This year for the first time I assigned the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Zondervan, 2019, eds. Craig S. Keener and John H. Walton) for my New Testament class. I’ve been extremely pleased with it, and I even use it for my devotional reading at home. Why do I like it so much? The answer is simple: history. The detailed introductions, articles, and notes in this study Bible provide invaluable historical and cultural information readers can use to interpret the text.
This Bible comes in NRSV, NIV, and NKJV translations. Of these, I prefer the NRSV. It is the product of an ecumenical translation committee and is less susceptible to theological translation bias. Regardless, I’m sure that whatever translation you use, you’ll find the study resources in this Bible helpful.
What don’t I like about this Bible? There’s no Apocrypha. When I teach New Testament, I refer back rather frequently to books such as the Wisdom of Solomon, the books of the Maccabees, and the Wisdom of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus). Students can of course access these online, but I do like having the Protestant canon and the Apocryphal books in the same volume.