HCSB Apologetic Study Bible – Review

Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Pub. Date: October 2007
ISBN 10: 158640024X
ISBN 13: 9781586400248
Product #: 005040119
Translation: Holman Christian Standard
Description: Complete Without Apocrypha
Concordance: No
Pages: 2240
Print size: 9.5 pts
Red Letter: No
Binding: Paper Over Board
Weight: 2.98 lbs
Trim Size: 7 X 9.4 X 1.71
Price: $39.99

Big thanks to Drew Van Huss from B&H Publishing for sending me a review copy!

This new study bible from B&H Publishing uses the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB, CSB) as its bible text. You all know what a fan I am of this translation!

The great feature of this study bible are the more than 100 concise articles that are written by a who’s who of well known Apologist. They cover everything from demons to the Trinity. It also contains these sections title Twisting Scriptures through out the bible that detail how these portion of verses have been misinterpreted (Twisted) by cults. It also contains some really nice color charts in the back with various Apologist through out history. I find this study bible very useful for those that are starting out in Apologetics. As you read through the articles it will introduce you to many great writers in this field to pursue further.

I took some time to compare it to few other study bibles (The Believers Study Bible – BSB & Ryrie Study Bible -RSB) that I own, and overall it compares well. I did find that the commentary notes were not as extensive as the RSB, or the BSB. Also, the introductory notes for Genesis could have been a bit more in-depth (i.e. did not explain the meaning of Genesis) as BSB & RSB, however they are written with an apologetics emphasis. The strength of this study bible truly is in its unique approach. Since it’s focus is on Apologetics it places it in a class by itself as there is no other study bible that I know of today that has taken this approach.

I would highly recommend this bible for anyone looking for a different approach in study bibles, or anyone that has an interest in Apologetics. For further information:

BlogRoll Update

Added a few more:


Parchment & Pen

Pneuma Blogger – Just wanted another pentecostal / charismatic on my list 😉 Don’t know how long I will keep this one.

Removed Anwoth, he is just not blogging much anymore, but as soon as he becomes very active again I will add him back.

Also removed Adrian Warnock Main reason, I just don’t visit there often enough, and his site postings confuses me is brain overload, too much going on all at once, not sure what to read when I get there.

Church History 101

I am on this big learning curve with the church fathers, and might I say that I am having a really good time learning. There appears to be a resurgence in the interest of what they had to say, how they lived, and who they were. I say this because of the number of recent publications that are being targeted for the lay person.

I found this site, that has a good overview (introduction) to the early Christian history. But the nice thing about this site is that they also have a blog, and from what I can tell they post sporadically, every 1-2 months. So they are not super active, but at least you can post and hope to get a response at some point. The blog is not highly active with comments, but that could be for a number of reasons.

Early Church History

Early Church History Blog

If you know of others sites of similar interest feel free to recommend them.

Quality Custom Leather Bible Covers

I have become a great fan of quality made soft, supple leather bibles. However, I just cannot afford to buy a calfskin, or one like the Holman CSB Legacy bible for every single bible that I own. I just don’t have $100.00 plus dollars to spend on each one.

Great Alternative! I found this craftsman/artisan that will make a custom bible/book cover for you. I just order one for my Holman CSB Ultrathin Bible. I had comtemplated having this one rebound, but I could not afford to do so at this moment, and I decided to wait because Holman is going to update the text sometime next year.

Who is this Leather Craftsman you ask? Renaissance Art

First off, they are really great and nice to deal with. I sent an email to them and they (Arthur) responded right away, and answered all of my questions. He even gave me some advise, had he not I would have given him the wrong dimensions. I was about to send in the dimensions from the website, and he cautioned me not to as they are often smaller than the actual size, and that I should measure it myself. Be sure to measure correctly, because these are custom made, and you can’t return it. They had completed my bible cover in less than 24 hours, and was promptly shipped to my home. I had paid for 3 day turn around and it was here even faster! Know I can’t promise that you will get in the mail that fast, but he did get it done really quick!

These bible covers are not the run of the mild ones you buy at your local bible bookstore, but they are custom made for your bible. He does all sizes! It fits like a glove on my bible.

I got my in today, and I have to tell you I am very pleased. This bible size happens to be my favorite size to read, take to church, and now it is a true pleasure to hold. The leather is amazing, it is very soft and supple, a true pleasure to hold in one’s hand. I was very unhappy with the stiff, glossy leather that it came in. This bible is sewn stitched, and is well built, it’s just the leather that I did not care for.

You can also have this bible embossed, but I choose not to because I was trying to control the cost. I did not ask if you can have the emboss done on the spine, but that would be worth asking.

Oh yeah cost, what did it cost me? $37.70 that includes shipping.  I know you are wondering “control cost” I got a great deal, yeah I know, but I have been spending a great deal lately on books.

Also, for those of you that are true quality bible connoisseur, and are not looking for a bible cover, well he also makes these fine custom journals. They are hand-sew, and would be a great complement to your nice bible.

Ok, enough talk, here are the photos (you can view them all at flickr.com:

Oh really? Prophet Piper strikes again


Based on the advise of my friend Nick I decided to stop any further commenting on this site, due to the double blogging that is going on I am locking this one as it stands. If you have any further comments, opinions or what not please post them at GreyCoats.  All posts that were here are no longer readable, but you are not missing much, most of it was posted as well at GreyCoats.  I don’t know if any other way to stop further commenting, and keep what was posted.  So this was the most simple thing to do.

URL    : http://rdtwot.wordpress.com

Honestly, if I were you, I’d go into every comment that these folks from the ‘greycoats’ left here that was also left on their blog, and just edit it to a link to their original comment over there.  This double-blog commenting is strange.

The great danger of double blog commenting around the blogosphere is that it often attempts to say the same thing twice, in two places, so apparently twice as many people can see it.  This is not the blogging way, and will result eventually in the petering out of poorly founded comments (twice!) or in the development of heretical comments to smooth over the differences.

Just some advice from me to you. 😉


For those of you just joining, Devin and I have cleared up our misunderstanding, and we have both apologized. There is good dialog going on here, and at his blog, so feel free to still join in. And it looks like I found another blog that I will visit often.

For the record, in case you are wondering, I am still not a fan of John Piper 😉

I just read this post, and I have to say that it really bothered me. Most of my friends that visit here are not Charismatic or Pentecostal, and yet we find great fellowship with each other. Most of you that read my blogs know that I am a diligent student of the word, love God, and strive to understand all orthodox positions, and heterodox views as well.

This post is from The Grey Coats and this is what he said in regards to a quotes from John Piper from 1985:

Today I found a gem of a quote from John Piper on the Charismatic movement that I believe has really come to pass today. – devinasheville

This is the quote from Prophet Piper that he is referring to:

The great danger of the charismatic movement around the world today (with all the good I see in it) is that it often attempts to preserve fellowship among believers on the basis of a shared experience rather than on the basis of shared theology. This is not the biblical way, and will result eventually in the petering out of poorly founded experience or in the development of heretical theology to smooth over the differences.

Oh really? You have got to be kidding that this guy would actually think that this has come true today. What planet is he living in? I know that there are factions of extreme Pentecostals/Charismatics, but don’t tell me that you don’t have those in your camps either? For God’s sake I even have some family members that I wish I didn’t have.

Anyhow, what are your thoughts? I posted a reply at his site, but I don’t think that I was as kind as I normally am. I apologize for my sarcasm at his site.

Inquiring minds want to know…

ESV Study Bible WebSite

For those of you that have been waiting for the ESV Study Bible, they have setup a website that gives full description of it. Enjoy!

They will be offering a CalfSkin version of this bible, and all of them are Smyth sewn binding.

A Theology for the Church

Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Pub. Date: July 2007
Type: Hardcover
ISBN 10: 080542640X
ISBN 13: 9780805426403
Product #: 001317634
Weight: 3.05 lbs
Trim Size: 6.32 X 9.3 X 2.3
Binding: Hardcover
Price: $49.99



Many thanks to Jim Baird from B&H Academic for the complimentary review copy!

Although I just received it today I wanted to post to say thank you to the publisher, and also give a quick overview. Again I have not read the entire book (997 pages). Several nice features about this book are:

  • In addition to discussing the various theology subjects, each chapter contains the following segments:
    • What does the Bible say?
    • What has the church believed?
    • How do the doctrines fit together?
    • How does each doctrine impact the church today?

I really do appreciate the sections “What has the church believed”. The sections “What has the church believed” are introductions to what the early church fathers believed. I have recently become very interested in studying the church fathers, so I find this section especially useful. To often they are overlooked or just introduce to students by way of the creeds and nothing more is ever discussed besides the occasional quote. With today’s innovations and the churches seeming to neglect our roots I am very glad to see that the church fathers are included, and will hopefully spark further interest in their writings.

Since the book is a new publication, and published by B&H publishing it includes the HCSB as one of the translations used. It also uses the ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, NRSV, & the KJV. This yet another nice feature of this book. Because of this they also quote many of the recent theology books that have been written in the last 20 years, and of course they also quote all of the usual theological giants as well. Which introduces you to the many other books written on the subject if you wish to study deeper on any topic. I have read various other introductory theology books such as “Basic Theology” by Charles Ryrie, and he does not cover the church fathers at all in the way this book does. Also they don’t shy away from quoting or discussing theologians such as Karl Barth.

These are just a few reason why I think this would make a great addition to any library. If you are looking for your first introductory book to Systematic Theology, you can’t go wrong with this edtion. Each chapter is written by different theologians, and the editor is Daniel L. Akin president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.


I have been reading much more since I first received it, and I am very impressed, so much so that I am highly considering using this new volume as our standard text book for our Bible Institute. Currently we use Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, and I think that “A Theology for the Church” offers a bit more depth for our students.   I also think that laypersons will find much value in this book as it is not so technical that it will overwhelm them.  Although written by Southern Baptist I find this book to be useful for other denominations as they quote extensively from outside sources.  As it is clearly seen in how they present opposing views in an irenic manner.

Holman Legacy CSB Bible

This is by far one of the nicest bibles that I own. I was not sure if I was going to like this bible, and it was a risk since I do prefer smaller size bibles. Plus this one was stated as being Large Print, which made me a bit nervous.

However to my surprise it is not to big, honestly still getting use to it, but I am really starting to get comfortable with it’s size ( 10.4 x 7.1 x 1.3 inches).

Official Name: Holman CSB Legacy UltraThin Reference Bible

Description: Genuine Cowhide Leather, Large Print Edition, Words of Christ in Red, Two Ribbon Markers, Bonded leather Lined, Center Column References & a Lifetime Guarantee

The first drawback. It only came with One Ribbon, even though it is offered with two. I contacted Holman Publishers about this, and they were very kind and apologized and offered me an exchange. I didn’t because I felt that it was not worth the effort, and that would have meant for me to part with my new bible, and I was not willing to do so 😉 I did let them know how disappointed I was. After all this is the highest quality bible that you you can buy from Holman.

The second drawback is the box that it came in, it’s just a regular box, nothing fancy other than the printing on it. This bible retails at $100.00. I have purchased two other high quality bibles a NLT, and ESV, and both came with exceptional boxes. The NLT came in bonded leather box, and the ESV came in a hard box, with magnetic side.

The third drawback, there is some bleed through on the pages, but not enough to bother me, or be a distraction when reading or studying.

Ok, so those are the only drawbacks for me. The bible is made out of Genuine Cowhide Leather. Now I did not know that you can get cowhide this soft and supple. It is as soft, and supple as the Calfskin ESV that I own. The leather as you can see in the photos below has a very nice texture.

The pages are nice and white, the large print is not as big as I thought (font 10.5 if that means anything to you). Actually I like the font size much more than I thought I was.

It comes with a the detail spine, which I really like, it gives the bible an extra nice look. My understanding is that at one point this was due to how they would bind them, but now it’s just cosmetics (and it does look great).

It only comes in black, for those of you that like other colors, sorry.

Holman Legacy HCSB Bible

Learning Theology With the Church Fathers – Review

Book Review – “Learning Theology With the Church Fathers” written by Christopher A. Hall

Well this is my first book review, kind of feels like I am back in school writing a book report (never really like doing that either). I have not been posting as often because I am buried deep in the books I am reading as I am preparing to start a monthly lecture series at our church on various subjects, in addition to starting to teach at our Bible Institute as well. I also took about two weeks off on vacation, and I have been ever so busy at work.

One of the lectures that I am preparing for is dealing with Historic Christianity. Now I’ll be honest and say that I have never fully read any of the church fathers writings (not the intent of the lectures) but I do need to deal with their conclusions and why it matters to us.

I came across this book called “Learning Theology With the Church Fathers” written by Christopher A. Hall. This is an introductory survey book about what the church fathers believed. Who do I recommend this book to? Anyone who has never really read the writings of the church fathers, and those who want to explore how the wisdom of the patristic traditions helps us understand how we developed the various doctrines that we now embrace, and how it might aid us in the proclamation of the gospel. He does not cover every single church father and what they wrote, but it is a good book to at least get you going and maybe spark a further interest in their writings. He writes very well and keeps you engaged. The book does have broad appeal and you are not required to be a scholar to appreciate this book. Keep in mind that this book is more of a survey, an overview if you will. I am not done with the book but I have really enjoyed the 2 chapters plus the introductions that I have read so far.

There are a few really good reviews on Amazon as well and recommend you read those as well.

The chapters in the book are:

  1. Christ the Son, Begotten and Not Made
  2. Mystery and Wonder of the Trinity
  3. Christ Divine and Human
  4. Holy Spirit
  5. Sin, Grace and the Human Condition
  6. Providence
  7. The Sacred Scriptures
  8. One Holy, Apostolic Church
  9. Resurrection and Eternal Life

This book is the second in a three part series surveying the various aspects of early church history.

Book 1 – Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers (examination of various hermeneutical methods, focusing upon the differing schools of Alexandria and Antioch).

Book 3 (forthcoming) – Praying with the Church Fathers (deals with sacramentology and pietism among other things).