From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
A study Bible is an edition of the Holy Bible prepared for the use of a serious student of the Bible. Such a Bible usually contains an extensive apparatus, which may contain such features as:
- Annotations explaining difficult passages or points of theology and doctrine;
- References to indicate where one passage of the text relates to others;
- A concordance, a word index that indicates where various key words are used in the Bible.
- Variant translations or interpretations of certain debatable passages;
- Introductions and historical notes for each book of the Bible;
- Maps that illustrate the Holy Land during Bible times;
- Harmonies of the Gospels, pointing out parallel incidents in the life of Jesus;
- Timelines of Bible history that relate it to world history.
Perhaps the first edition of the Bible that qualified as a "study Bible" was the Geneva Bible; it contained extensive cross references, synopses, and doctrinal points. The text of the Geneva Bible was never printed without the commentary. The Church of England disputed some of the statements made in the Geneva Bible annotations; this led to the creation of the King James Bible, which was typically printed with a much less extensive apparatus, or none at all. Several commentators have supplied annotated King James Bibles containing their own points of view, but unlike the Geneva Bible, these commentaries are not as thoroughly integrated into the text.
Another historically significant study Bible was the Scofield Reference Bible, first printed by Cyrus I. Scofield in 1909. This study Bible became widely popular in the United States, where it spread the interpretation system known as dispensationalism among fundamentalist Christians.
The Jerusalem Bible is a widely respected study Bible originally made in France under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church. The original French edition of 1961 became the basis of versions of this study Bible in several other languages, including English.
Other study Bibles worthy of note include:
- The Life Application Bible
- The NIV Study Bible
- The Open Bible
- The Oxford Annotated Bible
- The Ryrie Study Bible
- The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible
Study Bible Software
This software normally includes several Bible translations, commentaries, dictionaries, maps, and other content. They also include search engines to enable users to find Bible passages by keyword and by theme.