Mailbox Review: NIV Integrated Study Bible (2/5)

NIV Integrated Study Bible
ed. John R. Kohlenberger III (Zondervan 2014)

Rating: 2/5  (3.5/5 for effort)

The NIV Integrated Study Bible is designed around an intriguing (and probably much wished-for) organizational principle: the sixty-six books of the Bible are reorganized and presented in chronological order to allow the reading of biblical events in the order that they occurred. This is a novel departure from the traditional organization of theNIVISB English Bible, which is arranged largely by subject (i.e. history books, law, wisdom books, prophetic books, gospels, epistles, etc.), and it opens up interesting possibilities for biblical study.

For all the promise of the concept, though, the NIVISB is an imperfect achievement. Continue reading

The Proverbs 31 Woman in Short Skirt/Long Jacket

cake short skirt long jacket how to become a proverbs 31 woman, she is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs at the future

While I’ve always enjoyed Cake’s “Short Skirt, Long Jacket I had also always assumed it was a little lewd or racy—after all, they keep talking about short skirts and wanting a girl. Recently the t.v. series, Chuck, even used the song in its credits, drawing an implicit connection to the shows savvy, often-scantily-clad female secret-agent-type character. Upon greater reflection, though, I realized that I’ve been coming away with the wrong impression all these years. Upon closer scrutiny the song not only reveals itself to be downright wholesome, but its subject—this girl with the skirt and jacket—turns out to be nothing less than a modern approximation of the Proverbs 31 woman. Let me show you what I mean through a side-by-side comparison.

I want a girl with a mind like a diamond
I want a girl who knows what’s best

So opens Short Skirt/Long Jacket. Likewise, the God-fearing Woman passage of Proverbs begins this way:

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels. 10.
The heart of her husband trusts in here,
and he will have no lack of grain. 11.

“An excellent wife who can find,” roughly translated for the purposes of application, means “you should want an excellent girl for a wife.” The girl with a mind like a diamond is far more precious than diamonds themselves, and her husband can trust in her because she “knows what’s best.” Still not convinced? The rest lines up pretty neatly: Continue reading