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I’m glad that I now have a copy of Concordia’s Lutheran Study Bible. I’m a fan of Study Bibles (if you couldn’t tell), and even though I’m not a Lutheran, such a Study Bible can be a very helpful way to see how a significant stream of the Reformation tradition interprets the Bible and seeks to apply the Gospel to all of life.

Some of the features of the LSB:

  • 26,500-plus uniquely Lutheran study notes.
  • Over 2,000 application notes and prayers for every part of the Bible.
  • 80,000 center column cross-references.
  • Over 900 cross-references to 120 full or half-page maps, charts, and diagrams.
  • 220-plus articles and introductions to biblical books and topics.
  • Insights from early church, medieval and Reformation era church fathers (including, of course, Luther).
  • Uses the ESV translation.
  • Durable Smyth-sewn binding.

On this page you can view some samples.

After the jump are some introductory videos. . . .

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13 thoughts on “The Lutheran Study Bible”

  1. YOU are a fan of study bibles? When did this begin?

    See you next week.


  2. Gary Boal says:

    Looks good but i’ll stick with the ESVSB

  3. Kim in On says:

    It has good bible reading schedules, too.

  4. Thanks, Justin, for the mention.


  5. Michael says:

    Looks like a good resource.

  6. Joseph says:

    I like how this study Bible brags about having more features when it seems like many of the “more” seems to be life application notes. There seems to be more extra Biblical material in here than there is Bible. Many of the extra features it boasts having over the competitors seem to increase clutter instead of increasing tools to better understand the Scriptures. I personally think the ESV Study Bible hit the nail on the head with the balance they struck between the text by itself and the helps it gives. Having over 220+ thematic articles seems a bit much for a Bible.

    Furthermore some of the extra features it boasts having are obviously only going to be present in the Lutheran Study Bible because other study bibles that are not Lutheran oriented are not likely to have, for example, Luther’s Small Catechism.

    The addition of quotes from church fathers is kind of cool, but I think a little unnecessary and I think there may be a danger of taking church father’s statements out of context.

    Looks like a cool and comprehensive project but to boast about having SO MUCH extra stuff doesn’t seem to me to be something they should necessarily be boasting about. I like the ESV Study Bible better!

    1. Cap Stewart says:

      I know the advertising could lead one to think that all the notes and articles would increase clutter. However, after inspecting both the ESV Study Bible and the Lutheran Study Bible, the conclusion I came to was that the ESVSB is the one that’s more cluttered; with the plethora of articles contained in the back, it actually has more information than the LSB. I may not be a Lutheran, but I still prefer the LSB to the ESVSB.

      1. Joseph says:

        I agree that study bibles in general inherently have more information that can, when not formatted well, turn to clutter. My ultimate conclusion, from comparing the two, is that the formatting of the LSB seems to have more “intertextual” (information that is included on the same page with the biblical text) clutter. I am fine with some extra information being included along side the Scripture, but I would prefer to have many of the articles in the back as the ESVSB does because too much “intertextual” information often ends up being, I think, disctracting.

        My concern in adding too much “helps” in a Bible is that it has the potential to hinder rather than aid the hermeneutical process. I believe in using aids in the hermeneutical process as much as the next true exegete, but I think fragments of help can sometimes hurt. It’s like the old saying goes in Greek courses goes “Some people know just enough Greek to be dangerous.” Sometimes these fragments of help can be a tad misleading and an opportunity for creating an excuse for people to not read the text and make important observations for themselves. Some study Bibles do too much of the interpretation for people I think.

        Sorry for the rant!

  7. David McKay says:

    Justin, I found the notes on The Apocrypha interesting. I had not realised that 1 Maccabees itself tells us that the intertestamental period was a silent period, where folk were waiting for a genuine prophet to arise. The article cites 1 Macc 4:46; 9:27 and 14:41, all of which make this assertion.

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  9. It’s always interesting to read people’s impressions, and learn of their expectations for/about a Study Bible.

    The Lutheran Study Bible was designed for a layman with moderate to little prior knowledge of the issues discussed, topics covered and information provided. It is intended to be a one-volume resource to aid reading and praying the Scriptures with understanding and edification.

    It is interesting to read specialists who want more out of a Study Bible and some, apparently, who want, or expect, less.

    Given the overwhelming and enthusiastic response to the release of The Lutheran Study Bible it seems to be pleasing many who have obtained it. We are already at 175% of our annual sales budget on copies ordered of TLSB, and it is hardly yet even November.

    Rev. Paul T. McCain

    1. Joseph says:

      Rev. McCain,

      Despite some of my questions for the LSB please know that I hold the project in the highest regard. Anything that aids people in knowing and enjoying God by helping them understand Jesus as the only way to do so is a great blessing to the Church. I am certain that God will bless his Word in this study Bible as much as in any other bible. I am perpetually astonished and blessed that Christendom has as many resources as it does and I praise God for the martyrs he sent into the world to do His work that we can enjoy so many different formats of His Word today.

      I praise God for all the work that was put into the LSB and I pray God blesses it.

      Grace and Peace in Christ Jesus,

  10. Thanks you, Joseph, for your very kind and gracious remark.

    The grace and peace of Christ be with you.


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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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