I begin this review with a needed confession: by default, I’m not thrilled with the study Bible concept. For me, the Bible should be the Bible, with notes and commentaries housed separately. Though to be fair, I wonder how many “Ethiopian eunuchs” are out in the world, pondering on a difficult passage from Isaiah, but without a transported Philip there to guide him. For that reason, maybe my prejudice is more egregious than the potential danger of God’s word co-occupying human thoughts in the binding of a study Bible.
All that to say that when given an opportunity to review Kregel’s “The Evangelism Study Bible”, I did so, not with a disposition to take it easy on the content, but to be even more critical. And I’m here to tell you, this is a study Bible worth having. The content is solid and helpful, the format is balanced and clean, the user experience then, is one that is edifying.
Too many study Bibles, especially through the Gospels and Epistles, tend to be dominated by commentary content, but not so with the Evangelism Study Bible. Rather than trying to comment on most every verse, comments are relegated to the essential themes of the passages with breakout articles designed to provide more color to the larger theme.
For example, when discussing Jeremiah 8:20, the Evangelism Study Bible provides an entry entitled: “What is the Best Way to Help Your Country?” From it we read, “Who are the Jeremiahs of our day God will use to call individuals to Himself, and how is it best done? The answer is simple. It’s you and me spreading the message of the gospel. Before there can be reformation, there must be regeneration.” I affirm. When discussing Haggai 1, there is an entry called “How to Deal with Distractions in Evangelism” which lists 5 of the more popular distractions we face in our noisy society. One last one that I particularly enjoyed is found in Mark 12 called, “How to Share Christ with People Who Don’t Believe in Life After Death”. It concludes with this sage advice, “So rather than argue whether or not there is a hereafter, focus the conversation on Jesus. If Jesus Christ was who He said He was, then everything He said about the hereafter is true.” Again, I affirm.
This is a valuable resource for all Christians, not just pastors or teachers. If you follow Christ and have an interest in learning how to share your faith with others, this study Bible will aid you towards that endeavor.