Hendrickson’s Ministry Essentials Bible is not your typical study Bible. It’s not even a study Bible per se. Rather than commentary for a general audience, word studies, charts, and lists, it has 250 articles for a specific audience – those in ministry. And that ministry can be anything from lay-ministers to senior Pastors.
- 250 articles on Ministry
- Sewn binding
- Large print
- Black letter
- Section headings contain parallel passages
- 2011 NIV
- 2 ribbons
- 5 x 7.25 x 1.5
- ISBN: 9781619704343
Cover and Binding
The cover is two-toned black and brown Flexisoft imitation leather with a couple of interesting circular stitching patterns that are stitched into the cover with black thread. The cover feels soft and pliable with just the right amount of stiffness to keep the Bible open in your hands. It does flop around a little bit, so this is not an overly stiff cover. Though, with some use I could imagine it would loosen up quite a bit. The liner is vinyl-coated paper. This is my favorite cover of any Hendrickson Bible that I’ve reviewed so far. It has a sewn binding and has no problem lying flat.
Paper and Print
This Bible has good smooth paper that has a good amount of opacity. There is a slight bluish hue to the paper which seems to fit the design style of this Bible nicely. Usually I want cream-tinted paper and nothing else but I don’t mind that this paper isn’t creamy.
The text is 9/10-point black-letter font in double-column, paragraph format. Poetry is set to verse and OT quotes are set to poetic verse with quotes. The font is consistent throughout and very readable.
References and Notes
References are placed in the inner margin. They are keyed to the text with letters. I’m not sure how many there are, but there enough for good Bible study and sermon prep. There are 11 verses for Genesis 1:1. Matthew 10:33 includes Mark 8:32 and 2 Timothy 2:12.
The section heading for Matthew 10 gives a list of five passages in Matthew and gives a set of parallel passages for each of them. For Matthew 10:26-33 it gives Luke 12:2-9. Having references for parallel passages in the section headings does help make up where it misses a reference in the references section. Although in this case is does leave out Luke 9:26. Interestingly, Luke 9:26 gives Mt 10:33, Lk 12:9, and 2 Tim 2:12 in its references and Mk 8:31-9:1 as a parallel passage to Lk 9:22-27 in its section heading. None of the verses lead to Luke 9:26, but Luke 9:26 leads to all the others. Despite this quirk it does have a lot of references and parallel passages.
Notes are placed under the last verse on the page. They are keyed to the text with bold letters. It’s a little confusing to see letters for both references and notes. They are fairly easy to tell apart, but numbers would have been easier to use than bold letters in my opinion.
The articles is what sets this Bible apart. Most Bibles with articles geared toward the ministry cover topics like funerals, weddings, baptisms, and other events that a Minister will eventually have to take part in… and that’s about it. This Bible does have those, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are 250 articles from Christianity Today in five major categories:
- Spiritual Leadership
- Preaching, Corporate Prayer, and Discipleship
- The Leader’s Spiritual Life
- Sheparding Others
- Evangelism and Social Justice
The articles are not placed within the text. They’re placed in sections between books. This keeps them easy to find and out of the way and keeps the text free of distractions. Since there are so many writers the writing styles of the articles vary. Many include illustrations from the writers or another prominent figure (usually Billy Graham). Some the articles are more helpful than others. That is to be expected when you consider that some were written for beginner-level and others were written for more seasoned Ministers. It just shows that there’s something here for all levels of Ministry. Some have a good level of depth, while others just give a quick thought. I’d like to give a list of articles but there are just too many to name. I did find the articles to be helpful and I will be using them a lot.
Each book has a one-page introduction that covers the background, message, time it was written, and a short outline. It’s only a few paragraphs but the information is sufficient enough for general study and teaching.
Practical Resource Guide
After giving you articles on building your ministry, the Ministry Essentials Bible continues to deliver with a section devoted to events. This entire section is 92 pages and covers:
- Christian Life
- Life’s Tough Questions
- Helping People Cope with Change
- Recommended Books for Life’s Tough Questions
This is the section that most ministers Bibles have and nothing else. This is the ‘what to do’ section. It covers funerals, weddings, hospital visits, grief counselling, anniversaries, depression, etc. The list of books is 10 pages long. There is also an index to all the articles in this Bible.
The concordance is 75 pages with three columns per page. It’s actually a good concordance for study. There are five columns of entries for God.
If you are involved with a ministry of all kind then you will appreciate this Bible. If you’re okay with a Bible that’s rather large then this makes a great Bible for that one Bible that does everything: preaching, study, carry, etc. The articles do not get in the way of the text and they’re extremely helpful for their purpose: helping those in any ministry to become better at what they’re called to do: minister. The KJV edition be will out in 2015.
Hendrickson Publishers provided this Bible free for review. I was not required to give a positive review – only an honest review.