Men are likely to not attend church gathering nor be engaged in other religious activities. There are a variety of reasons for this trend. One reason for this phenomenon may be a lack of biblical literacy. That is not to say that men can’t read, but that they don’t read the Bible and have little working knowledge of it. To help correct this trend and to attract men to the faith, there have been a flood of Bibles specifically marketed to men. I struggle with the recent trend that markets the Bible to a specific group. There is an over saturation of these types of Bibles available today, and many of them are not all that helpful. Yet there are of few of these that are done well and seek to meet a specific discipleship need. One of these that has been recently released is the ESV Men’s Study Bible (Crossway, 2022).
As has been stated regarding the ESV as a translation in an earlier review titled Book Review: ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible:
The English Standard Version (ESV) has stood the test of time as a reliable “essentially literal” translation of the Bible since 2001. In a day when many Bible readers prefer readability over accuracy, the ESV proves to be not only an accurate but highly readable translation solidly standing in the reformation heritage of Bible translations. It lends itself to personal study, memorization, and teachability. For this reason the ESV has been a preferred translation for many pastors, seminary students, and churches for the better part of two decades. The ESV has shaped the way a generation of disciples approaches, studies, and teaches the Bible. It will continue to be a trusted translation for many years to come (Posted May 10, 2019).
Over the years, Crossway has published several versions of the ESV that lend itself to different ways to approach the Bible. The ESV Men’s Study Bible is one of these. This then begs the question: what makes the ESV Men’s Study Bible different? Let’s take a brief look at two features that set this Bible apart.
The main distinguishing feature of the ESV Men’s Study Bible are the reflections/devotions found throughout. Each book of the Bible contains reflections from a pastor, teacher, or biblical scholar numbering from 2-3 up to 10-15, depending on the size of the biblical book. The reflections are one page in length and aid the reader glean insight from the text. Contributors include: R. Kent Hughes, Miles Van Pelt, Paul House, Alistair Begg, Bryan Chapell, Greg Gilbert, Dane Ortlund, and Julius Kim, among many others.
Another helpful feature included in the ESV Men’s Study Bible are the study notes provided at the bottom of the biblical text. The study notes are based on the ESV Study Bible (2008). The notes in the ESV Men’s Study Bible are a condensed version of the original ESV Study Bible, although new supplementary features have been added such as profiles on biblical characters, definitions, and questions that draw the reader into deeper study.
The ESV Men’s Study Bible also includes features found in most other ESV Bibles. These include the ESV reference system, a concise concordance, selected illustrations that are also found in the ESV Study Bible and the ESV Concise Study Bible, as well as maps at the back. Each of these features aid the reader in deeper study of God’s word.
As a note to the reader, the devotions in the the ESV Men’s Study Bible were originally published in the ESV Men’s Devotional Bible (2015) which is no longer in print. It appears as though Crossway has expanded that previous edition along with additional features and republished it as ESV Men’s Study Bible. This new edition is essentially a combination of the ESV Men’s Devotional Bible and the ESV Concise Study Bible. It is nonetheless an excellent resource. The devotions are also available separate volume titled Daily Strength.
The ESV Men’s Study Bible is a resource that will encourage men toward a deeper love for God’s word. The features provided in this Bible can help engage men in personal study, as well as small group Bible study. Crossway offers this Bible in three bindings: hardback, TruTone brown, and black genuine leather. This Bible would make an excellent gift for a father, husband, or friend who desires to study God’s word.
Editor’s Note: This resource was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Zach Kendrick is the editor of Reading For The Glory.
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