I Did It: I Bought an ESV Study Bible

I’m afraid the hype proved too much for me, and I succumbed. I bought an ESV Study Bible. I got the Brown TruTone for $48 at my church’s bookstore.

I used the rest of my birthday money.

It literally hurt my back in church yesterday because, at almost 2,800 pages, it’s practically a stone tablet.

But it’s an impressive piece of planning, typography, scholarship, devotion, illustration, printing, design, and, yes, viral Internet hysteria.

On my first major read in the thing I found I liked the single-column paragraphed format very much—but I missed the totally uncluttered text in The Books of the Bible.

I encourage you to check it out. It’s something I want my family to have long-term. And as for me, I decided it was worthwhile to have maps, charts, good articles, an online version, and sound scholars’ quick summary interpretations of passages I may not have looked at recently. I resisted (for four days) buying the Bible because I know I shouldn’t be relying on these notes; I should read the commentaries and journal articles of the men who wrote them! But it was in fact good conservative commentators who wrote notes on books they know well. That is bound to be valuable.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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