I didn’t get a review copy of The Lutheran Study Bible (TLSB) but I know that I will be very impressed with it when I get my own copy. Yesterday, our bible study group put in an order for a case of these babies before the October 31 special pricing deadline. The regular hardback is 3½ pounds and large print is a whopping 5½ pounds. I prefer large print but am I going to lug a 5½ pound bible to bible study? No way. So I ordered the regular font sized hardback edition without the frills, just a basic hardcover that I can use for bible study on Thursday evenings.
Why would a person want to use The Lutheran Study Bible? There are 12 reasons if you’re Lutheran. But if you’re not Lutheran, I don’t really know why except to educate yourself in some good old Lutheran theology. It’s good…really! In the past, I know Lutherans haven’t exactly been high profile bible publishers and translators but I think this edition will be a first for Lutherans putting out a very high quality study bible so I applaud Concordia for taking this initiative. I was impressed with the sampler so I’m looking forward to finally getting my own copy just for its Lutheran content written by Lutheran contributors. Note, that I’m not in it for the translation (ESV); I’m in it for the uniquely Lutheran perspective, and its emphasis on rightly dividing law and gospel, which is lacking in much of our theologies today.
In the past, the small Lutheran voice in the culture of faith have been drowned out in the cacophony of evangelical voices in airwaves and popular Christian media. And sadly, I think The Lutheran Study Bible will also likely be lost in the plethora of evangelical-based study bibles and translations, but that’s okay. If you’re Lutheran, don’t let that deter you from investing in one. I honestly believe that if TLSB had the opportunity to really display its qualities, I’m sure it would stand out as a bright gem amongst other gems of study bibles. It easily holds its own against the ESV, NLT, and T/NIV study bibles and it might even out-do them. I still need to get a copy in my hands before saying anything more. I admit–the reality is that if you’re not Lutheran, you probably won’t get one.
But okay, enough bragging up for the Lutheran Study Bible. Get one for yourself, especially if you’re Lutheran.