Of the making of study Bibles there is no end. Our appetite for these handy, one-volume reference libraries continues to produce all-in-one Bibles for every variety of Christian. Three recent entrants to the field display more substance than many.

The resurgent Reformation-minded wing of the evangelical movement may finally have a study Bible to call its own. Derived largely from the earlier New King James-based New Geneva Study Bible (NGSB, Thomas Nelson) and the NIV Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible (Zondervan), the Reformation Study Bible (RSB) combines solid, Reformed scholarship with the increasingly popular and "essentially literal" English Standard Version (ESV).

Included in this edition is a short theology course housed in nearly 100 brief theological essays on everything from "The Authority of Scripture" to more explicitly Reformed doctrines such as "Perseverance of the Saints," "Election and Reprobation," and "Definite Redemption." Most of these compact theological gems first appeared in the NGSB and in CT executive editor J. I. Packer's Concise Theology.

There are some disappointments, however. The RSB has no color maps. And the 70-page concordance feels skimpy. One also looks in vain for reprints and explanations of Reformation-era documents such as the Westminster Confession.

Still, the RSB will be a valuable study Bible for many Christians-Reformed and otherwise.

Just as the 2003 "BibleZine" Revolve was the first Bible to contain makeup advice, the Faith in Action Study Bible is likely the first Bible to include a sidebar summary of the Geneva Conventions. Of course, much of the Bible is devoted to the fair, just, decent, and even loving treatment ...

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