Which Study Bible is Best? (2023 Reviews of Newer Popular Study Bibles)

Hey everybody it’s Matt thanks for Hanging out with me on my YouTube Channel in this video I’m going to Review a whole bunch of study Bibles I’ve got stacked up over here I’ve spent A bunch of time with them and the goal Of this review is not for me to hold Myself out as the final decider who Knows all the things about whether or Not a Bible is good no I I don’t know All the things and further I think any Bible here that you might pick up is Going to be good because it has the Bible in it and I think it’s from God And I think the Bible’s super effective And the reason I make videos like this Is because I hope you will get a Bible And I hope that you will get a Bible That you will read and that Sparks Curiosity and that helps you in whatever Way you most feel like you need help to Just keep chasing after those Breadcrumbs and understanding more about This beautiful thing that I do think is From God and and accurate and reliable So in light of that there are going to Be things here that really resonate with Me and I’m just going to super honest About that they’re going to be some Things that don’t resonate with me maybe Even one thing that I came across that I Just straight up don’t like very much I’m going to be honest about that too of Course I could be wrong and you can make

That whatever you want in my last video I did just a A buying guide for study Bibles not Devotional Bibles or coloring Bibles or Prayer Bibles or heirloom Bibles but Study Bibles Bibles with notes that are Meant to help you understand the text Better I did a buying guide on that and I introduced a bunch of categories those Categories are really important I’m Going to be leaning into that here if You haven’t seen that video I’ll link it Below it’d probably be really useful for You to go and check it out but here’s The very very very fast version there Are a variety of spectrums a single Study Bible can’t do everything they’re Going to lean toward one end or the Other of each of these spectrums if you Have a sense of what you want your Bible To do where you’d like to be on the Slider with each of these Spectrum Disease it’s going to make it much Easier for you to land on a place where You get something that’s likely to work For you so Spectrum number one is Academic versus devotional some bibles Are meant to give you a lot of Information and help you understand the Text others give you a little bit of That but are really trying to help you Understand what to do as a person how to Respond as a a person Spectrum number Two is the question of nudge some Bibles

Really spell it out like just here’s Everything follow these steps you’re Going to get it you’re going to make the Connections others are just going to Give you some questions to help you Figure it out for yourself you got to Decide what you want third is the Targeting questions some of these are Very demographically targeted some of These are very generally targeted toward Any English speaker who might be Interested in reading the Bible a fourth Is Just a practical question of portability To do all the stuff that some of these Bibles set out to do they have to be Huge are you okay with that or do you Need something little in order to get Use out of it another Spectrum here is The question of topicality some of these Bibles are very directed at solving a Question answering an academic curiosity So you go through the whole text with Your antenna out for this one question Others are giving you a broad General Read on basic Christian biblical Theology as you read through it finally There’s a question of bias some study Bibles are very much driven by a Particular theology or a particular Christian thinker from the past and You’re kind of encountering the whole Bible through the lenses of that set of Assumptions others again are coming in

In a more General manner some of those Things are going to fall a little bit in The in between if you can kind of answer All those questions in your brain in Terms of what you want then hopefully That coupled with a few of these little Ratings I’m going to give like how good Is the concept how good are the notes What do I think of the artistic Presentation that’s obviously just a Complete and total opinion maybe you’ll Resonate with me taste wise maybe you Won’t if you couple answers to the Spectrum questions along with taking a Look at at my particular review ratings With uh some of these more one to ten Scale kind of things maybe you come away With some clarity in terms of what you Want to do final thought a lot of you Have asked me about translations could We get more that are this translation or That translation or why are you working With that translation well the reality Is I think every translation that I have On or around my desk right now is doing A great job of relaying what the Original language with the original Manuscripts are trying to communicate And Um I’m at ease with anybody reading any Of these I know some of you feel very Passionately for or against one Particular translation that’s cool but I’m just going to operate off of the

Assumption that you probably be excuse Me just fine with uh with any of these All right I think that’s all the Disclaimers and front end stuff I wanted To do let’s go actually review some Bibles Study Bible number one is the Gospel transformation Study Bible it’s An English Standard Version it’s by Crossway and before I get into specifics About this Bible I want to use it to Talk about some practical Bible features That matter to me this is a hardcover Bible sometimes hardcover Bibles have Trouble laying flat and if you pick up a Bible and you use it a couple times and You’re anywhere in the first 20 or the Last 20 percent and it keeps flipping Shut on you you’re not going to keep Using it because subconsciously your Brain’s gonna be like that’s not Pleasurable I don’t like how interacting With that book feels but this one is Great I think Crossway in general does a Very nice job in terms of durability Binding physical reliability I think They got things dialed over there and I Really usually like the way their Bibles Feel this is no exception that said this Particular Bible is doing as little as Possible in terms of the actual look This is not a Bible That’s driven by art Or visual styling it’s meant to read as A very basic thing But I think that’s in keeping with what

They’re going for I believe after Spending some time with this at the Gospel transformation Study Bible is Responding to a felt need within the More reformed leaning wing of Christianity to get back to basics there Has been a lot of clutter in the last 10 20 30 40 Years of Christianity Particularly in my country but in the West in general and that clutter Involves politics culture stuff maybe it Matters maybe it doesn’t whatever you’re Into but I think this Bible is meant to Take the reader back to the basic Importance of how an encounter with These through-line message of the Bible Changes the individual who reads it how The individual is supposed to be Transformed what that’s supposed to look Like when you encounter and are changed By Jesus so when you actually get into The notes and again I’m hanging out in The Sermon on the Mount for all of these Matthew 5 6 and 7. you’ll find that These notes are Academic in tone that the Cross-referencing is pretty extensive so You can go and do the work for yourself But the actual notes despite being Academic in tone Are really at their heart pretty Devotional It’s It’s meant I think to help

The reader who fancies himself to be Pretty smart and pretty sophisticated Get back to the actual point the actual Gist of the text and take all of their Intellectual energy and look inside Themselves this is a pretty good study Bible that is pretty well presented and Again the lack of cool visuals on it That’s okay with me because I think it Supports the thesis of Back to Basics That the people behind this are going For Study Bible number two is the NIV Grace and Truth study bible let me move That fella a little more out of the way So you can keep looking at those this One has a dude’s name on it that always Gives me pause in this case it’s a very Talented dude Albert Mohler he’s a guy Who’s associated with the baptistic Tradition and indeed I think this is the More Evangelical leaning version of the Impulse behind this I think what you’re Getting here is a bunch of evangelicals Who are reading the room and saying hmm Things have been cluttered of late and We need to get this stuff back to basics What a what’s a right relationship in Terms of the Christian between Saying things that are true to the Larger world but also leaning into the Grace that is the central tenet of the Whole reason there can be a relationship Between God and people at all I think This Bible does a better job visually I

Don’t I don’t think the totally stripped Down thing is as needed thematically as What the gospel transformation Study Bible does I like the fact that this one Gives you two colors I like that it goes With gold it seems to pass all of the Lay flat tests that I would care about The notation here seems to be a little Bit more extensive on the grace and Truth Study Bible and this is not as Devotional in tone as the gospel Transformation Study Bible in that here You are getting more just the academic Details with no actual consequences like Just hey if you look at this text here’s A question you might have here’s some Background here’s some answers on that But it also seems to be willing to dive A little bit into the what do you you do With it side of things I feel like both Of these are an attempt to Soften and refocus the Christian mind on The heart of what the text the truth of The text is supposed to do in the life Of the Christian if you’re looking for Something that slides a little more to The devotional side without being Patronizing I think this is a good idea If you’re looking at something that Slides a little more toward the academic Side but still keeps you in that Devotional space with a little better Look and a little better feel to it and Just more extensive notation in general

I think this might be the better fit for You study Bible number three is the Enduring voices Study Bible it’s a King James version it’s by Barb or I I don’t actually know that Publisher maybe a great big idiot here Okay well maybe some of you know who That is I do not what I do know is this Is a really clever Study Bible I love This Bible and I think King James is the Only version that makes sense for it Here’s why enduring voices isn’t a study Bible That’s derived from one specific Tradition or one specific guy rather It’s kind of comparative you got Matthew Henry John Wesley Andrew Murray DL Moody And Charles Spurgeon all represented in The notes here all of those guys are Representative of different Traditions Some from uh very strongly Free Will Tradition others from a more Deterministic tradition some of these Guys are are more associated with a Baptistic tradition I mean Andrew Murray Is Dutch reformed South African right so There’s even a global element to this But what you get when you actually open The text and look at these these Thinkers from across this spectrum of Protestant Orthodoxy in the early modern I should say just Modern Age Is every single page gives you notes From at least one of their perspectives At times you’re getting side by sides of

Stuff that Matthew Henry thought and Then what Charles Spurgeon does with the Exact same text and it’s very compelling It’s got a reading plan and so what I Think is great about oh and but the King James version why it needs to be King James what’s the Bible they were all Preaching from if you want to hear them In their native voice with their native Thought patterns King James is what’s Going to make the most sense here and Indeed I found myself really getting Into the rhythm of that more than I Maybe ever have with a King James Translation I would not want this for my Everyday carry Study Bible I want Something that’s more generalist in that Regard but this is a really creative Concept and I found the notes on this to Be very helpful this would be awesome as A read through it once in a year kind of Exercise Study Bible number four is one That did not resonate with me very much This is the search the scriptures Bible To call it a study Bible is maybe a Little bit unfair though so I mean to Cut them some slack yeah they got study Guide right there in the text of this English Standard Version Bible by ivp But it’s not trying to be a classic Study Bible it’s trying to be a very Light nudge Factor Bible that gives you At least one round of interactive Questions on average with each chapter

Of the Bible all the way through I Looked at a ton of them some of them I Found to be pretty helpful in terms of Giving you that nudge and pushing you Toward making connections and Understanding more stuff about the Bible And theology a lot of those questions Though seemed like they were really in a Hurry to kind of get past the kingdom Jesus Bible stuff and get a little bit More into the where do you fit stuff and Just as a general approach to studying The text that isn’t my favorite I’m Pretty sold on the idea of you read Really start with what does the passage Say about God then you come down to the Level of what does it say about what He’s up to what he’s doing what his plan Is what’s actually going on here in this Particular passage then and only then do You get to the question of where do you Fit I didn’t think the execution was a Plus on this I didn’t find a ton of Value in the notes they might resonate With you more in terms of layout I Really don’t resonate with this I I Don’t like the motif I don’t like the The word search crossword puzzle kind of Look here to me this communicates Something obtuse like like it’s like It’s saying that the Bible doesn’t want To be understood and like it’s hard and You gotta dig through and look at all of This I just don’t like the strategy

Behind it I’m not a big fan of the Layout to me it seems cluttered in terms Of font and not easy to read I didn’t Super enjoy my time in this one but I Could imagine that if you were looking For a very very light nudge with very Limited study notes and resources this Could be useful for you that was intense Let’s talk about one I like I’m feeling A little bit weighty from that the Literary Study Bible I think this thing Is rad it is another English Standard Version it is again by Crossway I talked About this one a little bit in that last Study Bible buying guide review that I Did because I think it’s a great example Of a topical Study Bible this isn’t Meant to answer all of your questions This isn’t meant to give you a broad Read on where everything fits and how it All works this is meant to help you ask One good set of questions all the way Through the Bible one time what are Those good sets of questions well the Questions are how does the text work What does the author going for what are The literary flourishes that are being Used here what are these setups and Payoffs that are happening as you work Through it and so you’re just getting a Ton of emphasis on that and I don’t Think the notes are cluttered or in in The way I think it’s really beautifully And simply presented and as I worked my

Way through Matthew on this one I felt Overwhelmingly like yeah I see it the Same way in terms of a lot of the Literary structure of of Matthew I Resonated with the notes that were there And I found them to be helpful this is The kind of Bible you could pick up read Through in one year end to end and have A fresh appreciation for every book of The Bible I thought this one was pretty Cool and I like the way it’s presented I’ve talked about this next one before But I thought it was important in this Video to have one big beautiful general Purpose I really think this ought to Work for anybody heavy lift kind of Study Bible I talked about the ESV Study Bible last time around I got it sitting Over there that’s Crossways version of The same thing but the New Living Translation NLT Illustrated Study Bible By Tyndale is one of my very very Favorites ever and I highly recommend it It’s beautifully presented it’s full Color it is maxed out with notes that Make sense and are useful the notes are Insightful you don’t get insulting Redundancies the Articles make sense it Never feels like it’s just trying to Fill space the cross-referencing is Thorough there are guide markers Throughout in terms of the use of color And font so you’re always oriented with Where you are I think this is just a

Spectacular general purpose Study Bible For anybody in a translation I’m very Enthusiastic about I highly recommend This NLT Illustrated Study Bible I was Walking through a bookstore the other Day and I saw this spine the Jesus Bible NIV by zondervin and I thought to myself I bet they’re just doing a whole Bible Where they go through all of it and Point out how everything converges all The narrative all the profits all the History everything converges on Jesus And his life and his teaching and his Death and his resurrection and so I Flipped it over I looked at the back and 66 books one story all about one name Huh yeah I think that is what they’re Doing that’s pretty cool so I bought it Without looking at it much more closely And I brought it home and I popped it Open and oh my goodness I own that now wow like look I totally Understand that it’s possible that some Of you are like that’s the prettiest Bible I ever done seen in my whole life That thing is fantastic that is not my Opinion I’m sure they have this in other Versions I’m not sure who this is for But I’m pretty sure not me okay well Let’s just move past the cover which I Don’t resonate with and that’s okay I Don’t need to resonate with everything Not everything needs to be for me it

Turns out that it’s actually really Cinematic which is kind of cool she says Our creator Genesis there’s a lot of Other stuff in Genesis as well that Needs attention and maybe it’s a little Bit Reductionist to take it all down to that Phrase but you know okay you know we’re Trying to be bold and give this Cinematic title and as I worked through The Old Testament it felt like To their credit they were trying to Frame the whole Old Testament it’s Almost like a Cinematic Universe with These each being an installation they Give you one more angle or one more Little detail that all gets you toward The Infinity war end game payoff that Happens with Jesus the the issue I had Was just the execution Um this feels like a Biblical concept That kind of painted itself into a Corner yeah Jesus is the Fulfillment of The whole Old Testament I think that But at times you just need to understand What’s happening in a book of the Old Testament and these notes are slavishly Committed to only getting you right back To the gospels every single time and After a while I started to feel like uh I feel like I’m being deprived though of Some of the immediate context and Meaning of the Old Testament I think the

Old Testament has a more robust value Than that maybe that’s not what they’re Trying to communicate I didn’t talk to Anybody who made this Bible but it Didn’t resonate as strongly with me for Those reasons and then when I actually Got to the New Testament I I didn’t feel like the note payoff was Quite as solid it seems like this really Is a Bible where the note strategy is Much more about what you get in the Old Testament than what you get a little bit Later on this would not be my top Recommendation but I could see how Somebody could benefit from this Acknowledging that um you might want to Consider a different cover I mentioned This one in my last video just briefly And I’m very excited to talk about it I Love this this is an ESV student Study Bible artist series and indeed it is Just artistic and beautiful isn’t it That’s lovely with this green kind of Forest foil and imagery of the Eucharist And the crucifixion and historical Christian images of I mean look there’s The the lamb and the shepherd staff I Mean stuff you would see around churches But artistically presented I think this Is really really neat a cool imagery About Uh the Venn diagram of Heaven and Earth And Jesus in the middle oh that’s cool Cool cool

And it just gets better as you get Inside oh what a nice touch I haven’t Seen this It’s a note from the artist Joshua Noom Do you actually sign that uh if he Didn’t it at least looks signed and That’s pretty cool Um Lovely I believe that the seven I am Statements of Jesus are some of the most Significant words in the Bible okay I’m Getting it now not only is each Statement an important reminder of who Jesus is but each one is also a Beautiful piece of imagery My Hope Is That this theme would serve as an Encouragement to readers that’s what We’re seeing here these are indicative Of Jesus I am statements that he makes Through the Book of John Oh cool Oh I like it even more as I go along I Think this is so neat light of the world Yes yes yes cool okay I’m gushing the Inside of this Bible is just beautiful It’s simple it’s straightforward it’s Readable I like that we’ve got a couple Of colors here to separate between text Notes that we get here and little notes That the student might find valuable as They’re reading along there we get over To The Sermon on the Mount and you can See there’s a lot of notes but the Language is tweaked just enough you can

See this is targeted for a little bit Younger reader but I don’t feel like They shave anything off of the Theological depth or push I would Normally expect something that’s Targeted toward kids and I regret to say It but so often toward women to take Some of those shortcuts and simplify Which I find to be a little bit Patronizing we’ll talk about that more In a minute This treats the young reader like They’re intelligent and like they care About this and like they want to be There and even if you’re not a kid I Recommend this one I think it’s I think It’s a really neat Bible I don’t need to Take a ton of time on this one because I Actually did talk about it a lot in the Last video this is just the Mini version Of the great big giant ESV Study Bible Which is That’s a monster Very comprehensive it’s beautiful it’s Well put together I think it Rivals the NLT Illustrated Study Bible though I like The NLT a little bit better this is just It’s a great Bible it’s a it’s a classic There’s a reason people like it it’s Also huge this is just the small version And it’s very manageable and if you want To know more about it you can go back And look at my last video where I did a

Side by side comparison of what the text Looks like a lot like this student Bible We’re getting a lot in that amount of Space without cutting any Corners in Terms of theological depth hey real Quick it’s me from the future I was over In the other room editing this video and I thought of one more question we need To speak to about these ESV study Bibles And the concise Study Bible they’ve all Got notes obviously about the text and I Thought you’d be interested to know how They seem to relate to one another so The concise Study Bible seems to have Its own family of notes entirely what I Noticed is that the student ESV Study Bible the women’s Study Bible that I Really like and we’re going to talk About in a minute and this big Mega ESV Study Bible they all have notes on Basically the same verses so the Coverage is the same but these two sets Of notes the very advanced in my mind Student Study Bible and the Very quality Women’s Study Bible these are identical Just the exact same stuff what’s Different is the little articles and the Little topical paragraphs that are Inserted alongside those text notes Between the women’s Study Bible and the Student Study Bible and the women’s Study Bible just has a lot more Resources with it as well again more on That in just a minute the ESV Study

Bible Has effectively the same notes as the Student and women’s Study Bible as well They’re just a little bit more fleshed Out and there’s so many more resources Maps color pictures that kind of thing But what’s interesting to me is that This concise Study Bible seems to have a Completely different set of notes much Shorter still covering a lot of the same Verses but it looks like this was either Rebuilt from the note family used here Or maybe even built from scratch Whatever the case all of these notes are Very good the gospel transformation Study Bible however Is a completely different animal the Notes Here deal in more General sweeping Terms covering large passages like six Eight verses at a time instead of Specific little notes like oh you know This town was located here Archaeological Discovery happened here Here we’re looking at the big picture Point of each of these passages with a Little bit more application and Devotional stuff to go along with it so That is how these notes relate to each Other across these ESV study Bibles We’ve been talking about Next up we got these twin volumes from Holmen these are csb translation this is The she reads Truth Bible in lovely Salmon absolutely beautiful and in this

Light Navy look we’ve got the he reads Truth Bible now again this brings us Back to the question of uh where’s the Boundary of what is a study Bible Because as we look inside of these we’ll See elements of that but at least as I Open up the she reads Truth Bible what I See is something that looks a little bit More like a devotional Bible at times The presentation here is just beautiful By the way both of these Bibles do the Thing where they put word art at the Beginning of a chapter or a chapter a Book of the Bible rather to attempt to Distill it down to one thing or one Thought sometimes I do think those can Be a little bit overwrought some books Of the Bible can’t be so easily Distilled down but the art is beautiful I like what they’re doing they’re are Some cool notes in this Bible here’s a Table key characteristics of Christ in The gospels okay that’s awesome I Thumbed through Mark and Matthew and I Don’t really see a lot in the way of Notes Here in the she reads Truth Bible In fact very very little there is a map Of the passion week right at the front End of Matthew but not much else you’re Not seeing a lot of cross-references or Or typical Study Bible looking things What you do see are a whole bunch of Articles that look like that full page Presentation and if we go and look

Closely at it what we see is that this One in Matthew 6 and Matthew 7 is titled Spectacle or sacred okay I see what We’re doing here In Matthew 6 Jesus is talking about Spiritual disciplines and what it looks Like in the context of the values of the Kingdom that he introduced in Matthew Chapter five what it looks like to live Out these spiritual disciplines whether It be generosity or prayer or whatever Fasting in front of other people he’s Pointing out some of the hypocrisy that Goes on there and so we get a little Note here in Matthew 6 and I’m just Going to read some of it to you pull up Chair girls we’re about to have a Conversation about intimacy yep husband And wife intimacy it may very well make You blush but I promise to keep it PG And I promise it’s all a part of a very Important point the Bible often refers To the church as the bride of Christ That is true our relationship with Jesus Is like a marriage but in a perfect way He makes us beautiful then admires us as We walk down the aisle toward him on our Wedding day Okay kind of a nod to some stuff that Happens later in the New Testament Imagery wise okay perfectly Pure Impeccably White kind of awesome so now Comes that part about intimacy let’s say Physically speaking there are varying

Levels of intimacy those levels might Begin with any sort of public display of Affection and graduate all the way to The most intimate behind closed doors One flesh moments only shared between a Husband and wife and it’s really Nobody’s business and it’s all deeply Personal the husband and wife are indeed One flesh the intimate Covenant they Share like Christ’s Covenant with us is Sacred when it comes to our relationship With God it can be the same way there’s PDA and then there’s sacred intimacy Huh that’s half the article in terms of Total word count and then it looks like The punch here is in bold Jesus doesn’t Want your love to be a spectacle he Wants it to be sacred and then another Bold note is your prayer life simply a Spectacle or is it spectacularly sacred I suppose those are good questions but I Can’t help but feel like we’re Kind of missing some things from the Sermon on the mountain I mean that’s our Only article on The Sermon on the Mount Where the whole idea of the king and the Kingdom is articulated the Lord’s Prayer Is more than just a way to pray humbly Like it’s a it’s a right orientation Before God him as king us as subject it Doesn’t really touch on any of that Uh look I don’t know who wrote that There’s no name on it I’m not I’m not Trying to criticize anybody or be harsh

But that’s I that feels like a Miss to Me and I I would not want to go through a whole Bible with notes like that per se and it Makes me really curious In terms of what to do with this to go And look at the he reads Truth Bible the Again same series complementing Bible Same branding how is this going to be Different than the she reads truth I’ll Pop it open and what do we notice right Off the bat This is bigger well why it’s the font Bigger maybe no no actually the font Looks like is it even smaller perhaps I Mean if anything it’s the same size and As I thumb through this whoa look at all Of these study bible-like features Jesus Parables are all organized out here in Luke we get oh here’s a full color chart This is a map with the travels oh this Is the itinerary of the Advent Guide to Luke that’s cool more word art Introducing things here’s a chart about The Divinity of Christ and mark the Humanity of Christ these are some good Resources and they’re just everywhere Literary patterns in Mark are you Kidding me that’s excellent that’s Incredibly useful a whole chart of Jesus Miracles with like an infographic for How they break down and what they Achieve cool map of the Sea of Galilee Here’s a whole feature just on Bethlehem

In scripture struck structure of Mark Stuff Matthew’s five discourses I mean That’s exactly how Matthew is structured That’s great why are there four gospels Here’s what I’m getting at what’s with All this deep dive really quality Intelligent academic stuff who is Jesus A massive chart there That we’re getting here in the he reads Truth Bible that we’re not getting in The she reads Truth Bible I go to The Sermon on the Mount I get this great Introduction to it the 12 disciples the Detailed breakdown of the Beatitudes and Then I guess I already told you about The who is Christ thing that comes at The end of that Foreign S carefully I don’t like the disparity between these Two Bibles that are branded the same way And that are held out as being Complementary to each other I think that this beautiful salmon Colored she reads Truth Bible is Patronizing by comparison to the he Reads Truth Bible maybe I’m Old-fashioned maybe I believed the Things that my teachers taught me and That my parents taught me and that my Church taught me when I was a kid But I think men and women are equal I think that men and women have the same Capacity for thought and depth and

Comprehension But that isn’t how this comes off how This comes off is well we think men like To think things and have the information And to understand the Bible deeply we Think women kind of want to hustle past That part and read articles that have Some stuff to do with God but also like A lot to do with like feelings and stuff I don’t like it am I being too Simplistic and reductionist here maybe But I didn’t just arrive at this sitting Here at this desk at this moment and oh Wow I’m starting to get that rant tone Easy Whitman easy I have a lifetime of looking at stuff From particularly within Evangelical Christianity that is targeted toward Women that is consistently patronizing That treats my sisters as though they Are somehow dumber than my brothers and I don’t like it I don’t know if there’s Some kind of demographic research to say This is how things ought to be but I Find this off-putting I don’t like what It communicates I think if you want to Get to what you do with God and what you Do with the Bible how you respond to it You get there more in the way that he Reads Truth Bible is trying to get you There than you do here where you skip Over the work and just get to the Feelings and your reaction to it [Music]

This is the new King James version Women’s Study Bible from Thomas Nelson I Talked about the design and color Choices here last time around not for me But I could I certainly could see how That would really resonate I mean it’s It’s pretty in its own way clearly Branded for for women or a certain type Of woman with a certain type of taste You open it up and this one has like This really Pleasant kind of handwriting Cursive for all of the subtitles a very Strong pink Motif inside outside and on The edges but then you go through and You look at the notes I’m looking at Them to see like well are we getting Something from this women’s Study Bible That looks more like the depth and Quality of this he reads truth thing are We getting stuff that looks more like The she reads truth thing and right off The bat I gotta say I’m pretty impressed That there are a lot of resources here In terms of just trying to put stuff in Front of you there’s a ton here but now I start looking closer at it uh and I’m Running into more of the same kind of Stuff I’ve been seeing for a long time All of these notes they’re specifically Women’s interest notes they’re not Bible interest notes so Is this really a study Bible I mean it’s So heavily demographicized That I don’t know I mean okay

Uh fear of the Lord that’s good physical Intimacy the names of Jesus cool that’s Good role models for women okay well It’s obviously a woman targeted Bible Wise sensitivities priorities balance in The household Women using their gifts in the early Church women in the workplace Claudia She got mentioned in second Timothy so She’s going to get an article taught in Order to teach talking about women’s Roles in church I get oh that’s cool That’s a really nice map of Paul’s Fourth missionary journey that’s awesome I dig that so what I’m seeing is like a Five to one ratio of stuff that is Deeply Demographically targeted almost to the Point I would say if not totally Squaring with the First and most overt reading of the text About a five to one ratio of stuff like That that is very demographized versus Stuff that’s just like this is the raw Material of the Bible this is what you’d Need to know our prayers for your Children I’m for that like I don’t want To just gripe about it but spiritual Gifts of women in the Bible women and Jesus like at some point though it’s Kind of like the uh This other this Jesus Bible where okay Get that you want to point everything Back to the resurrection and and the

Crucifixion and you should that is the Centerpiece but also like there’s some Other stuff happening on the pages here That Like we could we could dig into that a Little bit more just for what it is I feel like we’re getting the same thing Here as you Flip through the gospels I’m seeing uh The queens of the New Testament Uh jairus’s resurrected daughter there’s Basically if a woman is on screen she Gets an article and that’s cool but then Also kind of reframes the whole Narrative in terms of Of emphasis and don’t get me wrong women Look really good in the Book of Matthew Which I’ve been working on a lot lately So women should be highlighted heavily In any fair treatment of the gospels Because of how heavily emphasized the Role of women in the gospels is but this Feels a little bit like shoehorning once Again Um there is some depth to some of these Notes and some of what is going on but Um it’s pretty slavish to that singular Demographic perspective that said here’s One I’ve been looking at I’ve got a couple copies of this one This is the pretty one that’s just fresh Out of the box this one I really like This is the women’s Study Bible it’s ESV It’s by Crossway and I tell you what I

Think I would just use one of these Myself I mean I don’t know I know a lot Of women would remark that hey we have To use a lot of things that Overwhelmingly are branded with a nudge Or a lean toward men and we just have to Kind of sit through some stuff that’s Maybe generically targeted that that Favors the guy perspective I would be Shoe on the other foot here because There is definitely a feminine Perspective built in but mostly it’s Just a Bible perspective that’s built in This is beautifully presented I love the Way that at the beginning of each Chapter in this one you just get a work Of art that kind of summarizes the book Or points to some key themes or motifs And you can just think about what that Art does instead of trying to distill Everything down to a couple of words or A singular Phrase and I think that’s beautifully Presented I really like the the gold and Black on white approach to the text but As I’m thumbing through this these notes I mean it’s a study Bible this assumes The competence of the reader it assumes That they want to do the work to Understand the text before we get to the Part about what do you do or where does It affect me or you know what is this How does this speak to a mother’s heart And at the same time I’m seeing notes

That and articles here that look like They’re framed with women in mind but This one here it’s about the Cross of Christ and Overwhelmingly that’s just an article That’s about the Cross of Christ and What that looks like uh true worshipers This is a wonderful Bible I’m very very Impressed with this and I would highly Recommend it to anyone I mean don’t get Me wrong it’s probably going to feel Weird if you’re a dude and you’re going To church you’re carrying around Something that says woman Study Bible But you could throw a thing a like Silver duct tape over that and draw like A knife on there or like a skull or like A mountain or an elk or something Probably nobody would even know this is Really effective and I just want to say Thanks to the people who made this For in my estimation Treating women with esteem uh with high Expectations it’s me from the future Again I’m in the other room editing the Part where I’m feeling frustrated with Some of the trends in women’s Bibles and Trying to point out some of the ones I Think do it a little bit better like This ESV women’s Study Bible I got to Thinking I I have another one sitting Around don’t I I thought I had a Holmen Women’s Study Bible the same people who Make the she reads truth and so I went

And I dug around a little bit sure Enough boom I found it and I like it I Think it’s really good I’ve been looking At this here for the last hour or so and I think this is a very artfully Presented Bible much like the she reads Truth Bible I think the look of it skews A little bit younger than that Thomas Nelson more robustly pink Bible but I’m Looking through this and look you got All of these biblical Womanhood notes Throughout I I think the the proof’s Going to be in the pudding there in Terms of what you get from those notes I I haven’t looked at them closely and Don’t feel like offering a critique or Praise one way or another but what I see Beyond that is just tons of really good Study notes I mean here’s a great piece In mark that I found on eschatology and Sorting that out from The Book of Mark And from The Book of Matthew is a little Bit challenging that is a very helpful Resource I think this is packed with Awfully good stuff and if I lost all my Other Bibles and I had to roll with this One even though again it says women’s Study Bible I think I’d be in great Shape this this is quality stuff so that Further emphasizes That Holmen wasn’t going for a true Study Bible effect with the she reads Truth Bible

But my frustration is that you make a he Reads Truth Bible and that looks more Like a study Bible and it’s more heavily Resourced so I stand by my frustration Though I got to give credit where it’s Due this uh csb Holmen women’s Study Bible is a pretty solid effort All right for better or worse I think I Said everything I want to say about that Last Study Bible I want to deal with is The ancient Faith Study Bible I am so High on this one whether you’re Catholic Orthodox Anglican Protestant generic Non-denominational get this Bible it is Brilliant this is a Bible That’s meant To be purchased and read end to end Probably more than once I think I’m Going to keep this one around maybe for A lifetime it is so useful to work Through the entire text of the Bible With the notes being made entirely of Commentary from the church fathers Significant contributors in the history Of the church are are being gathered to Weigh in on these different texts but What this does so well is it transports You to another moment in the history of Christian faith it puts you in Conversation with people especially if You’re a Protestant who you don’t talk With very much also if you’re Orthodox Or Catholic Puts you in conversation with some of The stuff that the people you know well

Wrote and said that you haven’t heard or That you haven’t reflected on some of This stuff as you read through it as a Protestant is going to agitate you Because it’s going to challenge your Theology and you’re going to realize That while there was not unanimity Amongst these early Christian leaders They were going through a process of Faith and some of what they thought is It’s going to provoke it’s going to Prompt you to need to dig deeper to want To dig deeper other stuff in here you’re Going to read that and you’re going to Be like well these were Church fathers That sounds like Protestant theology What do we make of that well you can see How then as an orthodox or Catholic Reader that’s going to push you as well I absolutely love this Bible in terms of Its content but also its presentation You pop this thing open and come on what Does that say to you from the get-go the Design just screams we’re going Somewhere else here this is a different Different exercise and indeed as soon as You pop it open that’s exactly what you Get this slightly yellowed look to the Pages I like that it’s subtle this is Old this is different you get some Articles like this on prominent church Leaders Patrick some biographies things Like that you get Pleasant little Introductions to things like Matthew

Here you get the big cool letters that Are decorative in the corner show them The letter Show them that like that I just think Those are so neat but then down below This is where it really shines you’re Hearing from great minds of the Christian past who are writing in a Completely different context under Completely different pressures then then What all of these modern writers are Writing under now Some of these guys are so early in the Game they’re writing before there is Really a circulated agreed upon Bible The Bible is more or less written and is Being bounced between churches but under Persecution as a function of time that Isn’t fully coagulated yet and so the Scripture is out there but people aren’t Thinking of it quite yet like we think Of a Bible like all of these in front of Us what’s it like to lead the church and To interpret Matthew 2 in light of that Well read down here and you’re going to Find out but then other people are Writing a hundred years later a few Hundred years later and now they’re Dealing with massive Roman persecution Or they’re dealing with the first time That a plague has rolled through and Wrecked their Community of Faith how do You read that text in light of those Kind of pressures heck you get Augustine

Who’s in here weighing in on passages And I mean this guy had to tackle a Situation where there was a big Persecution and then like half the People bent the need of the persecution Were like Aaron here’s your yeah here’s Our stuff here’s our secret records and Our books and all of that stuff and the Other half of the Christians were like No I’ll burn for it do what you have to Do and then the persecution ends and you Try to put church back together that’s Tricky how do you read the text when That kind of stuff is going on and Speaking of Augustine which Augustine Like what you’re encountering here are The church fathers Wrestling and growing and in transition Like you or me they don’t think the Exact same thing at every single moment As you read them closely now I’ve put a Lot of time into reading These Guys These leaders but this is a different Exercise for me because I’m I’m getting Them lined up against one another and It’s uh it’s just a crucible of Challenge of thought of opportunity for Fresh reflection so on one page here Cyril of Jerusalem Augustine chrysostom John of Damascus there’s an article About the church historian eusebius of Caesarea who also pops up here origin There are even some later early medieval Contributors at Hillary of Poitier and I

Mean there’s just so much richness here I’m gushing about it because I think It’s really neat and it’s really Different and as I’m publishing this Video we are in a gift giving time of of Your I don’t get anything for saying Anything about any of these Bibles this Is just my honest take I think this one Is neat and really strikes I mean it’s Right down the middle in terms of what My curiosity is right now I think this Is the kind of thing that’s going to be Meaningful whether you are a Catholic Protestant Orthodox whatever I I think This is an awesome Bible hopefully this Is a fruitful exercise And again the objective here is not sell Bibles that I don’t I don’t do that I Don’t make money on Bibles no Bible Maker sponsored this video I mean my Last video was sponsored by Samaritan Ministries that’s the community of Christians who help pay each other’s Medical bills without the use of Insurance and even though that sounded a Bit sponsory it’s not because they’re Not sponsoring this video still I’m Grateful to them if you want to learn More about their stuff I’ll put a link Down below so you can go and check that Out if you want to now this is just an Unsponsored review of a bunch of stuff With my honest thoughts my honest Thoughts are not necessarily right but

Hopefully they get the wheels turn in For you and point you in a direction Where you can maybe make an informed Purchase on something new that’s going To spark curiosity and get you deeply Into the Bible in a fresh way I’d be Really excited if that’s what came out Of it anything I got wrong or was stupid About or didn’t see the genius of Because I just didn’t get it apologies For that at and either way thanks for Your grace with me as I try to cover a Whole lot of ground here I appreciate You I’m Matt thanks for hanging out with Me on my YouTube channel let’s do this Again soon

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