I can honestly say this is the first Bible I have ever reviewed. I can also say I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to see all the Gospel Transformation Bible had to offer. I knew it would be quality because of the reputation Crossway has, and I also knew it would be quality because it was God’s Word. Thus, I was looking forward to having the opportunity to check it out and give my opinion for the blogging universe. Keep reading to gain a better perspective as to why you should check out the Gospel Transformation Bible.
First off, the great thing about this study Bible is obvious from the title; it is all about the Gospel. The introduction in the front says it well:
The goal of the Gospel Transformation Bible is twofold: (1) to enable readers to understand that the whole Bible is a unified message of the gospel of God’s grace culminating in Christ Jesus, and (2) to help believers apply this good news to their everyday lives in a heart transforming way.
Next, this is great for any number of reasons but one of the main reasons is it helps point the reader to Christ. However, I believe for a while now, this has not always been preached from the pulpit though in many American churches. Recently though, there is a movement where the Gospel is taking center stage in the church again, as it should. As I have matured and grown in my walk with the Lord, I have come to understand the Gospel is not just what the New Testament has to say about Jesus Christ and does not just begin with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There is not a different God in the New Testament than there is in the Old Testament. God is one and the same and we come to understand this as we come to understand the Gospel more clearly. The Gospel is preached from the very beginning of Genesis through the history of Israel to the “Gospels” all the way through to Revelation. Everything points to and comes out of Jesus Christ. Colossians 1 paints such a clear picture of how everything is because of Jesus Christ, and everything is for Jesus Christ, and everything is through Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:16-20) Apart from Him, there is no Gospel; apart from Jesus, there is no grace. This study Bible helps the reader understand this most important fact about the Bible.
As a youth pastor, I get the amazing privilege and opportunity to interact with youth on a daily and weekly basis and in many ways, it has been eye opening. Through simply asking teens the question “What is the Gospel”, you will receive many different answers. This should be a warning sign to the church that we need to take action and help the next generation realize the Gospel does not only begin in Matthew, it begins from the very beginning. Through my time as a youth pastor, I have come to realize encouraging youth to simply “be good” or “act right” or “make good choices” does nothing to really get to the heart of the matter. This is not only true with youth; it is true with adults as well. If the church wants to truly see change, the Gospel needs to be preached constantly and fully. The Gospel Transformation Bible helps us figure out how to do that. The Gospel is the only thing powerful enough to change lives. When people come to God, through Christ, they are not supposed to clean up first and then come to God, Jesus welcomes us as we are and then begins a process of cleaning us up. This is part of the Gospel. The more we understand that, the less judgmental we will be.
With that said, I want to move on because this post is a review, not a sermon. You might be reading this and thinking well that is good for those in the ministry, it will help them teach me better because I do not have time to study all of this on my own. If this is in any way similar to your line of thinking, this Bible is for you. You will not need a pastor to help you understand everything this Bible has to say. This Bible will help you understand how the Gospel can be seen through practically every story in the Bible and help you understand how you can apply this to your life and walk in the grace made available to us all through Jesus Christ. This Bible can help anyone from a teenager to a seasoned adult to a parent wanting a more meaningful time of family devotions understand how all of Scripture contains elements of the Gospel and all of Scripture points to the Gospel.
Simply put, this Bible is worth your investment. It will take your devotional time to a deeper meaning and understanding of how the Gospel is woven throughout the whole of Scripture and how it brings a much deeper purpose to our lives as well as training us to go out and make disciples. Basically, if you are a Christian, the Gospel Transformation Bible should be on your list of things to purchase, especially if you desire a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Christian and a more intimate relationship with the Lord. It is probably a little big for a stocking, but it will be a gift that will reap far more rewards than any video game or smartphone or digital device ever will. Here is a link to the Gospel Transformation Bible on Amazon:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and feel free to leave comments or questions.