Wesleyan? Or Wesley Oriented?

The good folks over at Abingdon Press were kind enough to send me a copy of the new Wesley Study Bible for review. I was pretty stoked, seeing that I have never owned a copy of the NRSV nor have I read a whole lot of Wesley’s writing. Two birds with one stone, right?

The Bible itself is composed of a beautiful green and tan leather cover, with those wonderfully crisp pages that accompany new Bibles. The layout is typical of a study Bible, keeping the Scriptural text above the study notes. And the treatment of the New Revised Standard text is excellent. All in all, the Wesley Study Bible is a pretty nice piece of work.

I wondered during my reading about one of the key aspects of the study notes. Throughout the text, there are these small boxes with Wesleyan Core Terms. While often insightful, I found that many of them were not any more “Wesleyan” than “Anglican” or any other denomination. A good majority of them should really have just been labeled Christian, especially considering how much the Reformers impacted the Wesley brothers long before the Methodist movement was born.

Aside from the unnecessary denominational hairsplitting, I was also disappointed in the concordance. A good concordance can make or break a study bible. It doesn’t always have to be heavy on the Greek or Hebrew, but it should at least provide some good cross referencing. This particular text would be more helpful if I could compare textual references when examining introductory Wesleyan thought. But alas, no such thing is to be found.

If you’re interested in picking up a solid NRSV bible, then this is a good choice. If you’re on the hunt for a thorough study bible, you might be better off to keep looking.


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