QA: ESV Literary Study Bible alternatives?


“I already own the ESV Classic Reference edition and find it difficult to also purchase this LSB edition. Does Crossway plan on carrying an ‘only-the-notes’ version of this study Bible?” – Hanz


Hello, Hanz! I doubt Crossway will release the notes independently. Here’s why.

The ESV Literary Study Bible found its conceptual origin as a 2005 book release known as the Ryken’s Bible Handbook by Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken and James Wilhoit (Tyndale: 2005). Much of the content in the LSB was taken from the Ryken’s Bible Handbook. The LSB goes further in applying the structure and content of the Handbook to each section/chapter of Scripture specifically.

If you can buy the Bible, buy the Bible. But if you want to use materials from the Ryken’s but cannot afford the LSB (or cannot justify buying another Bible), I would start with Ryken’s Bible Handbook. You will be very impressed by the content. So that’s my advice. And if you want a peek into the handbook, Tyndale offers a PDF download of the first chapter (click here for download).

Great question, Hanz. I hope this helps. Tony
Further notes on the ESV LSB

It’s worth noting that Monergism Books now sells the ESV Literary Study Bible for $29.99. Also, I suppose this is a good place to let you know I today posted a transcript of the TSS interview with Dr. Leland Ryken over at Monergism and you can read it here (the original audio interview can be accessed here). Our full review of the LSB is here. And for those who have already purchased and received their ESV LSB in the mail, we want to hear from you! Give us your feedback on what you think of the LSB here.

7 thoughts on “QA: ESV Literary Study Bible alternatives?

  1. Funny, Ben! Let’s me see here … The LSB is $30 and the handbook is $20. If I do the math (not my strength) I’d say TSS just saved someone $10. My question for you Ben: With us putting $10 back in your pocket, how can anyone afford not to read TSS?

  2. Please forgive me, Tony. You’re absolutely right.

    My humorous attempt was anything but.

    I deeply regret my post – as I intended to convey, though all too poorly – that the offerings you mention are as beneficial as they are hard to pass up. I’ve never regretted acting on any of your recommendations. And I’ve acted on too many to count over these last few years.

    Tony, you and TSS have been an immeasurable blessing to me and countless others.

    If I had the capability to retract my left-footed attempt at humor I would. So, please retract my ill-spoken “comment” and accept my heart-felt apology for it.

    I will strive to do a better job of “building up” both you and TSS in the future. I consider you a friend and a brother and would not for anything want to diminish that relationship or the great work God is doing through you via TSS as well as throughout Minnesota and beyond.

    The Lord has His sovereign hand on you. Please do not let ill-worded comments like mine discourage you as indeed – who can afford not to read TSS? I certainly can’t!

    Thank you again, Tony, for all that you do.

    Humbly and contritely yours in Him,


  3. NO, NO, NO! Ben, that was hilarious. I loved it. I’m considering putting the warning on the sidebar because it’s so true. … It does build me up because it says that when I recommend a book on TSS that people take them seriously and are making purchases because of them. Trust me, your “warning” did build up, my friend!

    I was archiving my emails yesterday and realized that you were the first online friend — outside of my face-to-face contacts — that I built a Christian relationship with. Remember you sent me an email on April 23, 2005? I still have it! You were looking for information on Richard Sibbes. And later you found my blog and you’ve been a faithful reader ever since. You are a great blessing to TSS Ben! Only my wife has been a fan of TSS longer than you.

    Blessings to you my friend! Tony

  4. The humility in this post is running high! I feel lower than a snakes belly for just setting on the sidelines taking in info. like water running into the dead sea! This is the blog of all blogs. Thanks Tony for keeping it up! I too am somewhat poorer financially for the book recommendations but much richer spiritually!

  5. Thank you, Mark. Those are very kind comments and once again on this Saturday morning God is showering me with undeserved encouragements. Blessings to you, also! Tony

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s