This is a review of the Crossway ESV Church History Study Bible from the moderator of the J.C. Ryle Facebook and Twitter page. I was graciously provided a copy from Crossway to do a review. I reached out to Crossway about doing a review when I came across this Bible. This is the first Bible in years that I wanted to get my hands on and I will explain why in this review.
First of all, here is a photo of how the Bible arrived, with a covering case. This Bible is trutone, brown/walnut color, which I really like. You can also get this Bible in black leather and hardcover (blue). At the end of this review, I have numerous links where you can purchase a copy.
This is what the Bible looks like without the covering case. I really like the "feel" of the Bible in my hands. And by all accounts, it seems to be made of high quality materials.
Why do I like this Bible so much? Here are the main reasons:
1. There's literally over 20,000 study notes from hundreds of historical figures in church history from the past 2,000 years! Some of these men include: John Knox (1514-1572), Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), Martin Luther (1483-1546), DL Moody (1937-1899), Francis Schaffer (1912-1984), Augustine (354-430), Athanasius (296-373), Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) and of course J.C. Ryle (1816-1900).
Here's a sample of the study notes.2. The back cover of the Bible case explains why I like this Bible so much. As a Reformed Baptist, I appreciate the focus on Reformed voices from the past that this Bible highlights.
Some minor issues I have the Bible include:
1. The font is a little too small for my liking. The type size is 9 point for the scriptures and a little smaller for the commentary.
2. I'm not sure I would classify this as a "Study Bible" but rather a "Devotional Bible". When I think of systematic study Bibles, I think of the ESV Study Bible, the MacArthur Study Bible, etc...Those study Bibles are more through to give you to history of the text, the context, and flow better etc...This Bible reminds me more of the Matthew Henry Study Bible which came out in the past decade of so.
OVERALL, I highly recommend Crossway ESV Church History Study Bible. I've been wanting something like this for YEARS and am thankful that Crossway published it. This would be the perfect gift for those Christians in your life who love the "old dead guys" and their writings. I also believe this Bible and the commentary notes, can greatly edify and encourage you in your daily Christian walk, which is the most important element to me.
Here are the different locations you can purchase this Bible.