I just reviewed Thomas Nelson’s new Chronological Study Bible. It’s the first of its kind, although it’s not the first to chronologically place the books of the Bible in historical sequence. It’s in the New King James Version. I found several things to be unique about this Bible. First of all, the books are not merely rearranged; sections of the books of the Bible are rearranged to suit, as much as possible, their historical context. Since much of Scripture was written much later than the actual event or time period, sections have been moved to accommodate the proximity of the time period associated with each section. For instance, the Psalms are sprinkled throughout 1 & 2 Sam and 1 & 2 Kings (among other books), grouped according the the writer’s experiences. Most of Paul’s epistles are sprinkled throughout book of Acts, following his missionary journeys. The most complex rearrangement concerns the major and minor prophets, who are placed throughout the Kings and Chronicles, according to history. The trick here is where to place prophecy. In most instances, prophetic passages are placed in the context of when they actually occurred, rather than when they were predicted. Secondly, several books whose date is hard to identify, are placed in odd locations. Job would be an example of this. I would have thought should appear early in the text, with Genesis, but it is randomly situated during the Babylonian exile. The wisdom literature, which appeals to people of all ages, is placed during Solomon’s reign. The gospels are arranged in harmony, which I personally like. The creation account is riddled with evolution-worded notations. (Not my fave.) The Bible is divided into Epochs of time, which is helpful. The best advice I can give is to read the “Rearranging the Bible’s Canonical Order” at the beginning of the Bible; the editors explain the rearrangement here. The Bible also includes a good amount of historical data, pictures, and context information. I recommend this Bible, but I’m not sure if it’s best for a seasoned Bible student or a brand-new one. Some of the notes carry a liberal interpretation from the Bibles I’m used to reading, so keep that in mind, if you are a Ryrie kind of reader.
(I review books for Harper Collins Publishing because they send me free books! Check out Book Look/HarperCollins Publishing)