Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version

While I was at SKS Books Warehouse on 31st May getting Mark Driscoll’s book The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out without Selling Out, I have decided to purchase The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version too.

I was already thinking of getting this study Bible for quite some time. Now I am currently immersing and enjoying myself in reading this study Bible! Let me say that so far, I have found no complaints with this Bible at all even though I am skimming through quickly. It is absolutely fantastic, filled with excellent study notes from a Reformed/Calvinist perspective.

Like many others who bought the Reformation Study Bible before me, I do wholeheartedly recommend this Bible to those who seriously desire to engage in a systematic study of the Scriptures.

From the website of the Reformation Study Bible:
Post Tenebras Lux - "After darkness, light."

The Latin phrase found on the Reformation Wall in Geneva, Switzerland, encompasses the purpose of both The Geneva Bible and The Reformation Study Bible: to bring the light of Scripture to a darkened world.

In 1988, a group of publishers envisioned a Bible in the tradition of the original Geneva Bible with study notes from a reformed perspective. They requested Dr. R.C. Sproul to be the general editor. Energized by the idea, Dr. Sproul was in charge of assembling a team of international scholars who would be able to put together this resource.

In searching for a team of scholars, it was important that the study notes stay true to Reformed theology and thinking. An editorial committee was established and included Dr. James Montgomery Boice, Dr. Edmund Clowney, Dr. Roger Nicole, and Dr. J.I. Packer as associate editors, Dr. William Evans and Dr. John Mason as assistant editors, Dr. Bruce Waltke as the Old Testament editor, and Dr. Moises Silva as the New Testament editor. In addition, fifty other international scholars were chosen to work on each book of the Bible with the New International Version serving as their foundation. Once a book was completed, it was routed to the appropriate editor, passed to Dr. Sproul, the entire editorial committee, and then back to Dr. Sproul. It took three years before all of the preliminary study notes were finished.

In 1992, the decision was made to switch to the New King James Version under a new agreement with Thomas Nelson Publishers to carry on the project. Due to the change in translation, it took the scholars an additional three years to re-write all of the study notes to agree with the NKJV. In the process however, they were able to refine the notes and make them even more accessible to the layman. Finally, The New Geneva Study Bible was released in 1995.

In 1998, The New Geneva Study Bible was renamed The Reformation Study Bible. Now in 2005, we are pleased to announce the release of The Reformation Study Bible in the English Standard Version. The distinctive attribute of The Reformation Study Bible is not the Scripture translation. The content of explanatory notes and reformation theology found in this Bible greatly benefit the layperson trying to study Scripture. In this day and age, there is a constant assault on the integrity of Scripture, which has served to undermine people's confidence in the trustworthiness of the Bible. The contributing scholars of The Reformation Study Bible have the highest academic credentials. Each is committed to the inerrancy of the Word of God and willingly submits to the authority of the Book they are trying to explain. In addition to the study notes, Dr. J.I. Packer includes more than one hundred sidebars on the core doctrines of the Christian faith.

The English language is only a small part of this continuing project. It is our hope that one day The Reformation Study Bible will be available to anyone in any language. "I believe that this is the most important project that I have ever been engaged in or involved with in my entire life." said Dr. Sproul. "It is my prayer that this Bible will be as useful to you as the original Geneva Bible was to our forefathers in the English-speaking world."


Anonymous John Dekker said...

Yeah, I got the New Geneva Study Bible when it first came out. I used it for almost ten years, I suppose, before I bought an ESV.

I guess after a long period of time I started getting frustrated with some of the exegetical comments - the more I studied theology, the more I found that the questions I had weren't being answered in the study notes.

Which demonstrates the inherent drawback of study bibles - they are not substitutes for commentaries, and (more importantly) the study notes are no substitute for Scripture itself.

So I switched to the ESV (a) because I wanted a new translation for fresh perspective, (b) I wanted a "plain" Bible.

Now, having said all that, this is an excellent study Bible. I'd be fairly confident that it's the best there is.

And I'm really happy to say that my denomination (the Presbyterian Church of Victoria) has just donated several boxes of these Bibles to pastors in Malawi. :)

7/6/06 9:58 PM  
Blogger Ignatius said...

When I was buying my first study bible about 13 years ago, I tried searching for the "best" study bible with the naive thinking that all my questions would then be answered. As I study the scripture, I began to ask more questions and I found that my study bible was really not enough.In fact, no study bible would be enough. Indeed, they are not substitutes for commentaries.

8/6/06 10:51 AM  
Blogger beowulf said...

Thanks guys for your comments. I understand your point of perspective that the study Bible is no replacement for commentaries and dictionaries, and I do agree with this view. However, when you are on the go, it might be quite impractical to bring along your commentaries and dictionaries, so this is where I feel the study Bible comes in handy. It also helps that this particular Bible contains study notes from a Reformed perspective.

Just to let you guys know, I am using a Pocket PC phone. I have been making use of a free Bible software called Pocket e-Sword that is installed in my phone for quite some time now. Within this useful software program, I am able to access quite a number of translations (i.e. ESV, GNB, GNT, HCSB, KJV, MKJV), commentaries (i.e. Matthew Henry, Jamieson Fausset & Brown, Robertson’s Word Pictures) and dictionaries (i.e. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary).

I have also created HTML theological notes, articles and sermons in my Pocket PC phone for quick reference.

8/6/06 1:24 PM  
Blogger Darren said...

I did considered getting this before but in the end i went to get the NIV spirit of the reformation bible (updated version of the geneva study bible, but the editor is now richard pratt instead of r.c sproul) because of the major confessions and catechisms included in it and of cos tecman was having a major sale then. I got it at $40+ i think.
Overall i'm very happy with it and i think both these study bibles are excellent.

Just my 2 cents. :)

8/6/06 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw what u wrote in this blog!

Keep it up!

If only u can visit

to discuss with those who are for charismatic teachings....


14/6/06 7:26 PM  
Blogger tweakmax said...

Saw what u wrote in this blog

Keep it up!

If only u can visit

to discuss with those who are for charismatic teachings....

14/6/06 7:27 PM  
Blogger beowulf said...

I wish to clarify something about myself: my beef is not exactly with the Charismatics even though I do not agree with Pentecostal/Charismatic theology. I was also saved in a Charismatic environment. I went through the slain in the spirit and the speaking in tongues stuff too. I do still listen to Charismatic worship albums (though I'm more retro... I think the best Charismatic worship comes from the 90s); have served as a musician in a Charismatic environment for many years; and am still involved as a musician in a contemporary (though not Charismatic) church band.

I think the misconception here lies with the blurring of lines between these different groups: the Pentecostals, the Charismatics, the Third Wave, the Toronto "blessing" guys, and the Word-Faith adherents. I do see certain distinctions between these groups and my issues are with the last three. This is one thing that I would like to make clear.

One can be a Charismatic without believing the doctrines of prosperity theology. One can be a Pentecostal without affirming the Third Wave doctrine of the continuing office of an apostle. One can be a Charismatic and yet still be Reformed. One can be a Charismatic or Pentecostal and yet have a discerning spirit with regard to healings and prophecies, emphasizing the Word of God over emotional experiences, not readily accepting unbiblical doctrines such as “holy laughter.”

15/6/06 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this ESV study bible at Shalom Christain Media during the world book fair. It cost about $40. My NIV "Spirit of the Reformation Study bible" seem to be have better study notes, with links to the confessions of faith

19/6/06 11:28 PM  
Blogger beowulf said...

Hmm… perhaps I should not have purchased the Reformation Study Bible (ESV) at SKS Books Warehouse since it is much more expensive over there. =( Well, what’s done is done.

I knew about the NIV Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible before I decided to get the Reformation Study Bible (ESV). Ultimately, the main factor that influenced my choice is the Bible translation itself – the ESV. I am trying to pull myself away from the dynamic equivalence of the NIV and adopting the formal equivalence of the ESV, which is reputed to be an excellent translation that is endorsed by many Reformed folks.

As I store the confessions of faith in HTML format in my Pocket PC phone that I carry around every day, it does not really bother me that the confessions of faith are missing from my study Bible. But who knows, I might get the NIV Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible later, and maybe sooner than you can imagine. =)

20/6/06 12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We cannot get the best of both world.

By the way, Grace to you Singapore will be senting a free NASB MacArthur Study bible. (cost $40-60) It's a good ref, even I don't agree with every of his doctrines. You can reg via internet with them, time to time they with offer free books and CDs.

20/6/06 11:31 PM  
Blogger David W. Bailey said...

I have recently published the authorized biography of Roger Nicole, entitled Speaking the Truth in Love: The Life and Legacy of Roger Nicole. It is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the publisher, Solid Ground Christian Books.

22/11/06 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Christi said...

I bought the reformed ESV a few months ago. Love it...

26/8/07 5:07 AM  
Blogger evision said...


5/4/10 11:40 AM  
Blogger jessie said...

i visited your site n was good enough then othere site that i visited last month

study abroad

7/4/10 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have visited this site and got lots of information than other site visited before a month.

work and study

9/4/10 4:51 PM  

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