In the preface, Carson noted several things about this study Bible: 1) the contributors acknowledge Scripture to be God’s authoritative Word, 2) it is based on the best-selling and most widely circulated translation, the NIV, a “smooth and faithful translation,” 3) it aims to provide answers to questions about Scripture, 4) it offers a wealth of charts, maps, photos, illustrations, and essays, and 5) it emphasizes biblical theology – it highlights the “way various themes develop within the Bible across time.”

Various evangelical Baptist and Reformed scholars contributed the study notes: Bruce Waltke, Tremper Longman, Iain Duguid, Craig Blomberg, V. Philips Long, John Currid, (and others) along with Carson and the above-named associate editors.  There are also 28 articles at the end of the book that cover biblical-theological themes like law, temple, wisdom, holiness, mission, justice, etc.  Contributors to these articles, along with the editors and others, include Andreas Kostenberger, Moises Silva, Henri Blocher, and James Hamilton Jr.

Including the maps, reports, concordance, and charts, it is 3,008 pages long(!).  The study notes at the bottom of each page cover (on average) about 35-40% of the page (you can see page previews online).  Like most other study Bibles, there are helpful tables and charts at various places.  I especially liked the historical/archeological pictures and also the charts on the OT festivals, the accusations leveled against Jesus, and Jesus’ trials (, etc.).  The study Bible also comes with a code for free online access and open access on the Olive Tree app (iOS and Android).  These digital versions of this study Bible are helpful; I did get the chance to download and explore them.

One downside to this Bible is that it is massive: it weighs 4.8 pounds and is nearly 3 inches thick.  It’s almost too big to carry around and use with ease!  I would rather have the additional essays and such in a separate companion volume than all packed into one. I recommend to keep it at home to study with instead of taking it to church. Since you can have the Olive Tree App on your phone if you need to reference in church or bible study.

Finally, there is the fact that this is an NIV study Bible.  The translation history of the NIV is somewhat cloudy in the last ten years or so; there’s been some controversy over the way the NIV has learned recently.  I  still doing the researched on why there is controversy on the NIV against the other versions. Too bad I can’t read Biblical Hebrew or Greek(first translation) since that is language that Bible was first printed in. Now that would be interested to compare this book to.

In a word, this is an excellent study Bible that I’m glad to own.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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 by the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

NIV Zondervan Study Bible Book Cover NIV Zondervan Study Bible
General Editor D.A. Carson
Aug 25, 2015

The NIV Zondervan Study Bible, featuring Dr. D.A. Carson as general editor, is built on the truth of Scripture and centered on the gospel message. D.A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is a founding member of the Gospel Coalition.


The NIV Zondervan Study Bible, featuring Dr. D.A. Carson as general editor, is built on the truth of Scripture and centered on the gospel message. An ambitious and comprehensive undertaking, Dr. Carson, with committee members Dr. T. Desmond Alexander, Dr. Richard S. Hess, Dr. Douglas J. Moo, and Dr. Andrew David Naselli, along with a team of over 60 contributors from a wide range of evangelical denominations and perspectives, crafted all-new study notes and other study tools to present a biblical theology of God's special revelation in the Scriptures. To further aid the readers' understanding of the Bible, also included are full-color maps, charts, photos and diagrams. In addition, a single-column setting of the Bible text provides maximum readability.

The accessible and fresh interior design will capture your attention and enhance your study experience. Along with your purchase, you'll also receive free electronic access to the NIV Zondervan Study Bible.

Features include: Over 60 scholarly contributors Over 1.2 million words of new content Over 3,000 pages packed with in-depth study tools Nearly 20,000 all-new, comprehensive verse-by-verse study notes Customized, theologically rich, illustrated book introductions 6 section introductions to literary genres ("The Pentateuch," "The Historical Books," etc.) Full-color interior with extensive use of over 60 colorful charts, over 90 maps, and hundreds of photos Comprehensive library of over 30 articles by award-winning scholars on topics such as "The Bible and Theology," "The Glory of God," "Covenant," "Love and Grace," and more Cross-reference system Complete text of the New International Version Concordance with over 35,000 Scripture references Free electronic access to the study Bible