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Bible Review: The ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible

Bible Review: The ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible


The entire Bible is all about Jesus. The gospel is threaded through every book of the Old Testament as well as the New. There are many Christians who don’t believe this and feel that Old Testament seems largely disconnected from the New Testament. Christians should welcome more and more resources designed to show the unity of both testaments and that Christ is in all of Scripture. That’s why Crossway’s updated version of The Gospel Transformation Study Bible is a welcome addition to the Bible market.

This is Crossway’s second edition of the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible with the first edition simply being called The Gospel Transformation Bible. I owned a copy of the first edition and this new edition comes with definite improvements. If you enjoy the first edition, you will definitely love the second. Let’s look at what makes this such a valuable resource.

First, let’s talk about features. Each book of the Bible has an introduction preceding it. There are over 375,000 words of gospel-centered study notes. There are five new articles (one of the biggest values I find in study Bibles are the articles). There’s a concordance and 80,000 cross references. This is truly a feature-packed Bible.

One of the coolest features of this Bible that took me by surprise is the introduction. It outlines the goals of the contributors and creators of this Bible. Following that, it provides specific uses for the Bible and invites the reader to purposefully use the product. I’ve never raved about an introduction to a Bible before, but this one is truly worth mentioning.

The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up this hardback Bible is that it is very pleasing to the eyes. The first edition had a simpler design featuring black, red, and white as the primary colors. In the second edition Crossway has opted for a complete redesign with a very attractive blue and white wave pattern with accents of gold. You’ll even find this wave pattern if you remove the dust jacket, which I was incredibly pleased to discovery. Crossway did not cheap out when it comes to design.


When you open the Bible, you’ll find crisp, white paper that has minor ghosting. You can faintly see text from the other side of the page, but honestly I am pretty impressed with the thickness of the paper. For a Bible this size, it would be easy for Crossway to choose to use thin paper, but text on the opposite side is hardly noticeable and I didn’t find it to be a distraction at all. You will notice in a comparison, that this second edition is slightly thicker than the first, but that is also because there have been some added features.

I’ve said this in other reviews, but I’ll say it again. I love that this Bible is in single column format. It’s a personal preference, but I much prefer a single column Bible to a double. You can take notes in the margins (which there is decent width for) and books aren’t supposed to be double column—magazines are.

This Bible comes with a single ribbon marker and in the back you’ll find the articles mentioned above, a topical index, the concordance, and some nice color maps. This Bible is feature-rich and a valuable resource that would anyone would be pleased to have on their shelf.

Crossway has truly created a worthy successor to The Gospel Transformation Bible. If you have the first one and have found it useful, I think you will find The Gospel Transformation Study Bible to be a valuable upgrade. If you’ve never owned either edition and you’d like to understand more how the gospel interweaves through The Old Testament and New then you’ll truly find this to be a valuable resource.

You can pick up a copy of this Bible for yourself by clicking here!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this Bible from Crossway in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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