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Book Review: Power for Life Bible – From the Crystal Cathedral

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The Power for Life Bible: From the Crystal Cathedral – in Today’s New International Version (TNIV) – has lots of good features.

The first thing you’ll notice as you leaf through the volume are the highlighted sections in both Old and New Testaments. Robert Anthony Schuller has selected passages to highlight (called Power Lines) by three criteria: 1] narrative text – reading the highlighted sections gives you a condensed version of the story; 2] texts that focus on spiritual formation; 3] within the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) the words of Jesus are highlighted in red letters.

This Bible includes many other features by the Reverends Robert Anthony and Robert Harold Schuller interspersed within its 1300+ pages as well: 111 short devotionals (Power Pages); 48 character studies (Power People); 31 prayers (Power Prayers); 66 quotes (Power Quotes); numerous sets of questions to help the reader put the Bible into practice in everyday life (Power Tools); and an introduction to each book (Power Poles).

More things you’ll find at the front of the book are a presentation page; a four-page history of the Garden Grove, California Crystal Cathedral ministry, complete with photographs; and a couple of pages explaining the TNIV Bible translation. At the back is an appendix of weights and measures, a list of the revised spellings of Bible names, and an index to the selected readings organized by where they appear in the Bible as well as by reading type (devotions, prayers etc.). Eight blank pages for notes and a set of maps printed on sturdy paper complete the volume.

Under the glossy dust jacket is a rich wine-colored hardcover book with the title embossed on the spine in gold. The text is printed on good quality onion skin in mostly black ink (although a brownish-wine ink is used for some of the extras) in a font that is large and legible. Palest pink to wine tones are used throughout in the layout, resulting in a book that is beautiful and unified in design.

This would be an excellent Bible for personal reading. The easy-to-read modern English version along with the encouraging and inspiring tone of the added writings make this Bible accessible to almost anyone. Personally I find the highlighted sections (Power Lines) a little distracting, but I can see how they might also be helpful, especially for someone who wanted to find pertinent readings with ease. The short historical section will be interesting to people who are familiar with the Crystal Cathedral and its weekly Hour of Power television show.

If you want an easy-to-read Bible that comes with added doses of inspiration and encouragement the Power for Life Bible: From the Crystal Cathedral may be just what you’re looking for.

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