Friday, October 21, 2011

Drawing Closer to the Heart of God: A Review of the ESV Student Study Bible from Crossway

The problem with reading the Bible for a lot of people is that it needs a lot of explanation. It can be difficult to dive into any given location in the Bible and automatically know what's going on, what's being communicated, who's saying it, who it's being said to, and what the implications of it is. The Bible was written over several hundred years by forty different authors, and it wasn't written in English. Yet God desires to communicate to each of us through it. So what we need is a Bible that is accurately translated into English from Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, but we also need tools to help us with what's going on in the passage we're reading.

That's where the ESV Student Study Bible comes in to give us a faithful translation, as well as some really helpful tools to help us understand what God is trying to communicate to us. The ESV, or English Standard Version, is a very readable word-for-word translation that I've been using for years. Though no translation is perfect, I know that the faithful scholars and translators behind the ESV have worked diligently to provide us with a close rendering of what God was communicating to the Bible's original audience.

The ESV Bible alone is a great Bible, but the ESV Student Study Bible is an incredible resource for anyone who is committed to studying the Bible and drawing closer to the heart of God. The ESV Student Study Bible is a condensed version of the ESV Study Bible, with a few added features to make the Bible easier to understand, and therefore easier to live in light of.

The primary features of the ESV Student Study Bible are:
* 12,000 study notes
* Introductions an timelines for each Bible book
* More than 80 full-color map and illustrations throughout
* 15 new topical articles not included in the ESV Study Bible
* Nearly 900 new "Did You Know" facts
* 120 new Bible character profiles

The introductions do an amazing job of putting the reader into the context of the Book they are studying. THe study notes help with parts of the Bible that are hard to understand. The topical articles include topics ranging from informational to practical. For example, the Bible includes articles on how to study the Bible and how to apply the Bible, which are both foundational to growing spiritually through interaction with God through the Scriptures. The Bible gives students a convenient opportunity to learn theology and to dive into the characters of the Bible like never before.

The ESV Student Study Bible was designed with high school students and college students in mind, but it's a great Bible for students of the Bible, no matter what age. Still, this Bible would make a great gift for high school and college students.

I received this book for free for review from Crossway.

What features do you love the most about the ESV Student Study BIble?

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