A.W. Tozer's eloquent and often prophetic challenge to the body of Christ in the twentieth century continues to build and mature the faith of many worldwide. Hendrickson celebrates Tozer's devotion to the Word of God and his penetrating commentary on contemporary Christianity with the new A.W. Tozer Bible. While neither a study Bible nor a devotional Bible, the A.W. Tozer Bible presents an aesthetically pleasing presentation of the KJV text partnered with consistent and weighty commentary from Tozer's works.
The A.W. Tozer Bible is laid out more like a devotional Bible than a study Bible. The excerpts from Tozer's works stand more as full passages of commentary than as simple explanatory notes and are more spiritual than academic in content. This leads to a well thought out but flexible layout that accommodates the placement of large blocks of text. "Challenges" sections are shorter and are nestled in the corners of the page, while "On Scripture" and "Reflections" are at the bottom of the page in a single column. This retains quite a bit of readability, mostly because the "Challenges" are infrequent, but also because the intrusions have a nice order and are separated by shading and color as well as by position and font choice.
The KJV text is presented in two columns in a traditional verse per line format. This is partnered with an outside column of cross-references which are fairly small but very readable because of the font choice and the placement on the outside margin. The text stands in a nice nine point font, which is generous and readable but not quite large enough to be considered large print.
The text and layout is divided by color as well as by position, which gives it a nice aesthetic appeal and helps divide the portions of the text. This is similar to the Max Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible, but is accomplished far better with different tones of red, orange, brown and gray.
Jesus words are presented in a very pleasing crimson; however, this inclusion of color in the rest of the layout makes it so that this feature doesn't pop as much as in other editions.
This layout succeeds in a complex arrangement of different text, color, column, and font styles. The shaded boxes accent the double column layout without detracting significantly from readability and the choice to make an outside column for the cross-references makes them highly accessible but also nearly invisible during casual reading. The design and purpose of this Bible does not lend itself to a consistent layout, but Hendrickson has created a well-laid out consistency that maintains readability and a heavy aesthetic style.
The A.W. Tozer Bible allows Tozer's classic works to illuminate the Bible text and invigorate spiritual devotion and Bible meditation. The main feature used to accomplish this purpose is the "On Scripture" passages, which select passages from Tozer's writings and sermons that focus on the revelation within a certain scripture. The Bible includes over 365 of these selections, which stand out as the feature most akin to traditional study notes or devotional Bible material. In addition to the "On Scripture" passages, the Bible also features "Reflections" and "Challenges" which may relate thematically to scripture but stands more alone without direct relation to Scripture. The Bible includes over 500 passages within the text, which averages out to about one on every other page of the Bible. While this is not anywhere near a full study Bible, the selections are longer than study notes and occur often enough that one or more would be paired with daily reading selections.
Tozer maintains a strong literary style and a powerful, insistent tone. His writing is saturated with a heavy emphasis on holiness, an expansive view of God, a passion for intimacy with Christ, and a biting indictment of worldliness within the church. His writing is expressive of a deep love for God and a jealous fervor over the backslidden church. His words often jar the soul into life even as they inspire greater love and devotion to God.
Most of these features are standard in a reference edition, though the A.W. Tozer Bible features a larger concordance and fewer cross-references than most.
A.W. Tozer was extremely prolific and his journals and sermons are still being compiled into new volumes of work. In some ways I was disappointed that this edition didn't take greater advantage of his copious amount of writing, as a complete study Bible or commentary would almost be possible to extract from his life's work. However, this edition does present a large body of his material in close proximity of the biblical text. The 500 plus selections from his works are the equivalent of a full survey of his writing and will provide more than enough devotional and inspirational content for the average reader. In addition the formatting and layout of this Bible is well accomplished and aesthetically pleasing. Because of the intermittent nature of the selections, I would not recommend this as a reference work, but as a fully functional Bible for the A.W. Tozer aficionado or for those who wish to include Tozer's rousing words in their daily study of the Bible.
My thanks to Hendrickson for providing this complimentary review copy. I was not required to provide a positive review, but an honest review.
|The A. W. Tozer Bible: KJV Version, Flexisoft leather, black
By Hendrickson Publishers