Topical Reference Bible: New American StandardI recently received a review copy of the Topical Reference Bible (Foundation Publications, Inc., 2010, ISBN 978-1-58135-147-7) from the publisher. The receipt of this Bible did not influence the outcome of this review.
This is a two column New American Standard (1995, EELBV #8100.120) text bible with cross references and textual notes in an additional center column. My copy is a hardback. The Bible is also available in Leathertex™ and bonded leather. This is not a premium Bible so expect some ghosting (text behind the current page showing through) and no ribbons. I intend to use this Bible as a quick study tool, so it isn't as big a problem for me. According to the Bible Buying Guide, this is a sewn binding. The Lockman Foundation lists the font size as 9pt. Comparing the font size with my other NASB Bibles, it looks like 8pt. The cover measures about 5.75 x 8.75 inches. It is a handy sized bible. It lays fairly flat due to the sewn binding.
The first section is a 255 page topical index. This is followed by the Bible text. Next is the 210 page New American Standard Dictionary/Concordance/Thesaurus. Additional pages present Jesus' family tree, God's promises, The miracles of Jesus, Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Christ, The parables of Jesus, and the titles of Christ. The introductions to the books of the Bible are included here instead of at the beginning of the books. A reading schedule and full color Lockman Foundation maps round out the extra sections.
For the purpose of this review I decided to do a quick study on the topic of evil. I recently read an article, 5 Indicators of an Evil and Wicked Heart, that got me thinking more about this subject.
I started my study in the Topical index, copyrighted 2000. The picture to the left shows the ghosting well.
The topical index has excellent divisions to help narrow down your search. Under the heading "EVIL" there are subdivisions for "in relation to God," "good and evil," "ascribed to" and others.
Given the topic of the article I mentioned above, I chose to focus on good and evil, discernment between.
This leads to passages such as "So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?" (1 Kings 3:9). This is part of Solomon's prayer to God after becoming king of Israel.
Turning to the Dictionary/Thesaurus/Concordance we find synonyms or definitions for evil listed as "bad, wicked, wrong." Of course, the size of this Bible doesn't allow for an exhaustive concordance. Thus, under "Evil" there are just 18 verses listed. These range from "man's heart is evil" (Genesis 8:21) to " But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison" (James 3:8). I find a concordance to be an invaluable tool anytime I am doing a topical study. As you can see, the entry for "Evil" covers about half a page.
The topical index and dictionary/thesaurus/concordance are handy additions to this little Bible. Neither compares to a full sized reference so this won't replace your standard reference library. But for an easy-to-carry quick reference this Bible is good. I can see myself taking it along to Sunday School or Bible Study where I want something small and portable. With the average ghosting, I prefer better quality paper for daily reading.
Another important note is the price: $29.95 (USD) retail. It is available for about $20 on ChristianBook.com. American Bible Sales offers it for less that $14! It offers a lot of features for such a low price.
For its small size this Bible contains a great deal of helpful information. I like it that the references all point me back to the actual scriptures. If this were printed on better paper in a leather binding I believe I might just carry it all the time.