ESV Study Bible

April 15, 2008 – 11:40 am

For about the last year, I’ve been pushing the English Standard Version of the Bible pretty hard.  See here how the ESV is different from the other translations.  A snippet:

There are two main kinds of Bible translations. The first is commonly referred to as (1) “word-for-word” (or “formal equivalence”) translation, the second as (2) “thought-for-thought” (or “dynamic equivalence”) translation. The main difference between these two translation philosophies is that the first one places the primary emphasis on what the words of the original say and mean (in their context), while the second one places the primary emphasis on the main thought or idea in the phrases of the original.

As an “essentially literal” translation, the ESV is committed to the principle of “word-for-word” translation, as the translation philosophy that most accurately conveys the Bible’s own understanding that “all Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16), or as Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

The ESV is available in about 120 different versions, which you can buy here.  The most interesting one, however, is the new ESV Study Bible that’s coming out in October 2008.

Primary Features (From their website)

  • 25,000-plus notes—focusing especially on understanding the Bible text and providing answers to frequently raised issues.
  • Over 50 articles—including articles on the Bible’s authority, reliability, and interpretation; on biblical archaeology, theology, worship, prayer, and personal application.
  • Over 200 full-color maps—created with the latest digital technology, satellite images, and archaeological research; printed in full color, throughout the Bible.
  • 200-plus charts—offering key insights and in-depth analysis in clear, concise outline form; located throughout the Bible.
  • 80,000 cross-references—to encourage easy location of important words, passages, and biblical themes.
  • More than 40 new full-color illustrations—including historically accurate reconstructions of the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, Solomon’s temple, Herod’s temple, the city of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time and throughout the history of Israel, and many more.


“The ESV is a dream come true for me. The rightful heir to a great line of historic translations, it provides the continuity and modern accuracy I longed for. Now the scope and theological faithfulness of the ESV Study Bible study notes is breathtaking. Oh how precious is the written Word of God.”
John Piper, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church
“The ESV Study Bible is the most important resource that has been given to the emerging generation of Bible students and teachers. The ESV Study Bible is the best. Period.”
Mark Driscoll, Preaching Pastor, Mars Hill Church; President of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network
“I can’t imagine a greater gift to the body of Christ than the ESV Study Bible. It is a potent combination indeed: the reliability and readability of the ESV translation, supplemented by the best of modern and faithful scholarship, packaged in an accessible and attractive format. A Christian could make no wiser investment for himself, a pastor could recommend no better resource for his congregation.”
C. J. Mahaney, President, Sovereign Grace Ministries
“The ESV Study Bible is the finest study tool I have seen in fifty years of Bible teaching. The notes, articles, maps, and illustrations are all of the highest quality. It is a great achievement!”
Jerry Bridges, speaker, bestselling author of The Pursuit of Holiness
“Outstanding! The ESV Study Bible is a treasure-a beautiful volume, filled with a wealth of resources. It will be just as useful for the seminarian and long-time pastor as it will be accessible to the brand-new Christian.”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Like the ESV itself, this Study Bible sets a new standard in excellence. The craftsmanship invested in every page-from the insightful articles and informative notes to the crisp design and gorgeous illustrations-makes it an invaluable tool for students of God’s Word. As a pastor it’s my goal to get one into the hands of every member of my church.”
Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church


  1. 14 Responses to “ESV Study Bible”

  2. To be honest, I’m kinda weirded out by their zealous support of the ESV. The Esv Study bible does promise to be the premier calvinist study bible, but the translation itself has debatable merits when compared to NASB, and Piper’s own comparison of the NASB with the ESV was done with the older version of the NASB before language updates. I really wouldn’t mind either, but it seems they’re not giving it a fair treatment.

    By David on Apr 15, 2008

  3. commmenting on revelation 3:16

    me: spit is a very nice word
    its really PUKE
    Behzad: dang
    i want to see this in my esword
    to vomit
    me: there ya go
    you have the NIV dont you
    Behzad: no way jose
    me: oh man
    Behzad: lol
    me: tsk tsk
    maybe its not the extra spiritual version
    Behzad: is nkjv say spew?
    me: yep
    Behzad: ah yes i see that
    esv: what the heck? i expected better
    me: seriously
    Behzad: hmm i did i did
    oh well
    thanks for the tip

    By john on Apr 15, 2008

  4. yoooo
    Iain Duguid – Daniel, Zechariah
    Ph.D., University of Cambridge
    Professor of Religion, Grove City College

    thats my prof from the grove! hes the man. though i actually disagree with his eschatology. pretty cool though.

    By john on Apr 16, 2008

  5. pretty helpful. Thanks Ben.

    By ronny on Apr 18, 2008

  6. I’m pretty excited about it. Is anything we do without blemish? I’m glad that faithful men have been graced by God to do this.

    Let’s pray for it fruitfulness

    By Henry on Apr 20, 2008

  7. i wonder if i will like it more than the esv sproul reformation study bible?

    By behzad on Apr 30, 2008

  8. So, Laridian Software has both the Amplified and the ESV bibles available now for their MyBible program. Since I just had to get a new version of the base program for my new AT&T Tilt (Windows Mobile 6), I added these two to the versions I already own. I’ve always personally liked the Amplified for the way it presents the explicit and implied shades of meaning in ways that are spearately identifiable. But I’ll try looking at both in some sample contexts and see what I think. But I do thank you for the background details on it and the recommendations.

    By Tom on May 7, 2008

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