Monday, October 13, 2008

...simply the best


I got my copy of the ESV Study Bible a few days ago and have been devouring it ever since. The notes are really well done; the graphics second to none; and the introductory sections to each book of the Bible are a rare staple of this great volume of study Bibles.

At the back of the ESVSB you will also find page after page after page of theological essentials concerning the Christian faith. Though not a fan of study Bibles in general - this one is a must buy. One thing that I really appreciated by the framers of the ESVSB was that it is not driven by a single personality as many study Bibles are. It is a body of work from several very well respected doctrinal, biblical, and theological minds. 

My favorite feature of this Bible is the online edition that you are given access to by code when purchasing the ESVSB. To have the ability to access all of this tremendous information electronically is a feature unique to the ESVSB. It is a real plus if you are a pastor, Bible teacher, evangelist, apologist, Sunday School teacher or missionary in preparing your time for teaching. Even with a home Bible study or fellowship group, it will prove to be an invaluable source to understand more fully God's Word. Any lay person will also find the easy use of this feature in their own devotional time and daily walk with the Lord. So think of the ESVSB not as a "normal average" study Bible. But rather as a one volume theological tome on the Christian faith. IOW, no excuses for anyone not knowing what the Word teaches on virtually any subject.

The only negative? It weighs a lot! I would be surprised if anyone takes this to church every Sunday and uses it as their primary "sword" day in and day out. It simply is big and will be cumbersome for most to carry with them. However, in saying that, it is still a must buy to have at your home and enjoy with your family and friends. Congratulations to all at Crossway for the labor they have given to this excellent work.

Soli Deo Gloria,
2 Tim. 3:16-17

PS - someone emailed this question: what is your favorite study Bible that you use frequently? Answer: the study Bible that I daily use is The MacArthur Study Bible. It has been called "the magnum opus" of study Bibles available and well worth that praise and your investment of time and treasure. Though it solely bears John's name, it is the byproduct of many faithful exegetes, teachers, theologians and pastors who serve at Grace Community Church and The Master's Seminary.


Rick Frueh said...

I prefer my Gutenberg Bible with study notes by Luther and signed by Zwingli. The eschatology study notes seem to ignore Israel though. :)

Anonymous said...

Yo Campi,

Could the online edition be used in conjunction with a program like esword? Would they compliment each other well?


Douglas said...

Posted: 10/06/2008

"This article by my assistant and fellow pastor is worth your precious time. Now that the ESV Study Bible is added to the list, we have even more reason to consider how to monitor our use of such tools. Do you have one? How do you use it? See what you think about this advice." Jim Elliff

Beware of Study Bibles
Steve Burchett

Good advice?

Anonymous said...

Steve: I just "discovered" the ESV last year. Primarily through reading blogs like yours! I fell in love with it and have been using it ever since. I will definitely check out the new study Bible version. It sounds excellent.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Only Look said...

Man...I would like to get one of those as well.

Thanks for the word on the word.

SJ Camp said...

Yes it is a good compliment. And here is why: the ESVSB Online allows you to enter detailed notes on any section of Scripture; edit it; and expand on them. So you can copy and paste from Greek or Hebrew parsing guides; commentaries; sermon notes, etc and have them right there for you to print out and use in your preaching and teaching.

I really like the electronic features of this Bible greatly.

Anyone a fan of the NASB SB and has read the notes as well? I have not and was wondering about a comparison between this and the NASB SB.

Grace and peace my brother

SJ Camp said...

I read that article and it had some very good "warning" points to it. IMHO - excellent.

SJ Camp said...

I prefer my Gutenberg Bible with study notes by Luther and signed by Zwingli.

Line of the day!!! LOL.
Thank you.

Terry Rayburn said...

Aside from the merits of the ESV Study Bible itself, or study Bibles in general...

I think the ESV is too loose in its translation. In many passages it is more of a paraphrase than a translation.

To put it more technically, it swerves too far from "literal" translation (word-for-word) into "dynamic" (thought-for-thought) translation.

If you doubt that, pick any New Testament chapter, and compare it verse by verse with the NASB, a more "literal" translation. You might be surprised at the insertion of totally different words than the Greek calls for.

I recognize the value of both schools of thought (literal and dynamic), and so I like the ESV for comparison and insight, but I couldn't use it for my "regular" Bible.

It bugs me while I'm reading to wonder whether a word or phrase is translated from the original, or "interpreted" for me by loose paraphrasing.

And it bugs me even more if I question it, look it up, and find that the word or phrase is translated quite differently from the original, because some translator felt compelled to "interpret" it.

One glaring example soured me on the ESV when it first came out, but thank God was changed in later editions.

I refer to the use of "sinful nature" in Rom. 7 for "flesh" (Gk. sarx. It was not only a blatant interpretive paraphrase, but a bad one with no Scriptural warrant IMHO. (The NIV still retains that error, and many others worse than the ESV).

In ESV's defense, they have added footnotes to many of the interpretive paraphrases with the literal word or phrase noted. I just personally prefer the literal word or phrase in the text itself.


Steven Long said...

Steven, thanks so much for the helpful review. I've viewed the video several times and can't wait to pick up my copy; although I may have to wait for Christmas (aw, rats!) Never the less, I know that I will thoroughly enjoy it. If anyone is interested, check out the video AT THIS LINK!!!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to my review copy arriving some time this week! I recently got the NLT Study Bible which I have just fallen in love with (OK, a little soppy, but I like it...a lot), and am looking forward to comparing the two.

Chris said...

Okay-yeah, this is a shameless appeal, but I think it's helpful to get this Bible into people's hands at such a good price.

I was able to review a copy yesterday and I thoroughly enjoy it! I’ve used the ESV Reformation Bible since it came out. This new ESV Study Bible is different enough to make a good companion.

The bookstore I work for, Scripture Truth Book Co. will have the ESV Study Bible available starting tomorrow, Oct. 15th for the following prices:

ESV Study Hardcover- $32.99
ESV Study Tru Tone Brown- $52.49
ESV Study Gen Black- $62.99

Our shipping rates are very reasonable. No more than $4-6 dollars, depending upon the price.

Chris Griffith

Anonymous said...


BTW, there is an ESV Study Bible giveaway.


Unknown said...


I have also been using the ESV Reformation Study Bible. I thumbed through the new ESV study Bible in the bookstore a couple of weeks ago; loved it, but, as Steve pointed out, the hardcover edition is much too heavy to carry around, so I didn't purchase it. Quick question for you, is the leather-bound version any lighter? I do take my leather Reformation study Bible back and forth to church services, although it's pretty bulky too.



Anonymous said...

I picked up my ESV Sstudy Bible tonight. I am looking forward to diving in more than I already did in the store!

I decided on a hardbound version. You are right Steve, it is simply too big to carry around. It has so many excellent articles and helps though I did want to use it as a reference in my study times.

Thanks for the recommendation!