Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Crossway’s Gospel Transformation Bible

If you plan on purchasing ESV Gospel Transformation Bible, consider supporting Grace for Sinners by purchasing from Amazon.

10 out of 10 Stars
Author: Assorted
Publisher: Crossway
Reading Level: Easy

I’m not a huge fan of study bibles. It seems they are either too academic, overly vague and therefore useless, or never seem to answer the questions I’m asking about the text. I haven’t used a study bible for my regular reading for five or six years. I find commentaries are better options when I really want to dig in. You may find this confession odd as an introduction for a study bible.

Crossway’s recently released Gospel Transformation Bible is a different beast and I love it. I’ve been using it in my regular reading for close to three weeks now and have greatly benefited from its notes. I found the kind of notes made the Bible usable. They weren’t overly academic. They didn’t try to answer all of the questions. The notes were focused. It’s a study bible that takes Jesus’s own words that Scriptures are all about him and makes the notes all about him in a way that’s fresh and helpful.

So let’s say you’re reading through the Old Testament and struggling to understand how this has anything to do with Jesus Christ. Instead of continuing on lost in the wilderness or skipping the book or fighting sleep, you now have access to study notes which will point you to Jesus Christ. Let me give you a few examples.

Joshua 27:12-23 Joshua to Succeed Moses
Reminded of his impending death, Moses’ compassionate and selfless plea is for the Lord to provide another leader so that the people would be left as “sheep that have no shepherd” (v. 17). Though having immediate reference to Joshua, this prayer was answered immediately in Jesus Christ, who was moved with compassion when God’s people were harassed and helpless as sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36).
 Deuteronomy 5:1-21 Introduction to the Law
Law follows grace. God saved Israel before he gave them his law to follow. God rescued Israel not because of their obedience to the law but because of his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ex. 3:15-16). Israel’s deliverance was therefore not because of their obedience to the law but because God saw their affliction and cared enough to deliver them from their suffering to abundant life (Ex. 3:7-8). . . . Law follows grace. We obey from, not for, God’s favor.
Judges 19:1-20:25 A Levite and His Concubine
We must also consider that if fallen but redeemed men and women sense the depravity of these events, then how much greater is the pain to our Lord and  how amazing is the grace he provides to atone for such sin. Jesus, the King, has come and conquered our rejection of his reign (John 1:9-13). His suffering with us enables us to bear up in our own suffering (John 16:33; Rom. 8:21-39). The painful experiences of being both sinner and sinned against propel us to plead with God for the return of our true King.
You can find this kind of direction toward the person and work of Jesus and the proclamation of the gospel through out the study notes, not only in the New Testament, through the entire Bible.

The study notes in the Gospel Transformation Bible won’t weigh down your reading. It doesn’t try to answer every historical or interpretation question (although you have some of this as well). It will help you understand how Jesus Christ is alive and working through all of Scripture.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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