NKJV Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible Review

The NKJV Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible was recently released. Designed by Faithlife (the makers of LOGOS Bible Software) and produced by Zondervan it is designed to be a visually striking study Bible that encourages curiosity.

ISBN: 9780310080671

Zondervan 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)



Church Source

and many local Bible bookstores


The NIV Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible was released last spring. (See Randy’s review here)

Construction, Materials, and Typography

I have the hardback version of this Bible. It weighs nearly 3 lbs 13 oz and measures 9.5″ x 6.5″ x 2.25″. It has a sewn binding and what we guess to be 32 gsm paper. The paper is white and fairly opaque. It has a solid red cover (under the dust jacket) with Holy Bible on the front in white and the full title in white and black on the spine.

This is a red letter edition with a 9 point font.  It is laid out in two column paragraph format with any translation notes found at the bottom of the second column. Poetry, letters, and quotes are indented. The header contains page number and guide verse on the outer corner. Section headings and chapter numbers are in blue. The ink darkness is consistent throughout.

This Bible is also available in pink with brown Leathersoft, black with brown Leathersoft, or black bonded leather. All editions except hardcover are available thumb indexed.

Book Introductions

There are book introductions written especially for the Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible. These are each two or more pages long and include the background of the writer and original audience as well the the structural style of the writing. There is an outline of the book as well as a discussion of the major themes covered. Every book also has either a map or a timeline (and occasionally both) to help you see the context. I like book introductions in a Bible. While the information is similar from Bible to Bible the introductions help remind me of the context of the writing and give me a good start to any book by book Bible studies I do.

 Study Materials

Commentary or Study Notes

The largest study aid is the verse keyed facts and comments at the bottom of each page. Separated from the Bible text by a bright green line, overview commentary has a white background and verse-by-verse notes have a light gray background. They have included notes from more than one viewpoint which helps keep this Bible from having many strong doctrinal biases.

Also included in the footer section are occasional small charts. These are helpful for things like differentiating between famines or knowing the order of events or kings. These are done in varying shades of purple.

I particularly like the dictionary or short encyclopedia like entries. These are on a white background also and are easy to find because of the stripe of color with the verse number on it and the colored symbols. There are pink Alphas for Greek and Hebrew word definitions, yellow urns for descriptions of things, green map pointers for information about places, a green person for information about individuals, and a gray group of people for information about nations or families.


There are 30 articles for subjects that they wanted to have covered in more depth. Written by a variety of respected authors these articles cover subjects like studying the Bible, the significance of names in the Bible, true discipleship and much more. While articles like this do contain opinion they can be very helpful. I particularly like the articles about the sections of the Bible (Pentateuch, Biblical Poetry, Minor Prophets, etc)


The NKJV Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible has a 48 page, 3 column concordance. Each entry has it’s own line. Here are the number of entries found for a few words for comparison.

  • Christ – 13
  • Christian(s) – 2
  • Faith – 40
  • Faithful – 20
  • Faithfulness – 5
  • Faithless – 2
  • God – 38
  • Goddess – 2
  • Godhead – 2
  • Godliness – 4
  • Godly – 3
  • Praise – 25
  • Praised – 4
  • Praises – 2
  • Praiseworthy – 1
  • Praising – 3
  • Pray – 14
  • Prayed – 2
  • Prayer – 16
  • Prayers – 5

Other helps

An Index of Articles, abbreviation list, Editor’s Preface (and Editoral Team list), and the Preface to the New King James Version are also included. These Prefaces help you understand the viewpoint  and purpose for the translation and the study notes, something I think every Bible (especially study Bibles) should include.

Graphical Study Aides

There are a wide variety of very visually oriented study helps as well. 8 of these (2 tables, 2 family trees, and 4 other infographics) are available for download at Zondervan’s website.

A handy index of all of them can be found at the front of the Bible.


Timelines are a handy visual way to understand the order of events. This bible includes a dozen (besides the ones at the beginning of chapters) some of which cover centuries and some of which help you order the happenings of just a few eventful years.


Most Bibles contain a Table of weights and measures that gives rough modern equivalents for shekels and cubits. This Bible goes far beyond that with over 30 tables including things like Altars in the Old Testament, Jesus “I Am” Statements, and Four Views of Revelation.

Family Trees

It’s sometimes hard to see the significance of the many genealogies in the Bible. The 27 different family trees and people diagrams included help illustrate the interconnectedness of key biblical figures.


For things of particular interest to a lot of people or significance in understanding the Bible that pictures work well to explain they’ve included over 50 infographics. These help you see the scale and design of things like ships and altars, see archaeological proof of the Bibles accuracy with the steles and letters, and much more. These are all well done and catch your eye when you find them. They will not only aid your understanding but would make great starting points for biblical discussions including ones with children or people you are witnessing to.


In addition to small maps found within the text there are 14 full page maps found at the back of the Bible. These are printed in color on the same paper as the rest of the Bible and include:

  • Patriarchal Journeys to and From Haran
  • Route of the Exodus
  • Tribal Distribution of Palestine
  • Kingdoms of Saul, David, & Solomon
  • Divided Kingdoms After Solomon and Other Kingdoms
  • Prophetic Activity
  • Deportations of the Israelites and Returns
  • Kingdom of Herod the Great
  • New Testament Jerusalem
  • Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee
  • The Ministry of Peter and Philip
  • Paul’s first and Second Missionary Journeys
  • Paul’s Third Missionary Journey
  • The Roman Empire

Final Thoughts on the NKJV Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible

There is always something more to learn about the Bible. The NKJV Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible is a very interesting and colorful study Bible that encourages repeated reading and in-depth study of the Book of Books. It is particularly well designed for those who have grown up in the “information age” that are used to a constant stream of small chunks of easily accessible information. While care should be taken to keep the notes secondary to the Biblical text when using any study Bible this one has done a very good job of providing information and a variety of viewpoints that will help you understand the Bible more fully while helping you make your own decisions about what you believe.


This book is available at (includes some affiliate links)



Church Source

and many local Bible bookstores


Photography by hannah C brown

Zondervan 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

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.


  1. John B. Duncan

    I’m going to get one or more of these beautiful books as soon as I am able! Totally enjoyed this review, can not think of anything they might have missed. Completely satisfied the bible (KJV) was well represented in its’ various aspects!!


    Randy, thanks again for such a detailed review. The methodology and organization of your reviews are easy to understand. I was first introduced to Logos through their free electronic Faithlife Study Bible. This electronic study bible is MUCH easier to use than many other electronic study bibles especially those using Kindle. I eventually purchased a Logos software package. I am glad to see their study bible now in print.

  3. Jerry guinn

    I bought a new king James Faithlife red letter . What can I use to highlight the red letters. Yellow doesn’t stand out I want to highlight but be able to clearly read

    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Jerry. That’s a good question. I’ve always had difficulty with red. Let me put some thought into this. Do you plan to use multiple colors or a single color?


    I was looking for a good study Bible for a group of young women, mothers and children. This certainly seems like the perfect Bible … especially with the infographics and commentary by famous Christian authors. Would certainly hold any reader’s interest …. and engender a spirit of learning the gospel. Thanks for this wonderful review.


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