Joel R. Beeke, Ed.
Reviewed by: James W. Scott
Date posted: 07/19/2015
The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible. General editor Joel R. Beeke. Reformation Heritage Books, 2014. Hardback, 2240 pages, list price $40.00 (leather-like, $60.00). Reviewed by New Horizons managing editor James W. Scott.
This study Bible contains the KJV text at the top of the page and brief notes in smaller print at the bottom. There is a short introduction to each book. The introductions and notes are very conservative and classically Reformed. There are over fifty "in-text articles" (one page each) that together form a miniature systematic theology. Don't look to this book for higher-critical or other progressive thinking.
The study helps at the back occupy three hundred pages, including "How to Live as a Christian" (38 pages), "Twenty Centuries of Church History" (22 pages), "Creeds and Confessions" (130 pages) featuring the Three Forms of Unity and the Westminster Standards, a plan to "Read the Bible in a Year," a concordance (106 pages), and fourteen color maps.
This study Bible is designed to promote Christian character formation through daily Bible reading and related guidance. At the end of each chapter, primarily to assist heads of households in leading family devotions, is a section in bold type entitled "Thoughts for Personal/Family Worship." The notes also explain archaic vocabulary in the KJV.
This book is a product of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and thus reflects its theology and values. The three editors teach there. The editorial assistant is a teaching assistant there. The publisher is the seminary's publishing house.
One problem with the book is that the paper is very thin and not sufficiently opaque. As a result, the ink from the back side of the page (especially the boldface notes) sometimes makes reading somewhat difficult.
If you want a KJV study Bible from a traditional, Puritan perspective, this is a solid choice. It doesn't scratch beneath the surface much, but it does offer a lot of application to the Christian life.