Snyder’s Soapbox Review of the, “E.S.V. Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set Cloth over Board with Permanent Slipcase.”

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I received this set from Crossway some time ago, and wanted to use it for a while before writing a review. This review will differ from my others in the lack of a listing of the physical attributes like, paper weight, cover material, binding, font size, and layout, as all of that information and more can be found here. The Reader’s Bible is unlike any other Bible I’ve reviewed. This one is a six volume set, intended for undistracted reading. That is not to say that other Bibles aren’t for reading. It is to say, that the focus of the layout, and construction was to be conducive to reading.  This is necessarily at the exclusion of other purposes. For instance, study, easy reference, citation, and so on, as there are no chapter or verse numbers, no footnotes or cross references. There is a chapter index in the back of each volume.  For older folks like myself, it is so different from Bibles we’ve used for such a long time, that it takes some getting used to. It isn’t a bad experience, just different.
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I am a slow reader, and tend to study as I go. Other people can speed through the Bible, and retain information. When I simply read the Bible, I have to remain very conscious of what I am reading, and be diligent to properly regard it. When I start to read sometimes I start to drift.  I find myself going back over the same section a few times, to make certain I have understood what I’ve read. With the Reader’s set, you can read without getting side-tracked by interesting cross references, or footnotes.
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The first thing you notice is the volumes are constructed as a quality hardback, cloth covered book. Each volume has a marker ribbon, sewn spine, heavy paper, and easy to read font. Then while reading you start to experience what Crossway intended. You have a smooth progression through large sections of scripture. As you read, you don’t make your decision on where to stop by chapter numbers, or section headings. Instead, you stop where it seems natural, usually at the end of an idea. As you read, you’ll also notice that your eyes don’t tire as easily due to the very thick paper, and font. (For all the stats follow the link in the first paragraph of the review.) With the longer sessions, you tend to cover more ground. I would not let my reading, exclude separate study of the Bible. Having the Reader’s Set does force you to make time for reading, and study. I think I need that in my daily routine. Separating the two activities does seem beneficial. DSCN6918
I think this set should hold up well, as long as they are cared for properly. I would be careful around moisture, as the pages are not coated, and would absorb water, finger oil, and dirt readily. Which brings me to my next suggestion, don’t eat, drink coffee, or have dirty hands when reading this set. You will stain the cover, mess up the pages, and make it look messy.
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My final thought, is that they are nice to have when you want to sit and read God’s word. My eyes aren’t what they used to be, and even though the font isn’t large, it is easier to read. I like the feel of them. It is an awful lot like reading a hardback novel in certain ways.  
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You can view Crossway’s product page here. You can also read more about this specific sets production here.  Be sure to check out the rest of the pictures on my flikr page. 
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Crossway ESV Reader's Set in Cloth Covered Hardback

 

“Sola Scriptura, the Protestant Position on the Bible” From Reformation Trust Publishing.

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This book is authored by some of the top contemporary theological minds in Christendom. Each one wrote a chapter treating the topic of sola scriptura. The forward was written by Dr. Michael Horton. Together they present a cohesive, and convincing defense of the true doctrine of Sola Scriptura, or scripture alone as God’s authoritative indelible will, as opposed to the Roman Catholic position of magisterium, and tradition. The following list is of the chapter titles and their authors to give you an idea of how the book is laid out;

Chapter 1 “What Do We Mean by Sola Scriptura?” by Dr. W. Robert Godfrey.

Chapter 2 “Sola Scriptura and the Early Church” by Dr. James White.

Chapter 3 “The Establishment of Scripture” by Dr. R. C. Sproul.

Chapter 4 “The Authority of Scripture” by Dr. Derek W. H. Thomas.

Chapter 5 “The Sufficiency of the Written Word” by Dr. John MacArthur.

Chapter 6 “Scripture and Tradition” by Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson.

Chapter 7 “The Transforming Power of Scripture” by Dr. Joel R. Beeke, and Rev. Ray B. Lanning.

Afterword” by Dr. Don Kistler.

I appreciated the manner in which they dealt with all of the subtopics. Each expert did a fine job of astutely presenting the information. Unlike so many modern works, there was a bibliography at the end of each chapter, displaying their scholarly due diligence to cite source texts. The book was just long enough to be helpful, and not so long as to lose the laymen in the tall grass.

I would definitely recommend this book to your Christian library. It will aid you, and it is a great resource to lend out to friends, and family who may be unsure of what to think on the topic of sola scriptura. It is a great primer on the topic of sola scriptura. You will learn what it is, and what it isn’t. You will learn how we arrived at the conclusion, and why it is the right one. If you are a questioning Catholic, it could help answer some question for you, as to why your Protestant friends believe what they do, and maybe even convince you. It isn’t just for questioning Catholics either, you could give it to anyone who is in a false religion that relies on extra-biblical sources, and traditions for their doctrinal authority e.g. Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Eastern Orthodox, and many more.

The book is published by Reformation Trust. It is available on the following sites; Amazon.com Christianbook.com, and Reformation Trust Publishing.

ISBN-13: 978-1-56769-333-1