B&H Publishing were nice enough to send me a review copy of the Life Essentials Study Bible. Now, I had already owned one--bought it myself, a hard copy. But again, they were nice enough to send me an updated copy of the Bonded Leather edition for review.
Just a little insight into my fleshly nature... I was a bit bummed when my free Bible showed up. I know... I know... You don't have to preach to me.
I was bummed because I thought I was receiving the blue/tan leather-like Leather-Touch binding. (I really like those, by the way, when I can't afford genuine leather.) But they sent bonded leather, which I have never been a fan of. Bonded leather is most often more like plastic than the minute leather fibers being bonded by the plastic.
But bummed or not, the disappointment didn't last long. It's a quality finish, and the bonded leather is remarkably more leather-like than any bonded leather I've ever owned. If you're suspicious of bonded leather, go to a book store and give this one a feel. I think you'll be surprised, and I think you'll find this a good alternative to more expensive genuine leather.
Now on to the content...
Buy this Bible. Buy it and use it. It's a good translation. It's a great and accessible study Bible.
Unlike most study Bibles, it doesn't have verse by verse commentary, whether interspersed or in the footer of the Bible. Instead, it breaks the entire Bible text (from Genesis to Revelation) down and gives Life Essential Principles based on the text. The pertinent verses in the text are highlighted in blue, and a small article gives the principle, with application.
I find that the principles are solid, scriptural, indexed, and applicable. To make it better, each article/principle has a code that you can scan with your smart phone that will take you out to a multi-minute video that expounds the principle and text.
It really is great. Note: I haven't read/watched every principle, so I'm not ready to put my entire reputation behind a blind blanket endorsement, but what I've seen has been quality.
Look up Gene Getz's credentials for yourself and make your own conclusions.
In conclusion: It's a great Bible. It's quality in both materials and contents--which is no surprise coming from B&H. It will be applicable, studious, and the video may make it more accessible to many than other study Bibles (i.e. ESV Study Bible--I love mine, but it's a lot to gnaw on!).
Buy it. I would buy this particular one again if I B&H hadn't sent it to me.