Today’s Book is another “add-on” packaged with the Bible. The differences of opinion in the Bible translation world over the New International Version and its supporting methodology are well-documented across the Internet, and you can find some who are convinced the NIV is worthless as a Bible. My personal preference is for the more literal, even if a bit wooden, translations into English but that’s style. I’m not persuaded that there is a problem, from an evangelical theology perspective, that causes us to eliminate the NIV as an English language option.
That being said, the real question at stake here is if the NIV Fast Facts Bible is worth your time. The NIV aspect is worthwhile—it’s the Bible, and I’m all for reading the Bible. Is this a softcover or Kindle version worth putting on your shelf?
For that, we need to consider the add-ons to the text. I am a little disappointed in the NIV Fast Facts Bible, because there is not much substance to these. It is almost as if the idea was “What obscure things can we put in this Bible?”
For example, each book is headed with a summary section telling you how many words are in the book. That’s fascinating if you’re prepping for Bible trivia, but it’s also dynamic—are there 38,267 words in the Hebrew of Genesis? Or just in the NIV? These little factoids fall under the “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” label. Your computer can count them, but it’s meaningless information.
There are a few questions embedded in these introductory segments, but they aren’t very deep or probing. Further, there is little help in developing a practical application of the text.
All in all, this isn’t bad, but it’s really in search of usefulness. Is it about the academic minutiae like word counts? Or is it for helping people understand the life-altering message of the Bible?
It’s not an awful thing, but there’s just nothing here to be worth your time.
Book received from publisher in exchange for the review.
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