Ancient Faith Study Bible | Review, Video

The Ancient Faith Study Bible is a ground-breaking resource that will help Christians understand Scripture, as well as sense a meaningful and personal connection to their brothers and sisters who lived in previous centuries.

The Ancient Faith Study Bible is unique among study bibles and will continually reward bible readers who are drawn to Christian history and theology.

The Ancient Faith Study Bible features bottom-of-the-page notes and commentary from Christian leaders, including pastors and theologians, from the 2nd through 6th centuries A.D., who helped establish, stabilize, and grow the early Church.

The notes and comments in this study bible, represent the reflections, convictions, and teachings of the earliest believers that followed the era of the New Testament Apostles.

Ancient Faith Study Bible cover

In addition to the bottom-of-the-page notes, the Ancient Faith Study Bible also includes dozens of articles that make Christian history and theology interesting and easy to understand.

There are 25 articles taken from the important works of select early-church leaders. Examples include: “Creation Out of Nothing” by Augustine and “The Divinity of the Holy Spirit” by Basil the Great.

There are also 25 biographies on the most influential leaders in the early church, including Athanasius, Constantine, and Jerome.

Christian History and Theology in One Study Bible

Yet another informative feature of the study bible are succinct, multiple-paragraph, “call-outs” labeled “Twisted Truth,” in which the theological errors of some of those connected to the early church are described and discussed.

There are 15 “Twisted Truth” call-outs in total in the study bible. The call-outs of Modalism and Pelagius are especially helpful.

Learning about these subjects helps modern-day readers understand what the earliest Christians were defending against and how they stood firm in what Jesus and the Apostles taught.

To help readers understand the significance of what they will learn, the Ancient Faith Study Bible includes three articles from modern-day writers.

These include, “Reading the Bible with the Church Fathers” by Trevin Wax, which articulates the value of the Ancient Faith Study Bible; “Christology of the Ecumenical Councils” by Fred Sanders, including Nicea and Constantinople; and “Participation in the Trinity” by E. Ray Clendenen.

Each biblical book contains a one-page introduction that briefly discusses its setting, purpose, and structure.

Each introduction contains insights from leaders in the early church on the biblical book as a whole.

For instance, Chrysostom is quoted to introduce Genesis; Augustine to introduce 1 Kings; Theodoret of Cyrus to introduce Daniel; Ambrose to introduce Micah; Eusebius to introduce Mark; Ambrose to introduce Luke; Chrysostom to introduce Acts; Ambrosiaster to introduce Romans; and Didymus the Blind to introduce Jude.

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Study notes: Examples from Chrysostom, Augustine, and Origen

The bottom-of-the-page notes on John 3:9-10 include insight from Chrysostom (349-407), who was the Archbishop of Constantinople, and was well-known for his preaching and writing:

Observe how Jesus never accuses Nicodemus of wickedness but only of simplicity and a lack of wisdom. But someone will say: What connection does this birth have with Jewish doctrines? What doesn’t it have in common with them?

The first man that was made, the woman that was made out of his rib, the barren that bare, the miracles that were worked by means of water, for instance, Elisha’s bringing up the iron from the river, the passage of the Red Sea, the pool that the angel troubled and Namaan the Syrian’s purification in the Jordan — these were all types and figures of the spiritual birth and purification that would take place in the future.

Many passages in the prophets too have a hidden reference to this birth, as for instance…’your youth is renewed like the eagle’s [Ps. 103:5]…and ‘Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven’ [Ps. 32:1]. Isaac also was a type of this birth… Referring to these passages, our Jesus says, ‘Are you a master in Israel and you do not know these things?”

The bottom-of-the-page notes on Romans 8:38-39 include insight from Augustine (354-430 AD), who was the Bishop of Hippo, and one of the most influential theologians in Christian history:

Ancient Faith Study Bible back
back of the box

Paul says that he is sure, not merely that he is of the opinion… that neither death nor the promise of temporal life nor any of the things he lists can separate the believer from God’s love.

No one can separate the believer from God; not someone who threatens death, because he who believes in Christ shall live even if he dies, nor someone who offers early life, because Christ gives us eternal life.

An angel cannot separate us, because ‘if an angel comes down from heaven and tells you something other than what you receive, let him be anathema [Gl. 1:8-9]. Nor can a principality, i.e. an opposing power, because Christ has… vanquished them in himself.”

The bottom-of-the-page notes on Psalm 23:5 include insight from Origen of Alexandria (184-253), who was one of the earliest theologians and writers in the Church:

Just as certain rewards are given to the contender in mighty contests, so also in any trial, when that which afflicts is nearby and the powers of the adversaries bring tribulation, know that a spiritual and intellectual table is prepared on account of this trial.

Therefore, however many times you will be afflicted, equally [as] many times a spiritual table is placed before you… [G]iving thanks, you may say with the apostle, “Not I alone, but we are made glorious in tribulation” [2 Cor. 7:4].

More features of the Ancient Faith Study Bible

The biblical text is printed in two columns. The Scripture type is size 10.25, which is larger than almost all modern English bibles that are not published as large-print editions.

Chapter and passage titles are in bold letters. Chapter numbers are significantly larger, more then double the font type. Chapter and verse numbers are in scarlet.

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10.5 font, 2 columns

The bottom-of-the-page notes are printed in 8-point font and organized in three columns.

The asymmetrical alignment of the two-column biblical text and the three-column note section is not disruptive to the study bible’s readability.

While the notes are a smaller font size, they are the same height as most other modern English bibles.

Concerning back matter, the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed are printed immediately after the book of Revelation concludes. Also included is an article on the Canon of Scripture.

This is followed by the section, “Suggested Reading,” which includes Primary Sources, such as Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, On the Apostolic Preaching and Patrick of Ireland’s, The Writings of St. Patrick. There are also suggestions on Secondary Sources, like Rediscovering the Church Fathers by Michael A.G. Haykin (Crossway, 2001).

The Biographical Index contains an alphabetical listing of leaders in the early church, including a brief single-sentence biography, followed by a listing of every verse in the study bible where the person is quoted in the notes.

People like Augustine, Chrysostom, and Isidore of Seville have over 100 references each.

There is also a concordance in which biblical subjects are alphabetically listed with verse references. There are a few blank, lined pages for notes.

There are 8-pages of full-color maps to conclude the study bible.

The Christian Standard Bible Translation

The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) translation is a relatively new English translation, having been completed in June 2016.

The CSB is a revision of the 2009 edition of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) with improvements upon translation decisions, word choice, and style.

The HCSB was translated by a team of 100 conservative Evangelical Christian biblical scholars. Backgrounds represented include Southern Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, conservative Anglican, and non-denominational Evangelical churches.

Ongoing translation decisions are governed by the ten member CSB Translation Oversight Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner and Dr. David L. Allen.

The CSB text is based on The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia 5th Edition (BHS5) was used for the Old Testament and the Novum Testamentum Graece 28th Edition (NA28) and United Bible Societies 5th Edition (UBS5) was used for the New Testament (the HCSB used BHS4 and NA27/UBS4).

The CSB (and original HCSB) translators used a methodology they termed “Optimal Equivalence.”

Optimal Equivalence draws from both formal and dynamic translation philosophies, balancing contemporary English readability with linguistic precision to the original languages.

Based upon criteria from a quantitative linguistic comparison of eight popular English Bible translations, the CSB was found to hold the most optimal balance of Readable vs. Literal scores.

Links:

Get the Ancient Faith Study Bible on Amazon

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