Holy Bible: Reformation Study Bible, ESV Book reviews


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The English Standard Version (ESV) stands in the classic mainstream of English Bible translations over the past half-millennium. The fountainhead of that stream was William Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526; marking its course King James Version of 1611 (KJV), the English Revised Version of 1885 (RV), the American Standard Version of 1901 (ASV), and the Revised Standard Version of 1952 and 1971 (RSV). In that stream, faithfulness to the text and vigorous pursuit of accuracy were combined with simplicity, beauty, and dignity of expression. Our goal has been to carry forward this legacy for a new century.During the Reformation, a renewed interest in Scripture brought great light to the church and the world. In The Reformation Study Bible, general editor R. C. Sproul aims to present the light of the Reformation anew by combining an accessible translation with study notes that stand firmly in the theological tradition of the Reformation.No other study Bible gives the reader more assistance in understanding the great doctrines and themes of the Christian faith as found in the Scriptures. Extensive notes have been researched and written by a team of more than fifty scholars, including J. I. Packer, James Boice, and Wayne Grudem.All Christians that want to dig deeper in their study of Scripture will appreciate the Bible’s many features, including section introductions, book introductions and outlines, comments on the biblical text, theological notes, charts, in-text maps, and cross-references.The first study bible based on the English Standard Version, The Reformation Study Bible is the perfect choice for men and women that want to study God’s word in a language they can understand.

Some Reviews: 100 in Goodreads.com

Amy Cummings

Amy Cummings rated it      

I got this study bible in 2006 after switching to the ESV translation a year or so prior. I have found the notes especially helpful, relevant to the text, and decidedly Reformed- without apology. I would recommend this study bible to any Christian whether they are new converts or have been walking with the Lord for many years. My only complaint is that the chapter and verse headings for each page (starting verses for each) are in the center of the top of the page and not on the edge, making thumbing through the Bible to quickly find the desired text a lot more difficult. I’ve never had a bible laid out this way, and had I known how irritating it would be during worship I’d have sprung for the tabbed edition.

Shaina Herrmann

Shaina Herrmann rated it      

I follow this plan every year: http://christkirk.com/biblechallenge
We read the whole Bible from Sept to May, then read the New Testament again throughout the summer.

First time finishing the whole Bible – Sept 2017 to May 2018!


Rob rated it      

This will remain on my currently-reading shelf as the foundation of Christianity and a complete and full accounting of the history of the world from creation through ~70 AD and beyond.

Now Reading: Micah – Chronological KJV using YouVersion Bible App.
If you have trouble sticking with something, I highly recommend the YouVersion Bible App for iPod/Phone or Android. Sign up for one of the reading plans and the app will even set a reminder alarm at the time you normally read which helped me to be consistent.

Comparison with earlier translations (KJV and especially Geneva 1560) reveal some important omissions from this one. Note, for instance, the omission of 1 John 5:7 “bear record” as related to v10 (the record from God in heaven) and 1 John 5:11 (the record being from God which makes the earthly three that “agree” the more than a 2 or 3 witness security that those things spoken are True). Also note 1 John 5:8 which “agress in one,” the one God who “bears record in heaven.”
There are other examples of this translation appearing to spring from previous translations that are more akin to the Vulgate instead of other preserved manuscripts, not that they make the translation unuseful, but that they omit what the Reformers in their zealous task of translating saw in manuscripts that were unadulterated by the Roman Catholic “church”.

John Jeffcoat iii

John Jeffcoat iii rated it      

I deal in rare and ancient Bibles printed centuries ago, but for a “daily reader” or a personal study Bible… this is the one I recommend. Edited by Dr. R.C. Sproul (whose church I attended for about ten years), this study Bible is in the English Standard Version, which is widely considered by Christian scholars to be the most accurate of the modern English translations, while still retaining a readable flow to the language. The commentary notes in this Bible are in keeping with those of the famous “Geneva Bible” (available on my webiste at www.GREATSITE.com)… in fact the publisher used to call this edition the “New Geneva Study Bible” before changing its name to the “Reformation Study Bible”. It offers the best insights and commentary from the most respected of conservative reformed Christian scholars.
In a day where Bible publishers have segmented every customer into “target demographics” to sell them a Bible that “meets their personal felt needs” such as the “Teen Study Bible” or the “Women’s Study Bible” or the “Alcoholic’s Recovery Study Bible” or the “Charismatic Spirit-Filled Study Bible” or the “Men’s Mid-Life Crisis Study Bible” (OK. I made that last one up… but you get the idea)… this Bible is a refreshing change… a change back to agenda-free, good old-fashioned, conservative, Biblical scholarship. It is a must-have for any Christian’s bookshelf.


Kurt rated it      

I used this Bible for (almost) daily readings for a little over two years, and I love it. The ESV translation is a good one for study, as it is a bit less conversational than the NIV but still quite readable, and this study Bible has plenty of helpful information. There is a clear agenda on the part of the editors, as every verse that could possibly point to limited atonement and specific election is highlighted and explained, and baptism of infants as a sign of covenant is drawn from a variety of Scriptural sources, but since I agree with many of those conclusions, I was not bothered by the firm direction. I can see how an Arminian would likely be irritated by many of the text notes, though.

In general, the notes are helpful and informative, highlighting subtle details and relationships between texts. Not every book’s notes are amazing, certainly (the notes for Proverbs almost never go beyond an insipid paraphrase of the proverb itself), but most of them are terrific, and I really feel like I understand both the Bible and the character of God more after reading this book than before I started.


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