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The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version Hardcover – February 16, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


...a one-volume treasure trove for Christians looking for a truly helpful aid to serious Bible study. -- Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi

A wonderful guide for anyone who desires to understand the great, historical doctrines of the church embedded in God's Word. -- Joni Eareckson Tada

I recommend The Reformation Study Bible for its combination of an accurate translation and high quality study notes. -- Dr. Vern S. Poythress, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

This is not a faddish study Bible. It will be around for a while—perhaps generations. -- Michael S. Horton, Westminster Seminary California

This is not a faddish study Bible.  It will be around for a while, perhaps generations.  -- Michael Horton, Professor of Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary, California

This is the gold standard for study Bibles, and I will be commending it to my congregation. -- Philip Graham Ryken, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia

About the Author

R. C. Sproul (Drs., Free University of Amsterdam) is the founder and president of Ligonier Ministries, and host of the national daily radio program Renewing Your Mind. He has written more than fifty books, including The Holiness of God and The Invisible Hand.

Keith A. Mathison (Ph.D., Whitefield Theological Seminary) is director of curriculum development for Ligonier Ministries and assistant editor of Tabletalk magazine. He is the author of several books, including Given for You.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1948 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing; First Thus Used edition (February 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875526438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875526430
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Reformation Study Bible has long been the standard by which all other study Bibles are measured. Having it available in the English Standard Version, which many consider the best available English translation, simply raises the bar. With R.C. Sproul at the helm and the list of editors reading like a who's-who of Reformed theology, the reader can have confidence that he is in good hands with these notes. Among those who contributed are J. I. Packer, James Boice, Roger Nicole and Wayne Grudem. Philip Ryken spoke well when he said "this is the gold standard for study Bibles."

Perhaps the greatest feature of the study notes is that when they address a controversial subject, the authors provide the differing viewpoints but then point out which is most consistent with Reformed theology. In the past I have been continually dismayed to see how many study Bibles remain noncommital on the tough issues. Adding to the value of this book are the doctrinal notes which appear throughout the Bible. These notes address such difficult topics as justification, election and the nature of the church. All of these topics are addressed from a consistently Reformed worldview.

To summarize, if you are looking for a study Bible, you will not do better than this. It combines the scholarship and literary quality of the English Standard Version with the consistently Reformed perspectives of the study notes to make the best study Bible available today.
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Format: Hardcover
The Reformation Study Bible is a goldmine of information, commentary, random observation, and quick reference. Before I added my two-cents'-worth to the review pile, I wanted to spend a number of weeks using it as a both a study tool and devotional aid. In order to facilitate this, I actually purchased the digital version from Nelson rather than the print version. My Bible study is primarily done within the Libronix Digital Library System, so this was the most useful format for me. Therefore, my comments relate to content and not presentation in the book format.

First off, I am glad that the Reformation Study Bible is offered with the ESV translation of the Bible based on both readability and a good attempt at being a translation that seeks to expose the underlying Greek text. This is my personal favorite translation, and I am happy with the large number of resources being quickly released to help me use this version.

My favorite feature of this study Bible is the short essays throughout called "Theological Notes." In my opinion this Bible is worth its purchase price for these notes alone. Let me give you a flavor of what they cover by listing some titles:

-The Image of God

-Body & Soul, Male & Female

-The Fall

-God's Covenant of Grace

-Infant Baptism

-The Baptism of Jesus

-The Unpardonable Sin

-The Transfiguration of Jesus


Next, a very large number of in-text maps are provided which make for excellent resources. Since they are presented in the context of a certain passage of Scripture, they are much more useful than the maps often provided at the end of Bibles or in Bible Atlases.
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Format: Imitation Leather Verified Purchase
The finest example of imitation leather I've ever seen makes this volume immediately satisfying from a visual and tactile perspective. Of course the value doesn't end there.

The text is clear, well-sized and easy to read. The translation is fresh and sometimes startlingly contemporary (in a very good way). The book is loaded with useful reference features that do not crowd the text but provide information and explanation throughout. Of special interest are the numerous short and clear topic essays placed near relevant passages, all of which are separately indexed in a surprisingly-comprehensive set of contents pages.

A VERY small issue is that one is often directed to a footnote in another section of the book when simply repeating the half-dozen words would seem more useful; this is, however, by no means a unique weakness of this volume. One could also wish for more maps.

Readers from the Reformed tradition within the Christian church will find this edition extremely satisfying. Those of other faiths will find this a remarkably accessible guide to what that tradition believes, and why.

A remarkable product, and a remarkable value. It stands proudly with some of the best study Bibles available.
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A Kid's Review on June 29, 2010
Format: Imitation Leather
I ordered the Reformation Study Bible in the ESV, with imitation leather binding. Overall, I am happy with this purchase.

The imitation leather binding seems a little thin and I wonder how it will hold up over time, but I chose it over the leather to save money.

The pages are thin, but I am able to write with my super fine-point markers and it does not bleed through. As compared with the New Scofield and Ryrie study Bibles (which I also have), this has less room in the margins for my notes, but it is working so far.

As compared to the Ryrie and New Scofield Study Bibles, this one is laid out better than the Scofield, but not as nicely as the Ryrie. I am referring to formatting only - how easy it is to read and to find specific information within the notes. Like the other two study Bibles I mentioned, this one has introductory notes at the beginning of each book and does give approximate dates it was written. But, it has very few in-text maps and I haven't seen any timelines, which the Ryrie Study Bible does have. Regarding timelines, I know that Reformed theology doesn't promote timelines, but the timelines that are in the Ryrie Study Bible are not so much indicating end-times events and dispensations, as they are setting the book within worldwide history that was taking place at the time of writing. I am finding these very helpful.

The notes are in-depth and written from a reformed perspective. I wanted to compare this with the Ryrie and New Scofield study Bibles to get both the dispensational and reformed perspectives. In the books I have been studying so far, I have been helped by study notes from both perspectives.

All in all I am very happy with this Bible and am looking forward to many hours of study as I continue to compare these Bibles.
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