Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book Review: NIV Worship Together Bible

The newest "specialty Bible" on the market is the NIV Worship Together Bible by Zondervan Publishers.  This Bible features lyrics to some of the most popular worship songs, along with a related Scripture verse to the song.  There is also a short article on the background behind the song, with a "Selah" section, inviting the reader to a personal reflection in response to the song.  There are also simple chord charts for 20 worship songs including 10,000 Reasons, Blessed Be Your Name, Open the Eyes of My Heart, and Our God. There is an essay dealing with the topic of music as a form of worship, as well as a Scriptural index of songs.

I was excited when I first saw this Bible and was eager to see what it contained.  I have to admit, I was a little less than thrilled.  There are so many "specialty Bibles" on the market, I can't help but feel like a Bible like this should really be worth while.  For an evangelist, Ray Comfort has put out a wonderful example in The Evidence Bible.  For me, that has set the standard for a "specialty Bible."  While I enjoyed the essay on the purpose and history or worship music, I feel there are other issues that could also have been included.  As for the lyrics and chord charts, those don't justify spending $35 on a whole new Bible, especially when this Bible really seems geared toward worship leaders who probably already have the chords and lyrics to all these songs.

The best part about this Bible is the reflections and backgrounds to the songs.  That is a valuable resource.  However, I feel like one glaring feature has been neglected with this Bible.  On the back cover, there is a great quote from Jack Hayford stating, "Worship changes the worshiper into the image of the One worshiped."  If this Bible could have been filled with various quotes like that, then we would have something special.  Additional essays would have been a benefit, as well, perhaps dealing with physical expressions like clapping or raising hands.  Maybe even something addressing the balance of proper emotional expression as opposed to emotionalism.

Not to be mean, but it feels like this Bible was planned in about a week.  There are other features that would make this Bible worth the investment.  As it stands now, I don't think it is worth $35 if you already have a Bible.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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