A Biblical Resource for Those Who Suffer: My Review of The Beyond Suffering Bible







The Beyond Suffering Bible is a great tool for Bible study and devotions. While light on theology, it majors on applying the Bible to life, specifically a life that is challenged by suffering, both long and short-term. What makes this Bible so unique and powerful is that it comes from those who have suffered; it is a project of Joni and Friends’ Christian Institute on Disability. A familiar friend on the road of suffering, Joni Eareckson Tada, contributed to the study Bible as well as wrote the introduction.

This resource follows familiar patterns yet is markedly different from other study Bibles. There is an introduction to each book. However, there are no outlines. Throughout are “connections” which are points of application. Profiles of various individuals are found inside, three of my favorites being the prophet Jonah, a man named Eliot with cerebral palsy and Doug Mazza. The reader will discover one page devotionals scattered throughout the text of the study Bible. In addition, there are 10 reading plans, a topical index and a list of recommended resources. As with other good study Bibles, there are several maps in the back. One will also find a section in the back for note-taking.

The text of The Beyond Suffering Bible is the New Living Translation. As a reader, if you are into the word for word translation found in versions such as the KJV, NKJV, NASB and the ESV, then this translation will not be of interest, though the material inside may make you forgive the translation choice. However, if you struggle with reading the Bible and you haven’t been exposed to the NLT, then give this translation a chance. You may very well love it.

I like this Bible. Already, I have made a decision after having read it. In response to a challenge contained therein to include those with disabilities in ministry, I am allowing an autistic teen to use his love of singing and bold calling out of song requests in our Awana program to help lead those songs on Friday nights with us.

This Bible could very well be an answer to your prayers and a faithful companion on your journey through life and suffering. If you aren’t suffering, you most definitely know someone who does and this would make a great gift or a resource to help you to help them.

In rating this Bible I would give it the following:

For uniqueness in content: 5

For normal good Study Bible content: 3

For the power to change lives: 5

For translation decision: 2

Overall, I would round that up to a 4 out of 5 stars.

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