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?”