Authors' Bias | Interpretation: conservative

The Nelson Study Bible: Foreword

Welcome to The Nelson Study Bible. Years in the making, this publication combines a thorough exposition of the Bible with an accessible and spiritually sensitive style that makes it the best available all-purpose Bible study resource between two covers. To get the greatest benefit from The Nelson Study Bible, please take a moment to acquaint yourself with the many helpful features contained in its more than 2,400 pages.

New King James Version. This study Bible is based on the best English translation for study purposes, the NKJV. The paragraph-style text includes in-text subheadings with parallel passage references. Words of Christ in the text are printed in red ink. The complete NKJV translators’ footnotes are printed at the lower right portion of the text area on each page and are indicated in the text by asterisks.

Cross-References. In addition to the references under many of the text subheadings, an extensive set of cross-references is included in the center of the bottom part of each page. (Placing the cross-references at the bottom allows for wider text column at the top, enhancing readability of the text.) Cross-references that are enclosed in square brackets identify passages similar in concept to the referenced passage in the text. The cross-references are indicated in the text by raised letters.

Prophetic Stars. Many cross-references include stars that designate messianic prophecies. An open star refers to a prediction, while a solid star points out a fulfillment of a prophecy related to the coming of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Annotations. The basic feature of this study Bible is its annotations. There are over 15,000 of them, providing a warm yet scholarly exposition of the biblical text. The annotations offer helpful explanations, theological insights, and suggestions for other places to direct your study of the text. The style of the annotations is meant to heighten clarity through effective communication, using direct, natural language.

Book Introductions and Outlines. Each book of the Bible begins with an introduction that offers helpful information concerning the background of the book, including authorship and other circumstances surrounding the book’s composition. A detailed outline lists the key features and shows the structure of the book.

Time Lines. Most book introductions are accompanied by a time line showing the estimated dates of key occurrences before, during, and after the period of the book. The time line helps you to establish the book’s historical context and its place in the unfolding of biblical events.

InDepth Articles. Over 100 long-format articles provide even more extensive coverage of key topics than would be possible in an annotation. The articles enable closer study of important subjects and are useful as discussion starters. (A contents list in the front section gives page numbers for all articles.)

QuickView Charts. Sometimes the best way to present information is in the form of a chart or diagram. More than 80 charts are distributed throughout the Bible, making such information available quickly and attractively. (See Contents list.)

WordFocus Word Studies. Over 350 word studies including Strong’s numbers provide access to important terms from the original biblical languages. The words are discussed with regard to the context in which they are used, and their meaning and biblical usage are explained. (See contents list.)

InText Maps. Geographical understanding is aided by 69 strategically placed black-and-white maps. Journeys and regional activities are shown with clarity and cartographical accuracy, in proximity to the passages that mention them. (See contents list.)

Full-Color Maps. For general use we have also included Nelson’s full-color Bible maps and map index in the back of the Bible. When used in conjuction with the in-text maps, these handsome color maps maximize your familiarity with the locations of the places named in Scripture.

FullView Bible Summaries. Special full-color summary inserts provide a concise overview of basic biblical topics such as doctrine, themes, and history. They include summary charts that provide an excellent way to organize your study. They are an ideal point of entry for new students, but are useful no matter what your experience level. (See contents list.)

"How to Understand What the Bible Means by What It says." General editor Earl D. Radmacher has provided a helpful how-to article in the front section that furnishes a methodology for Bible study. This article will prove useful to you time and again as you explore the word of God.

Subject Index to Annotations and Features. In the back of the Bible you will find a thorough alphabetical subject index that details the contents of the features that supplement the biblical text.

Concordance. The subject index is followed by an extensive concordance, the biggest on Nelson has ever published in the back of an NKJV Bible. Its 195 pages list all of the important words, phrases, and proper names in the text of the NKJV.

The features described above combine to provide an unparalleled opportunity for Bible study. Our prayer is that you will be blessed and encouraged as you grow in your knowledge of God’s word through your use of The Nelson Study Bible.

Taken from "The Nelson Study Bible New King James Version" edited by Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, and H. Wayne House. ©1997 by Thomas Nelson Publisher. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Publisher, 501 Nelson Place, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000 (

Copyright © 2001 All rights to this material are reserved. We encourage you to print the material for personal and non-profit use or link to this site. If you find this article to be a blessing, please share the link so that it may rise in search engine rankings.