“This generation must get deadly serious about the problem of Biblical illiteracy.”
– R. Al Mohler, Jr.
I love when new study Bibles come into a bookstore. Whenever I am at Barnes and Noble, I peruse the Bible section looking for new ones to appear. If I heard there is one by a certain author, then my interested is captured. I want to know what they will say, how they will set up their study Bible, and how I can use it for my own growth.
The Grace and Truth Study Bible is no exception. With the name Al Mohler on it, I wanted to know more. I put it on my Amazon Wishlist. Then I received an email from BibleGateway to review this Bible. It was a no-brainer. I put my name in and counted the days till it arrived…
As The Binding Cracked Open
The box arrived. I immediately opened it. I heard that new study Bible crackle as I opened the long-awaited book.
At first glance, I saw lots of notes. The seminary graduate in me geeked-out. The academic in me enjoyed every moment. The pages of notes. The detail in the notes. All of it was mind boggling. I felt like I was back in seminary digging in.
Yet, something in me stopped my academic partying. A quiet thought entered my mind, “Stephen, what about your heart?” My mind was happy, but my heart was not interacting with this study Bible. Our mind and intellect can become so enwrapped in understanding the Bible, that we have forgotten to have a relationship with God’s Word which blossoms in our heart.
As I cracked opened this Bible, it cracked my heart open to reveal the ache of an interactive relationship with God’s Word to me. We as Christians have forgotten to interact with God’s Word in exchange for the “right” intellectual and theological relationship with God. What this does is take away that experience of God and replaces it with the study of God.
The Grace and Truth Study Bible Details
I loved the font. I liked the numerous notes. I liked the reference guide on every page. The notes bring great depth to Biblical study.
However, it felt like reading a textbook. There was nothing in this study Bible to make it more interactive. I expected more from a great name on a Bible. If someone it passionate about the Word getting into the hands and hearts of individuals, then we need to contextualize it.
The introductions to each book are long paragraphs. The notes can get quite lengthy at times. The content is great. It is the presentation I found to be more like a textbook than a great tool to use.
Would I Recommend?
This review may come across as harsh to some or even to Al Mohler himself. However, these are my thoughts. If you are planning to do deep Bible study, sermon or teaching, or anything along those lines, then this is a great study Bible to use. If you are looking for something to deepen your faith and encounter God, then you might get bogged down in the details of this particular Bible.
Would I put it on my shelf? If I was in seminary, yes. If I was a new believer, not yet.
A famous name producing a study Bible doesn’t automatically make it a great study Bible. As Christians, we need to keep that balance of an intellectual and emotional mindset towards are faith. Great for deep study of the Word. It is not the best for experiencing the Word on that emotional level.
So, I am torn with my recommendation.
*I received a free copy of this study Bible from BibleGateway to review as I am a member of their Blogger Grid