The Spurgeon Study Bible
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, known as the Prince of Preachers, once preached to over 23,000 people in one sitting, all without modern amenities like a microphone or speakers. Having preached over 600 sermons by the time he was 20 years old, I believe Spurgeon is one whose material would naturally make its way into a Bible to aid those in their own spiritual growth as Christians.
“I’m going to be so jealous if they send you the new Spurgeon Study Bible to review,” read the text I received from a former pastor of mine shortly after posting my review for The Lost Sermons of CH Spurgeon Volume 2. Up to this point I had not heard about the release of a Spurgeon Study Bible and my attention was piqued to say the least: to see another work involving the Prince of Preachers sounded… well… great! So, when I got the package in the mail, I was excited!
The Bible itself is of fine craftsmanship. I have the hardcover, cloth-over-board, and it feels very sturdy and well made, as it should be. And, of course, one of the first things I did was open it. And open well it did! Without effort, I opened it in such a way as if I were laying it on a table, and it lay flat with ease! That, coupled with the text size of the Scriptures, I thought to myself and still think, that I could totally preach from this Bible! It truly is a beautifully done study Bible.
One of the most wonderful things that is in the beginning of this is a Biography of C. H. Spurgeon that is masterfully penned by Alistair Begg who headed up the project of putting this study Bible together. And, it’s not just the study notes that make this such a wonderful tool; there are countless numbers of quotes from Spurgeon, as well as numerous illustrations throughout the work from him as well. However, my favorite additions to the C. H. Spurgeon Study Bible are the twenty sermons, placed by the preached texts, from the recently published The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon: His Earliest Outlines and Sermons Between 1851 and 1854, Volume 1(B&H Academic, 2017). There are also ten of his sermon manuscripts (both scanned images and typed out transcriptions) in each the Old and New Testaments, covering a wide range of Scriptures (Genesis to Revelation) and topics (“Death, the Consequence of Sin” to “Imitation of God”).
This study Bible uses the text of the newly published Christian Standard Bible, a solid translation which has four main goals: 1. Provide an accurate, contemporary English translation. 2. Provide an accurate English translation for whatever you’re doing (personal study to sermon preparation). 3. Provide a translation that is clear, understandable, and readable. 4. Affirm the authority of Scripture and champion its absolute truth against skeptical viewpoints. (see the Introduction to The Christian Standard Bible, just after the table of contents, in the Spurgeon Study Bible; paraphrased). Being a word-for-word (or literal) translation assures the reader that they are reading the closest words to the original versions, with learning Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic being the only ways to do better (reading the originals). The CSB translation of the Bible is one of the better text versions I have read since being saved by Grace some 21 years ago. I can see the CSB text becoming more and more widely used (as it seems to be already) in the years to come!
In conclusion, I gratefully enjoyed using and working with The Spurgeon Study Bible, and will continue to do so, both in personal study as well as sermon preparation. The beauty and practicality of this Bible tell me that those involved in the process of its compilation were thinking of what everyone (lay persons, pastors, theologians, professors, etc.) would want in a work of such caliber, incorporating the works of one of the giants of the faith of more recent times.