Beliefnet
Mark D. Roberts

Iâ??ve just seen a copy of the newest study Bible. The ESV Study Bible, published by Crossway, is a work of excellence in both scholarship and beauty. Truly, I donâ??t know of any study Bible that shows such attention to the quality of its presentation as well as its content.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that Crossway published my latest book, Can We Trust the Gospels? So I do have a strong appreciation for Crossway, its mission, and its people. But, if you read my blog very often, you know that Iâ??m not solely devoted to Crosswayâ??s translation, the English Standard Version, though I think this is an excellent â??more literalâ? translation. It is one of the three English translations I consult and use most often.
If youâ??re familiar with the ESV and/or with Crossway, you wonâ??t be surprised to learn that the ESV Study Bible represents conservative evangelical scholarship of a broadly Reformed strain. And you wonâ??t be surprised to learn that the notes and essays in this Bible represent the very best of this kind of scholarship. Crosswayâ??s commitment to excellence is as evident in this Bible as its rock-solid commitment to biblical authority.
If you line up with conservative evangelical scholarship of a broadly Reformed strain, then this Bible is a must for your library. But even if you find yourself on a different place in the theological spectrum, as do many of my blog readers, I would still recommend this Bible to you. It will help you get a balanced perspective on the meaning and application of the biblical text. Moreover, I have checked the study notes in many passages, and found them to be insightful, helpful, and thorough (given space limitations, of course). They reflect solid, well-informed biblical scholarship. You can check out a representative passage online, if you wish.
In addition to the notes on the text, the ESV Study Bible includes a compendious collection of theological and scholarly essays, all written by experts for lay readers. This is really a study Bible and a Bible dictionary in one volume. Youâ??ll find top-notch articles on such topics as: The Reliability of the Bible Manuscripts, Biblical Ethics, The Roman Empire and the Greco-Roman World at the Time of the New Testament, and The Time Between the Testaments.
One of the most impressive features of this study Bible is its collection of illustrations. Youâ??ll find several hundred maps, charts, and pictures. For example, check out this illustration of Solomonâ??s Temple. (You can see it in much more detail here.)
Even more impressive to me, however, is that fact that this entire Bible is accessible online. If you buy the print edition, you automatically have access to the ESV Online Study Bible. Everything in the print version appears in the online version, plus some extras as well. Crossway continues to lead the Christian publishing pack with their wise and extensive use of the Internet and other technologies. (For example, my book published by Crossway, Can We Trust the Gospels? is available in a Kindle edition. Iâ??m sure this made Oprah happy.)
Crossway explains its goal and vision for the ESV Study Bible in this way:

The goal and vision of the ESV Study Bible is, first and foremost, to honor the Lordâ??in terms of the excellence, beauty, and accuracy of its content and design; and in terms of helping people come to a deeper understanding of the Bible, of the Gospel, and of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Crossway is a not-for-profit publishing ministry and all receipts from the ESV Study Bible go directly toward the support of this ministry goal around the world.

In my opinion, the ESV Study Bible has more than fulfilled this goal and vision, and I am grateful for this powerful new biblical resource.

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