could easily be cut out and put into A5 punched pockets or similar!). You guys State-side are in clover nowadays in the matter of book prices! To ship 1 copy of the discounted offer to the UK would cost $24/£17 : in bulk (where, because of USPO rates, 10 copies is the break point for minimum unit cost – there is no further economic discount above 10 copies), each copy would cost $17/£12. So, shipping from the US to the UK would produce a saving of £2/$3, not enoug the effort,, perhaps, for only a few copies but definitely worthwhile for 10 or more copies.

    • Randy A Brown

      Wow, that’s a great price! Thanks for letting us know. I’m glad you like it 🙂

  3. Alexander Thomson


    Your reviews do have effect! I directed some others to them, and they purchased a copy or two of this Bible!

    Moreover, I purchased a few copies and gave them to serious young folk, some Christians and some not. They liked this Bible! Surprisingly(?), the absence of footnoted commentary but the presence of the boxed comments, was a definite plus for them! And they absolutely loved the stuff after the book of revelation!

    I am still still (but a little less) unsure about the NLT translation, but it is is one of four translations (KJV, NKJV, NIV, NLT) that account for 70% to 80% of stated preference of Bible translation.

    Yesterday, I had the pleasure of lunching with Martin Manser, one of the two General Editors!

    • Randy A Brown

      That’s wonderful! Congratulations! And, thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it very much. We read the NLT through a couple of years ago. There are a few places where they take one of the possible views and go with it, but overall I liked it a lot. It’s great for reading. I still prefer to study, preach, and teach from the more ‘literal’ versions.


  1. Birthday Wishlist | Almost A Writer - […] why this one? I need to learn more about the basics and I love how it was done here.…

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