"Looking for the ultimate study Bible? The NIV Essentials Study Bible combines the best features of our six most popular Bibles. It’s designed to help you easily understand and interpret God’s Word, then apply it to your life. This Bible includes great study tools to help you unpack and discover Scripture. Features such as Q&A, detailed in-text study notes, timelines, photos and charts answer your questions, while helpful devotional insights shed new light on familiar passages. Biblical character profiles help you get to know the people of the Bible on a deeper level. Helpful notes are structured into a variety of “lenses” that shine a unique light on Scripture. As you study, you’ll find the ones that best speak to your heart, mind, and spirit. These unique lenses offer different approaches to studying God’s word.
- Flyover Lens: Start each book with the big picture. These easy-to-read introductions from the popular Essential Bible Companion help you start each book with a general understanding of the context.
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- Dig Deep, Look Close Lens: Articles and photos from the NIV Archaeological Study Bible bring Bible times to life. Go back in time with fascinating historical and archaeological discoveries.
- Q & A Lens: Tackle your tough questions with thoughtful excerpts from the beloved NIV
Quest Study Bible. Questioning is an important part of learning.
- People Lens: You’ve heard the names before, but what do you really know about the characters within the pages of the Bible? Excerpts from the popular NIV Student Bible introduce you to 100 significant people in the Bible.
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- Reflect and Respond Lens: These excerpts from the award-winning Great Rescue NIV Bible will help recap what you’ve read. Take a moment to reflect and digest each section as you walk through the sweeping narrative of the Bible.
Tailor your journey through Scripture to the way you study best with the NIV Essentials Study Bible. It’s like six awesome resources in one. Order your copy today and take your study to the next level.
This Bible offers a biblical perspective on the following topics: Angels, Creation, Evangelism, Ecology, Faith, Eternal Life, Church, Family, Forgiveness, God's love, God's will, Growing with God, Guilt, Holy Spirit, Idolatry, Immigration, Jesus’ life, Jesus’ miracles, Jesus’ fulfillment of prophecy, Judgment, Leadership, Marriage, Miracles, Money, Pagan gods, Parenting, Poverty, Prayer, Prophecy, Reliability of Scripture, Satan, Sanctification, Suffering, Temple, Warfare, Wealth, Women, YHWH, and more."
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Read an Excerpt
NIV ESSENTIALS STUDY BIBLE
Easily Grasp the Fundamentals of Scripture through Lenses from 6 Bestselling NIV Resources
By Biblica, Inc.
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2011 Biblica, Inc.
All rights reserved.
spotlight on MATTHEW
* is the promised Messiah, whose death brings salvation from sin.
* Jesus' birth, life and death on the cross fulfilled the promises of the Old Testament.
* Jesus' resurrection vindicated his claims and brought in a new era of salvation for all who believe in him.
Matthew's Gospel confirms to Christian believers that Jesus is indeed the Jewish Messiah and that through his life, death and resurrection Jesus has fulfilled the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament). The church of Jesus Christ, made up of Jews and Gentiles, represents the true people of God in the new age of salvation.
Matthew is structured around Jesus' five major discourses, or teaching sections: the Sermon on the Mount (see Mt 5–7), the commissioning of the 12 disciples (see Mt 10), the parables of the kingdom of heaven (see Mt 13), church life and discipline (see Mt 18), and woes against the religious leaders and end-time teaching on the Mount of Olives (see Mt 23–25). Each of these discourses ends with a similar formula: "When Jesus had finished saying these things ..." Some have suggested that Matthew imitated the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses (Genesis–Deuteronomy), presenting Jesus as the new Moses.
The Four Gospels
The first four books of the New Testament —Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—are called "Gospels," meaning "good news." Each tells the story of Jesus from a unique perspective, emphasizing different aspects of who he is and what he came to accomplish.
The first three (Matthew, Mark and Luke) are called the "Synoptic Gospels." Synoptic means "viewed together," and these three share a similar structure and relate many of the same stories. The Gospel of John is more theological, with a greater stress on the identity of Jesus and the spiritual significance of his life.
Strictly speaking, the authors of all four Gospels are anonymous since they do not identify themselves in the text. Their authorship comes from the titles on early manuscripts ("according to Matthew," "according to Mark," etc.) and early church traditions.
Matthew 5:17: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Matthew 7:21: Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 11:28: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 22:37: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Matthew 28:19–20: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
* Jesus is the fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures.
* Jesus is the teacher, a new Moses for the new age of salvation.
* Jesus is the son of David and Son of God.
* Jesus is the new Israel, bringing the message of God's salvation to the world.
Gospel—Means "good news" and refers to the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Great Commission—The command to spread the message of salvation and make disciples of all nations.
Immanuel—Another name for the Messiah. It means "God is with us."
Kingdom of heaven—The Jewish way of referring to God's reign.
The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah
1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 4 Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife, 7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, 8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, 9 Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, 15 Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" a (which means "God with us").
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
The Magi Visit the Messiah
2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6 "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'"
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
The Escape to Egypt
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
The Return to Nazareth
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
How Can We Understand the Trinity?
The short answer is that we can't. Not fully. Finite human beings can't fully comprehend an infinite God. But we can grapple intelligently with the concept of one God who exists as three distinct and irreducible persons: Father, Son and Spirit.
The Father is referred to as God in Matthew 6:26,30. Jesus is referred to as God in John 1:1,14 and Hebrews 1:6. The Spirit is referred to as God in Acts 5:3–4. All three are referred to as God even though Mark 12:32 tells us that "God is one and there is no other but him." How do we reconcile this?
The apostle Paul says that God placed clues in creation so we can know more about him (see Ro 1:20). One of the ways we can come to know more about God's nature is by drawing analogies with things that we can see. And we do see examples of three forms in one essence when we examine God's creation. Take water, for example. Water is always water, even though it can be experienced in three different forms: liquid, solid (when frozen) and vapor. God is still God even though he can be experienced in three forms—Father, Son and Spirit. Light is another example. Any color of light can be formed from the three primary colors: red, blue and yellow. Even light that appears white and colorless to the human eye is actually a manifestation of those colors. So nature shows us that one substance with multiple aspects can exist in unity. Keep in mind that these are examples, not explanations. God cannot be explained or understood, but these examples give us a way to begin thinking about the mystery of the Trinity.
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3:1-12pp—Mk 1:3-8; Lk 3:2-17
3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
"A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' "
4 John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
The Baptism of Jesus
3:13-17pp—Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21,22; Jn 1:31-34
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented:
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
4:1-11pp—Mk 1:12,13; Lk 4:1-13
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted a by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Excerpted from NIV ESSENTIALS STUDY BIBLE by Biblica, Inc.. Copyright © 2011 Biblica, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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