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

CBD

Amazon

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.

UPDATE:

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

Birthday just passed

My wife and son could not decided what to get me for my birthday, so they left it up to me.  The problem is that I could not decided either.  Finally I decided to order the Holman Legacy Ultrathin Reference Bible Large (supple flexible genuine leather). It is not much larger than my current HCSB leather bible, and the font is 10.5 just slightly larger than my current one.

The reason why I could not decide on this is because the HCSB is going to be revised sometime next year.  However, considering the price ($63.00), it was difficult to pass on.  And I am not really happy with my current genuine leather HCSB ultra thin bible that I use.  It is just too glossy / flashy.  Excellent binding, and it has a lifetime warranty.

The sad part is that just prior to making the choice as using the HCSB as my primary study/reading bible I had purchased the premium ESV Thinline bible, which I am not using that much.  Oh well I do love collecting bibles, but I don’t like to pay the premium price for them, genuine leather is good enough for this purpose.  Maybe I will give to my son.

The other reason I held off is because I had purchased the HCSB Ministers Bible, single column.  The leather is nice, the single column is great, really love the look and feel, but it is just to thick for me to carry around.  I took it to church several times, and I was not comfortable with it’s size.  It is bulky, heavy, and I think the pages are a bit to thin, considering it’s size.  It’s a good reading bible for home but that’s about it for me.  It’s like the size of a study bible but it has no notes, however it is advertise as a wide margin bible, but it is not as wide as other wide-margin bibles.

My ideal bible would be a single column ultra-thin high premium leather bible.  Maybe in 2009 for my birthday HCSB will release the revised version, and issue one like this, and then I’ll buy that as well.

Bibles I Own

I have been meaning to get around and show the bibles I currently own. Always interested in what bible collections people have, so I thought I would take the time and share mine.

What Bible am I reading now a days? I have recently switched over to the Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB), as I find it literal enough, but yet has a nice modern English to it. I would love to own a premium leather version of this bible, but at this point I am going to wait as there are plans to release an updated version in 2009. I do find much use out of using various translations when I am doing my studies the NLT, and The Message for example sometimes help in drawing out the meaning of some difficult passages.

I just got my Revised English Bible (REB) in the mail last week and started to read it a bit, but have not spend enough time on it to comment. Although my purpose is not to post reviews on these bibles, I may on the Study Bibles that I own, but there are some really good reviews already done by some respected bloggers.

  1. Rick Mansfiled – Top Ten Bible Versions: The Complete Boxed Set
  2. ElShaddai Edwards – he is sufficient

I have broken them down into 6 categories.

  1. Leather Bibles (including study bibles):
    1. New King James Version (NKJV)
    2. Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB) – Ultra Thin Reference
    3. English Standard Version (ESV) – Cordovan (Antique Burgundy) Premium Calfskin
    4. CSB – The Ministers Bible
    5. NKJV – The Believers Study Bible – W.A. Criswell

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  1. Bounded or TruTone Bibles:
    1. CSB – Compact
    2. The Message – New Testament
    3. ESV
    4. The NET Bible – Reader’s Edition
    5. The NET Bible – First Edition

  1. Hard & Paper Back Bibles:
    1. The New Testament in Modern English – J. B. Phillips
    2. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
    3. The New Livining Translation (NLT) – First Edition
    4. The Revised English Bible (REB)
    5. NKJV
    6. ESV Classic Reference

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  1. Greek English Interlinear Bibles:
    1. The NKJV Interlinear Bible
    2. Zondervan NIV Interlinear Bible
    3. ESV Reverse Interlinear Bible
    4. KJV Interlinear Bible

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  1. Parallel Bibles
    1. The Evangelical Parallel New Testament (NKJV, NIV, ESV, HCSB, TNIV, NLT, NCV, The Message)
    2. The Comparative Study Bible Old & New Testaments (NIV, NASB, Amplified Bible, KJV)

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  1. Study Bibles (various covers)
    1. Scofield Study Bible KJV
    2. The Believers Study Bible – W.A. Criswell NKJV (This is one is really good)
    3. Scofield Study Bible ESV
    4. Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible NASB
    5. Thompson Chain Study Bible KJV
    6. Ryrie Study Bible NASB Updated Edition
    7. Thompson Chain Study Bible NIV

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Unofficial endoresment by Dr. Wayne Grudem on the HCSB?

I was reading an interview with Dr. Wayne Grudem on Christianbooks.com when he mentions the following:

My expectation is that we will see a return to an emphasis on essentially literal translations such as the English Standard Version, the New American Standard Version, the Holman Christian Standard Version, and the New King James version…

Not bad to be mentioned along side some very good translations of the bible.

Bible Translations

I have been doings lots of bible reading lately, mostly been inspired by so many of the new translations. Researching new bible translations has actually turned out to be a great project as it has caused me to read my bible much more than my normal daily devotions.

As most of you I have been on a journey to find the perfect translation that can be used for reading and studying. Ok, lets be fair we will never have the perfect translation, but I hope to find the right one for me.

I grew up reading the NKJV, as my Pastor use to preach from the KJV. For nearly 20 years that was my study/reading bible. When I did serious bible study I also used the NASB, and some others like the NIV, JB Phillips, & Amplified bible. But the NKJV was my main one that I love to read. In 2000 I made the switch to the ESV bible. It was slow and I was unsure if I was doing the right thing. What I found right away that it was similar to the NKJV, but a bit more modern. In some places I really liked the choice of words that it used in the NT.

Well switching over to the ESV made me think, there are a whole lot of new translations out there, maybe I should look them all over. By this time I had been reading the ESV for at least 4 years. I went and bought the The Evangelical Parallel New Testament That is where I came across the HCSB. This Parallel bible has 8 translations, pretty good, pretty, pretty good.

The more I compared the HCSB with the ESV, and TNIV, the more I liked it. So I went and bought one for me and my whole family. It was a bit tough to change from the ESV to the HCSB , because I myself had endorsed the ESV some much to all of my friends, even gave it as a gift to my pastor. Don’t get me wrong I really do like the ESV, and for me it was more readable than the NASB (my opinion). Now, I really like theHCSB, I had given my son both the HCSB , & the ESV and he is 13 years old, and does seem to prefer the ESV, but could be due to my influence on him. Either way I don’t care, as long as he reads his bible.

Today, I am reading the HCSB as my devotional bible, and I also use it to study. I really would like to have a Parallel Bible ESV & HCSB. Maybe someday that will be available. When I do serious study, I will use my 8 Translation Parallel bible, and all of the recent Greek helps that are available to me.

I really do love the HCSB, I really enjoy reading it, and have the comfort of knowing that it is accurate and great to read.

So which Translation is the best one? Rick Mansfield said it best

“The One You Read”

For those of you who would like more information on the HCSB I recommend these sites:

Broadman Holman

Blogs:
He is sufficient
Anwoth
The Link

All of these blogs have great comments on the ESV & HCSB plus lots to say about other translations, and some really great articles.