I love my Woman’s Study Bible (Thomas Nelson Publishers). In fact, for the last 18 years I've loved it to pieces. Literally.
While I was leading a women’s Bible study a few years ago, the front section of the Bible separated and broke apart in my hands. About a year ago, I discovered my table of contents was inexplicably missing.
So, after almost two decades of cramming sermon notes in the margins and leafing through its pages for Bible study prep and personal devotions, I was finally forced to have it rebound.
Could I have bought another Bible? Easily. So, why didn’t I?
Because, in my opinion, The Woman’s Study Bible is the best study Bible available for Christian women. Here’s why I think so:
* The study notes and commentary are written from a complementarian interpretation of Scripture (the understanding that while the genders equally bear God’s image and are equal in worth, Scripture outlines distinct roles for man and wife.)
* The study notes are written by scholarly women! Not only is textual insight geared to women, it is written by women who have dedicated their lives to biblical scholarship and how it intersects with issues common to modern women. The result? Nearly 300 articles on what Scripture says about topics such as adoption, homeschooling, women’s ministry, infertility, divorce, motherhood, singleness, and more.
* Almost every page is loaded with helpful charts and excurses that break apart the text according to topic, literary genre, and more. Especially helpful are the character profiles provided for almost every woman in the Bible.
So, when I was asked to review the latest edition of The Woman’s Study Bible I jumped at the chance. I was eager to see how the newer version stood up against my well-worn and well-loved copy.
Here’s what I discovered about the 2nd edition of The Woman’s Study Bible:
* It has the same solid scholarly commentary & textual notes highlighting a modern woman’s concerns. Additional information is added to some notes such as the explanation of complementarianism in Ephesians 5 (see page 1598).
* It has the same practical goal to help women apply difficult passages. A little disappointing , however, is the removal of first edition editor Dorothy Patterson’s fabulous exegesis of 1 Tim. 2:9-15 - a helpful piece for navigating potential interpretative errors in this important passage.
* It has an even lovelier and modernized design.
* It has the same user friendly indexes & charts.
What’s new? The 2nd edition has additional devotional book excerpts by popular women’s authors like Stormie O’Martin, Kimberly Daniels, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and more.
I recommend this study Bible for any believing woman – both new and wise in the Lord. However, I would caution any buyer to be choosy in selecting their choice of translations. The Woman’s Study Bible is now offered in the NIV, NKJV, and the KJV. (The first edition was available in NKJV only).
The accessible language of the NIV is immensely helpful for breaking down difficult passages – particularly Old Testament poetry and some portions of the Pauline epistles (let’s be honest, Paul’s Greek isn’t for the novice). But I truly believe the latest version of the NIV to be textually inferior to the NKJV, ESV, or the HCSB.
That being said, I would wholeheartedly suggest this Bible for a friend or loved one. In fact, I recently recommended a new sister in Christ purchase this very Bible. Currently, there is no other study Bible geared to women on the market that compares in doctrinal depth and or in desire to maintain the original author’s intention at the time of writing.
Women's Study Bible Giveaway
If you'd like to check it out for yourself or want to have an extra Bible to giveaway we have a chance for you to win one below. There are lots of ways to enter and some you can do everyday to increase your chances. We will pick a winner next Friday. We will email and display the winners name.
Melissa Deming is the creator of HiveResources.com–a site that helps women sweeten their walk with Christ through devotional articles, book reviews, and more. Melissa holds a Masters of Divinity in Women's Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C. She and her husband, Jonathan, have four-year-old twins, Zach and Jonah. They are part of the core team of a new church plant in Pittsburgh.
A copy of this Bible was provided free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.
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