Which paper Study Bible?

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Posts 1558
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 9 2013 7:41 PM

In any case, I hope I've made it clear, what the ESV Study Bible presents as the only option that anyone holds, is very much not the case. Prominent Jewish, Catholic, and Evangelical scholars, not liberals, all hold to this idea, which is rooted in the syntax of Genesis 1:1-3 and comparisons with other ancient Near Eastern creation texts which also begin with circumstancial clauses. 

Back to your previously scheduled posts. Smile

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 525
Kent | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 9 2013 7:52 PM

3666.Create.docx

I edited my last comment to clarify my position.

I do not think I can convince you and I don't think you are going to convince me. I do believe ex nihilo is correct.

Posts 1522
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 9 2013 10:10 PM

Philosophically, I've always had a problem with the idea behind creation ex nihilo. "Nothing" doesn't exist.

Posts 397
John | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 9 2013 10:23 PM

Ben:

The note on Genesis 1:1, for example, does not even mention the alternate translation of the verse, one many scholars take to be correct (i.e. NRSV and JPS/TNK.) Not even a mention, and it claims to be a Study Bible! Moreover, it assumes that Gen 1:1 (without mentioning the alternative) teaches creation exnihilo [again, something most scholars now reject], and then states that this is"confirmed by the NT writers' affirmation that creation was from nothing" though their citied passages affirm no such thing. They also leave out 2Peter 3:5, which has a connection to Genesis and creation from the pre-existing chaotic water/deep/tehom. 

There *is* a debate, and the ESV Study Bible presents the topic as if there were absolute certainty. That is what I take issue with.

After seeing the responses to your post, I went back and took a look at this. I honestly cannot figure out why you would expect a study Bible written by evangelicals for evangelicals to include commentary by those holding positions contrary to the evangelical position.

The complaint seems to be: "I do not agree with what it says, therefore it is no good".

In fact, the commentary on Genesis 1:1 is very good in my opinion.

ESV Study Bible, Genesis 1:1:

The Hebrew verb bara’, "create," is always used in the OT with God as the subject; while it is not always used to describe creation out of nothing, it does stress God's sovereignty and power. Heavens and the earth here means "everything." This means, then, that "In the beginning" refers to the beginning of everything. The text indicates that God created everything in the universe, which thus affirms that he did in fact create it ex nihilo (Latin "out of nothing"). The effect of the opening words of the Bible is to establish that God, in his inscrutable wisdom, sovereign power, and majesty, is the Creator of all things that exist.

The statements here are New Testament dogma and aren't up for debate among the evangelicals (real Bible believers) it is targeting as its audience. John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16 explicitly teach this view. That settles it for those who believe scripture is the final authority.

Of course there is going to be some unbelieving "scholar" somewhere who thinks God didn't create everything. But I don't need that garbage in my study Bible. Who does?

My litmus test for a study Bible has always been Matthew 24:34. I can tell immediately if the authors are honest and truthful, or just propagating their own view by how they handle this verse. The ESV Study Bible is one of very few I have ever seen that attempts to give several of the most popular views. Honestly, it does not give the correct view ... but then, I have never seen a study Bible that does. The closest to the truth I have seen on this verse is the Reformation SB, which gives the historic Christian view (which today is called partial preterism). The majority of Study Bibles I have seen are dispensational in their view, so on verses like this one they have to do some kind of tap dance around the clear reading of the text.

The ESV SB shows that within evangelicalism there are numerous views, and attempts to describe several of them. Others (like the Holman SB) simply do not comment on the meaning of the verse. I can respect either method. What I cannot respect are the ones that dogmatically tell outright lies (like Ryrie and Macarthur do).

The ESV does this with most "controversial" passages. Controversial being defined as the various views within the evangelical and reformed stream. No attempt is made, nor should it be, to include the conflicting and ever-changing views of unbelieving scholarship.

Ben, just out of curiosity, is there a Study Bible that you recommend?

Posts 397
John | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 9 2013 10:32 PM

David Bailey:

There is only one bible that fits the bill: The Thompson Chain Bible.  You can get it in the original NASB and NIV.

I think the original Thompson Chain was KJV Big Smile

The beauty of this one is that it isn't a lot of commentary, but it just sends you to other relevant scriptures.

The cross reference system is one of the X-ref options built into Bibleworks software. Wordsearch has it. Olivetree also has it. Not sure if Logos has it yet or not.

Put on my wish list, A Thompson Chain HCSB Bible Big Smile

Posts 397
John | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 9 2013 10:38 PM

Ben:

For a beginning, how about the Logos-produced Lexham Bible Dictionary?

"While it is often thought that God creates ex nihilo (“out of nothing”), the Genesis text testifies to the presence of a primordial watery chaos over which the “spirit of God” hovers", referring to Mark S. Smith's excellent book, The Priestly Vision of Genesis 1. Smith is Catholic, teaches at NYU, Hebrew Bible.

Or, Jon Levenson, Jewish, prof. at Harvard in Hebrew Bible. The LBD summarizes one aspect of his book Creation and the Persistence of Evil  by saying "Creatio ex nihilo is a falsification of creation in the Hebrew Bible." 

Or, Peter Enns, Evangelical, The Evolution of Adam- "Genesis 1 does not describe creation out of nothing, but the establishment of order out of “chaos."

So, for the ESV to not even indicate this as an option, really tarnishes it for me. 

"All things were made by him" doesn't leave an option for eternally existent primordial ooze Wink

Posts 397
John | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 9 2013 10:48 PM

Ben:

"Biblical scholars are generally in strong agreement that ...."

Statements like this always remind me of those toothpaste commercials that say "4 out of 5 dentists surveyed said ...."

I never really believed they surveyed 5 randomly chosen dentists Cool

But I think the truly relevant point here is that Ben just made his 666th post here on the forum Devil

Just kidding Ben Cool

Posts 397
John | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 9 2013 10:53 PM

Ben:

The NRSV and NJPS get it right.

"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth," (Gen 1:1 NRS)

NRS Notes (Gen 1:1) (1) Or when God began to create or In the beginning God created

"IN THE beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Gen 1:1 JPS)

I fail to see any difference here in these translations.

Posts 397
John | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 9 2013 10:56 PM

Josh:

Philosophically, I've always had a problem with the idea behind creation ex nihilo. "Nothing" doesn't exist.

 

Wow this thread is so interesting. Wouldn't "nothing" be the absence of "something"?

Posts 1558
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 5:10 AM

You're looking at the 1917 JPS, not the much more recent NJPS, which reads

"When God began to create heaven and earth — 2 the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water — 3 God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light."

In this understanding, when God begins creating, the earth is already present in a chaotic state, tohu and vohu, as is the deep.

I expect a Study Bible to give me the options and expand my views of the ways the text is read, not simply reflect my own dogma back at me. As for the "most scholars", what can I say? Reading across a wide breadth of scholarship (which is why I posted prominent Catholic, Jewish, and Evangelical cites), those who look solely at the Hebrew syntax tend to agree that this is a better rendering. Those who disagree tend to do so out of confessional/dogmatic reasons, not syntactic ones. (Google for Mike Heiser and ex nihilo, he has a few blog posts on the subject.)

But this is getting beyond the limits of the forums.

And I really should have included a Devil on that post...

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 2040
Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 5:33 AM

I would never use the ESV translation just because it's not even thoroughly updated. The scholarship in it is dated, the only major thing I can sort of agree about it is Is 7:14 for which I use the 1970 NAB which is similar for that verse. I actually read large parts of the NT from the RSV when I wanted to read the parts of the NT again that I had not read for a long time. I'm postponing reading the OT, but I've switched to reading Isaiah quotes in Logos books from the RSV (switching from the original Jerusalem Bible).

I have the Comprehensive Crossref both in Accordance and as printed matter (aka Comprehensive New Testament or Comprehensive Bible), so it's really really easy to correct a bit older English NT versions to correspond to the NA27. I remember about 1½ years ago or so recommending the Comprehensive New Testament to a person who used the RSV and that person was so thrilled about those corrections from the NA27! No Gk is needed to read it.

I'm not a native English speaker and I have not grown up or matured on my Christian path with any English Bible version that has old English words such as the 1977 NASB (which I've only seen once, a year ago, it was an NT so it doesn't have the old English), still I'm not bothered at all by the language in the RSV, I think it's format is actually good and it's a pleasant read and somewhat trustworthy.

I tend to prefer true ecumenical Bibles (of which there are very very few) and the Jerusalem Bible, but I really avoid the NRSV. I would read the Jerusalem Bible (of which I don't have and haven't desired a Study Bible) more if it's going to be produced in Logos, which I have suggested. I have been using the Good News Translation from time to time, however I don't have the ecumenical Edition of it that includes 4 Ezra and I don't know whether it's available free online.

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Posts 391
Geo Philips | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 5:43 AM

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but what is the implication if Gen 1:1 does not teach creation ex nihilo (according to you) apart from making more than one view of creationism logically compliant with the Biblical text? At the end of the day, God did create everything and I have not seen many scholars making the case that matter was co-existent with God.

Ben:

You're looking at the 1917 JPS, not the much more recent NJPS, which reads

"When God began to create heaven and earth — 2 the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water — 3 God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light."

In this understanding, when God begins creating, the earth is already present in a chaotic state, tohu and vohu, as is the deep.

I expect a Study Bible to give me the options and expand my views of the ways the text is read, not simply reflect my own dogma back at me. As for the "most scholars", what can I say? Reading across a wide breadth of scholarship (which is why I posted prominent Catholic, Jewish, and Evangelical cites), those who look solely at the Hebrew syntax tend to agree that this is a better rendering. Those who disagree tend to do so out of confessional/dogmatic reasons, not syntactic ones. (Google for Mike Heiser and ex nihilo, he has a few blog posts on the subject.)

But this is getting beyond the limits of the forums.

And I really should have included a Devil on that post...

Posts 391
Geo Philips | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 5:45 AM

This is from Heiser.

http://michaelsheiser.com/TheNakedBible/2010/08/god-as-creator-of-all-things-including-the-material-already-present-at-genesis-11

'Put another way, I don’t think these verses really allow for “God created all things EXCEPT ….” Genesis 1:1-2 is not hinted at as an exception, and there is no indication that the biblical pre-scientific writers were entertaining the idea that creation was co-eternal with God. The only way one could argue that material before Genesis 1:3 means creation was eternal would be to demonstrate that the biblical writers considered it an exception to God as creator of “all things.” That is the bar for a winnable co-eternal creation argument in biblical theology.'

Posts 4625
RIP
Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 6:49 AM

Peace, Geo!                       Thank you so very kindly for that Heiser page!                  So very much appreciated indeed!           Excellent!     *smile*

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

Posts 387
James Chandler | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 6:54 AM

Josh:

The first study Bible that I ever bought for myself was a NASB Ryrie Study Bible. I loved it.

I did the same and I still have it.  After 30 years of use the cover is falling off and it's already been taped up.

Running on ASUS Windows 10 I7 24 gig of ram, 1 Terabyte drive.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 7:00 AM

Looks like another Logosian weekend.

Carmin's probably already using her new study Bible. I also wanted an 'info' study Bible. The afore-mentioned Annotated Oxford is the best I found. I have it with the NRSV. Although 'Oxford', it's probably a bit to the right of WBC. Actually a small version of the Logos Oxford Commentary.

The absolute best, however, is no longer in print .... the Lexham of course. Kind of interesting that it's generally very good. 

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 693
Frank Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 9:12 AM

Comparative Study Bible - I like having the 4 versions to compare side by side - though this has been replaced by Logos

New Spirit Filled Life - I enjoy all the side bar, inset and table formatted information (Though not good for me for just devotional reading)

HCSB Study Bible - Again with the additional study items including some excellent pictures

Life Application Study Bible

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 10:06 AM

Rosie Perera:

Steve:
However, please refrain from positing a theological opinion as Church teaching.  Mr. Smith is a theologian, not the Magisterium of the Church.

Um, I didn't see him anywhere claiming that Mr. Smith's theological opinion is Church teaching or that Mr. Smith is anything other than a theologian who happens to also be Catholic. He wasn't saying he represents the Magisterium.

Hi Ben,

Rosie pointed out, correctly so, that I misunderstood and misstated your comments.  After re-reading your post and my reply I can see how I have conflated a few things inadvertently.  Please accept my apology.

When I read your post that cited a Catholic theologian expressing a viewpoint (although the content of that viewpoint was not provided) on the topic of ex nihilo (against), I thought it would be good to clarify the Catholic teaching and for the benefit of the forum readers.  That was my intention and hence the reference to the Catechism, paragraph 296.

Having said that, It did cause me to do some additional research.  Honestly, I'm not sure that citing Mr. Smith initially or as a "prominent" (later post) Catholic theologian or his viewpoint as "majority" (also later post) is helping your argument.  I looked through a number of independent texts, commentaries, monographs, etc. in my paper library from what I would consider to be prominent Catholic theologians and biblical scholars in our day (Murphy, Ratzinger, Boadt, Fitzmeyer, Hahn, Balthasar, Bergant, Brown, Perkins, and others).  I don't see opinion against ex hihilo.  The translation differences you cite are frequently shown, but not used as a basis for your argument.  Some do not address the subject, some point to ex nihilo.

I'm not trying to be disrespectful of Mr. Smith or your viewpoint.  I am just offering the perspective that your argument, as it appears to stand in this post, which includes "prominent" and "majority" and Catholic in a connected way against ex nihilo is tenuous.

Again, my apologies for misrepresenting your thoughts earlier.

Blessings always,

Steve Smile

Posts 4625
RIP
Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 10:21 AM

Daniel Yoder:

Milford Charles Murray:

Peace and Blessings, Daniel!                   *smile*

               If you can still edit your post, you might want to replace the word st**dly with something else, eh???             *smile*

I am very sorry for my poor choice of words.  I can no longer edit the post.  Can a forum administrator be contacted about removing my post? 

My sincere apologies.  Thanks for pointing this out to me. 

Hi Daniel!   *smile*                    I wouldn't worry about it...          I probably should just have left it go in the first place.....     So my apologies for that, eh???  *smile*                                    I was just trying to be helpful; however, the forums themselves are an interesting "beast" ..

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

Posts 601
Pam Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2013 10:23 AM

Ken McGuire:

I come from a mainline background, and eventually settled on the HarperCollins Study Bible produced with the help of SBL.  I used the New Oxford Annotated in School, and it to be a bit clunky not too insightful.  It gave solid information, but generally information I already knew...  While the maps at the end were excellent, there was no graphical information in the text itself.  I practically jumped for joy when I looked at the HarperCollins and saw the "Simplified Family Tree" for the Herods near the beginning of Matthew's Gospel, as well as much more extensive annotation.  Admittedly Oxford has seen this and the 3rd and 4th editions are much better than the one I used in school.

No, it doesn't give the theological meanings that I do find in scripture.  But it seems to do a decent job at summarizing what many top-drawer academics find and debate about in the Bible.

SDG

Ken McGuire

Yes I agree, the Harper Collins Study Bible has excellent notes. Too bad the Bible version is NRSV. I wish the NASB had this quality of study bible.

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