There are a great many things I enjoy about the DCB. Following are a dozen of those matters, appearing here in no particular order.
1. The Biblical text is that of the Common English Bible so neither accuracy or clarity is an issue.
2. The quality of the binding is quite good. I have the hardback edition in hand. This Bible won’t fall apart anytime soon.
3. The font is simple, crisp, and clear. Though I’m in my early 50′s and have worn bifocals for years, I can read the text easily.
4. The placement of the nearly 350 pages of reading guides and devotional helps at the front of this Bible means that not only is everything in one place, but that this Bible can be used as a “regular” Bible and not merely function as a devotional Bible geared to fit one reading plan.
5. The simplicity of the structure and scheme of the devotional layout on a single page is pleasant. The structure is identical each day: 1-4 Scripture references to texts of widely varying length, a 2-3 paragraph devotional, 3-4 questions, a 2-4 sentence prayer, and 2-5 blank lines for personal notes.
6. The 7 page easy-to-grasp description of 5 of the most common spiritual exercises – prayer (centering and breath), meditation and study (lectio divina, inductive, memorization), fasting, solitude, and worship – is greatly appreciated.
7. The addition of some simple aids (definitions of weights & measures, the Hebrew calendar [with Gregorian month equivalents], 8 high quality maps by National Geographic, etc.) is a touch not found in most devotional Bibles with which I’m familiar. Incidentally, the maps included are the equivalent of map #’s 2, 4, 6, 10, 15, 17, 20, and 21 in the Bible Map Guide.
8. The printing of letters of the Hebrew alphabet in the margin of some of the Psalms (9-10,25,34,37,111-112,119,145) and the book of Lamentations to show that they are acrostic in nature is a plus. However, oddly and inexplicably, Proverbs 31:10-31 doesn’t receive this treatment.
9. The inclusion of multiple reading schedules (1 month, 90 days, 1 year) doesn’t go unnoticed.
10. The three-way indexing of the topical readings by topic, week, and Biblical text is the way it ought to be in all devotional Bibles.
11. The publishers have clearly bent over backwards to make this devotional Bible very-user friendly. Page numbers are cited in the table of contents for the Biblical books. Page numbers are also included in the daily and topical indexes, not merely Scripture references. It even has an alphabetical table of contents, a very helpful feature for Bible newbies.
12. The compact size 5 1/2″ wide by 8 1/2″ tall by 1 5/16″ thick makes it easy to carry in your hand. Given its size you’re left without excuse if you don’t carry it in your backpack, luggage or briefcase.
One more note: though I’ve certainly not read the entire DCB yet, I’ve not come across a single typographical error of any kind in my reading thus far. This is no small accomplishment in itself for it is a rare book these days in which I don’t encounter a typo or two.
In tomorrow’s post I’ll note some matters I believe could have been done better, what I’d like to see in the next edition of the DCB, and my overall impression of this volume.