As a pastor, my main aim is to see my people master the Bible and be mastered by the Bible. I want them to know the message of the Scripture--its history, theology, and ethics. Finally, there is a study Bible so useful for mastering and being mastered by the Bible that I'm happy to see all my people using it.
The goals of the ESV Study Bible are"first and foremost, to honor the Lord... and help people come to a deeper understanding of the Bible, of the Gospel, and of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior." By God's grace, the ESV Study Bible delivers on those goals!
The ESV is a one-volume library! There are 10 articles specifically aimed at how to use the Bible. In a generation plagued with slippery hermeneutics and even slipperier TV preachers, I pray these articles help usher in a reformation in Bible reading. This list of articles would make for an excellent volume in its own right:
1. "Introduction/How to Use a Study Bible," by Lane T. Dennis
2. The Authority and Truthfulness of the Bible, by Wayne Grudem
3. How to Interpret the Bible, by Daniel Doriani
4. Overview of the Bible (Survey of the History of Salvation), by Vern Poythress
5. Reading the Bible Theologically, by J.I. Packer
6. Reading the Bible as Literature, by Leland Ryken
7. Reading the Bible for Application, by David Powlison
8. Reading the Bible, Prayer, and Communion with God, by John Piper
9. Reading the Bible with the Church, by John Hannah
10. The Bible's Use in Preaching and Public Worship, by Kent Hughes
And there's tons more for the bibliophile, apologist, historian, and theologian in us all.
I love the continuous focus on salvation history running through book introductions, notes, and articles. The maps, illustrations, and aids are stunningly beautiful. The contributors are world-class. If you buy one book this year or recommend one book to your people, without hesitation it should be the ESV Study Bible!
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