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.