Life Recovery Bible 25th Anniversary Edition Review – Standard and Large Print
Tyndale just recently released the large print version of the NLT Life Recovery Bible, 25th Anniversary Edition. With a 10.5 point font this Bible focuses on leading readers to God as the source of recovery and integrates the twelve step program. It’s recovery content is edited by David Stoop and Stephen Arterburn.
I’ve included both sizes of this Bible in the same review. Large Print ISBN: 9781496427564 Standard Print ISBN: 9781496425751 Both editions are printed in China.
Tyndale provided these Bibles free for review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.
This Bilbe is available at (includes some affiliate links)
and many local Bible bookstores
Construction, Materials, and Typography
The 2 editions of the Life Recovery Bible are identical except for size. The standard print edition measures 9.5″ x 6.75″ x 1.75″, weighs 3 lbs & 2.5 oz, and has close to a 9 point font. With it’s larger 10.5 point font the Large Print measures 11″ x 7.75″ x 1.75″ and weighs 4 lbs & 4 oz. All the text (not just the Biblical text) have been scaled up in the Large Print version to be easier to read. I have the hardback editions of both. It is also available in paperback in either size and in ebook format.
The hardback editions are sewn (it was hard to tell as first) and have over 30 gsm paper (according to Randy). The paper is white and the pages are relatively easy to turn.
It is laid out in two column paragraph format with poetry in stanzas. The text is all black letter and is a consistent darkness throughout.
The page number and guide chapter are generally found in the upper outside corner. On pages with an article or devotional just the page number can be found in the lower outside corner.
Upscaling all the text and not just the scriptures has allowed them to keep identical pagination. This will be very useful as you will be able to tell others who use the same Bible to turn to a specific page no matter which size of the Bible they have. Of course enlarging the font size on the notes makes them easier to read as well. The fact that if you use this Bible a lot you will know that Acts 9 starts in the middle of the left column on the right-hand page could also prove useful.
Footnotes from the NLT translation are below the text keyed to the verses. Recovery notes (also keyed to the verse numbers) are below the translation notes, separated from the text by a horizontal line, and using a different font to further differentiate them.
Book Introductions, Refflections, & Profiles
Each book has an 3 part introduction.
The first part is The Big Picture. This includes an outline of the book and a brief synopsis. Next you have The Bottom Line. This section briefly lists the Purpose, Author, Date Written, Setting, Key Verse, Key Events, and Key People of each book.
Lastly, and most unique to this Bible is the Recovery Themes. With paragraph length descriptions this section highlights the stories and overall themes of each book that is particularly relevant for those in recovery. Every book has at least 2 themes (most have 4 or 5). Examples of themes covered are A Good Creation, A Ruined World, Promises of Healing, and Hope for Reconciliation in Genesis and The Power of Resurrection, The Importance of Hope, The Dangers of Denial, and Gods’ Kingdom – A Model for Recovery in Matthew.
Along with book introductions 41 of the 66 books of the Bible have a Reflections On… section at the end. Offering 1 to 8 Insights each of these sections are another way to make sure the reader understands what the Bible has to say about key topics that relate to recovery.
There are 60 character profiles scattered throughout the Bible. Sometimes focusing on a single individual, sometimes on two or more these profiles help you see the struggles and triumphs of many Biblical figures. These profiles include a list of the Strengths and Accomplishments of the highlighted individual(s) and well as one of their Weaknesses and Mistakes. There is also a list of the Lessons From Their Lives and a list of Key Verses concerning them. This is one of my favorite features of this Bible. It highlights that God used real people who weren’t always perfect as our examples. God shows us a more complete picture of himself and mankind (and even ourselves) by showing us how to deal with negatives with his help.
The core of this Bible’s study section is it’s devotionals.
Twelve Step Devotionals
There are 7 devotionals for each of the twelve steps of the Life Recovery program. Each one take up most of a column and is clearly labeled for the step it belongs to.
I’m guessing it will take most people about 10 minutes to read both the Bible Reading and the Devotional. Each one lists the page number of the next devotional with the last devotion for each step taking you to the first devotion of the next step. There is an index in the back with the step, title, verses and page that would make it easy to refind the ones you find particularly helpful or find the first devotion for the step you are working on if you want to keep rereading them until you move to the next step. Video introductions for each step at www.liferecoverybible.com are mentioned in the index but are not currently available.
Recovery Principles Devotionals
There is a set of over 50 devotionals dedicated to recovery principles. Covering topics like self-perception, self-protection, honesty, faith, love, and more these are designed for when you need to deal with specific issues. While these are focused on overcoming addictions most of them would also be helpful for anyone struggling with becoming more Christ like. The page number of the next principal devotional is at the bottom leading you through them in Biblical order. The index in the back is in the same order but the principle of each is clearly labeled making it easy to read them in a topical order as well.
Serenity Prayer Devotionals
The Serenity Prayer is well known and very useful for many. There are 30 devotionals to help you live the ideals of the Serenity Prayer included (as well as a long version of the prayer printed in the back). These are laid out more horizontally with the serenity prayer at the top, a key point in bold in a narrow column and the devotional in a wide column. Again while designed for those in recovery almost anyone could benefit from these.
Both the Life Recovery plan and Alcoholics Anonymous are based on 12 step plans both of which are printed in this Bible.
Staying with the theme of twelve this Bible has several other lists that are useful for the recovery process. They are
- The Twelve Steps and Scripture
- The Twelve Laws of Life Recovery
- The Twelve Missteps of Life Recovery
- The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery
- The Twelve Christian Foundations of Life Recovery
- The Twelve Self-Evident Truths of Life Recovery
I really like that the first 4 of these lists give paragraph length explanations and scriptural references. The final two are lists for quick reference. All of these lists will be useful for everyone including recovery facilitators.
Resources for Life Recovery Facilitators
A basic Life Recovery Facilitator’s Guide and a in depth Step-by-Step meeting guide are printed in the back. While both of these do point you to some of the additional books in the Life Recovery series having at least this much in the back of your Bible could be very useful.
Several of the articles, such as A Word About Addictions, An Early History of Life Recovery, Thriving in a Secular Recovery Group, and Life-Giving Recovery Groups in the Church are handy references for anyone trying to run a recovery group. I would consider them mandatory reading for someone running (or helping run) a group without having been through the addiction recovery process themselves. These articles (all of which are new or updated) are one of the major changes for the 25th Anniversary Edition.
Indexes & Other Helps
I really like the topical index. While it only indexes key issues in recovery. It helps you locate all the notes, profiles, devotionals, and recovery themes that are relevant to the topic and lists them in such a way that you know which type of help you are turning to. It’s handy to have this combined index as well as the many individual ones.
This Bible has a Topical Bible Verse Finder instead of a standard concordance. It gives you 4 to 16 entries for each topic and lists the point made about that topic in the Bible, the reference, and the page number. It includes a wide variety of Biblical topics not just recovery themed ones.
An Introduction to the New Living Translation and a list of the Bible Translation Team is included in case you have any questions about the NLT . I always like it when publishers include the letter from the translators.
There is also a preface from the editor’s of all the study content and list of all the contributor’s to help you understand their purpose and viewpoint. Also included is a 1 page user’s guide and a list of additional resources.
Final Thoughts on the Life Recovery Bible
Addiction is a far too common problem in our modern world. Addictions to processes (gambling, shopping, various forms of media) as well as substances are hard to overcome on our own. The Life Recovery Bible correctly points people to God as the ultimate source of strength and wisdom for the fight. It offers lots of scriptural assistance for the struggle that is laid out in an easy to use format. I believe either the large print or standard print edition to be a very good Bible for those with addictions, people ministering to those with addictions, or anyone who cares about someone who currently struggles with or has overcome some form of addiction.
This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)
and many local Bible bookstores
Photography by hannah C brown