Book Review: Spurgeon Study Bible
Updated: Sep 22, 2022
I have read through many different study bibles over the decades, but none has been more inspirational to me than The Spurgeon Study Bible. Other study Bibles have all been educational and highly worthwhile to read. They remain within arm's reach on my desk for continuing Bible study and lesson planning when teaching. They provide great context, historical facts, doctrinal truth, archaeological findings, language studies, and insights that help me better understand God's Word.
Reading through The Spurgeon Study Bible, however, was a truly inspirational experience at a personal devotional level rather than the intellectual/educational experience that other study Bible readings have been for me.
Alistair Begg was the Editor for The Spurgeon Study Bible. Below is a partial list of the Bible's features.
Introductory biography of Charles Spurgeon
Study notes crafted from Spurgeon sermons
Extracted sermon illustrations
Sermon notes and outlines in Spurgeon’s handwriting, "Spurgeon Quotables"
Book introductions with book overviews in Spurgeon’s own words
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was a 19th-century English Baptist preacher who came to be known as the Prince of Preachers. He was a powerful speaker and prolific author who God still uses through his writings about 130 years after his death to teach others the timeless truths of God's Word. I encourage interested readers to follow up by reading more about Spurgeon and more of his works. You will be blessed.
What was fascinating about my six-month journey of reading every word of The Spurgeon Study Bible is that it exposed me to the richness and modern relevance of Spurgeon's writings and his God-given understanding of Scripture far more than I had previously understood. The study notes are taken from Spurgeon's sermons related to the passages. Each day's reading was, therefore, a double illumination of truth - first from the Word of God, which is always powerful by itself as the Holy Spirit illuminates it, but then there followed in the notes very practical explanations and applications from Spurgeon's sermons that both challenged and encouraged me. Occasional copies of Spurgeon's handwriting for sermon outlines and comments connect the reader in a more personal way with Spurgeon, which only makes the reader appreciate this edition more.
I read the edition that uses the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) as the biblical text (the only one available when I purchased it). It is now also available in a King James Version (KJV). I wish it were available in the English Standard Version (ESV), but to date, that is not the case.
As someone who spent years in seminary and decades afterward continuing to learn more about the Bible through a host of authors and sources, I needed a walk through a study Bible that wasn't primarily about learning more head knowledge but was more about experiencing God and his truth. This reading through The Spurgeon Study Bible provided a much-needed fresh personal encounter with the eternal Author of God's Word. The readability of the Christian Standard Bible as the version used contributed to the simplicity and clarity of the experience.
I still have other study Bibles that are my go-to editions for various purposes:
The Reformation Study Bible remains my overall favorite for the quantity and quality of doctrinal study notes.
The NIV Grace and Truth Study Bible provides insightful big-picture explanations of larger passages rather than verse-by-verse commentary.
The ESV Study Bible is a reliable source of contextual educational content.
The MacArthur Study Bible provides unique and valuable insights from John MacArthur.
The Apologetics Study Bible instructs Christians eager to speak God's truth to an unbelieving world.
The Gospel Transformation Bible can quickly provide practical application of biblical truth.
The Archaeology Study Bible gives a wealth of archaeological, geographical, and historical information not commonly found in other Bibles.
The Evidence Bible is filled with notes and articles that help deepen the reader's faith and equip the reader with resources to help share the gospel with others.
Each of the above Bibles has blessed and benefitted me in multiple ways. I eagerly recommend all of them. However, if you need a trip through God's Word where the notes are most likely first to grab your heart rather than your head, I suggest you get a copy of The Spurgeon Study Bible and see what wondrous things God has yet to teach you through his Word and through its timeless truth as written by C. H. Spurgeon.
(The above review is adapted from my original review published elsewhere.)