- Publisher: Crossway
- ISBN: 1-4335-5462-3
- Published: September 30, 2018
I received this book in return for an honest and unbiased review from Crossway Books in participation with Crossway’s Blog Review Program.
The ESV Story of Redemption Bible truly is a journey through Scripture. This Bible presents the storyline of Scripture as an unfolding story with unique conversational commentary throughout the text.
The commentary is provided by author Greg Gilbert, pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky and author of books like What is the Gospel?
Pastor Greg provides a running conversational commentary throughout this ESV Bible. This leads you to a greater and deeper understanding of the big picture of the entire Bible as it unfolds.
Beautiful Features of the Story of Redemption Bible
It’s difficult to put the sheer beauty of this Bible into words. However, one of Crossway’s strengths is producing beautiful Bibles across every price range that are extremely functional, and not just gimmicky eye-candy.
Crossway has a way of creating Bibles that you enjoy holding in your hands and looking at, but that serve you well as you cannot help but want to use them more and more.
- 9.25-point Milo type (Bible text); 8.5-point Milo type (notes)
- Single-column, paragraph format
- 897 notes written by pastor Greg Gilbert interspersed throughout the full ESV text
- All-new introductions to each book of the Bible
- 80+ maps, illustrations, and timelines
- Highly readable typesetting with generous margin space
- Premium cream-colored paper
- Smyth-sewn binding
The Story of Redemption Bible is no exception and is not short on amazing and useful features.
The illustrations you’ll see all throughout the Story of Redemption Bible are unique to this Bible and greatly contribute to the overarching theme and intent of this work.
The illustrations are provided by Peter Voth, a freelance graphic designer and illustrator from Germany. The importance of Peter’s artwork is that it serves to bring you into the story of the Bible. Whether it’s the image representing a book of the Bible, or a map, or things like an intricate illustration of Herod’s Temple, each illustration brings to light some detail of what you’re reading.
Peter does an amazing job of showing us familiar images like Paul’s missionary journeys in a newly detailed way that is unique to the Story of Redemption Bible and is finely tuned to the theme and purpose of this specific Bible.
As mentioned, there is the unique running commentary written by Pastor Greg Gilbert throughout this Bible. There are 897 of these notes at your service throughout the text!
The unique feature of the commentary in this Bible is that instead of typical study notes or editorial opinion, Pastor Greg connects Scripture to Scripture, allowing the word of God to be it’s own best guide.
One example is at the end of Jonah where Pastor Greg’s comments include pointing you back to “2 Kings 17:34 on page 539” so that you may continue the story in it’s own context.
Personally, I enjoy introductions to each book in any Bible. Unlike most study Bibles, the introductions in this one are brief and don’t include things like date and place the book was written.
Instead, the book introductions in the Story of Redemption Bible provide a meaningful foundation for the book you’re about to read.
They are unique to this Bible and serve as a sort of an overview to the running commentary. The book introductions also help to connect each book to the bigger picture of the entire story of redemption.
Maps and Illustrations
You’ll find more than 80 maps, illustrations, and timelines. These, too, are unique to this Bible and serve the theme beautifully, which is to tell the story of redemption from beginning to end.
The maps and the diagrams may represent familiar artwork, like Jerusalem during Jesus’ time, and illustrator Peter Voth has worked diligently to help create a cohesiveness to the theme of redemption as it unfolds throughout the text.
One feature you’re sure to love is the Story of Redemption foldout timeline found in the back of this Bible. The spectacular artwork helps to paint the big picture of how things unfold throughout Scripture. This is also a truly unique feature to the Story of Redemption Bible. Combined, they help to instruct, bless, encourage, and build you up in understanding God’s word as one complete story.
Nancy Guthrie, author, Even Better than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible’s Story Changes Everything about Your Story (affiliate link)
Using the Story of Redemption Bible
A Bible can be the most remarkable crafted book you’ve ever seen, but if it’s not functional it will sit on a shelf, sadly unused. As well crafted and designed as this Bible is, it’s also extremely functional. And that should make you want to use it while you’re studying God’s word.
The paper is premium quality and you can feel that when you turn pages. The cream-colored paper also supports my underlining while using my Pigma Micron size 05 pens (affiliate link). I tested blue, green, and yellow and all showed very minimally on the opposite page and didn’t intrude with reading.
The text is in 9.25-pont Milo type while the notes are in 8.5-point Milo. Both are easy to read and I didn’t have to reach for my glasses to make it happen.
There are 2 reading plans you could follow, the Suggested Reading Plan and the Canonical Order Reading Plan. Both are daily reading plans that will take you through the Bible in 1 year in only about 3 chapters each day. That’s a very manageable schedule to follow.
The Suggested Plan follows the order of reading in the Story of Redemption Bible notes and is chronological, unfolding the story of the Bible. The Canonical Plan takes you straight through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
One more feature that is just amazing you’ll find near the back is the index of title illustrations. These explain each book’s unique title illustration that Peter Voth created and serves to help you understand something special about each book of the Bible.
Who is the Story of Redemption Bible For?
This Bible has quickly become a special favorite to me. I love the conversational commentary. It’s unlike any other commentary or study Bible I’ve used before. A special feature that Pastor Greg facilitates so well is allowing Scripture to be it’s own best guide. Plus, the amazing illustrative artwork is beautiful while still practical and useful.
My recommendation for the Story of Redemption Bible is for any Christian that wants to understand Scripture more deeply as one complete storyline. Scholars, teachers, pastors, apologists, seasoned, and brand new believers will greatly benefit from following the overarching complete story of Scripture.
It’s also easy to recommend this Bible to any non-Christian who has an interest in understanding how the Bible unfolds as one story.
Crossway has created a reputation for producing Bibles like this, which are beautifully designed, well crafted, and entirely functional. The Story of Redemption Bible comes with every ounce of my recommendation.