As we’ve come to expect from Crossway, the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible is an attractive Bible that is produced with a definite purpose.
Crossway’s goal with this study Bible is to “enable readers to understand that the whole Bible is a unified message of the gospel of God’s grace culminating in Christ Jesus,” and to help you apply the truth of God’s good news to everyday life in a way that transforms your heart.
I seriously love that. I’m all about learning and teaching life application of God’s truth. Because of it’s Gospel-centered focus, the Gospel Transformation Study Bible helps facilitate that application extremely well.
The Good News in All of Scripture
One of the first things the Gospel Transformation Study Bible makes clear from the start is that “God doesn’t wait until the New Testament begins to display the grace of Christ’s good news.”
From the beginning, this study Bible aims to place each verse into the unfolding story of redemption. To do this without forcing speculative interpretation or imposing unsound context is a critical discipline.
You’ll find in each book introduction in this Bible a special segment called “the Gospel in” followed by a thorough introduction of how you’ll find the grace of God’s good news in each and every book of the Bible.
This helps Crossway maintain their disciplined approach to provide Bibles that are reliable in approach, interpretation and application.
It’s my sincere belief that all of us who follow Christ have a deep desire to not only understand the things of God, but to apply them.
Faithful application takes effort, but first it takes empowerment. In the introduction of the Gospel Transformation Study Bible (affiliate link), the General Editor Bryan Chapell states, “Faithful application typically answers four questions: What, where, why, and how to do it?”
Mr. Chapell goes on to point out that many previous application focused study Bibles excel at the first two questions, where the Gospel Transformation Study Bible strives to “be a primary resource for the latter two” while not forgetting the first two.
Crossway accomplishes this by offering a study Bible that is Gospel-centered, reliably translated, and with resources that are accessible, understandable, and applicable to your everyday life.
Features of the Gospel Transformation Study Bible
One of Crossway’s strongest accomplishments is creating attractive Bibles with desirable features that are highly effective for study. The Gospel Transformation Study Bible continues with that dependable Crossway tradition.
- 375,000+ words of Gospel-centered study notes and book introductions
- Written by a team of 50+ contributors
- 5 new articles on topics such as the Gospel in the Old Testament, Biblical theology, and the relationship between the Old and New Testaments
- The useful ESV cross-reference system with 80,000 cross-references
- Textual footnotes
- 7 color maps plus a detailed illustration of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus
- Ribbon marker
- Smyth-sewn binding
Using the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible
The first thing I noticed when I opened this Bible is the smooth, semi-bright white pages. The 9.0 type size is easy for my eyes and is very readable on this paper. The study notes are 7.5 type, and while I often need my glasses to read notes in a study Bible, the typesetting, font, paper choice, and size are easily readable for me.
While reviewing even the hardcover, the smyth-sewn binding allows it to remain open to any portion of this Bible on a desk without assistance.
Highlighting might be a little tricky if you’re using regular highlighters. I use the Pigma Micron pens in size 05 (affiliate link) and while there is some bleed through, it’s minimal enough to be tolerable to me.
Who is this Bible useful for?
You could have a beautiful Bible with the most amazing features, but if it isn’t useful it’s hardly valuable.
The Gospel Transformation Study Bible (affiliate link) will prove to be useful in a wide variety of contexts:
- Personal study
- Group study and family worship
- While discipling others
- Lay teachers and adult class lessons
- Sermon and lesson preparation for pastors and teachers
In other words, I can easily see the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible useful for just about any believer looking for a study Bible that excels at connecting all of Scripture to the grace of the Gospel that every book in the Bible points to.
This is a great looking Bible and a highly effective study tool with unique features that I can wholeheartedly recommend. Crossway does hit the mark of seeing the Gospel on every page and in empowering life changing application.