CSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible Review

CSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible combines commentary and application questions on 1500 life principles with 250 hours of video on those principles that can be viewed by scanning QR codes. All of the commentary and video training is from Dr. Gene Getz of the Fellowship Bible Church movement. It was previously available in the HSCB, but it’s now available in CSB. I’m reviewing the brown Leathersoft, ISBN: 9781535956468, made in Korea.

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

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This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Christianbook

and many local Bible bookstores

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Table of Contents

  1. Video Review
  2. Materials
  3. Typography
  4. Book Introductions
  5. Study Material
  6. Concordance
  7. Maps
  8. Conclusion

Video Review

Table of Contents

Materials

The cover is brown LeatherTouch (imitation leather). It’s a two-tone cover with the front having a smooth section in light brown and the spine and back with a textured cover in dark brown. The texture feels similar to cloth. It’s perimeter-stitched and the spine includes the text printed in gold.

The liner is pasted-down in brown paper. The text-block is Smyth sewn and lays flat once you get it broken in. The overall size is 7 x 9 3/8 x 1 1/2″. It weighs 2 lbs, 9.5 oz. It includes one long brown double-sided ribbon. It’s thin, but it works great for pulling to the corner to open easily.

The paper is the standard paper that Holman uses in study Bibles. It seems to be in the mid-30s in gsm. It’s slightly offwhite in color and it’s highly opaque. It has a slightly rough texture that I find easy to turn.

Typography

The text is in a two-column paragraph setting with poetry set to stanzas. Commentary is placed within the text in separate sections. The header displays the page number, book name, and chapter and verse number in the outer margin. Section headings are bold and in all-caps. The translation footnotes are placed in the footer. The interior was designed and typeset by 2K/Denmark.

The typeface is 9-point Bible Serif designed by 2K/Denmark. It looks more similar to 8-point to my eyes, but I do find it easy to read. It has good spacing between the lines with around 10 words per line. It looks to be line-matched. Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament are in bold.

Lots of text is highlighted in blue. The instructions in the front point this out, but it doesn’t really explain the purpose. It seems to be the portion of text that the commentary applies to. Some passages have a life principle topic and page number printed in blue. These lead you to other pages where this life principle commentary is covered. They include a vertical line to mark which verses are included.

The layout is book design meets web design. Reading the text can be confusing at first. The page might have two columns of the biblical text, then a large block of commentary in two columns that’s printed inside of a gray box, and then another two columns of text (and sometimes another gray box of commentary). All of the Scriptures above the block of commentary go together, so you can’t read down the column of the page. In essence, rather than having the commentary at the bottom of the page, it’s just floating. Another way to look at it is each portion of text is like a section of a web page but with the text below the section continuing the previous section.

Table of Contents

Book Introductions

Book introductions include life principles from the book. It’s separated into two different sections:

Introduction – this shows the author and date and then provides several groups of information that discuss the major principles in the book. This also includes some historical and biographical information. It’s short but has a lot of good information.

Principles to Live By – this is a list of each of the principles in the book. It provides the Scripture reference, title, a description of the principle, and the page number for each one. It’s a principle index for each book.

Table of Contents

Study Material

All of the Study material is from the teachings of Dr. Gene Getz. Most have a devotional quality. There’s very little theology and what little it does have seems to be applicable to multiple denominations. They’re good for personal and group study, sermon prep, devotions, etc.

Commentary – These are the 1500 life principles. What sets the commentary apart from the text is the gray background and the QR codes. It provides a title and a number for the principle and several paragraphs to teach the point. They include related principles with their page numbers and questions to reflect printed in blue.

Videos – the QR codes link to over 250 hours of video teachings on the topics. Scan them with your mobile device to view them. You can also watch them on a computer to view them on a TV or a large screen.

Principle Finder – an 11-page topical index in the front with 241 main topics that include all 1500 of the life principles. This is handy for study.

Table of Contents

Concordance

The concordance is 72 pages with 3 columns per page. It includes lots of entries and has the part of speech, suggested searches, and character studies with biographical information. This is an excellent concordance for study and sermon prep. Here are a few example entries with their number of references to help you compare:

  • Christ – 35
  • Christian – 2
  • Faith – 34
  • Faithful – 15
  • Faithful Love – 8
  • Faithfulness – 6
  • Faithless – 1
  • God – 77
  • Goddess – 2
  • God-Fearing – 1
  • Godless – 1
  • Godlessness – 2
  • Godliness – 6
  • Godly – 4
  • Praise(N) – 8
  • Praise(V) – 5
  • Pray – 14
  • Prayer – 6

Table of Contents

Maps

It includes 8 full-color maps on thick non-glossy paper. These are the newer maps from Holman with darker colors. I love these colors. They’re easy to read and use with large clean areas and annotations. It doesn’t include an index, but they’re simplified to make locations easy to find.

The maps include distance, topography, mountain peaks, routes, cities, major roads, Scripture references, location on the globe, kingdoms, locations of events, dates, etc.

Maps include:

  1. The Migration of Abraham
  2. The Route of the Exodus
  3. The Tribal Allotments of Israel
  4. The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
  5. Israel in the Time of Jesus
  6. The Ministry of Jesus Around the Sea of Galilee
  7. The Passion Week in Jerusalem
  8. Paul’s Missionary Journeys

Table of Contents

Conclusion

The CSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible is an interesting Bible. It does take a few minutes to get used to the layout, so it’s not one I’d use for general reading or preaching, but it’s great for study, sermon prep, and devotions. The commentary has a strong devotional quality and the QR codes make the videos easy to access. The videos are short and easy to watch. The insights show how to apply the Scriptures to our daily lives and provide questions to help us dig deeper. I recommend the CSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible to anyone interested in life-applicable insights into Scripture.

Table of Contents

_________________________________________________________

This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)

Amazon

Christianbook

and many local Bible bookstores

_________________________________________________________

 

Holman provided this Bible in exchange for an honest 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.

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