Saturday, May 16, 2020

CSB Life Essentials Interactive Study Bible

What a fun concept!  An interactive Study Bible as close as your phone. CSB Life Essentials Study Bible is billed as a "Virtual Seminary in Your Bible."  That absolutely intrigued me.

I was not all that familiar with the CSB version of the Bible, so once I received my copy, I spent a fair amount of time reading the introductory material.  The goals for this translation were to provide an accurate translation in contemporary English.  One thing I truly appreciated was the discussion of the traditional approaches to translation. 
There is formal, or literal, equivalence, where the goal is to preserve the structure of the original language as much as possible, also known as word-for-word translation.  This can be rather awkward.

There is also dynamic, or functional equivalence, where the idea is to translate the meaning of the text, also known as thought-for-thought translation.  This is much more readable.

The CSB, like most translations, is a mix of the above opposite approaches.  Using what they call Optimal Equivalence, they aim to do a word-for-word translation when the result makes sense, but to use thought-by-thought translation when a literal translation is confusing to modern readers.

I found the CSB to be easy to read, and when comparing to other versions I use, I did find that I like it.  But the uniqueness of this Study Bible is in the technology.

In this photo, you can see a QR code (the little boxy thing in the lower left of the grey box on the left page, or the one on the screen of my phone).  Going in to take a photo of that code will result in a little link popping up on the screen.  Follow that link to a free video, where Dr. Gene Getz expounds on one of the 1500 essential life principles in about ten minutes.

That's 250 hours of in-depth video teaching, as close as the camera on your phone (or tablet).

The video shown here, from Psalm 68, is based on "The Day of the Lord" and the idea that we can rejoice when the wicked are defeated, but we are not to rejoice over eternal condemnation for those who reject Jesus.

The reflection and response section asks this: "Why is it sometimes difficult to pray for those who are blatantly opposed to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and who mercilessly persecute Christians?"

I find Dr. Getz to be easy to listen to, and the length of each principle video is great as I can usually find the ten or so minutes to watch a video.

As you can see in the photo on the right, the video looks a bit like a sermon or a lecture.  Bible text is added to the screen when Dr. Getz is quoting it, as is the reflection and response question.

In other words, the video is pretty straight-forward, not flashy.

Dr. Getz has been preaching and teaching for years, and it is evident when listening to the videos that he has experience.  He was involved in a church plant in 1972 of Fellowship Bible Church.  Watch this to learn more about him, and about this Bible.

The video ends with suggestions for other related principles.

There is an app (that I really have not played with yet) that will keep track of which videos you have watched, so if you do start somewhere and just keep going on to something related somewhere else (like jumping from Psalms to Philippians), you can use the app to start a new trail with a principle you have not seen yet.

I really do love this Bible.  Even if you are between churches, without a pastor, or homebound, you can bring an experienced teacher and pastor into your home easily.

Would you like to win a copy?  I spent too much time with this Bible myself, so I am doing a flash giveaway.  I'll be drawing a winner at midnight Mountain time, May 17. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I received this Bible and one for a giveaway, in exchange for my review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.


making it count said...

Wow! This looks amazing! I love the many tools that comes with this interactive study bible, it's like having a teacher right there alongside you!

zekesmom10 said...

What a fun giveaway. Technology is not my friend, but I bet one of the boys could show me how to use those QR codes.

Debra said...

I had to learn how to do the QR codes too! I'm so old-tech. And yes, it is like having a teacher right alongside you!

Subscription Box Girl said...

This is a cool way to use qr codes and technology.
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