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“Why Another Study Bible?”

We’ve been encouraged by the reception of the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible since its release in September. But one question keeps popping up: “Why the need for another study Bible?”

It’s a great question and so we asked Dr. Dane Ortlund, managing editor of the Gospel Transformation Bible, for his response. Here’s what he said:

Some reviewers have called the Gospel Transformation Bible (GTB) the “Gospel Transformation Study Bible,” but this is a bit misleading because the word “study” is not in the title. The omission is intentional because the GTB takes a different approach to Scripture than the typical study Bible, evidenced in the following distinctions:

  • A study Bible aims at the mind, the GTB aims at the heart.
  • A study Bible helps you understand what the text meant, the GTB helps you understand what the text means.
  • A study Bible drills in and gives a micro treatment of a text, the GTB steps back and gives a macro treatment of how that text fits into the single story that dawns in Genesis 1 and concludes in Revelation 22.
  • A study Bible offers more interpretation, the GTB offers more application.
  • A study Bible mainly taps into the domains of exegesis and systematic theology, the GTB taps into the domain of biblical theology.
  • A study Bible is a project rooted in 2 Tim 3:16-17 (the whole Bible teaches God’s truth), the GTB is a project rooted in Luke 24:26-27 (the whole Bible is about God’s Son).

In an interview between Dr. Bryan Chapell (General Editor) and Dr. Ortlund, Chapell explains how a study Bible emphasizes the particulars of the information concerning a text (impact of a particular word, geography, historical background, etc.); but the GTB shows how these particulars come together to reveal the eternal plan of biblical history, culminating in the revelation of Jesus Christ. The GTB moves beyond information to explanation, answering the focused question, “How is a given book or specific passage, in all of its particulars, unfolding the gospel?”

Learn More:
Listen to a message about the Gospel Transformation Bible from Dr. Ray Ortlund

Browse available editions

Read reviews of the GTB

November 21, 2013 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,Gospel Transformation Bible,GTB,News & Announcements | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:30 am | (2) Comments »


  1. I understand that explanation but what I do not understand is the reason for issuing student and World editions based on the ESV Study Bible. Who are they aimed at? What is the difference in content?

    Comment by David — November 25, 2013 @ 7:34 am

  2. Hi David,
    Thank you for your question –

    The ESV Student Study Bible is adapted from the ESV Study Bible, but the content (book introductions, articles, etc.) was edited with a student demographic in mind. The content of the Student Study Bible includes new features for students which are not in the original Study Bible, such as 900 “Did You Know?” facts, 120 new Bible character profiles and 15 new topical articles.

    The ESV Global Study Bible is also adapted from the original ESV Study Bible, but includes edited content and new features that are unique for Christians who are globally minded. For example, the Global Study Bible has new articles focusing on pertinent issues (role of government, world religions, social ethics, etc.) and book introductions that describe the global message of the book.

    If you follow the links above to the product pages then you can preview the interior and see the difference between each edition.

    I hope this explanation is helpful!

    Comment by Lizzy Jeffers — December 3, 2013 @ 9:27 am

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