New Bible from Joni and Friends Provides Encouragement, Insight on Suffering and Disability

AGOURA HILLS, Calif., June 14, 2016 – A Bible project unlike any other – the first Bible to address the topics of disability and suffering – the new “Beyond Suffering Bible” will release from Joni and Friends and Tyndale House Publishers this October. It is the perfect combination of both a study Bible and a devotional Bible, with knowledge and insight to be gleaned from the Scriptures, as well as encouraging words from a wide array of gifted writers – top Christian experts who are often the “go to” resources when people are looking for direction or next steps when ministering to individuals with disabilities, pain, addiction and suffering.

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 2.41.40 PMThe Bible was inspired, in part, by Joni and Friends’ founder and CEO Joni Eareckson Tada’s own experience with disability, when as a 17-year-old she was injured in a diving accident and had to come to terms with the idea of quadriplegia. She wrestled with God and with tough questions about disability and suffering. Tada is grateful that she had good friends who led her to the Scriptures for her answers. It is her hope that the “Beyond Suffering Bible” will be that encouragement for others who are struggling with hard questions, but without friends around them to guide them through God’s Word.

The need is great today due to the number of individuals and families living or caring for a family member with disabilities. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people in the U.S. live with some type of physical disability, while another 10 million people a year experience a serious mental illness. An additional 1 in 6 Americans are dealing with chronic health conditions, leading to roughly 65 million Americans providing care for someone with a disability or chronic illness.

“There’s hardly a cul-de-sac in America that doesn’t have somebody impacted by disability,” Tada said. “So our team at Joni and Friends got together with Tyndale House Publishers to put together a special edition of God’s Word full of resources to assist those who suffer in finding the goodness of God in the pages of His Word.

“From cancer patients to stroke survivors to the elderly, to parents who’ve had a child diagnosed with a disability, been through divorce or a financial disaster, no matter the heartbreak, this is a Bible for people who hurt,” Tada continued. “I think they’ll receive a lot of inspiration and encouragement from its pages.”

Tyndale Publishers Associate Publisher for Bibles, Blaine A. Smith, remarked on the perfect fit of Joni and Friends as partners for this project. “We are passionate about making the Scripture accessible to everyone, and this Bible meets a true need,” Smith said. “We have heard people asking for a resource to help them understand suffering and where is God in times of pain. The features and notes in this Bible were created with just that in mind. It tackles the tough questions, helps readers dig deep into Scripture to find true answers, making the Bible accessible to people who are suffering and those that love them.”

The “Beyond Suffering Bible” is the first study Bible to directly address those who suffer and the people who love and care for them. Tada and the experts at Joni and Friends’ Christian Institute on Disability provide readers with countless commentaries and features that invite readers into a conversation about suffering and its place in each person’s life. Each feature has been carefully created to provide readers with valuable information, meaningful encouragement, and challenging applications as they encounter God’s Word.

Features of the “Beyond Suffering Bible” include:

  • Book Introductions – From Genesis to Revelation, these introductions go beyond traditional outlines to reveal God’s plan for suffering and disability. These forewords offer specific keys that help readers see the heart of God for hurting people.
  • Profiles – God’s Truth is always revealed through people. Here, readers meet ancient heroes and scoundrels, notable contemporaries and ordinary people with a common thread. They all experienced hardship and the choice between hopelessness and faith.
  • Devotionals – Some scriptures deserve a deeper treatment about how God wants us to live beyond suffering. These full-page devotionals guide readers to stop and consider the challenges of Scripture and embrace the greater blessings.
  • Connection Points – On almost every page, these points connect readers to God. Similar to study notes, they explain passages with a laser-focus that encourages readers to consider their personal theology of suffering.
  • Additional Resources – The Bible is jam-packed with front and back articles that inspire readers to action, including topical indexes, daily Bible readings and resources on starting an effective disability ministry.

Joni and Friends was established in 1979 by Joni Eareckson Tada to provide practical support and spiritual help to families affected by disability and to equip thousands of churches to develop disability ministries within local communities and abroad. Whether it is a person affected by disability, a family member, or a friend, Joni and Friends’ objective is to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of this group of people in practical ways. Tada has, in the ensuing 40 years, become an author, speaker, artist and radio & TV host. She uses her global influence as an advocate for disability issues, and shares the love of Jesus Christ to people in need of help and hope.  For more information, please visit http://www.joniandfriends.org/.

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Note to Editors: For more information or to arrange an interview with a Joni and Friends representative, please contact Melany Ethridge of A. Larry Ross Communications at 972.267.1111 or melany@alarryross.com.