What is the purpose of a Study Bible and should I buy one? Glad you asked!
Study Bibles can be of great value to you in your pursuit of knowing God and also in understanding the time period and biblical culture surrounding each book of the Bible. Having a Study Bible while you read the Scriptures can help you to gain the background knowledge of a particular book of the Bible without having to reach for an additional Bible study resource or commentary, or the notes of a Study Bible can serve as an additional resource to your ever-growing biblical library.
A Study Bible is helpful because it can give another perspective besides your own while you are independently studying the Scriptures. After you have read and studied the passage on your own, you are then able to read the thoughts of another by simply reading the explanation that is included in the study notes. Unlike biblical commentaries alone, a Study Bible is often precise and concisely summarized to quickly provide the main idea of the passage; however, this should not entirely replace times needed for your own prayerful research of the Scriptures so that you will not begin to solely rely upon the diligent study of another (2 Timothy 2:15).
Study Bibles can also give insight into the historical and cultural context of the Scriptures by quickly providing information about the author God chose to use, the events surrounding the biblical passage, the timeframe in which the events happened, the intended audience, the purpose of the passage, and more. With a commentary, this information would also be provided, but it would take significant time to gather the details that a Study Bible would quickly summarize.
There are a number of Study Bibles to choose from and it’s okay to purchase more than one with different translations. Whatever your preferred type of Study Bible, be sure to choose a translation that is close to the original biblical languages. Remember you are laying a foundation, so make it a strong one!
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,