It was a long time ago that I heard that Crossway would be putting out a new Study Bible. The pre-publishing buzz really got me quiet excited. The Bible came out and I thought, “OK, I don’t really need it, I can wait until Christmas.” Christmas came and went and alas, no big hunking book in my stocking.
Then came the good news; The Gospel Coalition were handing them out to those who attended the conference in Chicago. So I counted down the days until the conference and was duly rewarded on the opening day with my not-so-portable Study Bible.
I managed to get the said Bible back to England and now I have the opportunity to enjoy it. To be honest, I’ve already been using a friend’s copy when I was with YWAM in Maui so I knew what I was getting myself into.
So my thoughts so far. The book is big. Bigger than most. And all that excess is in-depth articles and commentary on the text. There are great intros to the books, as well as guides to the literature. There are also some great looking maps and charts. I’ve been going over 1 and 2 Peter quite thoroughly again (as inspired first by Tom Osterhus in my YWAM days, and later Mark Driscoll) and I’ve found the notes incredibly helpful in my understanding of the text.
I don’t feel as if I’m simply reading the footnotes either, as I’m prone to do with some commentaries, but rather that the footnotes keep me in the text and help me to dig deeper in my study. John Piper stressed at the above mentioned conference that we young teachers need to ‘wrestle’ with the Word of God, to really stress over the words used. I’ve found that the ESV Study Bible helps me to do that.
As well as all this, the whole Bible – with notes, articles, maps, charts etc. – is online and open to all who have purchased a copy of the Bible. The book is big, and so if you’re travelling somewhere and don’t fancy lugging it along then you can look things up online. This is much more than a gimmick – it’s a really useful addition that will be of great help.
I’ve found so far that the ESV Study Bible has been greatly helpful to me. I’d recommend it hands down to anyone who a) doesn’t have a Study Bible, b) wants to add another tool to their library, c) anyone with £30 to spare.
The ESV Study Bible is availble for sale on Amazon and all good Christian bookshops.