The Chronological Study Bible is a terrific gift idea for the history-Bible buff on your Christmas list. It’s chock full of helpful sidebars, historical facts, archeological tidbits, maps, photos, timelines, and art.
What I loved: The fact that the Bible is arranged (as much as could be possible) in chronological order, making it a terrific book to read through in a year, and in order. Simply read five pages a day. I enjoyed the historical pull-outs about culture and geography. I also enjoyed that the difficulties of the Bible are addressed and even left ambiguous. I appreciated that the Psalms are integrated throughout the center of the Bible, not all at once. It gives historical context to the Psalms and their authors.
What I didn’t like: The first thing I did when I received the Bible was to locate the book of Job. I’ve always been curious about that book, particularly when it was written. Though I’m no scholar, I prefer the interpretation that the book dates way back when, around the time of Genesis. So it was a bit disconcerting to see it plopped in the middle of the book (though the authors tell why they’ve put it there.)
Overall: Highly recommended, particularly for the Bible reader who loves history. I can’t think of a better gift!