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Customer Review

on 7 August 2006
The ESV Reformation Study Bible has been a great help on my second read-through of the bible. I firstly read through the NT and then the Old using the new TNIV bible. That version is easier to read than the ESV, and is a usually reliable update to the venerable NIV. The translators have attempted to show where original masculine language was intended to be inclusive, such as in the use of the Greek word ADELFOI which sometimes means "brothers" but often means "Christian brothers and sisters." Occasionally this use of gender inclusive language smacks of political correctness and spoils an otherwise helpful translation.

The ESV also often uses inclusive language where this was intended in the original, but shrinks from doing this with certain words such as ADELFOI and HUIOI [which normally means "sons" but is often intended to include women as well].

At times the language in the ESV is awkward, which I noticed particularly in my read-through of Hebrews. It would be difficult to read to others some verses of the ESV and convey the sense correctly.

The Reformation Study Bible is an extremely helpful guide to the Scriptures, with excellent introductions to each body of literature in the bible, such as the Pentateuch, the Prophets, the Poetic Literature, the Gospels, etc. It includes helpful introductions to every bible book and also has usually helpful notes on specific chapters and verses.

There are also 96 articles on key theological topics which present a Reformed point of view, as would be expected. The editors have shown an awareness of some differences between Reformed Christians and have written the article on baptism, for example, with at least a passing acknowledgment of Baptists who are otherwise Reformed but do not believe that infant baptism is an acceptable application of the bible's instruction on this Christian initiation rite.

The authors of articles and notes include R C Sproul, Keith Mathison, Bruce Waltke, Moises Silva, James Boice, Edmund Clowney, J I Packer, Raymond Dillard, Tremper Longman, Gordon McConville, Ray Ortlund, Willem vanGemeren, Gordon Wenham, Wayne Grudem, Simon Kistemaker and Frank Thielman.

This Australian reviewer would like to mention that there are also several excellent Aussie contributors, including Leon Morris, Bill Dumbrell, Graeme Goldsworthy, Barry Webb and John Woodhouse.

I am disappointed that my hardcover edition has cracked binding: I'm guessing it came this way. But I hope that this is not an indication of poor workmanship in other copies.

I highly recommend this bible as a wonderful help in coming to understand the Word of God more fully.
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4.8 out of 5 stars