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ESV Study Bible: Online and Offline, My Favorite Bible

Updated on August 31, 2017

ESV Study Bible: The Perfect Print/Online Bible Combination

The ESV Study Bible is an extraordinary print and online study Bible set. With 20,000 notes, 80,000 cross references, over 200 full color maps, 40 gorgeous illustrations, more than 50 articles and over 200 charts, the ESV Study Bible is an amazing Bible resource library in one volume. The online version, which contains all of the references of the print version and more, is available for $19.99 on its own but is provided for free to all those who purchase a copy of the print edition. Online, all of the reference material in the print edition has easy links to the the cross-referenced scriptures and notes. Plus it gives the ability to create and store personal notes online and to listen to audio recordings of the ESV. It also has hooks into various social networks like facebook and twitter so readers can easily share scripture and notes with their online contacts. Additionally, there is a beautiful free iPhone/iPad app with similar note-taking and sharing features (the Study Bible Notes are only available in the plus version for 14.99.)

I use the ESV Study Bible in its print, online, or iPhone version daily, and can't recommend the combination highly enough.

Just the Bible or Study Aids Too?

If you're a Bible reader, do you prefer to read just the biblical text itself, or do you also read study notes?

The following ESV Study Bible features are available in the print edition, the online edition (free to purchasers of the print edition) and the iPhone/iPad ESV Study Bible + app.

20,000 notes

focusing especially on understanding the Bible text and providing answers to frequently raised issues.

Preparing a talk for Apha - Who is the Holy Spirit? by the tartarpodcast on flickr.com
Preparing a talk for Apha - Who is the Holy Spirit? by the tartarpodcast on flickr.com

ESV Study Bible Notes

The ESV Study Bible Notes explain the text without imposing their own interpretation. On controversial or difficult texts the notes admit as much and describe every side without too much prejudice (the editorial bent, though slight, is toward reformed theology) leaving the readers to draw their own conclusions. For example in the notoriously difficult section of 1 Timothy about women in ministry, the notes give an interpretation (that Paul really is excluding women from ministry), and then hasten to add, "The meaning of this passage, however, is widely contested today. Some interpreters argue that the prohibition of 1 Tim. 2:12 does not apply today because . . ." and then offer three different contesting interpretations.

The notes excel in linking passages of scripture together, especially when New Testament authors quote the Old Testament or allude to it. They also do a great job of summing up and making sense of tough passages like the long lists of sacrificial requirements in the Pentateuch. I've read through the Bible several times and the first time I lost track of time and kept reading on in Leviticus was because of the notes and illustrations in this Bible.

40 all-new illustrations

including full-color renderings and architectural diagrams of the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, Solomon's temple, Herod's temple, the city of Jerusalem in Jesus' time and throughout the history of Israel, and many more.

ESV Study Bible Illustrations

Solomon's Temple in ESV Study Bible
Solomon's Temple in ESV Study Bible

The illustrations in the ESV Study Bible are superb. Images, like the one of Solomon's temple above, enhance the meaning of the written text. (Click the picture to go to the ESV Study Bible site where you can see a larger version.)

Over 50 articles

including articles on the Bible's authority and reliability; on biblical archaeology, theology, ethics, and personal application.

ESV Study Bible Articles

The ESV Study Bible contains over 50 articles, grouped under the following topics.

  • Biblical Doctrine
  • Biblical Ethics
  • Interpreting the Bible
  • Reading the Bible
  • The Canon of Scripture
  • The Reliability of Bible Manuscripts
  • Archaeology and the Bible
  • The Original Languages of the Bible
  • The Septuagint
  • How the New Testament Quotes and Interprets the Old Testament
  • The Bible in Christianity
  • The Bible and World Religions
  • The Bible and Religious Cults
  • History of Salvation in the Old Testament
  • Concordance
  • Daily Bible Reading Plan
  • Weights and Measures

200-plus charts

offering key insights and in-depth analysis in clear, concise outline form; located throughout the Bible.

ESV Study Bible Charts

The ESV Study Bible charts gather illustrative texts pertaining to a particular theme that are scattered throughout the Bible and present them in an easily understood format. For example, I was reading 1 Peter just today and read a chart listing instances of the theme of regeneration in the New Testament. Before seeing that chart, I wasn't aware that regeneration and equivalent terms occurred in John, Ephesians, Colossians, Titus, James, 1 Peter, and 1 John.

Don't Take My Word for It - Major Christian leaders endorse the ESV Study Bible

ESV Study Bible Personal Size

Let's face it. All the features of the ESV Study Bible make it really big and heavy. It's great for reading at at home but you probably don't want to haul it around. That's why I'm pleased to share that a smaller, lighter version is now available. Check out the ESV Study Bible, Personal Size.

Share Your thoughts about the ESV Study Bible - Or maybe a favorite Bible verse

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      That was my thought all along, "This is going to be heavy." A personal size was a brilliant idea.....excellent review of the ESV Bible.

    • profile image

      Kaafscorner 6 years ago

      My favourite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11. It is always serves as encouragement to me when I'm feeling low.

    • MisterJeremy profile image
      Author

      Jeremy 6 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @JoyfulPamela2: Yes, they are a blessing. I live in Japan and feel spoiled by the abundance of Bible study resources available in English compared to Japanese.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      Cool lens. Thanks for all the great information about the ESV!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Bible study guides sure are helpful in helping to understand the Word. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by educational resources to help me learn more about God. =D

    • HomeDecoratingD profile image

      HomeDecoratingD 6 years ago

      Looks like a really nice Bible. I am not really needing another one, (got several per family member as it is! lol!), but I will keep it in mind if I am ever shopping for a new one.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great job ~ this looks like a great study Bible!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      The Kindle version doesn't have diagrams (as far as I can tell). Definitely a downside. But it's so portable!