My teenage and college years were the most formative years of my life as a Christian. It was during those years that I learned to study the Bible and develop and appetite to know God.
Yet it seemed that a lot of what people would call normal means of grace was missing in my life. The church in which I was a member was largely a-theological. Ministry was program-driven. Community was lacking. Disciple-making disciples were nonexistent (that’s what the program’s were for). Look back, I realized now that I did not know what I was missing because I had never experienced it.
In spite of the glaring absence of such means, God was kind to keep me tethered to His Word with a deep desire to know Him. It was not until college that I bought my first study Bible and learned to access tools that could assist me in my studies. If there was one resource I wish I had available to me during those formative years, it would be an all-in-one toolbox for studying the Bible. I’m glad to see that such a resource is available to students today with the new ESV Student Study Bible.
Over 100 evangelical scholars have combined their work to provide over 12,000 concise study notes, 900 helpful “did you know” facts, 120 Bible character profiles, 80 full-color maps and illustrations, and introductions and timelines for each Bible book. To be clear, our primary source of study is the Bible alone. But there are secondary sources that help us in the study of the Bible, such as concordance, atlas, commentary, dictionary, etc. And what you have in the ESV Student Study Bible is all those helpful secondary sources combined in one toolbox that is easily accessible for all students wanting to take a serious plunge into the study of God’s Word.
Christian students, we are living in a day and time when we own a lot of Bibles, but the Bible does not own us. My encouragement to you is to reject the culture Biblical illiteracy and don’t simply own another Bible. Have the Bible own you. Get the ESVSSB and wear it out. Take this incredibly well-bound and aesthetically pleasing Bible and graffiti it with your sweat and tears. Make your labors of mind and heart test the binding of this Bible and leave it with a strip of duct tape or two. Yes, get it good. Good enough to preoccupy your mind with thoughts of God, and you will never regrets the hours you spent listening to God as His Spirit makes His truths come alive in your soul.