I have a love/hate relationship with study bibles. On one hand, I really like that there is a resource for people who may not have had seven hundred years of seminary training. On the other, it’s frustrating when some well-meaning people treat the commentary notes as if it is akin to the Scriptures or when study bibles don’t make it known that their notes come from a theological perspective.
So when I recommend study bibles, which I often do, I always provide a lot of nuance and caveats. Not because I find study bibles as a waste of time but because I think they need to be properly used. With that being stated, I recently received The Evangelism Study Bible (NKJV) to review.
The Evangelism Study Bible is similar to most study bibles in that it has commentary notes under the passages of Scripture. The book introductions are shorter than those found in the ESV Study Bible but are good summaries. The main “feature” or, I assume, reason to own a copy of The Evangelism Study Bible is because it serves as a tool to resource people to learn how to properly share and/or understand the gospel. For example, note these features:
- Book introductions that focus your attention on the evangelistic themes of each book.
- Over 2,600 study notes that allow you to dig into the gospel message as presented throughout the Bible as well as find what Scripture teaches about the practice of evangelism.
- Evangelism tips that will build your evangelistic skills and confidence.
For its goals, The Evangelism Study Bible, I think, succeeds. Surprisingly, the goal does not overshadow or manipulate the text to say things that it does not intend.
I think The Evangelism Study Bible would be a great tool for followers of Jesus who are interested in picking up the “missional” thrust of Scripture, as well as to provide some helpful hints related to sharing one’s faith. Written from a conservative evangelical perspective, The Evangelism Study Bible looks to be a great resource.
With those positives noted, I hope they will release this study bible with another version. I think it would be a superb resource for the NIV or NLT. I’d also recommend that you pick up a copy of it as a softcover. Furthermore, it proved a bit difficult to find out which scholars were involved as that was not a forefront issue covered (and understandably so).
At any rate, I enjoyed much of what I read, particularly the “tips” toward becoming more effective as an evangelist!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review*