I received a copy of The Take Action Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Sneeze book review program. While the item was supplied for free, it has not changed my opinion. The views expressed here are my own.
First off, just looking at the Bible it is a bit smaller than I had anticipated. That’s not a problem just an observation. It contains 5 different “insert” sections labeled Go, Serve, Give, Heal, Teach that are presented on thicker full color paper. These inserts contain stories about people doing things that fall under the label of that section. Then there is a section, again on the full color paper, that has a list of 52 things to do to try to live out the Word with scripture references to tie each one back to a basic principle. Also different sections in the Bible contain an introduction to that section (rather than a book by book introduction). For example, Acts has its own introduction but the letters of Paul have one for all of them.
What I liked about this Bible:
First, it’s the New King James translation. I like this translation; therefore it’s a plus for me. Too often the modern versions fall short (the ESV being a notable exception) when compared to the more traditional translations. While it is smaller than I expected the text was easy to read and did contain some footnotes. And while they weren’t extensive the Bible does contain a map section in the back. It’s also a very portable size which again can be a great plus if you’re looking for a traveling Bible. The stories of people trying to put their faith in action were also very inspiring. I also appreciated the attempt to give people ideas of how to put their own faith in action. Many Christians are too apathetic about doing something for God. They go to church every week but don’t let Christ transform them.
What I didn’t like:
While the Bible text is easy enough to read it isn’t pleasantly laid out. When you try to make a Bible small you have to make sacrifices with either the text size or layout. They chose layout here. That’s the better choice, but still I do not like the layout. The map section has the same problem I have with just about every map section in every Bible I’ve ever seen. The exodus from Egypt does not cross any body of water. I know why this happens but still, it’s a horrible oversight that every Bible publisher makes. One thing I really didn’t like though is that while some of the inspirational stories of people living out their faith did tie it back to spreading the Gospel, most did not. They were all doing great things, building houses in Haiti, giving food to the poor, teaching impoverished people in third world countries to read, but very few of them gave any mention of anything close to spreading the Gospel. Spreading the Gospel is the reason we are supposed to go to Haiti. Building houses is a great thing and something they need, but if the house is built and they don’t know Jesus are they better off in the long run? I know the old adage, “preach the Gospel to all the world, when necessary use words” but I honestly don’t find that in scripture. Is that what we see Paul doing? Not in my Bible. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Christians to stop doing those things, I just want them to remember why they’re really there.