Teachers Study Bible Review

Teachers Study Bible Review

 

One of the oldest names in Christian Study materials is Standard Lesson, a member of the David C Cook publishing family. Standard Lesson publishes a number of valuable resources and today, I am bringing a review of one of their most important resources, the Standard Lesson Teacher’s Study Bible. It is available in KJV and NIV and I am reviewing both, a hardcover KJV and a duotone NIV. (Note: These Bibles were acquired at my own expense and this review was not solicited by Standard Lesson, in any way. My opinions are, wholly, my own.)

 

Publisher’s Product Description

The Standard Lesson Study Bible includes over 13,000 lines of commentary derived from 60 years of the best-selling Standard Lesson Commentary combined with the most popular study Bible features. Whether preparing for a Sunday school class, a small group, or to share insights with a friend, you will find this Bible packed with a wealth of resources for virtually every Scripture passage on which a lesson would likely be based.

The Standard Lesson Teacher Study Bible is designed specifically for teachers and serious students alike.  Great for Sunday school, adult Bible fellowships and small groups, this Bible contains a wealth of resources for virtually every Scripture passage on which a lesson would likely be based.

What you’ll find:

  • New International Version or King James Version text
  • A daily Bible reading plan
  • Study Notes compiled and selected from sixty years of the best selling Standard Lesson Commentary content. Contributing scholars include ministers, professors and other experts in Bible exposition and Christian education.
  • Enhanced Biblical Content Introductions.
    • What to review before you teach
    • Questions this book answers
  • Cross-references to other relevant passages
  • Discussion questions with “talking points” for deeper understanding
  • In-text maps showing the world of the Bible
  • Harmony of the Gospels
  • Introductions to each book in the Bible
  • Comprehensive time line to Bible events
  • Pronunciation Guide to help pronounce those hard-to-say names and places
  • Concordance of key words throughout the Bible
  • Easy-to-read, 10 pt. font

 

 

Translation Choices

Standard lesson makes this Bible available in the two most widely circulated English translations of the Bible NIV and KJV. I have used both translations for years, 31 with KJV and 25 with NIV. I would love to see it available in my preferred study translation, NASB (which I have used for just slightly less than NIV at 22 years), but by choosing these two translations, Standard Lesson has kept with their tradition of uniformity and made the Teacher’s Study Bible available to the broadest spectrum of churches possible.

 

The NIV text, featured here, is the 2011 edition. For some of my readers, this will be a turn off due to misguided perceptions of a liberal agenda driving the translation. I have read all the relevant literature and I disagree that this is an agenda driven translation. NIV dominates the English speaking world with over 40% market share and for most English speaking Christians, this is the translation that is meant when the Bible is spoken of.

 

In my case, usage is at a 50/50 split; I carry NIV with me into my secular job (I am bi-vocational) and I keep the KJV beside my bed for late evening study sessions.

 

Paper, Font, Layout, & Cover

The paper has to be thinner to accommodate the sheer volume of materials available and it is surprisingly opaque. I do not have issues reading either book; any show-through is almost non-existent.  The layout is double column; on most pages there is a column of Scripture and a column of notes. We have a complete black letter text which is excellent for color coding and marking. Both Bibles are available in hardcover and truetone (imitation leather). The binding does appear to be sewn, which would certainly be a wise choice given a Bible of this size.

 

For the remainder of this review, I want to talk about actual ways I use this Bible instead of simply providing abstract comments on the helps.

 

Introductions

The Introduction features some of the most useful material I have encountered for planning lessons. What to Review Before Teaching visits relevant material for the interpretation of the particular book you are preparing to teach. I have found this to be most useful in preparing an overview of the text.

 

Practical Questions Answered is perhaps my favorite section in the introductions. These are questions that will commonly be asked by disciples as they are learning. By reviewing these questions in preparing for a lesson, I can anticipate questions that I will encounter in my one on one discipleship and answer them or I can use these questions as a building block to other discussion questions.

 

Teaching Through is a brief outline of the book that covers the main points that I, as a teacher, need to be familiar with before teaching through the book.

 

Notes, Talking Points, and Discussion Questions  

The notes are brief commentary based on the Standard Lesson Commentary and the International Sunday School Uniform Series. Admittedly, I am not very familiar with those materials but the materials which have been drawn from them are very useful for teaching. The talking points, just like the practical questions, are points to bring up during teaching and the discussion questions are incredibly useful in one on one discipleship or small group sessions. They have served me as a launching point for more in-depth discussion.

 

There are other materials but these are the ones I actually use.

 

Would I recommend the Teacher’s Study Bible? Heartily. I recommend it for the person that wants to teach Sunday School or lead a small group but feels hopelessly unqualified. I also recommend it for the missionary who may be encountering a different culture and is unsure of how to open the Scripture. Being drawn from an international/uniform curriculum should prove helpful across cultures and countries.

 

Are there any disadvantages? The only drawback I see is more of a personal gripe than any real detraction from this Bible; there is not much in the way of notes pages. I would expect that, in a teacher’s study Bible, you would have some pages for notes, preferably either following the introductory material or after the book itself.

 

Final Thoughts

The Standard Lesson Teacher’s Study Bible is a very useful tool. I feel confident in saying that any person who desires to teach the Bible to another would find themselves well equipped for the task by adding this tool to their repetoire.

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