Gary Zimmerli has just posted a review of Jonah in the ESV Study Bible. Gary uses three other study Bibles and contrasts the ESV SB with them: the NASB John MacArthur Study Bible, the NIV Study Bible, and the new NLT Study Bible.
The ESV SB is of course a tour de force. It is clearly one of the very finest scholarly study Bibles available. So it was interesting to see how they treated the book of Jonah.
The introduction was, of course, excellent. It was about as detailed an introduction as I’ve ever seen, dealing not only with the author and date of the book, story overview and such, but it also went into the particular literature genre of the book, and talked about that at some length. The introductions to Jonah in the other three SBs were almost as good, but didn’t quite get into as much detail.
Although Gary praises the ESB SB, he says this of the ESV translation itself:
The ESV text, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired, in my opinion. And those of you who know me know that I’m not particularly fond of the ESV. It’s so full of archaic words and phrases, and so full of awkward word order; and the vocabulary is so archaic. You really have to do your mental calisthenics and jump through a lot of hoops. Reading the ESV can be a tiring experience, even exhausting. I don’t find it pleasant at all.
Gary ended his post:
The ESV Study Bible is just the right thing for a lot of folks. But I don’t think it will be for me. Even so, I will be recommending it.