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ESV Study Bible

For all of you ESV lovers out there, you probably know that the ESV is coming out with a study Bible (maybe in 2008?). Well, i just read on the ESV Blog  that Wayne Grudem will be serving as the General Editor in this endeavor.

This is great news! I thought they were going to use the same old study notes that are from the NIV Study Bible and just attach them to the ESV text. It is so good to hear that it is a completely new study Bible.


About theologian

I'm a child of the King, my Father who is in Heaven, by the precious blood of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ. I am married with children and currently reside in Pennsylvania. I am a Pastor with the Association of Charismatic Reformed Churches (ACRC) working as an Urban Missionary in Chester, PA. Throughout my time in ministry God has also blessed me with opportunities for formal education by which I earned my terminal degree (Doctor of Theology) from New Geneva Theological Seminary in 2013.


16 thoughts on “ESV Study Bible

  1. I would caution against embracing Grudem wholeheartedly. Depending upon your exact theological leanings, he may be friend or foe.

    Posted by David McCrory | December 11, 2006, 3:25 pm
  2. Good point David. I probably should have put a little disclaimer in there.

    I don’t support all of Grudem’s theology. I’m a Presbyterian!

    Particularly – his beliefs on spiritual gifts, although unique, are contrary to my cessationist beliefs. His beliefs on the Covenant community and his eschatology are also in error from my standpoint.

    Were you thinking about any particulars of his theology David?

    Posted by theologian | December 11, 2006, 4:02 pm
  3. All those you’ve pointed out! If you consider his views on spritual gifts, Covenant Theology and eschtology, you’ve really gutted any valuable benefit you might get from a study bible such as this, at least from a reformed perspective.

    Posted by David McCrory | December 11, 2006, 4:12 pm
  4. He does have a solidly reformed soteriology.

    I think the value of the study Bible is that it is not simply a copying over of the NIV Study Bible notes. If i’m not mistaken this was the avenue that the NASB Study Bible decided to take. I’m glad it will be a new study Bible, and it will probably be more reformed than the NIV Study Bible at least as far as soteriology goes.

    And Grudem’s eschatology is still not as bad as pre-trib dispensationalists. He follows the Historic premil, which is a better though still defective view.

    The most thoroughly reformed study Bible in the ESV would have to be the Reformation Study Bible…

    Posted by theologian | December 11, 2006, 4:44 pm
  5. I agree Larry. I believe one of the biggest misconceptions going today though is having a biblical soteriology makes you reformed. This is extremely misleading. There is so much more to the Reformed Faith than simply affirming God elects sinners. Men like Grudem, and to some extent MacAurther, aren’t really embracing Reformed doctrine in it’s entirety.

    As to the overall benefit, I’m still of the opinion that this new edition will still be inferior to the RSB, and therefore I fail to see the reasoning behind publishing it.

    As to study bibles in general I have mixed emotions. Often times I fear they are used as a substitute to in-depth study of the Scriptures. A sort of “easy way” out. IMHO they offer no substantial value to the student of Scripture.

    Posted by David McCrory | December 11, 2006, 5:12 pm
  6. You bring up some very good points David.

    One of the things that i don’t like about study Bibles is that the commentary is inside of the Bible itself. It can give one the impression that the study notes are just as binding as the Scripture itself.

    I prefer to read and meditate on the Scripture itself, and then separately go to commentaries after i have already digested the Scripture.

    I guess the main overall benefit of the new study Bible will be market share. I assume the ESV does not want to be popular only in Reformed circles, so they may be trying to branch out a bit. They have already published a Scofield study Bible in the ESV, so i would think market share is what they are after. They’ve got Reformed in the RSB, they’ve got pure Dispensationalist in the Scofield, now maybe they are trying to middle-of-the-road it a bit?

    My favorite commentary right now is Matthew Henry. I really like his stuff.

    Posted by theologian | December 11, 2006, 5:49 pm
  7. Well, not to belabor a point, and not to seem controversial on everything ;-), the whole “bible marketing” business tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth as well. We need to make God’s Word avaiable to as many people as we can. Yet at the same time I tend to get a headache when I walk into a typical Christian bookstore at the “selections” of Bibles for sale.

    The Church has given the responsibility to maintaining God’s Word over to large publishing houses and they seem to have more regard for selling “marketing” the Word, than particually honoring it.

    Posted by David McCrory | December 11, 2006, 5:58 pm
  8. Don’t worry about belaboring a point. The whole purpose of these comments sections is so that we can vent our ideas.

    Besides, i think that’s another really good point. But what would the solution be? Outside of starting some kind of Bible Society that would consciously work toward that end i don’t see much recourse. And if such a society started up, which version would they use since there are copyright issues?

    Posted by theologian | December 11, 2006, 6:06 pm
  9. interesting you bring up that most who adhere to “reformed” aren’t really reformed. I would agree, and that is why I tell people that I am not reformed but hold to Calvinist soteriology. People “throw” around the word “reformed” without having a clue what it really means. Grudem is definitely not reformed, he reminds me a lot of Piper in that sense. I would be more closer connected to MacArhtur than the others though.

    Hope this doesn’t mean you won’t talk to me anymore…lol

    Posted by Seth McBee | December 11, 2006, 6:13 pm
  10. I share the thoughts you guys have given on Grudem, i.e. caution required and not reformed.

    My own eclectic position probably defies accurate “labeling,” i.e. I’m not presbyterian either, but have used the word “reformed” to describe my position especially as opposed to dispensationalism. So, hopefully you will still talk to both me and Seth. 🙂

    Regarding the ESV, I remain somewhat neutral. I found some interesting comments in the critique of the ESV found here:

    Posted by Gomarus | December 11, 2006, 7:11 pm
  11. Gomarus,

    If i remember correctly you are more of an NASB guy. I respect that position as i find it is more accurate than the ESV. I really do like the ESV, but whenever i get into the original languages it drives me crazy and i end up going back to the NASB.

    Although i probably shouldn’t have addressed this point as i am not speaking to Gomarus or Seth anymore 😉

    Posted by theologian | December 11, 2006, 7:31 pm
  12. I like the Reformed or not conversation. I would not be inclined to lable Hist Premill as error or anti reformed. There have been a handful of Covenental Premills in the past.

    I see Hist. Pre mill as a valid position within its hermanutical structure. If one view were the clear “winner” we would not have centuries of arguments from gifted theologians.

    In some repspects, your contentions with the “Reformed” title being spread to easily is a benefit. I recall about 15 years ago when Refomed Theology was barely accepted outside its own circles. I think Reformed and Covenantal theology has made great strides against Dispensationalism, and has brought back a biblical soteriology.

    I guess I fail to see where Reformed means Presbyterian.

    Posted by Josh | December 11, 2006, 7:36 pm
  13. I nominate Larry to start a new opinion post discussing “Reformed or not” and the variations thereof. I think it would be interesting and fun, though we would be treating it more like a forum topic than anything else.

    Posted by Gomarus | December 11, 2006, 7:53 pm
  14. Gomarus and Seth who? =-)

    Posted by David McCrory | December 11, 2006, 7:54 pm
  15. Josh,

    I don’t see where anyone said that Reformed Theology equals Presbyterian. I was saying that i couldn’t agree with Grudem totally because i am Presbyterian. He has some doctrines that are clearly against the Pres. in terms of church government and baptism. But that was speaking of Grudem specifically, not Reformed Theology.

    The only reason that i see historic premil as an error is because i think amil is the correct eschatological framework. If i felt that historic prelim was not in error, then i would adhere to its doctrine. But i can’t adhere to amil doctrine and then think that other eschatological views that contradict that doctrine are not in error.

    Posted by theologian | December 11, 2006, 7:56 pm
  16. Larry,

    I apologize if I sounded like I was putting “words” in your mouth. I do not agree with Grudem on the gifts of the Spirit, either. And, he is not Presbyterian in Church Government nor baptism..I would agree.

    I understand your statement on Hist Premill being an error. I try to be fair to all the orthodox positions. My main statement should have read more along the lines that I think Covenenat Theology defines what is Reformed, but I am pretty weak on Lutheren and Methodists. I have no idea what their theological framework really is.

    Was I more clear or did I just add mudd to the water

    Posted by Josh | December 11, 2006, 11:13 pm

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