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Review: ESV Archaeology Study Bible

Crossway, 2017
Crossway's recent ESV Archaeology Study Bible (2018) is a fantastic resource for those interested in engaging deeper with the Word of God while understanding its historical context. Editors John Currid and David Chapman have carefully constructed a study Bible which contains scholarly insights for spiritual application. With contributions from leading biblical scholars and archaeologists, the ESV Archaeology Study Bible contains thousands of study notes, full-color maps and illustrations of archaeological finds, book introductions, and sidebars.

The purpose of this study Bible is to envelop the reader in the biblical world. Understanding the historical-cultural context of Scripture is a valuable asset in hermeneutics, understanding that God chose to speak to a specific people in a specific time through specific means. While his theological message remains, the cultural nuances vary—this is why study of archaeology becomes important. This study Bible allows readers to begin to grasp how the original readers understood their Scripture and how that translates into our reading of it today.

The Bible itself is a handsome, hard-cover book with an embossed design on the spine and cover. The inside is equally attractive, with generously sized type and a non-cluttered layout. The maps and archaeological images interspersed in the text allows one reading about an ancient culture to visualize it, making it real and alive. This Bible also contains an introduction to biblical archaeology, a glossary of archaeological terms and finds, a bibliography, indices to easily find maps and illustrations, and an ESV concordance.

Clearly, this Bible represents the highest level of archaeological scholarship while remaining accessible to laypersons. Biblical scholars, seminarians, and laity interested in discovering more of the biblical world will greatly benefit from this resource. It can become a valuable tool in exegesis, preaching, teaching, and personal devotion.

(My thanks is given to Crossway for providing a complimentary review copy in exchange for an honest review.)

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