Bob Kauflin offers “10 Reasons Why I Appreciate the ESV Study Bible”:
1. It’s based on the English Standard Version, which is one of the finest and most faithful translations available today. While it’s always good to consult various translations for study, the ESV does a great job recognizing variants in translation in the footnotes.
2. The introductory notes to each book are informative and helpful, and don’t overwhelm you with interesting but non-essential background information.
3. The notes are extensive and answer questions I actually have about the text, without avoiding difficult passages.
4. The notes cover material that is not only helpful, but pastoral, aimed at helping me understand God’s Word better and loving God more.
5. The notes are well laid out. Larger section, shorter, then vs. by vs. I’ve found them easy to follow along with the text.
6. The treatment of the first few chapters of Genesis is very even-handed and well-researched. The notes aim to give us an appreciation for the interplay of science and the Bible without giving ground on the ultimate authority of Scripture.
7. The focus is always Gospel-centered. The notes seek to answer the question, “Where does this section of the Bible fit into the larger story of God sending Jesus to redeem a people for his glory?”
8. The articles in the back of the Bible are almost a book in themselves (I’d love to see Crossway publish these separately), and address many significant issues clearly, briefly, and effectively. They include Biblical Doctrine, Biblical Ethics, Reading the Bible, The Reliability of Bible Manuscripts, The Bible and World Religions, and the History of Salvation in the Old Testament.
9. The maps and illustrations actually contain the cities, areas, and details I want to know about, and are placed close to the passages they refer to.
10. The notes don’t go beyond what the text says. They affirm what is clear, and plainly present different views when a word, phrase, or passage is unclear.
UPDATE: My review has been published. You can read it here.