Saturday, February 7, 2009

In Store Now - The Wesley Study Bible

Abingdon has just released its new Wesley Study Bible. This is a welcome addition to the study Bible market since it is virtually the only study Bible from a Wesleyan-Methodist tradition. The first thing I noticed is that no matter where I opened it it lays flat. No fighting with the binding. It only comes in the style pictured here. The next thing that caught my eye was the maps. Nineteen pages of full color maps at the back. Normally I would never notice the maps in a Bible but these are so well done and the colors so vibrant that I couldn't help but stop and linger over them. Scattered throughout the Bible are boxed notes of either a "Wesleyan Core Term" or "Life Application Topic". Indexes are available for both in biblical order and alphabetical order. I was curious about why the Wesleyan Core Term for "Predestination" was placed in the book of Revelation as opposed to Romans. Furthermore the note ends with "So Wesley rejected predestination because it clouds the real power of God as love and because it short-circuits the life of holiness to which the disciples of Jesus are called." I'm not a Wesleyan scholar but I think it would be more precise to say that Wesley rejected the "Calvinistic doctrine of predestination" (the note begins by talking about the "Calvinistic doctrine"). A note on Romans 8:17b-39 says "'Predestined' here means God's determining in advance the pattern into which believers are to be conformed, i.e., 'the image of his Son' (v. 29)" But this is only a curiosity and pales in comparison to the strengths of this new study Bible. Many of the notes are further referenced to John Wesley's Notes on the Bible or The Works of John Wesley: The Bicentennial Edition. It is in the New Revised Standard Version and is edited by Joel B. Breen, Professor, Fuller Theological Seminary and Bishop William H. Willimon, Resident Bishop of Birmingham Area of The United Methodist Church. As a Calvinist I look forward to spending time in this Bible to learn from my Wesleyan brothers and sisters.

1 comment:

Andrew Rogers said...

I wonder what type of binding they used to get it to lay so flat?

Anything special?

Have you shown it to B.V. ?