ESV Study Bible

From earlier previews of the maps, illustrations, and study notes, I think that the ESV Study Bible will be a very useful resource for those interested in biblical geography and archaeology.  The Bible includes more than 200 full-color maps, and 40 stunning, up-to-date illustrations.  (For one example of “up-to-date,” look at the Pool of Siloam on the Jerusalem illustrations.) 

The Bible is due out on October 15, but the publisher wants everyone to know just how good this Bible will be before then.  To that end, they have just begun a blog.  I’d draw your attention to the post on the Gamla synagogue, with its outstanding reconstruction drawing (which you can download in high resolution).  Leen Ritmeyer gives his perspective on the illustration he helped to create here
If you want to know more about the Bible, there’s a 5-minute video overview that shows off some of the beautiful illustrations. 

One thing that I don’t think I’ll ever understand is how books like this can be so affordable ($31.50 online).


5 thoughts on “ESV Study Bible

  1. The ESVSB is a general study Bible, with introductory matters, explanatory notes that’s a mini-commentary, and a built-in atlas. The ASB is a more specialty study Bible, giving in-depth attention to particular archaeological sites and discoveries, but almost nothing on literary or more general matters. One of the strengths of the ASB is the photos (500+); one of the strengths of the ESVSB is the diagrams.

  2. Based on what I have seen on the http://www.esv.org website, it appears that the ESV Study Bible will be among if not the best study Bible on the market when it is released in October.

    Unfortunately, that is not an enthusiastic endorsement as one might suspect. I have long been concerned (and annoyed) at the lack of quality explanatory notes and introductory materials in study Bibles that actually explain what the author meant and what the readers/hearers understood. And, it would seem, the ESV Study Bible offers much of the same. For instance, Clinton Arnold (the ESV SB contributor for Paul’s letter to the Colossians) states that the theme of the letter is (and I quote in full):

    “Christ is Lord over all creation, including the invisible realm. He has secured redemption for his people, enabling them to participate with him in his death, resurrection and fullness.”

    What he says above is true, in so far as it either speaks to aspects of or leads to the letter’s main theme. Yet, in the section of the Introduction to Colossians entitled “Theme” Arnold fails to mention the main reason Paul wrote the letter, which is his call to maturity for God’s new community in Christ. Of course, this call to maturity is based on what Arnold says is the theme, but this misses or obscures the main thrust of the entire letter. When he finally does mention this, it is found at the bottom of a long list of themes of Colossians. But, this is not one theme among many; it is the very heart and purpose of the entire document.

    The main argument of the letter (i.e., probatio) is found in 2:6-2:23. Here Paul calls the Colossians to continue living and being strengthened in the faith (2:6-7), which is made possible by our identification with Christ’s baptism and resurrection when they were baptized (2:8-15). Because we are in Christ, therefore, Paul calls them to stop submitting to the rules of this world rather than Christ (2:16-23). This leads into the exhortation section of the letter (i.e., exhortatio) in which he provides principles for living the new life in Christ, first, in the Church (3:1-17), then the home (3:18-4:1), and then in the world at large (4:2-6).

    The above analysis of Colossians is based largely on a rhetorical analysis of the letter based on first century Greco-Roman letter writing rhetoric. Now, it seems to me that this could have been easily written for non-experts to understand, teach and apply. So, I ask, why is this sort of analysis essentially absent from every study Bible that has been published in the last 25 years regardless of translation?

  3. Another major issue is the conservative slant of the Bible. Out of 95 contributors, not one of them is female.

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