ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible

ESV Systematic Study Bible. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2017. 1904 pp. $39.99. Purchase at Westminster Books for less.

 

 

Summary

Theology should, first and foremost, be rooted in God’s Word. The goal of the ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible is to demonstrate how all Christian doctrines arise from the pages of the Bible. Created to help readers understand how Scripture forms the basis for our understanding of God, humanity, sin, salvation, and eternity, this study Bible features over 300 short in-text doctrinal summaries connecting Christian beliefs to specific Bible passages, 25 longer articles explaining important theological topics in greater depth, and introductions to each book of the Bible that highlight the unique ways each book contributes to the whole of Christian theology. Created by an outstanding team of contributors, this resource was designed to help Christians better connect what they believe about God with the very words of Scripture.

Features

  • Double-column, paragraph format
  • Footnotes
  • Book intros
  • Topical index of sidebars
  • Cross-references
  • 300+ doctrinal summaries explaining core doctrines and connecting them to specific Bible passages
  • 25+ longer articles on key theological topics
  • Smyth-sewn binding

Contributors

  • Gregg Allison
  • Bruce Ashford
  • Gerald Bray
  • Bryan Chapell
  • Graham Cole
  • David Dockery
  • John Frame
  • Michael Horton
  • Kelly Kapic
  • Michael Kruger
  • Robert Letham
  • Donald Macleod
  • Chris Morgan
  • Stephen Nichols
  • J. I. Packer
  • Michael Reeves
  • Fred Sanders
  • Sam Storms
  • Scott Swain
  • Stephen Wellum
  • David Wells

Review

Each book of the Bible has a standard introduction along with the theological message of that book.

What makes this particular study Bible valuable are the many articles interspersed throughout the text that look at various theological doctrines. For example, Ezra 3:1-13 has an article on the Christian Life: Worship. It is a very quick explanation of what is taking place as regards worship in Ezra. There is a question for the reader’s consideration at the end of the article along with various passages of Scripture that discuss worship. These articles serve as introductions meant to drive you further into the text of the Bible to better understand what the Word of God says about a particular topic.

The gold is found in the twenty-eight articles written at the back of the Bible. These look at the importance of doctrine, apologetics, and why we should read the Bible theologically. In addition, there are articles on God, creation, grace, election, the gospel, and eschatology. Again, these serve as introductions to the topic, but by following the various texts referenced in them, the student of Scripture will begin building a robust theology rooted in the Bible.

Finally, the indices will serve a greater purpose than most given the nature of this study Bible. For example, there is a canonical index of the sidebar articles but also an index of sidebar themes organized in alphabetical order. To complete the invaluable index section is a fairly lenghty concordance.

Recommendation

If you are a student of Scripture, then you have undoubtedly heard of systematic theology (as opposed to biblical theology). If you have not been to Bible college or seminary, then you may very well have never been introduced to systematic theology. The ESV Systematic Study Bible will do more than introduce you to this very important aspect of theology. If one were to use this study Bible and trace the various texts to their logical conclusions, he will discover that the Bible is concise, congruent, and consistent in its message of God and man.

I recommend this study Bible to those Christians who are serious students of Scripture or those who want to be more serious.

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