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The Independent Critic

 Book Review: The NET Abide Bible 

Have you ever seen that old Steve Martin movie The Jerk? 

Do you remember the scene where Martin's character Navin excitedly exclaims "The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!?" 

That's exactly how I feel when I discover a new Bible. So, you can imagine my excitement when the amazing folks at Thomas Nelson Bibles offered me the opportunity to check out the NET Abide Bible. Created in partnership with Bible Gateway and the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement, the NET Abide Bible  has been carefully composed to bring you into a greater communion with God by drawing the peace and hope from the pages of His Word and impressing them on your heart. As I began reading through the NET Abide Bible, it was as if all of my senses came vividly to life and each page challenged me to become even more engaged with Scripture. 

The Abide Bible’s features include articles, book introductions, and practical Scripture engagement prompts based on five ways of engaging deeply with the Bible: 

  • Praying Scripture: Pattern your prayers after biblical texts, personalizing the prayer and gaining language for the thoughts and emotions you want to express. 
  • Picture It: Place yourself in a biblical narrative as a bystander or participant in important events.
  • Journaling: Focus and reflect on Scripture and its meaning for your life, opening yourself to God’s voice as you ponder. 
  • Engage Through Art: Consider a classic piece of art—photograph, sculpture, painting—and let it deepen your meditations on scriptural truths.
  • Contemplate: Follow the church’s longstanding practice of reading, meditating on, praying, and contemplating a passage of Scripture in order to experience God’s presence through the words of the Bible.

As someone who is both a creative type and an experiential learner, the NET Abide Bible gives me encouragement to engage with the Bible in ways teach and develop biblical discipline much like the apostles. 

As a seminary graduate who is able to and does read the Bible in its original languages, I've long challenged myself to truly immerse in Scripture in ways that are meaningful to me when I preach, teach, and when I am in the role of student. The NET Abide Bible makes of this such a delightful experience in a myriad of ways from utilizing Thomas Nelson's exclusive 9-point type size NET Comfort Print to line-matched, single-column Scripture text to weaving into the tapestry of this remarkable endeavor 68 beautifully printed works of art that inspire deeper biblical reflections. 

The NET Abide Bible is a coach, mentor, guide, and marvelous companion to becoming a more engaged and thoughtful Christian. 

I read the NET Abide Bible from cover-to-cover prior to writing this review because I wanted to really commit myself to its journey of contemplation, journaling, envisioning, praying Scripture, and engaging as a creative spirit. I found myself enchanted, challenged, learning, digging deeper, imagining, and sharing my experiences with others time and time again. 

I have complete faith that you will too!

At 3.3 pounds, the NET Abide Bible is a tad heavy for my aging, weakened hands. However, it's worth it for print I can read and for notes I can write and reflect upon time and time again. 

As an added and very cool bonus, I highly recommend you check out  The Abide Experience: 21 Days in John, a FREE Video Devotion featuring Dr. Phil Collins, general editor of the Abide Bible, a Bible designed around five methods of Scripture Engagement that will change the way you read Scripture. The 21 Days in John FREE Video Devotion also provides a free download of the book of John from the Abide Bible.

There's just so much to love with the NET Abide Bible. It's on my desk at this very moment and it has become a centerpoint of my home and office-based Scripture reading, reflection, prayer, and engagement. As someone who has a house seemingly filled with Bibles, the NET Abide Bible has become a new treasured friend and valuable resource in my walk with Christ and my constant endeavor live more like Him. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic