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160 of 164 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2007
I do not believe it is necessary to continually repeat what has already been said. Stephen Donahue and J. Bradford's comments below mine do more than enough justice to this Bible. HOWEVER, they left one thing out that I believe is an incredible attribute to this study Bible:

THROUGHOUT the Bible, there are gray-inserted boxes in the text that are titled "Twisted Scriptures". The verse is named and then the authors will tell how other religions (Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.) have distorted these certain passages due to a misunderstanding of the text. They do the same thing for certain Christian movements and some denominations. I believe this is a truly fabulous addition because one can see where so many people have gone wrong with the exact text in front of them and a possible solution/rebuttal towards those who use it as such. This becomes a great help in regards to trying to remain orthodox, without being thrown off by some passages that have (due to lack of education, ignorance, harmful bias, etc.,) made others stray from correct teachings. And regardless if some may disagree with the author's comment, it still delivers an edifying note and makes one aware of a "problem" that they never would have known before. Now I must emphasize that the "Twisted Scriptures" passages are not "in-depth". They are not extensive by any means, but as I just said, they bring to light potential problems in interpretations that the reader may never have been aware of. This alone, I believe, is worth its weight in gold.

An essential study Bible for laymen and even Pastor's and students. I don't usually get excited or impressed by new "study" Bibles, but this one does deliver a package that no other Bible has yet to do!
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284 of 304 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2007
I must admit my biases up front. I lean towards a presuppositional apologetic. Seemingly, I would take issue with many of the articles, but I really don't. The editors sought those who are recognized in the evangelical world for the skill in both philosophical theology and applying the bible to tough questions. They did not let us down.

Pros of the Study Bible:
1. Some of the articles are simply outstanding. I can't say more. The ones by Frame, Russell Moore, Copan, and Walt Kaiser are quite good.

2. The study notes are decent, if one understands the context. It is not aiming to give an exposition of each passage, but to focus on the apologetical application of passages. Still, it gives interesting historical, archeological, and contra-cultist insights. Interestingly as a side-note, the Study Bible takes a premillennial approach to Revelation 20.

3. Wide margins. I applaud the formatters on this one. This bible has wider-margins than most. This was a huge plus in my opinion. One can legibly write thorough notes in the margin.

1. Some of the study notes take an almost facile approach to some really hard questions. For example, Norman Geisler's attempt to demonstrate how the Apocrypha shouldn't be in Scripture. The verses he quotes against it not only do not disprove the Apocrypha, but if accepted would also disprove the book of Judges and 1 Samuel! Further, Geisler ignored essentially every good argument against the Apocrypha. This kind of shallow reasoning makes one skeptical of the overall apologetic quality. (And poor Geisler's criticism of the Apocrypha almost convinced me the Apocrypha should be in the Bible!)

2. The editors suffer from a severe myopia. For them (at least in this writing) the only challenges to the faith are a form of relativistic postmodernism (with a very simplistic discussion), evolution, and strict materialistic atheism. But as any apologist of any stripe knows, few people actually fit these above challenges. This was so fifteen years ago.

2a. The choice of apologists listed leaves one to believe that serious defending the faith only began in the last 150 years. Of course, the printing press et al did make a difference in literary output, but most of the choices represent a narrow subsection within American evangelicalism. Of course, they tip their hats to Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas, but ne'ery a word is said about the Eastern tradition (Christological controversies, Gregory Palamas, and David Bentley Hart). This is where the real ammo is. In fact, have they even heard of these people? In fact, if you do not understand the 6th Ecumenical Council, and the two energies of Christ, then your "defense" of Christ is naught.

On the other hand, though, Craig rejects Absolute Divine Simplicity, so it's something to think about.

The translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. This should be evaluated independently of the Study Bible.

The notes of the study bible take a mildly Calvinistic slant. It is not as Calvinistic as R.C. Sproul but is more Calvinistic than Geisler, Moreland, and Lane Craig (even though the last three are contributors).

I have the hardback quality. The binding is very good and quite durable.
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126 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2007
I have eagerly awaited the Apologetics Study Bible, and so it arrived in many bookstores last week. It is available in hardback, black bonded, brown bonded, black genuine and brown genuine leather. I initally wanted the brown genuine leather, but the artwork inside the bible appears to be black and silver, which did not go as well with the very dark brown leather; so, I chose the black. The black has silver page edges and a good-lengthed black and a silver ribbon marker. The binding is sewn; not glued. The print is very good, my guess is 10 or 10.5. It is a black letter edition( YES!!!!!!), so words in the New Testament are NOT in red. The Bible contains annotations, which are very helpful, doctrinal articles, in-text maps, and wonderful charts (in colour) in the back with compares traditional Christian doctrine with world religions, and also with cults. This is an excellent Bible to have as it necessarily builds up one's faith along with traditional orthodoxy. The Holman Christian Standard Bible uses what is termed, 'optimal equivalence.' It is much more literal than the NIV, but more readable than the ESV. I have only heard/read good things about the HCSB. This is a definite to-have Bible.(Note: The HCSB is under revision, completing in 2009. Look for discounts soon on all first-edition HCSBs)
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119 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2007
From the list of contributors, I was expecting a five star product across the board. But that was not to be.

There are many good articles and excellent notes making this Bible worth owning for reference purposes but it should most definitely not be a single source for apologetic material. In some controversial topics where there are differences of opinion even among conservative evangelicals, they tend to give coverage to only one of the opinions--and even then do not cover it as well as it could have been covered given the space limitations. If they do mention an alternative opinion held by other conservative Christians, it is usually a passing comment. In one instance they mock holding an opinion other than the one they present.

This work has many great contributors and enough quality material to recommend itself. But, in some instances, it does not present a well-rounded Christian apologetic. Supplementing the notes in this Bible with works from Zondervan's Counterpoint series would go a long way in correcting the problem.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2008
I bought the hardcover in a Christian Bookstore. Ive been so impressed with this Bible that I just ordered a Geniune Leather edition from Amazon.

The Translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. This is my first encounter with the HCSB and I must say Im impressed. They tried to be as literal as the NASB, and as readable as the NIV. Time will tell if this version gets accepted by Christianity as a whole, but so far so good.

The meat and potatoes of this Study Bible is the articles and notes from an apologetic view point. Which is good, and needed in the world today. Christianity is constantly under attack in the movies, and on television. This Bible will help equip the believer in giving an account of why we believe and should help us witness to the lost.

Here is some of the questions this Bible tackles.

Can I know that God exists?

Am I the product of evolution or was I created by God?

How strong is the evidence for Jesus' resurrection?

Is the Bible reliable and true?

Do I have a destiny?

Can evil be reconciled with belief in God who is all powerful and all loving?

Plus many more questions. There are also little blurbs every so often on twisted scriptures and how cults use certain passages to justify strange beliefs. This is a quality study Bible and I think most Christians will like it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2009
I have been a believer for many years and have read through. three translations so far: the New International Version (NIV), The Message (MSG), and most recently the New Living Translation (NLT). All have their merits, but I wish this bible had been around 4-5 years ago when I was really beginning to take an interest in the Word of God. First of all, this Bible is beautiful! There are a few versions. I own the black bonded leather version with the silver gilded page edges and my mother owns the brown genuine leather version with the gold gilded page edges and thumb index cut-outs. Hers was twice as much as mine (roughly $80-$90) but all-in-all it is the same bible, so you can spend as little or as much as what is important to you.

The Pros:

The MAIN pro is that it is an apologetic study bible. Apologetics means "in the defense of" and this bible really does help you understand WHY you believe what you believe, and helps you argue, debate, or simply convince others of the truth.

I find the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) translation to be very readable and understandable with a good balance of the true Hebraic, Aramaic, or Greek meanings as well. So far it is my favorite translation to date. I really did enjoy the NLT, but in church my pastor would read from the KJV or NKJV and I would have a hard time following because the word order of the NLT would be different and I would have to try and rearrange words in my brain while trying to listen and it was a little tough. This HCSB translation seems to flow more like the KJV so I can follow along with my pastor and not be distracted.

The pages are very nice and decorative and the font size and type-set are very easy on the eyes. The pages are divided horizontally with scripture at the top and explanation of scripture and notes on the bottom, similar to the style of many other study bibles on the market.

There are very cool commentaries by various Christian authorities and writers that delve into various worldly ideologies and social agendas present today, as well as little snippets sprinkled throughout called Twisted Scriptures, which are really great. Twisted Scriptures highlight certain passages in the bible that others have taken out of context or "twisted" to support a false teaching or idea, generally used by cult and religious spin-off groups.

There are various helps, maps, glossaries, indexes, and an explanation and history of the HCSB translation. I recommend you read the beginning parts prior to the scripture so you will better understand the translation, i.e. that when Jesus is speaking (words NOT in red, by the way) and the type is bold face you automatically know He is quoting scripture.


Really the pros FAR outweigh the cons, but I need to mention a couple of things.

First of all, it is a very large, hefty bible. I realized after a month of owning it I needed to buy a pocked HCSB bible for church. I find it to be more of a bedside or tabletop bible.

Second of all, that decorative stuff on the pages I referred to earlier in the Pros section can also be a con because it can make quickly finding passages and books difficult because it is harder to clearly see the book names. They tend to blend in a bit, especially if you are flipping very quickly to keep up with someone teaching. That was another reason I bought my pocket HCSB.

Those are my only gripes.

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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2009
For those who do not have the money or the time to read numerous books on apologetics, yet desire to defend your faith, here is a practical solution in one volume. The Apologetics Study Bible by Holman furnishes an enormous amount of apologetic material within its pages.
It has a generous amount of essays on:

- philosophy
- world religions
- archeological discoveries
- moral absolutes
- short biographies of famous apologists
- disproving cultic scripture misuse

Reading, pondering, and applying God's word must be our most important commitment to any book. Nonetheless, after enjoying a large portion of the Bible, this resource gives you the tools to research and defend the Faith "once for all delivered unto the saints." I recommend the scriptures above all, but the notes and details that this Study Bible furnishes will make a wonderful apologetic learning instrument for the non-scholar.
by Mike A Robinson, author of: Truth, Knowledge and the Reason for God: The Defense of the Rational Assurance of Christianity
and "One Way to God: Christian Philosophy and Presuppositional Apologetics Examine World Religions"
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2011
This was my first video review of any product on and it's a very cool feature for those of us, like me, who like to talk rather than type all the time. This review is for the imitation leather (two-tone blue) Apologetics Study Bible HCSB translation.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2010
Cannot reccommend the Kindle Version of the Apologetics Study Bible. There is no way to navigate the book except by the Table of Contents. You cannot do a search on the book, like "John 3;16" and get a related location. You can't even do "John 3" and get a related location. Also, the verse by verse footnotes are not coupled to the verses they describe. You have to page forward over and over until you find them, supposedly at the "bottom" of the page. Forget about purchasing this Kindle book. Unless you want to read the scriptures and commentary straight through from beginning to end, this e-book is useless.

The paper-bound book gets 5 stars! It's awesome!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2015
Most people assume all study Bibles to be pretty much alike. If you get one with a person’s name on it, more than likely, it will reflect that person’s theology. If it doesn’t have someone’s name on it, then it is usually an eclectic grab bag of information. Well, “The Apologetics Study Bible” is not your average study Bible. Instead of just tossing in an abundance of information in some haphazard fashion or having one group’s theological presuppositions espoused, it systematically provides specific information about, the scripture, ethics, science, archaeology, philosophy, and non-Christian belief systems. It does it in a very thoughtful manner. I found the sections called, “twisted scripture” to be very helpful.
Just the list of contributors on this one had me sold on the idea; Albert Mohler, Ravi Zacharias, Phil Johnson, Chuck Colson, Norm Geisler, Josh McDowell, J. P. Moreland, and Hank Hanegraaff. Not to mention the features; the easy to read HCSB text, presentation page, the two-color page layout for contrast, introductions and book outlines to each Bible book that focus on apologetics, double-column paragraph format in black 10 point text, translation footnotes, study notes that explain "problem" passages, sidebars on scriptures misused by cults, (twisted scripture) profiles of historic Christian apologists from Justin Martyr to C. S. Lewis, plan of salvation, lined pages for recording personal notes, silver page edges, 5 full color maps, charts, and two ribbon markers, make this an excellent choice for the student polishing up their apologetics chops. This Bible lives up to the name, “The Apologetics Bible.”
Every believer is called to give an answer for the hope that they have, we are supposed to evangelize, and make disciples. This Bible definitely will help with the Great Commission. Everyone should have a copy of this to refer to. It puts some of the most expertly done work at your disposal.
This Bible was shipped to me in a cardboard box padded with paper. It arrived undamaged and in good condition. It was packaged in a two piece retail box that should be retained for storage. The Apologetics Study Bible is 9 1/2" x 7 1/4” x 1 1/2” it has a genuine leather cover. The cover is what you would expect from a genuine leather cover. It is made from pigskin leather. It is a bit shiny compared to calfsplit or cowhide leather, but not near as pricey, while offering superior quality to most synthetics and bonded leather covers. The corners are machine cut, formed, and glued, so they are nice and uniform. It is case bound with a sewn binding. There are decorative head and tail bands. The page gilt and stamp work is done in silver. The font is uniformly inked and printed. It is 10 point in size and is easy on the eyes. The coloring of some of the elements on the page can be a bit distracting if you are a purist. The paper seems to be opaque enough. The study attributes of this Bible are the big features. You are getting a lot for your money. This Bible is a great value.
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