Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ESV Study Bible

It seems that different kinds of study Bibles are rolling off the presses in great numbers these days. I have really been wanting an Archaeology Study Bible for a while, and may get one before too long, but what I'm immediately more excited about is the ESV Study Bible.

I grew up using the NIV, and when I hear the Bible in my head, the NIV wording is what my mind follows. But for people who use anything other than an NIV, its wording is often difficult to follow along, so for preaching and teaching I made the swap a few years ago to the ESV. It is still a beautiful, easily understandable version, but it is more literal than the NIV. Fortunately, it is also much less stiff than the NASB. I've been happy with it, and with some of the positively gorgeous options they've come up with in terms of its covers, it seems to be rapidly growing in popularity.

Though I've been preaching and teaching from the ESV, I have continued to use my NIV Study Bible as my primary source when I begin research. It has remained--in my opinion--the best Bible for someone to buy who wants to know a little more but isn't ready to purchase multiple commentaries on every book. For its conciseness, it is very insightful.

Though I've been interested in some of the angles that study Bibles take, I have been anticipating the ESV Study Bible for a long time, which is coming out in October. Rather than being a slightly updated version of an older study Bible, as there is a revised NIV SB edition, this one is a completely fresh take on everything.

Throughout the Bible will be lots of full-color illustrations, including some current satellite photos of some of the areas under discussion. They have a great website describing its features, so rather than retype them here, I would encourage you to go and take a look at what it will include. I'm putting the example here of the illustration of Solomon's Temple. They have several passages available for free download including the entire book of Jonah. I can't wait to get one!


  1. Wow, this looks amazing. I've never used an ESV or even read a passage from one. Thanks for the comparisons to the other versions; I'll have to check it out.

  2. I preordered mine today! I think it will be great. I've liked everything else I've had so far that is ESV. I started using the ESV in Rose Bud because several times one or two of our older KJV-using members would hear a passage I read from the NIV and say, "Now, Mark, that doesn't sound like what MY Bible says."

    The ESV seemed to just work a lot better with everyone's Bible.

  3. Yeah man! The ESV is the light! Hopefully you won't need a backhoe just to heft it into the building.