Orthodox study “Bible”

I am a big fan of study bibles; they’re a necessary complement to anyone who wishes to delve into Scripture. My personal favorite is the Reformation Study Bible, edited by R.C. Sproul. This study bible uses the English Standard Version, which has become my favorite word-for-word translation.

Not that the Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible, using the NIV thought-for-thought translation and edited by Richard Pratt, is not also worthy. In fact, I’d recommend any serious student to have both, simply to gain the breadth of seeing particular verses in both an accurate word-for-word version (ESV), and in perhaps the best thought-for-thought version (NIV).

Now comes a study bible down the pike that will not darken my bookshelf — ever. It is the so called Orthodox Study Bible, which was apparently rushed into print, since they seem to have left out some rather important parts of Scripture. Specifically, this study “bible” has only the Psalms and the New Testament.

Where to begin? Let’s start with the fact that Jesus’ ministry on earth, the incarnation of God, was based on the Hebrew Scriptures. That the creation, the Fall of Man, the entire notion of God’s selection of His people and the coming of the Messiah simply can not be understood without the Hebrew Scriptures.

The best interpretation a Protestant can have? These folks were more concerned with publishing quickly than with fidelity to God’s word. This appears all too typical of some denominations; a failure to appreciate the Jewish roots of their faith. Roots best expressed in and by Scripture.

All of it. This is not optional, people.

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One comment

  1. Jim Hanemaayer · · Reply

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the judgmental arrogance of this review. First, many study Bibles published today begin this way with the NT and Psalms published first. I can think specifically of the NIV,the NASB and the NKJV which began as NT/Psalms and then the OT was added in stage 2. I was priviliged to receive a complimentary review copy of the NJV (NT/Psalms) almost two years before the OT was completed.

    Here’s a question for you: Are you also judgmental about the early church which had no completed Bible during the early days? Do you accuse the first Christians of “rushing” because some churches had only some of the books and they were not gathered together in one complete Bible. If so, better throw out everything the early church did. It wasn’t until the year 369 that all the books came together as we know the Bible today.

    Releasing a new study Bible takes careful scholarship and no study Bible should be rushed into anything. The NT and Psalms were done first by a panel of scholars like other study bibles. Now the panel is almost completed with the rest of the OT and it will be released Feb 2008.

    Should we have held the NT for a long time, depriving sincere students of the eternal WORD the opportunity to be a deeper study of God’s word?

    And it’s not exactly like we don’t have KJV and NKJV Bibles (the official versions used in Orthdox worship) to use in the meantime while waiting for the OT scholars to finish their work

    Rather than being judgmental on something of which you are ignorant, try holding your tongue. (That would be a concept found for example in James…in the NT.)

    As an Orthodox Christian I’m glad that it wasn’t rushed. Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ for his Holy inspired Word.

    We actually agree on something: My friend and scholar RC Sproul, along with his fellow Reformed/Presbyterian scholars, has done a fine work on the study Bible you mentioned. We of the Orthodox Church of course give thanks to God for having an Orthodox study Bible near completion, just as those in the conservative Presbyterian and Reformed confessions have every right to enjoy their own Reformation study Bible.

    Rather than tearing others down, might it not be better to reach out to a lost world, in a culture where so many will spent eternity apart from the Saviour, and proclaim the good news of the Gospel that Christ came into the world to save sinners?

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