The purpose of Bible Study Tips is to help you learn the Bible, connect with God, and grow your faith. This primarily happens by giving you tips and tricks that will improve your times of study. Sometimes this means telling you about a product I think you should add to your library. Today is one of those days, as I want to tell you about a relatively new product called the Disciple’s Study Bible from Holman Bible Publishers.
In this review I’ll share the details of the Bible and explain why I believe it will make a great addition to your library.
Not too long ago I came across a book from Robby Gallaty called Foundations: A 260-Day Bible Reading Plan for Busy Believers. The journal first caught my attention because I had plans to create a similar resource at some point. I picked up a copy for the sake of comparison. Once purchased, I fell in love with the journal and looked more into Robby’s ministry, Replicate Ministries.
After sharing my excitement about the product on Instagram, one of our site’s readers told me about a new study Bible Robby had released called the Disciple’s Study Bible. So, I reached out to the publisher for a review copy. Much like with Foundations, I was initially impressed with this Bible. I spent weeks going through its contents to see if it was worth recommending to others.
I’m very picky in what I recommend on this site, so it takes something special to make the cut. Did this Study Bible? Read on to find out.
At its heart, the Disciple’s Study Bible is a genuine study Bible. It has all the things you would expect in a good study Bible: book introductions, solid study notes, outlines, detailed maps, charts, cross-references, and a concordance. But, this study Bible goes above and beyond what others provide. Not only is it a study Bible, but it is a full-fledged discipleship resource.
If I were to describe this study Bible to you, here’s how I would do it: take the Foundations journal, a study Bible, a discipleship handbook, and combine them into a single resource. In a nutshell, this is what you have in the Disciple’s Study Bible. This study Bible is aimed at making disciples who will in turn make other disciples.
Now, let’s talk about the key features that set this Bible apart from the rest.Combine the Foundations journal, a study Bible, & a discipleship handbook & you get the Disciple's Study Bible from @RGallaty Click To Tweet
Most study Bibles have a reading plan tucked away in the back to help you read through the Bible in a year. That’s great, but it’s not something most people ever use. With the Disciple’s Study Bible, the F-260 Bible reading plan is put front and center, integrating with the entirety of the Bible.
Instead of putting it in the back, the reading plan is one of the first things you encounter when opening the Bible. Not only do you get a list showing you the F-260 plan’s daily readings, but if you turn to a reading’s passage in the Bible text you will find a full page for journaling using the H.E.A.R. method (learn more here). On these journaling pages you will find a short devotional text with room below to journal. The devotional text is an abbreviated & edited version of what you would find in the Foundations journal.
The way the journal entries integrate with the text, you cannot ignore them. If you start journaling & fall off the wagon, you’ll have empty pages staring you in the face beckoning you to start again. The built-in accountability is brilliant.
One thing that caught my attention about this Bible is its study notes. The Disciple’s Study Bible takes a different approach than most others on the market. Being a study Bible focused on discipleship, the study notes explain the text through this lens. Notes are labeled with their doctrinal emphasis (say Holy Spirit, Humanity, Christian Ethics, or Prayer) as well as a subcategory before giving you the notes. Using these headings, you can mentally begin to categorize the Bible and know where different topics are discussed. These headings also correspond with tables in the back of the Bible listing each book’s major doctrinal emphases.
I appreciate this approach because it keeps the focus on what’s important, which is seeing the Bible’s big picture and how everything fits together. We don’t always need to get bogged down in the details. And this study Bible does a good job of walking a fine balance of being informative without being excessive. Overall, I don’t think anyone can complain about these study notes.
Over the years, Robby Gallaty and the Replicate Ministries team have written lots about discipleship, making them experts on the subject. In the Disciple’s Study Bible they share this expertise with you. Not only do they teach why making disciples is important (because Jesus commands us to), but they equip you with the knowledge needed to start your own discipleship groups (D-Groups), so you can disciple others who will then go out and do likewise.
What you get in these articles is the core of what the Replicate team teaches over the course of several books. It’s this material that makes the Disciple’s Study Bible what it is. You get everything you need to equip yourself as a disciple (the study notes & F-260 plan), but you’re also given what’s needed to disciple others.
What more could you ask for?!
Everything else is typical of what you would find in any other study Bible.
It’s worth noting that this study Bible uses the Christian Standard Bible translation from Holman Bible Publishers. I find this to be a very solid translation. The CSB is one I would recommend alongside the ESV or any other mainline translation.
If you couldn’t tell, I really like the Disciple’s Study Bible. Having gone through its contents, I can say with confidence that this is the study Bible I would recommend for a new believer or someone in a discipleship group. For years the ESV Study Bible had been my go-to recommend. I think this is right up there with it.The Disciple's Study Bible is the perfect Bible for new believers or those walking through a discipleship group. @RGallaty Click To Tweet
The Bible’s focus on internalizing God’s Word and discipleship is commendable and not something you’ll find in other study Bibles. Both of these are things we need to focus on more as a church, and with this resource both are put front & center.
If you already have a reliable study Bible, would I recommend buying this? Yes and no. If you’re actively discipling others, then I wholeheartedly believe this Bible should be in your tool chest. I’d go so far as to say this is what you should be using for discipleship. I also think it’s worth having the study notes as a resource. But, if simply looking to go through the F-260 plan, you’re better off spending less money. Pick up the Foundations journal instead.
Read, meditate and journal on the following passages this week.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Disciple’s Study Bible free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”