"ESV Archeology Study Bible" (book review)

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time rifling through and perusing the various options of this Archeology Study Bible.  So, now it’s time to provide information to you regarding what it contains.

First: The version I am reviewing was the English Standard Version (ESV).  The purpose of this review is not to detail the reliability or pro’s and con’s of the ESV, but to detail some of the features the editors have included in it to make it an Archeology Study Bible.

Second: While most study bibles contain interpretive assistance based on a particular approach to theology, this study bible takes its approach from – obviously – an archeological standpoint.  The editors provide several insights pertaining to the origins and even some similarities of other ancient, non-biblical writings.  These commentaries aren’t intended, I don’t believe, to give “authority” to those writings, but to show some similarities among the world’s religions.

For example, found in Proverbs 22:17-24:22 is a comment titled, “the words of the wise.”  This commentary references the “thirty sayings” of Solomon.  The commentary provides a reference to the Egyptian Instruction of Amenemope, which appears very similar.  But the cross reference doesn’t stop there, but I also found it over in Psalm 1:3 “He is like a tree.”  Once again, a reference to Amenemope appears.

Obviously, this piqued my interest, as I’m certain it will others.  Examples like these two may inspire others with a history-buff kind of mind to dig deeper into ancient writings.

Third: Color pictures abound!  Often short articles pertaining to a particular archeological find appears, and near it are pictures to assist your mind’s eye.

Fourth: Intertestamental Events Timeline.  Tucked nicely between the Old and New Testaments, the editors have provided a brief, yet helpful, timeline of events that occurred during the intertestamental period of time.  Names like “Alexander the Great” and “Epicurious” will likely ring a bell with most readers.  This timeline helps readers place the biblical timeline in context with world history.

Fifth: Cultural points to ponder.  Randomly throughout this study bible are brief histories of cultural norms, such as what divorce and the temple tax looked like in the 1st Century.  These are helpful, in that they provide background from the original authors’ and readers’ points of view, rather than from the 21st Century.

RATING: Overall, I like the A.S.B., and I give it 4 stars.  It will not be my primary bible for regular use, but it will certainly supplement my studies.

DISCLAIMER: I received this bible from Crossway free of charge in exchange for my unbiased review of it.  All opinions are mine, and I was not required to provide a positive review of it.

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