This is a thorough revision and expansion. For a point of reference, the 2015 edition (ESV) of the Reformation Study Bible includes 44% more commentary than the original edition. Download this comparison chart for a more detailed look at comparisons for both the 2016 edition (NKJV) and the 2015 edition (ESV).
Options for where you can purchase the Reformation Study Bible are available on our Order page.
Yes. Please contact one of our resource consultants to handle your specific needs. 1-800-220-7636 x1231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are working to make the Reformation Study Bible available on many electronic platforms and in many formats.
We are working to make the Reformation Study Bible available on many electronic platforms. Please contact your preferred software provider for further information.
There is no red letter edition, nor are there plans to create one.
We have not increased the font size. However, we have selected a new, modern typeface that maximizes legibility without using more space than necessary.
Presently, there is no large print edition. However, forthcoming digital versions will allow you to increase the text size.
We chose the English Standard Version (ESV) as the text of this study Bible because of the combination of its accuracy and its literary qualities. The ESV stands in the tradition of translation begun by William Tyndale in 1526 and continued by the King James Version (1611), the Revised Version (1885), the American Standard Version (1901), the Revised Standard Version (1952, 1971), and the New King James Version (1983). The goal of translations in this tradition has been faithfulness to the language of the original texts as well as dignified beauty in the English translation.
Yes. It was released on March 15, 2016 and can be ordered here.
The study notes are essentially the same in both editions. The study notes for each edition have been particularized for the specific text (ESV or NKJV) where there may be minor differences in the respective translations. The essence and theology of the notes has not changed. In addition, there are also minor differences in the cross-references and the concordances in both editions.
The NKJV text is approximately 4% longer than the ESV text. In addition the 2016 edition (NKJV) is accompanied by a longer concordance. This accounts for the difference in page count.
The Reformation Study Bible is currently available in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. We are working to make the Reformation Study Bible available worldwide. Please reference our list of distributors at the bottom of the Order page or contact your preferred book seller for further information.
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 is our target goal for translating the Reformation Study Bible into other languages.
The Reformation Study Bible project began in 1989 with a group of contributors and editors who were selected for their expertise in their respective fields. With the New King James Version as a basis, the first edition was published in 1995 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. These original contributors were trusted by Dr. Sproul to do the editorial work for their particular task and to be faithful to biblical exegesis within the confessional Reformed tradition. Since that first edition was published, we have noted with sadness that some of the original contributors have denied the gospel, moved away from Reformed theology, or are no longer in evangelical communions. For the sake of editorial integrity and to be clear about the present project’s origin, we have included the 1989 contributors in the current list of Reformation Study Bible contributors. However, this does not constitute an unqualified endorsement of every respective contributor’s wider ministry in the past, present, or future. The Reformation Study Bible was lightly updated by Ligonier Ministries in 2005, using the English Standard Version as a basis. The 2015 edition (ESV) and 2016 edition (NKJV) bring new editors and contributors, who have refined the notes and have striven whenever possible for even greater fidelity to conservative biblical scholarship, Reformed theology, and the great confessions of our tradition.
As the Reformers asserted the clarity of Scripture, they were careful to say that this concept applies to the gospel and to the essential and central message of Scripture. The gospel is clear and understandable. Not all teachings of Scripture, however, are equally clear. Even Peter confesses that there are teachings in Paul’s epistles that are hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16). Additionally, God has ordained the office of teacher, or pastor-teacher, to assist Christians in their knowledge and understanding of God’s Word (2 Tim. 2:2). The notes in the Reformation Study Bible reflect the work of such teachers who have been given to the church as a blessing down through the centuries and in our own day.
The new team members enlisted for the 2015 edition (ESV) and 2016 edition (NKJV) of the Reformation Study Bible received specific sections of Scripture. In many cases, multiple contributors worked on the same books. Moreover, every note received editorial oversight from several hierarchies of editors and proofreaders, such that there is no one specific author responsible for an individual note or book of the Bible. The result is a study Bible that reflects the collaborative effort of qualified pastors, scholars, editors, and proofreaders.
The newest edition of the Reformation Study Bible is based upon the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible, which was developed by Crossway. The Reformation Study Bible is also available in the New King James Version (NKJV), which is a translation developed by Thomas Nelson Publishers. While both of these versions follow a “word-for-word” translation philosophy in the tradition of the Tyndale Bible and the King James Version, combining textual fidelity with literary beauty, the ESV and NKJV have slightly different approaches toward the texts used for their translations. Both the ESV and NKJV rely on the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) for their translations of the Old Testament. However, for the Greek New Testament, the ESV used what is known as the Critical Text (Novum Testamentum Graece), while the NKJV followed the Received Text (Textus Receptus) with references to variant readings from the Critical Text in the margins. The differences between these text types help explain minor variations in wording as well as the occasional omission of content between the ESV and NKJV. However, no biblical doctrine is compromised by these differences. Readers of both the ESV and NKJV can be fully confident that these versions of the Bible are accurate translations of the Word of God. For further information, you may visit Crossway’s history of the ESV translation here and Thomas Nelson’s history of the NKJV here.
The creeds and confessions included in this edition of the Reformation Study Bible are the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Definition of Chalcedon, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, the Westminster Confession, the Westminster Larger Catechism, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and the 1689 London Baptist Confession.