This week is the week for new titles. Our second release of the week is the ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible! Some very well-seasoned. and well-respected, theologians put together this study Bible: J.I. Packer, Michael Horton, Kelly Kapic, Michael Reeves, David Wells, and more. We have the full list of contributors on our website.
Since this is a brand-new release, we figured you might want to take a peek inside. In this blog you’ll learn about systematic theology, how this study Bible is put together, and how it works inside our app.
WHAT IS SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY?
Theology is the study of the nature of God and religious belief. There are two popular ways to study and write about theology, though: biblical and systematic. What’s the difference?
Biblical Theology is a ground-level approach. Scholars who write biblical theologies go verse-by-verse looking for themes and characteristics. When these findings are documented, authors will spend a lot of time explaining a passage and then make theological statements.
Systematic Theology is an eagle’s-eye approach. Imagine yourself up-high, looking across the whole landscape of the Bible, discovering theological connections across the entire book. When these findings are documented, authors write extensively about one theological tenet. Then, they use several verse references as their proof.
The ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible applies thoughts on core, theological topics to specific passages—making it a great resource for getting both a ground-level and eagle’s-eye perspective on Scripture.
SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY + STUDY BIBLE
Study Bible notes fall into one of ten categories: the attributes of God, revelation, mankind, sin, Jesus Christ, salvation, the Holy Spirit, church life, the Christian life, and the end times. The information will emphasize the historic doctrines of the Christian faith, while also respecting different views on secondary issues such as baptism, spiritual gifts, and details concerning last things.
In these notes, there are cross-references. These will point you to other study notes that address similar themes. This is done so that you learn to see a holistic account of the Christian faith, drawn from the entirety of Scripture. Additionally, there are 28 separate articles that succinctly explain the main tenets of the faith, expanding on the content of these study notes.
Lastly, this resource comes with two indexes. You can look through a canonical list which outlines every study note in the order it appears in the Bible. Within the app, you’ll be able to simply tap on this reference, and you’ll be taken straight to the entry. The second index is topical. If there is a theological topic you would like more information on, search through this alphabetical list. You’ll be shown the verse reference where Scripture and the study notes address this topic.
SEE FOR YOURSELF
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In Titus 3:4-6, all three persons of the Trinity are mentioned, and I underlined them in my reading. The ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible notes not only explain the relationship between the three, but gave me an understanding of how they are working together in this passage. If I tap the references there on the side, the split-window immediately takes me other entries on God’s triune nature.
I also found more information on this topic by going to the articles and choosing the one titled “God.” Here there is a lot of helpful information about God’s attributes with links to Scripture references.
What makes this study Bible useful? It gives you clarity on the attributes of God and Christian faith that are echoed across the pages of the Bible—without flipping a page. As always, this resource works in our Resource Guide, letting you know when a passage you are reading (in any translation!) is discussed in this title. It’s all right there, ready for you to read, no matter where you are.
If you’re interested in growing in your understanding of God’s characteristics and the theological themes of the Bible, check out the ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible.