Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Study Bibles

     I received a catalog in the mail today from Christian Book Distributors (CBD). It is their Bibles Fall 2010 edition catalog. If you're like me, you get excited about Bibles. Not just new and various translations (which are exciting in themselves) but STUDY bibles.

     I own a few different ones (that I hope to get around to reviewing for you eventually) that make me excited about this new generation of study Bibles. I think the tip of the top is the ESV study Bible (you should get one) and that one makes me excited about the study Bibles that will be released in the future. Seeing that the ESV study Bible is the standard now, the bar is set high if others want to get sales.

      Now some people get hung on on different Bible translations. This is understandable to some extent because you want to make sure a translation captures the original languages as accurately as possible. Of course people can mean different things by accurate here. Which brings up the entire argument of formal equivalence verses dynamic equivalence. I won't say more about that here but a good page to check out regarding such things is over on Jeremy Pierce's blog. The best option for being as accurate as possible is to learn Greek and Hebrew. However, If you haven't done that yet understand NO translation is perfect.

     For a good read about which are the "best" Bible translations and what some have recommended see the This Lamp blog and Jeremy Pierce's blog again as well. Much much more could be said about Bible translations but I will leave it at this for now.

I came across a few items from the CBD catalog I wanted to share with you all about some upcoming study Bibles.

HCSB Study Bible

HCSB Study Bible
Photo Courtesy of: 
This Bible is set to release on October the first this year! I am ready for this bad boy to hit the market. From what I have read and read and watched a video about the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) and it seems to be a very fine translation. The best edition of it so far is the Apologetics study Bible. Which seems to be a good Bible if you want articles to read along side your text discussing apologetic topics. However, it doesn't truly function as a study Bible. In the sense of explanatory notes.  

     This study Bible has a great website that will let you know more about it. It seems to be pitched as "the study Bible for those that don't want to carry around a gigantic study Bible but still want all the features". I think this is a dig at the large ESV study Bible. Not a bad way to approach the highly competitive study Bible market. I personally have no problem carrying around an extra large study Bible, but some may. Although it is listed as having 2100 pages and the ESV study Bible has 2752 pages.

     The HCSB study Bible looks to have a number of great features. Usable features. Not just pretty pictures and large font book introductions. Not just a sentence of two at the bottom of each Bible page. But actual features. Check out this great preview (it might take a while to load, it's a large pdf file). If you prefer to see a video about it check one out here. It looks like it will come in a number of different covers/colors/designs to fit your personal taste. It touts over 15,000 study notes (which is small compared to the masterful NET Bible which has over 60,000 and is highly recommended!!), 290 word studies (good feature which helps remind people that the English is not the original), as well as all the other standard stuff (concordance, cross-references, maps and charts etc.). Overall it seems like the perfect Bible to own if you still have yet to procure a copy of the HCSB translation and want a truly usable study Bible (which I always do!).
Hardcover Price: $34.99

I hope to provide you with a more complete review when I actually possess a copy. Until then, enjoy this video.

Matthew Henry Study Bible

Matthew Henry Study Bible
I also learned of the new Matthew Henry Study Bible. Apparently, there is an older edition of this Bible (possible from 2004 or so?) because I came across a few websites that had it listed. Either way, this is a redesigned edition. It will be released on October 1st of 2010. It seems this Bible only comes in KJV which is wholly appropriate since anyone who truly loves Matthew Henry will also have a fondness for the KJV. I memorized many verses from the KJV and love its poetic style but am not a KJV only guy. Read some of the links in the introduction of this post to see why.

   This study Bible will put the worlds of Matthew Henry in combination with the Biblical text to create a study Bible. I think this is a great idea since many KJVers would consult Matthew Henry anyway. That makes it two great sources all in one place.

     It comes in at 2400 pages making it on par with other modern study Bibles. I sincerely hope that this Bible is finessed enough to offer an actual option for many KJV lovers to own a good study Bible. Sure, there are a few KJV study Bibles (with Ryrie being the current best option), but none that can actually compete with modern study Bibles. At this time I am unable to obtain a preview of any of the pages. They all come up as corrupted pdf files. I will let you know more about this Bible if and when I can.
Hardcover Price: $24.99

ESV MacArthur Study Bible

ESV MacArthur Study Bible
    On another note, the famous MacArthur Study Bible is going to be released with an ESV Bible text! An ESV MacArthur Study Bible is a great idea. Many reformed guys who love MacArthur and the ESV can now have the best of both worlds. It will be released on 8/31/2010. MacArthur is known in part for this great study Bible and to have a copy with the ESV text sounds great. The MacArthur Study Bible is well known and while it is only the view point of one man (which can never be an excellent thing, perhaps a future blog post) this one is very impressive. While there are MacArthurisms in this Bible, I would include it with the other modern study Bibles. You can get the MacArthur Study Bible in NKJV which is close for those KJV lovers. It comes in at 2144 pages and 25,000 notes. I'm not sure if it is the same notes which are with the other translations but I am sure it is close with some tweaks to fit with a new translation. Check out the extensive preview here.
Hardcover price: $26.99

Hear what MacArthur has to say about his study Bible with the ESV translation:

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