Monday, September 21, 2009


Our congregation received two cases of hardback copies of The Lutheran Study Bible (TLSB) today - FINALLY!  We should have received them a couple of weeks ago and were assured that we would receive them last week, but due to a couple of mix-ups, they didn't arrive until today.  That's okay.  I don't care.  They're here! 

I have spent the last couple of hours looking through this awesome resource.  Wow!  Color me impressed.  I love the introductions to the books, the detailed outlines, and the theological/devotional articles interspersed throughout.  And, the notes are very solid.  I love the little prayers thrown in here and there throughout the notes.  Whoever thought of adding that feature deserves our thanks.  It is a reminder that we should read God's Word prayerfully.  I also like the artwork throughout the book.  I know some who have expressed disappointment over the use of black-and-white drawings from the mid-19th century, but I think they bring some class to this Bible that other modern study Bibles lose with their modern art.  To each his own, I guess.  The charts throughout are very well done and contain tons of valuable info for the Bible student.  The colored maps are nice.  I wish more would have been included, but the ones that are included are nice.

Having quickly skimmed through several passages of interest to me, I am quickly falling in love with TLSB.  I know that this is going to be a valuable aid in my own personal study, but also as I lead corporate study of God's Word.  I have been studying the Bible for a long time and own several Study Bibles, but none of them compare to TLSB.  Finally, we have a Study Bible we can use that doesn't require us to constantly engage in weeding out the bad stuff in the notes.  I think this is going to go a long way toward improving the level of catechesis among our people.  The more laypeople who get their hands on TLSB and use it in place of other Study Bibles which contain lots of false teachings, the better.  In a day and age when the rate of Biblical literacy is shockingly low, TLSB is a most welcomed blessing.  Of course, getting people to actually use it will still be tricky, but at least it is now available.

I only have a few criticisms regarding the hardback edition of TLSB:  1) The pages are too thin.  They wrinkle very easily and it wouldn't take much at all to accidentally tear them if you're not very careful.  Obviously, in a Study Bible this size, the pages are going to have to be pretty thin, but I have other Study Bibles that have thin, but more durable, pages.  2) Bleed-through - because the pages are so thin, the writing on the other side makes it difficult to read at times.  You definitely will struggle with this if you have a light shining directly on the pages as you read.  It is much easier for me to read when I turn off my desk lamp and just allow the light from the room to illumine the pages.  3) Red-lettering of Christ's words - First things first:  I like the red-letter feature in Bibles.  Always have.  Miss it in those Bibles that don't have it.  I know others who don't like it.  Again, to each his own.  I grew up on it and like it.  Deal with it. :)  But, in TLSB, the red is not dark enough and, in some places, looks more pink.  Dimming the lights to deal with the bleed-through makes it difficult to read the red-lettering.  So, I guess I'll have to have the lights dimmed and then, when I'm reading the Gospels, I'll have to turn on my desk lamp.

But, that's it.  I'm sure I'll find other things I wish were different, and I'm positive that I'll find some notes that I disagree with (or think could be better), but, all in all, TLSB is simply awesome.  Maybe the pages will be a little more durable in the genuine leather edition I'm waiting on.  But, even if not, I'll still cherish and use this Study Bible for many years to come.

Can't wait to use TLSB in our Bible Studies this week!  

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