NEWS | Tess Holgate
Monday 27 July 2015
Six Australian academics have contributed to the highly-anticipated new NIV Study Bible that will hit shelves in September. Based on the NIV translation, it also includes all new Bible study notes, a number of short articles on key topics from the Bible, maps, and charts.
66 different contributors from around the world have written the study notes and articles. The six Australians among them are: Dr Anthony Petterson from Morling College, Dr Colin Kruse from Melbourne School of Theology, Dr Graham Cole from Beeson Divinity School, Dr David Peterson and Dr Paul Williamson from Moore College and Dr Brian Rosner from Ridley College.
“Millions of copies of the NIV Study Bible have been produced and they are read by people all around the world. It is appropriate therefore and desirable that contributors should likewise be drawn from many different parts of the world,” says Dr Kruse.
The quality and quantity of Australian biblical scholarship has grown significantly over the past 50 years, but Dr Kruse says that today there are a good number of evangelical scholars producing first class works.
The new NIV Study Bible is an update of the previous NIV Study Bible in light of the latest biblical studies and the needs of new generations of Bible readers.
Dr Anthony Petterson, author of the new study notes on Haggai and Zechariah and lecturer at Morling College says, “this Study Bible is for anyone who can read and wants to read the Bible. There is a simplicity in presentation that I think will make it accessible to senior school students, new Christians, and even those investigating the faith.
“The Bible faces a lot of prejudice these days, even in Christian circles, often simply because people are ill informed about its contents and how it all holds together. Passages are read out of context and misunderstood.”
Dr Petterson says this Bible aims to “help people to see the bigger picture and the wider context of any particular passage – it offers key cross references to explore and historical background, charts and maps – all aids to understanding and applying the Bible today.”
Theological heavyweights Graeme Goldsworthy and Donald Robinson have so influenced the Australian Christian scene, that Australians have been promoting biblical theology for many years.
“Biblical theology is an approach to reading the Bible that seeks to understand the various parts in the light of the whole,” says Dr Petterson. “It seeks to map out the key landmarks in the Bible’s story and orient the reader of any part of the Bible by means of these landmarks. The central landmark is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who fulfils the Old Testament hopes for Israel and the nations.”
Professor Don Carson, the editor of the new Study Bible says, “what makes this Study Bible a little different is its commitment to biblical theology. It tries to trace out major themes as they develop across the biblical books.
“In addition, it brings together about thirty brief essays at the end of the volume that track how some of these themes develop: temple, priesthood, sacrifice, covenant, and many more,” says Professor Carson.
The NIV is intended both for those whose first language is English and those for whom it is a second language.
“The NIV is still by far the most used English-language translation in the world,” says Professor Carson. “It combines faithful translation with contemporary and idiomatic English.
“Combined with the emphasis on biblical theology, this Study Bible may well prove helpful for, quite literally, millions of readers.”