ESV Study Bible

The new ESV study bible is being released this autumn, just at the point where my over a decade old NIV study bible is falling apart!!


The ESV Study Bible was created to help people understand the Bible in a deeper way—to understand the timeless truth of God’s Word as a powerful, compelling, life-changing reality. To accomplish this, the ESV Study Bible combines the best and most recent evangelical Christian scholarship with the highly regarded ESV Bible text. The result is the most comprehensive study Bible ever published—with more than 2,750 pages of extensive, accessible Bible resources.

With completely new notes, maps, illustrations, charts, timelines, and articles, the ESV Study Bible was created by an outstanding team of 93 evangelical Christian scholars and teachers. In addition to the 757,000 words of the ESV Bible itself, the notes and resources of the ESV Study Bible comprise an additional 1.1 million words of insightful explanation and teaching—equivalent to a 20-volume Bible resource library all contained in one volume.

Primary Features

  • 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.

Goal, Vision, and Publication

The goal and vision of the ESV Study Bible is, first and foremost, to honor the Lord—in terms of the excellence, beauty, and accuracy of its content and design; and in terms of helping people come to a deeper understanding of the Bible, of the Gospel, and of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Crossway is a not-for-profit publishing ministry and all receipts from the ESV Study Bible go directly toward the support of this ministry goal around the world.

9 Comments on “ESV Study Bible

  1. Peter,

    I’ll have to say confession for the envy that will come over me when you get the study Bible. Am using the ESV Classic Reference Bible, and, after having used my NIV until the cover disintegrated (took 24 years to fall off), I’d say I prefer the ESV translation to the NIV. The language of the ESV is crisper, reads aloud better, and has a “firmer” sort of feel to how it sounds in my mind. Blessings on your upcoming acquisition. Hmm, maybe I’ll put this on my wish list for Christmas….

  2. Looks good.
    I gave away my only study Bible as I was starting to look at the notes to ‘get the answers’ rather than dig into the text myself.

    Why are you recommending this one over other study Bibles?

  3. tallandrew,

    Interesting — for a while in seminary I used a New Geneva Study Bible (since reissued in the ESV as the Reformation Study Bible) and stopped using and carrying it (although I didn’t throw it away) for exactly the same reason. While Study Bibles are useful, they do pose that danger. I now use an ESV Classic Thinline Edition — I like the size and if I need to dig deeper I did deeper AFTER looking at the text.

  4. While, like most American evangelicals of a certain age (I’m 37), I was introduced to the NIV at an early age and used it often, I am glad to see that the ESV is supplanting it as “the” evangelical Bible. The problem that I have with the NIV is dynamic equivalence — it plays fast and loose with God’s word.

  5. I disagree with you, Drew. Sometimes dynamic equivalence conveys the meaning of the original text very well. Translation is an art, not a science. I actually prefer the TNIV to the ESV. I also think it is a very good idea to switch the translation you read every once in a while – I also keep a few different translations in the house so I can check out how different versions translate a troubling passage.

  6. sorry that this is a comment on an older post but as a proponent of the ESV I couldn’t let Kate have the last word.  Translation IS a science, not an art.  Proper translation requires knowledge and study to insure that the proper word is used to get the exact meaning of the text. 

  7. <i>Translation IS a science, not an art. </i>

    It’s actually both. I’ve been a Bible translator for 30 years and translating the Bible requires exacting attention paid to the syntax and lexical patterns of the biblical languages as well as the target language, such as English. One big problem with most English Bible versions is that they have scholars translating who know the bibical languages well, but who have difficulty expressing them in appropriate English translation equivalents. English phrasings are distorted by syntax and lexical patterns from the biblical languages, rather than sticking to true English patterns. The ESV is one of the worst offenders, not because of the ESV translators themselves but because the ESV is just a mild literary revision of the RSV, but a significant theological revision. Where we need more science is in scholarship to understand and use the natural patterns of good quality literary English in Bible versions. There are linguistics departments at universities and Bible translation courses which allow one to get the needed scientific training to honor both the biblical languages as well as English. Then we can have a translation which is scientifically accurate to Biblical Hebrew and Greek, as well as to English. And it will be artistically beautiful.

  8. I do find the sheer size of the Study Bible a bit of a bind.  It’s the size of a small child – literally.  I’d therefore consider it to be more of a reference book than anything I would seriously consider taking along with me to church or homegroup… unless I happened to be taking along a fork-lift truck or seriously needed a workout.

    On the translation front, when will we all get round to agreeing that no one translation will cut it – just because the ESV is a word-for-word translation that does not give you any more reason to switch your brain off as when reading dynamic equivalent translations…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.