Discerning Reader Editorial Review
Reviewed 12/04/2007 by Tim Challies.
Recommended. A study Bible with good notes and 100 apologetics articles written by articulate Christian scholars.
The Apologetics Study Bible is a heavyweight study Bible incorporating both the normal study notes at the bottom of each page with more than a hundred longer articles of an apologetic nature.
Even with the vast array of study Bibles already on the market, it is no surprise that a publisher could locate yet another niche market. The concept behind this one is solid, and all the articles I looked into are concise and theologically sound. Many of the author contributions were in a subject area that they have already written an entire book on, and so this provides an opportunity to get a one-page mini-version of their scholarship in these areas.
Perhaps the best way to explain this product is to imagine the Reeces Peanut Butter Cups commercial where the chocolate bar and jar of peanut butter come together. On one hand, we have the CSB Bible with a plethora of basic study notes at the bottom of each page. On the other hand, we have an “Intro to Apologetics and Christian Ethics” book consisting of 100 chapters of one page each. The publisher decided that as good as each were on their own, bringing them together could create a useful 3-pound product for our consumption.
The publisher’s description claims that it “Tears down the obstacles to unbelief”, which of course we know is not entirely true given that there is still the necessity of a Holy Spirit brought change of the inner man. Furthermore, I wonder if putting a claim like this on an apologetics study Bible makes the other “regular” Bibles seem less able to “tear down the obstacles…” because after all, they are just Bibles.
The scholars who write the study notes and apologetics articles would fill a “Who’s Who” of conservative Evangelical scholarship, and their writing is evidence of their training. Al Mohler, Norm Geisler, Josh McDowell, Ravi Zacharias, J.P. Moreland, and Chuck Colson are just a few of the contributors, with the vast majority of them coming from Southern Baptist circles.
The binding is excellent, and the margins seem to have an extra bit of white space, which is useful for notes. There are some very helpful charts in the back, along with brief biographies from church history. There are some great sidebar clips called “Twisted Scripture” that show how Bible passages at hand have been misused by cults.
Young folks inclined towards apologetics, philosophy, and debate would derive a lot of profit from this study Bible. Although I would rather keep the chocolate and peanut butter separate, I can certainly see how others would appreciate the convenience of bringing the two together.