Thursday, October 4, 2007

The ESV Literary Study Bible

Michael Spencer really likes the The ESV Literary Study Bible (mine should arrive from Amazon today). Spencer:
“Ten Reasons I’m Recommending the ESV Literary Study Bible.”
  1. The editors are the same people who wrote the best Bible Handbook I’ve ever used: The Ryken Bible Handbook. I reviewed this book here at IM and I continue to use it with my students. ....
  2. The text eliminates section headings. ....
  3. The Introductions are balanced, readable, helpful and insightful. Good book introductions with sensitivity to literary issues are almost unheard of in most Bibles. ....
  4. Each chapter (or two) has a separate introductory section. These precede and summarize the chapters with enough supplemental information to orient you to the text, but avoiding repetition or too much detail.
  5. Genre, that most neglected of all elements of the proper interpretation of the scriptures, is front and center in the ESVLSB. As a teacher of English and Bible, this is really a dream come true.
  6. Single columns and wide margins, in addition to the rest of the features in the text, make the ESVLSB the ideal textbook Bible for homeschool, high school, college and seminary Bible survey courses. ....
  7. Throughout the Bible, there is the development of a “Master Story Line,” and the placement of each book into that story line. ....
  8. Literary elements, such as symbolism, rhetoric, metaphors and themes, are all part of the introductory and summary material. ....
  9. No big names telling anyone what to think or believe. ....
  10. The lack of “cross referencing” tools is an important step in encouraging the study of books and large portions of books rather than using verses to build doctrine from various sources. .... (all of the review)
I've been using the ESV for several years now. I like its readability, but I also very much like the fact that it reads well aloud. It is an excellent translation for use in worship: for unison and responsive readings and readings from the pulpit. It is good to know that so many other resources, like this one, are being made available using this version.


  1. Hi! I'm Mark Traphagen, manager at Westminster Bookstore ( On Tuesday we got a shipment of 1000 of the first copies of the Literary Study Bible available, and it has become our Harry Potter Book 7! We have never seen a Bible fly off the shelves like this one. It's broken all records for first-day sales from our store.

    By the way, we have it for 40% off (less than Amazon) and will ship it UPS the same day ordered for our flat fee of $5 for any size order. Check out the ESV Literary Study Bible and 4000+ other great titles all at less than Amazon prices and $5 shipping any size order.

  2. Anonymous2:15 PM

    I ordered a copy of the ESV Bible based on your recommendation at Conference. I really wanted to order the Literary Study Bible, but in looking at the print size, I didn't think I could read it without strain. So I ended up buying a large-print version. It's bigger than I really need, but there didn't seem to be anything in between available in ESV. I hope the publisher eventually comes out with a large-print Literary Study Bible.

  3. Linda,
    They do seem to be coming up with new editions on a regular basis. I got my Literary Study Bible today and it is a hefty volume with very thin paper - and, as you say, very small print. A larger print version might require more than one volume.

  4. Anonymous7:52 PM

    According to the publisher, the type size the the Literary Study Bible is 8.5 points. The large-print edition is 12.5 points. I'd settle for 10.5 or 11. That's a comfortable size for me. I can't believe I had to buy a large-print Bible at my age!


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