Through the years I’ve reviewed many new Bibles. Each one has their own particular slant. Some are study Bibles geared for a specific audience. Some are devotional Bibles with contributions by hundreds of authors and leaders. Some are designed for you to write in them with guidelines to journal or doodle in the margins.
Then there’s the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. It’s not flashy or trendy. In fact, it’s been around since 1908. Despite it’s long-standing popularity, I’m ashamed to say my Bible collection was devoid of a copy, so when Bible Gateway offered me the opportunity to review the newest update, I eagerly signed up. I’m glad I did.
Compared to many of the Bibles being sold today, the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible is quite plain. The first thing I noticed when I opened it up is how nice and big the text is, much more readable than what you’d expect. It’s also black/red text on pure white paper.
I knew the distinction of the chain-reference was the notes in the margins, but honestly, I had no idea what they meant until I checked out the introduction at the front of the Bible. That’s when I fell in love with this Bible.
The margins are filled with topic names, Biblical references, and numbers. They direct you to the back of the Bible where you’ll find an alphabetical index of topics as well as a numerical index of topics. The numerical index is where you find the chain of verses related to that particular topic. In the margins when you see a passage, that will be the next Scripture in the chain.
Lest this sound complicated, let me give an example. If I go to Proverbs 31, in the margin next to the first line, I see the topic of Parental Instruction 1631. So I head to the back of the Bible to the Numerical Index and find #1631 where it lists all the different verses in the Bible related to Parental Instruction. The list is pretty long, but then for the main verses, the ones in the chain, the entire verse is quoted.
As if the margin notes weren’t enough, the back of the Bible also includes Bible character studies (including all the prominent women), outline history of the Apostles, Messianic prophecies and their fulfillment, maps of the various journeys, harmony of the Gospels, breakdowns of the life of Christ, Hebrew seasons and festivals, maps, and a concordance. In total, over five hundred pages are devoted to all these amazing study helps.
If you’re like me, and you like to go on rabbit trails when you’re studying the Bible, you are going to have a delightful time with the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. It will give you a whole new understanding of how everything fits together into the big picture.
Disclaimer: As a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, I received a complimentary copy of this Bible. All opinions expressed are my own.