Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Debut Review

The prospect of receiving a complimentary copy of any book to read and review was just too tantalizing for this English teacher to pass up. So, I joined BookSneeze and did a happy dance when my first book came in the mail last week from Thomas Nelson.

Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts (3rd edition) would have been a worthwhile purchase...ten years ago. Each chapter corresponds to one book of the Bible and presents the foundational information per Biblical book--summary/title analysis, author, date, themes/literary structure, and outline. Then, the remainder of each chapter presents various charts, maps, and some narrative information. As the cover says, new to this edition are photos, full color, and the ability to download online/reproduce all the charts and maps found within the text.

The reproducible, color maps are the only selling point of this book. Otherwise, some charts like "Ten Favorite Myths" about Jesus were interesting while others like "The Cycle of Good and Bad in Scripture," left out more information than provided and seemed to just fill space. And on a random glance through the Index, I found one chart, "Mountains of the Bible," wasn't even listed there, leaving me certain I wouldn't be able to find it again.

Additionally, I was disappointed with one of the main selling points—photos! There was an severe lack in most of the Old Testament chapters, and those included had no explanation concerning how they related to that particular Biblical book. Also deleted from this edition were line drawings of temple and tabernacle furnishings, reducing those two structures to one insufficient drawing each.

Before the age of the study Bible, this text's easy-to-access information about each Biblical book would have earned it a place by my bedside. But I found no "new" basic information that wasn't already located in my study Bible. So unless you have a need for color, reproducible maps (which is, as the title implies, the best feature of this text), save your money and just buy a good study Bible.


  1. Thanks for sharing your review of this book. Do you get to choose your book from a list? Sounds interesting...especially if they have the titles I have long wanted to have!

    Do you send them the review as a write up, or do you have a form to fill out?

    Nice and honest review, Jennifer...


  2. I don't have any books like this, but I appreciate the review in case I ever find myself in the market.

    I just heard of a new bible called 'merge' something or other. I heard the ad on Christian radio. Gonna look into it...