I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of input about the new ESV Study Bible from Crossway, and it all sounds pretty convincing.  I began to look for a copy at all my usual sources, but this thing is EXPENSIVE! A couple weeks ago, I got a mid-week sale e-mail from CBD, which offered a leather-bound edition for $37.99, which is close to half of what it usually goes for, and I bit.  I just got it here yesterday, and I AM IMPRESSED! The content and layout of this Study Bible is great, and the scholarship of the supporting material is outstanding.

I have been exposed to the ESV in varying degrees since it was first introduced several years ago, but I’m not one to switch Bible Translations very easily.  I’ve been using NASB for many years, and most of my study materials are compatible with that translation.  I’ll be reading this new translation through before I decide to make it my preaching Bible (if Idecide to make it my preaching Bible), but my initial impression is very favorable.  After all, it’s always good to have multiple translations available for comparison when studying God’s Word.  I’ll try to keep you posted on the progress of this enterprise.

Just a word of friendly, pastorly advice here on the use of “Study Bibles.”  The most important aspect of any Bible is the biblical text itself.  I personally own and use a few different Study Bibles, but when it all comes down to studying the Word of God, it must come down to the study of the Word of God itself.   Remember, only the actual Bible is inspired, and the rest is simply (potentially) helpful information.  As far as the study helps, footnotes, maps, charts, and comments go, it’s always helpful to consider who has contributed to that material and their personal theological convictions as you choose a Study Bible.  Some good examples include The NASB Study Bible, The ESV Study Bible, The Apologetics Study Bible, The Life Application Study Bible, The MacArthur Study Bible, and a classic, The Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible. With these later ones, be sure to select a translation that is fitting.  I would avoid The Liviing Bible, for example, because it is not a translation but a paraphrase.  Someone has said that the best translation is the one you will actually read, so choose wisely.