Review: The Names of God Bible

The Names of God Bible cover artThe Names of God Bible, Ann Spangler, General Editor (Revell/Baker Publishing Group, 2011)

Throughout the Bible, God is referred to by various names which reveal aspects of His character. The more we know Him, the better we can trust Him.

In The Names of God Bible, the most significant of those names are restored in the Old Testament text to their original Hebrew (but rendered in our alphabet). In the New Testament, other than referring to Jesus by the Hebrew Yeshua, His names and titles remain in English.

This Bible makes a great study tool for those wanting to understand more about the names and character of God. There’s a list of names, meanings and pronunciations at the beginning, as well as a reading path that allows you to trace the usage of a particular name through the complete text.

There are also focus pages for many of the names of God, with insights, devotionals, and promises related to the names. Standard features include Bible reading plans and introductions to each book.

The introductions are very helpful, giving an overview of each book’s events and theme and putting it in the wider context of the whole Bible (eg the introduction to Jeremiah gives where the book falls in Israel’s history, what was happening at the time, as well as the prophet’s message and effects, and it suggests other readings to place the content in context.)

Unfortunately, the first introduction I read was for Genesis, and it includes the line “… Noah, who commandeered a ship through a world-destroying flood.” (He commanded the ship, but he hardly commandeered it.)

The Names of God Bible is printed in the GOD’S WORD® translation (GW), which is new to me but has been around since 1995, ©God’s Word to the Nations Missions Society. The single-column layout is easy to read, and I like how any explanations of names are done within the text using brackets. It feels more natural than footnotes. Here’s an example:

So your name will no longer be Abram [Exalted Father], but Abraham [Father of Many] because I have made you a father of many nations.” Genesis 17:5, GW

The GOD’S WORD® translation is designed for clear readability, with shorter sentences and explanations of terms such as yoke and cornerstone making it ideal for those new to the faith or new to the English language. Contractions make the text flow easily although I prefer reading God’s own dialogue without them.

More information on the details and philosophy of this translation can be found at the GOD’S WORD® translation website.

General Editor Ann Spangler is well-equipped to head up this task, after researching and writing the books Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus. For an interview with Ann Spangler and a deeper overview of The Names of God Bible see the Baker Publishing Group website. You can also view a sample chapter of The Names of God Bible.

[Unlike ordinary reviews where I read the entire book before reviewing, here I’ve sampled various selections and passages, introductions and focus pages. Bible has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller or from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.]

2 thoughts on “Review: The Names of God Bible

  1. Koala Bear Writer

    I recently got this BIble as well and really enjoyed reading it. I was familiar with some of the different Hebrew names for God, but had no idea there were so many. It was neat to see how different people in Scriptures called God by different names/titles, depending on their circumstances. I wasn’t super thrilled with the introductions to the books (didn’t read Genesis, but I agree with you about the poor word choice you pointed out!), but doing a study on the names of God was certainly eye-opening and inspiring.

    Reply
    1. Janet Sketchley

      Isn’t that funny… I really liked the introductions I’ve read so far. Yes, the insights of what different people in the Bible called God are interesting, and I’m enjoying the focused readings for each name. I’m still trying to get used to some of the different spellings (Adonay instead of Adonai). A lot of the names I didn’t know, but some, like that one, I knew from Michael Card’s song, El Shaddai (which this Bible would spell El Shadday).

      I did a really good study from Precept Ministries on the names of God, 20 years ago now, just before one of my sons was born, and what we learned was so soul-strengthening.

      Reply

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