Friday, November 14, 2008

Study Bible Notes Compared 1

One of the questions I get a lot is "What is the difference between the NIV Study Bible and the Life Application Study Bible?" Realizing I don't have much time to describe all the various features, I often describe the difference like this: The NIV Study Bible is like reading the Bible with a teacher over your shoulder. The Life Application Study Bible (LASB) is like reading the Bible with a pastor over your shoulder. I've found this helpful as have my customers. As is true with any general description there are exceptions. The LASB does provide some academic notes and the NIV Study Bible does provide some application notes. But, in general the description seems to fit. Over the next few weeks I will be comparing the notes between various study Bibles. I'll be looking at not only the two I've already mentioned but also the two newest study Bibles: the NLT Study Bible and the ESV Study Bible. In particular, I will look at passages which allow for more than one interpretation (although I'll look at other passages as well). How many viewpoints does each study Bible present and does it show a bias or argue for the validity of one over another. I will note other study Bibles on occasion such as the NET Bible or one of the single-author study Bibles like the MacArthur Study Bible or the Ryrie Study Bible. But for the most part I will confine my comments to the major study Bibles that have the majority of the market. Just as it is true that it is good for people to own more than one translation I think we will see that it is also beneficial to own more than one study Bible. Also, for the most part I will not be looking at specialty Bibles like The Archaeological Study Bible or The Apologetics Study Bible . There may be a time to examine these and, where applicable, I certainly will. Check back to see how your favorite study Bible compares.

Next week we will start with the very controversial passage of Hebrews 6:4-6.

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