Knowing Church History Is an Asset for Every Pastor

Help for Challenging Roads

I think church history is helpful to people in different times, different places, in how they engage the text, and how they live out their discipleship. But that’s hard to do. We’re talking about a library of church history. That would be thousands of volumes.

The scholars that we’ve enlisted for the ESV Church History Study Bible have done all the legwork for pastors. They’re essentially pastor’s research assistants mining from the riches of church history and pooling together truly helpful comments on the text. We’re pulling those all together in one place so that as a pastor who is preparing to teach or preach can have this added resource to find perspective on the text. Not only can it help them as they prepare to preach God’s word faithfully and powerfully, but it can also help their listeners be introduced to these folks from church history and these truly helpful perspectives.

ESV Church History Study Bible

The ESV Church History Study Bible is designed to help believers in all seasons of life understand the Bible—featuring 20,000 study notes from church history’s most prominent figures.

It’s interesting even just reading through the Pentateuch to see how some of the Reformers are talking about what it means to be the people of God in exile, the people of God on the margins, and how faithful the covenant-keeping God is, even when the appearances are to the contrary. It’s so helpful to hear from these folks in the past and to realize that we’re not the only ones going down challenging roads. Our brothers before us have gone down those challenging roads, and they have much that they can share that is of true benefit to us.

We all have the task of preaching God’s word faithfully. And I truly believe that church history and these folks from church history can serve us well in completing that task and being a good and faithful servant of God’s Word.

Stephen Nichols is the editor of the ESV Church History Study Bible: Voices from the Past, Wisdom for the Present.

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