Crossway’s website for the new ESV Study Bible just went up and it looks awesome! Let me clarify – the website looks great, but the Study Bible is what I am really impressed with! I think this will become the Study Bible that I recommend to the people at my church as well as my friends and family. Here’s why . . . .
First, this new Study Bible features the ESV translation. This has become my favorite bible translation by far. When people ask me why, I tell them it combines the readability of translations like the NIV with the reliability of translations like the KJV and NASB. I began using this version in seminary as soon as it first came out. And as I was preaching through Mark, one commentary in particular (written in the late 70’s, I believe) would say things like, “this phrase should be best translated as . . . ” and repeatedly, that’s what the ESV said. For the last several years, I have found places to quibble with the translation, but my overwhelming experience has been that of finding the ESV the best modern translation available today.
- The ESV Bible text is set in highly readable 9-point type, in a single-column, book-text format.
- Section summaries are highlighted for easy location throughout the notes. Summaries provide an overview of each main section and correspond to the outline shown in the introduction for each book.
- Over 200 full-color maps printed throughout make events and places in the Bible come to life.
- Over 25,000 notes focus especially on understanding the Bible text and providing answers to frequently raised issues. Words from the Bible text are printed in bold for easy reference.
- Over 80,000 cross-references provide easy access to key words, passages, and themes throughout the Bible.
- Numerous diagrams bring fresh understanding to key places and events in the Bible, based on the best, most recent historical and archaeological research.
- Over 200 charts provide concise, “at a glance” summaries of important themes and teaching.
With over 93 evangelical scholars (including Tom Schreiner, Iain Duguid, Simon Gathercole, Paul House, John Piper, J. I. Packer, Wayne Grudem, Peter Gentry, and Walter Kaiser!) contributing to the notes and articles, these features contribute to making the Study Bible an excellent resource for personal Bible study, with the very best of Christian scholarship available at your fingertips.
Third, you get all of this on the go! The ESV Study Bible is also online and purchase of a print copy enables you to access the online version for FREE!
Finally, Crossway continues it’s trend towards increasingly “cool/contemporary” cover designs. While that’s not an essential component of a good study bible, it does help to get people excited about carrying and using their study bible. Currently eight editions are available for pre-order. And the best part is, these will also be durable editions. Each one is printed on high quality paper and has a Smyth sewn binding, “which is considered the finest Bible binding method and is designed to last a lifetime.”
Can you tell that I’m VERY excited about this new Study Bible? I believe this will set the standard for Study Bibles in the next few decades. Many of us have waited a long time to hold this book in our hands, and it is clear the wait was well worth it!