Scofield Bible Comparison: Old, New, and III

The Scofield Reference Bible has undergone significant evolutions since its initial 1917 release.

With updates in 1967 and the introduction of the Scofield Study Bible III, each edition reflects changing perspectives, advances in biblical scholarship, and the needs of its readership.

This article delves into the nuances and distinctions between these three pivotal editions, tracing the journey of this influential study Bible across a century.

Scofield Study Bible
What is the Scofield III? See below

1917 Scofield Bible vs. 1967 Edition: A Comparison

AspectScofield Bible (1917)Scofield Bible (1967)
EditorC. I. ScofieldE. Schuyler English and a committee
Annotation ApproachAnnotations focused heavily on dispensational premillennialismRetained the dispensational perspective but offered more generalized and less dogmatic annotations
Text UsedKing James Version (KJV)Continued with the KJV, but also released editions with the New American Standard Bible and other versions
Archeological InsightsLimited references to archaeological findings, as many discoveries were yet to be madeIncorporated newer archaeological findings to provide context and support to the biblical text
Modern ScholarshipDid not benefit from several 20th-century biblical scholarship advancementsBenefited from half a century of biblical scholarship, integrating newer insights and understandings
Layout and DesignBasic layout with footnotesImproved layout with clearer footnotes, cross-references, and typographic enhancements
Maps and IllustrationsFewer maps and illustrationsAdded more detailed maps and illustrations to aid understanding
Theological ChangesSome of the notes could be seen as rigid or narrow in their theological stanceWhile retaining the core theology, the notes were revised to be more open and less deterministic

It’s important to note that while the 1967 edition underwent revisions, it aimed to stay true to Scofield’s original intent, particularly in its dispensational perspective.

Both editions have been influential in evangelical Christian circles, especially among those who hold to a dispensational premillennial viewpoint.

Christian Bible
What did C.I. Scofield believe? See below

What Is the Scofield Study Bible III?

The Scofield Study Bible III is another updated edition of the original Scofield Reference Bible.

Like its predecessors, it’s a study Bible that provides readers with annotated notes, aiding in the understanding of biblical text with a particular emphasis on dispensational theology.

Here’s how it compares to the 1917 and 1967 editions:

AspectScofield Bible (1917)Scofield Bible (1967)Scofield Study Bible III
EditorC. I. ScofieldE. Schuyler English and a committeeDr. Doris White Harris
Annotation ApproachAnnotations heavily centered on dispensational premillennialismRetained the dispensational perspective but with more generalized and less dogmatic annotationsFurther expanded annotations, yet still adhered to the dispensational framework. Incorporated more modern commentary.
Text UsedKing James Version (KJV)KJV, with editions in other versions like the New American Standard BibleAvailable in multiple translations, including the New King James Version (NKJV) and the English Standard Version (ESV)
Archeological InsightsLimited references to archaeological findingsIncorporated newer archaeological findingsEven more updated archaeological insights and references, reflecting the latest discoveries and research.
Modern ScholarshipEarly 20th-century biblical scholarshipBenefited from mid-20th-century scholarshipIntegrated contemporary biblical scholarship from the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Layout and DesignBasic layout with footnotesImproved layout with clearer typographic enhancementsModern design with side-column cross-references, clearer footnotes, and improved readability.
Maps and IllustrationsFewer maps and illustrationsMore detailed maps and illustrationsUpdated and expanded maps, illustrations, and even in-text maps for better contextual understanding.
Theological ChangesNarrow theological stance in some notesMore open and less deterministic notesContinued to evolve in presenting theology, balancing between traditional Scofield views and modern evangelical perspectives.

In essence, the Scofield Study Bible III is a continuation of the evolution seen from 1917 to 1967.

It respects the original framework set by C. I. Scofield while also ensuring that the Bible’s content remains relevant and accessible to contemporary readers, reflecting modern scholarship, archaeological updates, and design improvements.

Bible study
What is Scofield known for? See below

Who Was C.I. Scofield?

C.I. Scofield, whose full name was Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, was an American theologian, minister, and writer born in 1843 and died in 1921.

He is best known for his work on the Scofield Reference Bible, a widely-used annotated Bible that popularized dispensationalism among Protestant Christian evangelicals.

Prior to his religious endeavors, Scofield had a varied career, including service during the American Civil War and practicing law.

His later conversion to Christianity led him to pastoral roles and his influential theological work.

What Did C.I. Scofield Believe?

C.I. Scofield held and promoted several theological beliefs, central among them being dispensationalism. Here are the main tenets of what Scofield believed:

Dispensationalism: Scofield believed that God related to human beings in different ways at different periods in history called “dispensations.”

The Scofield Reference Bible outlines seven such dispensations, from the Age of Innocence (in the Garden of Eden) to the Kingdom Age (a future millennial reign of Christ).

Premillennialism: Scofield believed that Jesus Christ would return to earth before (pre-) a thousand-year reign, known as the Millennium.

This belief is opposed to postmillennialism, which posits that Christ would return after a thousand years of peace.

Literal Interpretation: He believed in a literal interpretation of the Bible, especially prophetic passages. For Scofield, prophecies in the Bible that had not yet been fulfilled would be realized in the future.

Salvation by Grace Through Faith: Consistent with evangelical beliefs, Scofield emphasized that salvation was a gift from God, given through faith in Jesus Christ and not based on human deeds or merit.

Inerrancy of Scripture: Scofield believed that the Bible was without error in its original manuscripts and was the divinely inspired word of God.

The Rapture: One of the more distinctive elements of dispensational premillennialism is the belief in the Rapture, the idea that true believers will be taken up to meet Christ in the air, separate from the Second Coming when Christ returns to Earth.

While Scofield’s beliefs, particularly his dispensational framework, were not universally accepted among all Christians, they significantly impacted American evangelical Christianity in the 20th century, largely due to the widespread use of the Scofield Reference Bible.

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see his About page for details.

Related Questions

error: This content is copyrighted.