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Posts Tagged ‘Fire Bible

Review of the ESV Fire Bible

The Fire Bible was the first study Bible I ever owned.  It was called the Full Life Study Bible in those days (early 1990’s).  It changed its name to the Life in the Spirit Study Bible and now is the Fire Bible.

The Fire Bible was originally published by Zondervan and was found in the NIV and KJV.  I had the NIV.  However, over the years my theology changed as well as my Bible translation.  I now use the ESV for most of my Bible reading and study.  I was thrilled then to see the Fire Bible come out in the ESV.

The Fire Bible is a classical Pentecostal study Bible.  The notes are focused on four cardinal doctrines of the Pentecostal movement:

  • Jesus Saves (Salvation)
  • Jesus Baptizes in the Spirit (Subsequent to Salvation)
  • Jesus Heals (Divine Healing)
  • Jesus is Coming Again (Jesus’ Second Coming)

These four doctrines are emphasized in the Fire Bible.  The notes reflect these doctrines.

The layout of the ESV Fire Bible is impressive.  The biblical text is double columned with cross references on the side.  This Bible is easy to read without ghosting (where you can see the writing on the other page coming through to the page you are reading).  The leather is well done (mine is black genuine leather and is very nice).  The paper is not as quality as a Cambridge Bible but is good.  I don’t write in my Bibles but this Bible does not have much space for notes.

The commentary is classical Pentecostal as I mentioned above.  The view of salvation is Arminian.  The view of end times is premillennial with a pre tribulation rapture.  While this Bible emphasizes divine healing, the article on healing is clear that doctors are good and needed.  Of course, the view of the Holy Spirit is a Pentecostal view with all spiritual gifts available today.

While I am not 100% on board with every note (for example I am post millennial), the notes are solid.  What I appreciate is that the notes have a Pentecostal feel to them.  Having grown up in the Pentecostal movement and was saved in a Pentecostal church, I know that doctrine does matter but experience flows from the biblical text.  This study Bible emphasizes that aspect with a focus on sound doctrine but also upon living the biblical life.  Christianity is not merely doctrine but is a life.

I recommend this study Bible.  Even if you are not a Pentecostal (say a Wesleyan), this study Bible is useful.  The commentary is soundly conservative (for example this study Bible has only one writer of Isaiah).  As an Arminian, this is the only Arminian study Bible I am aware of on the market at this time (December 2015).  I appreciated the articles on salvation that are clearly Arminian.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/06/2015 at 12:34 PM

A Couple of ESV Bibles To Consider

Two ESV study Bibles are coming out that you might want to consider.  The first one is the ESV Key Word Study Bible.  This Bible is very helpful with the original languages of Hebrew and Greek.  The notes focus on the original languages and you’ll find thousands of the original language words defined for you (like a Strong’s Concordance) in the back along with many word studies.  I have an NIV and NASB edition now but will look forward to getting my hands on an ESV edition.

The second ESV study Bible set to come out in June of 2014 is the Fire Bible.  Currently the Fire Bible is out in the NIV (1984) and the KJV.  The ESV Fire Bible will be the first Arminian study Bible found in the ESV.  The Fire Bible has notes that are Arminian in its soteriology but Pentecostal in its pneumatology.  While not all Arminians would agree with the notes in the Fire Bible, an Arminian would gladly accept the study Bible’s notes on salvation and perseverance.

Overall it looks like some good ESV study Bibles are heading our way should the Lord tarry.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/27/2013 at 11:56 AM

Posted in Bible Reading, Books

Tagged with , ,

The NIV MacArthur Study Bible

I first heard of this project over a year ago as Dr. John MacArthur was preparing to take his study Bible and add the NIV to its growing list of translations.  I knew that this would not be a welcomed edition since the NIV falls in line with dynamic equivalent translations and not with essentially literal texts such as the NKJV, NASB, and the ESV.  I could already hear the grumbling from scholars about Dr. MacArthur giving his approval to such a Bible translation as the NIV.

The KJV only supporters no doubt will make this a headline for attacking Dr. MacArthur.

In reality, I am interested to see this study Bible.  The reason Dr. MacArthur is to be commended for doing this is that many readers of the popular NIV will now be able to have study notes that will often correct the translation.  As I heard one brother say to me, “Why not take a decent translation and add good notes to correct the not so good of the translation.”  Excellent point.  In essence, Dr. MacArthur is taking his study notes and adding them to this NIV edition but it will correct the NIV where needed.  Dr. MacArthur has not shied away before from correcting the translation as see in passages such as 1 John 5:7-8 or the controversial ending of Mark 16:9-20.

The NIV is the world’s most popular Bible.  I have to admit that.  In terms of dollar amounts, the NIV ranks first.  In terms of unit sales (actual number of Bibles sold), the NLT ranks first.  My favorite translation, the ESV, ranks fifth in both categories.  It would then be appropriate for Dr. MacArthur to seek to add sound theology (though I do differ with him here and there with his Calvinism) to the NIV.

I would also commend the NIV Fire Study Bible as well along with the NIV Key Word Study Bible.  Both of these study Bibles are based on the NIV 1984 whereas the NIV MacArthur Study Bible will be from the 2011 edition of the NIV.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/30/2013 at 2:10 PM

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