Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Help Is On the Way

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!

Other Reviews of the ESV
C.J. Mahaney and a special offer from Sovereign Grace
Phil Ryken, "the apotheosis of study Bibles"


E. Peevie said...

I loved L. Ryken's Reading the Bible as Literature so much that I taught a Sunday School class using it as our lesson guide.

I also read Leland Ryken's The Word of God in English, about English Bible translation. I really found it valuable--until I realized that Ryken was disingenuously promoting the ESV and his own profit as a member of the translation committee.

I'm glad I read English, and I still think it contains valuable teaching about translation methods. But how much more honorable it would have been if the author had been more transparent about his own vested interest. I was disappointed.

FellowElder said...

E Peevie,
Thanks for your comments on the usefulness of L. Ryken's writings. I'm glad they were helpful in your own teaching ministry.

But I'm not sure what you found to be "disingenuous" about Ryken writing on these issues and also working on the ESV translation committee. What exactly was done that you found dishonorable?

Grace and peace,

Steve D. said...

Ryken's promoting the ESV, working as a member of the translation committee, etc., was widely known and never hidden. In fact, Ryken has never been shy about his promotion of the ESV for all the reasons he makes clear in his book.

E. Peevie said...

Promoting the ESV is fine, working on the committee is fine, writing a book about translation issues is fine. The part that I found to be disingenuous was the fact that there was no mention in the book that he was a member of the translation committee. (Or if it's in there, I missed it. That's possible. But that kind of full disclosure should be front and center, IMHO.)

I had no idea until well after I had read The Word of God in English that the translation he was heavily promoting was, in fact, a translation that he helped write and had a financial connection to. I just think the situation could have been handled better.

Geoff said...

E. Peevie,

L. Ryken doesn't receive an renumeration for any sales of the ESV in any form. He worked through the text and made a valuable contribution, but he does not benefit in any way at this point.