The United Methodist Publishing House has hit a home run with the publication of the new Wesley Study Bible . The Bible includes textual commentary and other resources in a well-designed layout. Commentary and the text to which it refers are arranged so they appear on the same page, making it functional and convenient for study.
Boxed sidebar entries provide additional information. Appearing under the title, "Wesleyan Core Term," one type of sidebar connects scriptural verses to key terms from commentaries, sermon texts or letters of John Wesley. Others connect to the hymns of his brother Charles. This material brings freshness and unique insight to the thoughts and theology of the Wesleys. The juxtaposition of scripture and original Wesleyan sources results in a compelling presentation.
The third resource is meditational sidebars under the title "Life Application Topic." These meditations refer to scriptural verses and relate them to contemporary life experience. They are not biblical exegesis; that is, the critical interpretation or explanation of the text. They extrapolate meaning from the scripture and relate it to everyday living (isegesis).
The Bible is bound in soft brown leather cut to form a semi-circle that merges into an attractive forest green leather stitched with brown thread. The pages are edged in brown ink matching the cover. It’s a visually appealing package.
The long list of contributors is also impressive, ranging from Wesleyan biblical scholars from across the Methodist movement to well-known pastors and writers with Wesleyan knowledge.
I’ve had a copy for only two days but the more I work with it the more excited I become about it. Knowing what it takes to produce a project of this magnitude adds to my appreciation of the team who worked on this Bible. It’s a great tool for any reader who seeks to understand the roots of the Methodist movement and how scripture informs it.
A Facebook group for the Wesley Study Bible can be found here .