The Apologetics Study Bible (CSB) – A Review
The Apologetics Study Bible Christian Standard Bible. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville.
In my opinion, I have quite a few Bibles, not including digital, that take up space on my desk and shelf. And among them are quite a few study Bibles. However, the Apologetics Study Bible proves to be my first one geared towards the discipline of apologetics. Just as everyone is a theologian, the same can be said in the form that all Christians engage in Apologetics to some degree or another. Before we go on to the review though, I want to make sure you, the reader, knows what apologetics is. According to Kenneth Boa in his article “What Is Apologetics?” from the Apologetics Study Bible, it is, “the defense of the Christian faith.” But, he goes on, “The simplicity of this definition, however, masks the complexity of the problem of defining apologetics. It turns out that a diversity of approaches has been taken in defining the meaning, scope, and purpose of apologetics.” This is a very true statement, and the Apologetics Study Bible goes on towards helping the reader understand the various facets of apologetics.
Before I took my Intro to Apologetics class in Seminary, I didn’t know much about the subject, thinking it was learning to defend the Bible through archeology or something ridiculous like that. While archeology can be used in apologetics, it is by far not the only way. There are so many ways that apologetics can be done and viewed, and I just don’t have the time or energy (or knowledge) to be able to explain them all. However, that is not what you are here for.
The Study Bible Itself…
My wife bemoaned me when she found out I was getting another study Bible, however, this Bible is nice and very much so worth having. The Bible itself is nicely made with fine craftsmanship. I have the hardcover edition, which is nice and sturdy, looking great both with and without the dust cover. The pages are crisp and clean, easy to read as well as nice to turn without sicking together. For the most part, there is not much clutter from page to page that you don’t find in most any Bible. The exceptions come with introductions as well as apologetic topics that are interspersed throughout the Bible. The Apologetics Study Bible is a nice Bible that lays open well.
The Apologetics Inside…
Here is what I was excited about regarding this Bible: The information inside. No, not necessarily the Word of God, as I have read that many times and have numerous Bibles, but the Study Notes and articles regarding different scenarios regarding the Christian faith and apologetics. I have been loving, and will surely continue to enjoy, reading the various authors who contributed articles, including Paul Feinberg on “Does the Bible Contain Errors?”, as well as Ravi Zacharias on “How does Christianity Relate to Hinduism?” However, one of my favorite reads comes from Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on “Does the Bible Provide Guidance Regarding Cloning?” Where he addresses the immediate moral and ethical implications regarding cloning, as it is something in the here and now (And from listening to The Briefing, I couldn’t help but read it in his voice).
Another wonderful attribute of this study Bible is the vast array of theologians who have contributed to the varying articles and topics. Known and unknown, the articles are spot on and well defined in meshing the chasm that I see between the Bible and some of the covered topics (like cloning). With the likes of Norman Geisler, John Frame, Al Mohler, Ravi Zacharias, and others, you can’t really go wrong.
Perhaps the most interesting feature found woven throughout the pages of the Apologetics Study Bible are the “Twisted Scripture” notes which compare the beliefs of different groups, from Mormons to the Church of Christ, to the actual meaning of the texts, where they are “twisted” out of context, often wildly. These are especially nice and helpful because there are many groups, cults, etc. that base their beliefs off one or two singular verses that are warped out of context to fit their needs. These “Twisted Scripture” notes can help one deal with those pesky questions that we get from time to time regarding these verses.
The Apologetics Study Bible is an excellent resource, even if just for the notes and articles contained within. I know many have misgivings about the Christian Standard Bible translation, however this study Bible is still worth the purchase. Personally, I enjoy the CSB translation and use it for my personal devotion time in the mornings. The Apologetics Study Bible is a welcome addition to that to view the Scriptures from viewpoints that I would have not otherwise thought of. If you are an apologist or are studying apologetics, you probably know everything here. However, the more novice persons delving into apologetics will find this to be an invaluable resource, full of not only the Word of God, but also many helps in defending the faith!