ESV Study Bible review, part 3

This is the third part of my review of the ESV Study Bible, having owned it and used it for the past six months.

3. Other resources and online version – a whole new level

So far all that we’ve looked at is excellent but also pretty much standard for a study Bible: this is a good translation with good supporting resources that the make the most of recent scholarship. But now the description of the ESV as a “study Bible on steroids” proves to be true.

After the Bible text there is a 250-page section full of really helpful articles:
- God's Plan of Salvation
- Biblical Doctrine: An Overview
- Biblical Ethics: An Overview (Includes the following topics: abortion, bioethics, capital punishment, lying, marriage, racial discrimination, war).
- Interpreting the Bible
- Reading the Bible (as theology, literature, in prayer, for personal application, for preaching and worship)
- The Canon of Scripture (Why are these books in the Bible and others aren’t?)
- The Reliability of Bible Manuscripts (Can you trust what you’re reading?)
- Archaeology and the Bible
- The Original Languages of the Bible
- The Septuagint
- How the New Testament Quotes and Interprets the Old Testament
- The Bible in Christianity (the different denominations’ perspectives)
- The Bible and World Religions
- The Bible and Religious Cults (including Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses)
- History of Salvation in the Old Testament
I know of so many Christians who have questions about some of the issues listed above, but aren’t sure where to go for help with them – the ESV Study Bible is a great first port of call. This is exactly what has been designed to be, and all credit to the editors for putting together something so comprehensive and helpful.

Some people may read an article on their chosen topic and think ‘Fine, that’s good enough for me’, and that’s great – they’ve got their information from a trustworthy source and they haven’t had to buy yet another book. Others will think, ‘Well that’s not enough, I need more information’, which is also great – now you’re motivated to go shopping!

Online version
To complement – and for the tech-savvy, supersede – the hard copy, buying the ESV Study Bible gets you free online access to the text, and all the other resources. It’s an excellent addition.

I really like the way the site is integrated. If you go to 1 Kings 12:1, for example, you get the study note for that particular verse, plus the notes for the section and sub-section it’s in, plus a link to the Introduction to 1&2 Kings, and all the other media which relates to that verse, in this case three charts and a map!

What is particularly great is the ability to create your own private notes alongside the text and the study materials. You can also create weblinks in those notes. So if I hear a great preach on a certain passage, I can then create a note in my online Bible with some of the highlights from that talk, and if it’s available to download I can make a link to that too. This is absolutely brilliant for someone like me who loves finding and accessing information, and should be helpful for anyone who wants to remember the good things they are taught.

The site is fully searchable, making it the ultimate concordance.

Another extra feature online is an audio option. Choose your chapter, click “Listen”, and away the narrator goes!

This review/tutorial shows all this and more in action. My review will conclude tomorrow.


ESV Study Bible review: part one, part two, part three, part four.
The ESV Study Bible is available from Amazon and many other retailers.