I have always loved reviewing books, but have never had the opportunity to review a Bible, until now! Late last month, I was invited to give my honest review for the Fresh Start Bible by the Blythe Daniel Agency. In exchange, I received two copies: One to keep and one to give away. You can learn how to enter into the give away at the end of this post, but before we get to that, let me tell you a little bit about this Bible:
Who Published this Bible?
The Fresh Start Bible was compiled and published by Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas. Pastor Robert Morris and several other Gateway Pastors have written the additional content and study guides provided throughout the pages of Scripture. It was specifically crafted to be a discipleship Bible and I’m so excited to share the ways in which they accomplish that!
Who should read the Fresh Start Bible?
Ok, so, this is a bit of a strange question, it’s a Bible and technically for the entire world; however, there is a specific type of reader this Bible is designed to reach: The new believer and the recommitted believer- essentially anyone seeking a “fresh start” in their faith (see what they did there!).
What Translation does the Fresh Start Bible feature?
The Fresh Start Bible features the New Living Translation. Honestly, this is one I had never read before; but over the past week, I have fallen in love with it and plan to use this translation much more often in the future. According to the Fresh Start Bible’s introduction, the goal of the NLT translation is to be both “faithful to the ancient texts and eminently readable.” I find they have accomplished both beautifully.
What Makes It Different From Other Bibles?
The publishers and content team have done such an incredible job adding a variety of study elements to the text to help a new believer not only connect with Scripture, but also with the God who wrote it. Here are a few of my favorite elements:
The Fresh Start Journey: At the very beginning of this Bible is a section of 52 questions about Christian theology and living, answered by Pastor Jimmy Evans. Each question is answered using scripture references and a short explanation and the reader is then given 3-4 reflection questions to dig deeper. These questions encourage the reader to apply each truth to their life and often provides more scripture references so they can study the subject further on their own. These questions would make for a great weekly Bible Study between a new Christian and whoever is discipling them.
Three Short Discipleship Studies: At the end of the Bible, there are a few studies that focus on three main issues every new believer should come to understand. The first is Worship. This study answers questions such as “What is worship”, “Whom do we worship” and “Why do we worship?”. The other studies cover the subjects of our freedom in Christ and the importance of reading God’s Word every day. Again, this is an invaluable resource to anyone who is currently discipling a young believer.
Highlighted Teachings Throughout The Text: Throughout the Bible itself, various pastors have highlighted “intersections” or points where the overarching story of God’s plan for salvation intersects with the immediate story being told on that page. This helps the new believer see how stories such as Abraham sacrificing Issac, for example, points Christ’s coming and ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
They also highlight “road signs” where they dive a bit deeper to explain a particular truth being taught in that chapter. The focus for these discussions is on inspiring spiritual growth and helping the new believer apply the principle discussed in that particular scripture to their own lives.
Overall Thoughts and GiveAway!!
Overall, I love this new Bible and I would highly recommend it for the new and recommitted believer- or to anyone who is seeking to disciple a new believer in the coming year. It is beautifully formatted and carefully curated and would make a fantastic Christmas gift.
To that end…I’m going to be giving away one of these beautiful, soft-covered, linen Bibles over on my Instagram page. Be sure to check in with me there on Wednesday, December 11th and Thursday, December 12th to see pictures of the inside of the Bible and to get all of the details!