The Ryrie Study Bible has been popular since its first publication in 1978 and has sold over 2.6 million copies. Moody Press has released the Ryrie Study Bible with the ESV text, a new layout, and in a new soft-touch faux leather binding. Among single author Study Bibles, Ryrie's stands out as the most popular and perhaps the most accessible. Though distinctly dispensational, it includes enough study materials and basic informational notes to remain relevant and useful to those who disagree with dispensational theology. The Ryrie Study Bible's strength is in its ability to make academic information concise and accessible to all.
The Soft-Touch binding is smooth and attractive with a handsome design that looks modern but will be appealing to more than just youth or those with trendy taste. The back features an imprint of 2 Timothy 3:16, and I appreciate the lack of gold lettering or ostentatious design. The Soft-Touch material is firmer and less textured than than Crossway leathersoft but has a nicer, matte texture when compared to Hendrickson's flexisoft. It is not as flexible or as thick as either, but it doesn't seem to have as much of a rubbery element. It will be interesting to see how it wears.
The Soft-Touch edition features an obviously glued binding (correction: CBD staff state that this is smyth-sewn as well as glued), which means it may begin to crack and release the maps at the end if put through rigorous use for more than a year or two.
I was impressed to see this edition perform yoga fairly well in spite of its more rigid binding; it took a little more coaxing to get it there, but it held the position well and returned to its original posture without folds or seams showing up.
One of the reasons I was interested in looking at this edition was because I wanted to look at the ESV as rendered by a different publisher from Crossway and Cambridge. Moody Press hasn't done anything revolutionary with the layout, but they have provided a readable double column format, featuring a center column of references and humble note placement. The occasional graphic, map or chart interrupts the text but for the most part the notes are uninterrupting, staying fairly far down on the page in a readable but narrow sans serif font. The main text is very similar to a Crossway layout with a taller serif font at about an 8/9 pt size. The text is given headings that correspond to outlines given in the book introductions, which creates an extra tool for study, reference and is very helpful in tracking topics or finding certain passages or events in the narrative or argument of the text.
Moody has changed their previous layout style, which included two columns of side column references. The center column reference bar creates a more unified, less cluttered look and makes the margins look wider, though in actuality the previous layout may have afforded more space for note taking.
My co-laborer Andrew's 1995 NASB Ryrie Study Bible.
The Ryrie Study Bible features a holistic commentary on the text, providing a wealth of pratcical, factual information without being intrusive, and providing more in depth commentary on verses within a millennial dispensational perspective. This means there may be an unusual emphasis on the millennial kingdom and the specifics of how God worked in different ways at different times. The strength of the Ryrie notes is their ability to quickly and concisely convey basic information that helps understand biblical terms, history and language better.
Ryrie states his positions within the notes without listing other interpretive choices, which is not unusual for study Bibles edited or created by a single scholar. It should be kept in mind that the notes are from a single perspective.
16:19 the keys. The authority to open the doors of Christendom was given to Peter, who used that authority for Jews on the Day of Pentecost and for Gentiles in the house of Gentiles in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10). shall be bound . . . shall be loosed. Heaven, not the apostles, initiates all binding and loosing, whereas the apostles announce these things. In John 20:22-23 sins are in view; here, things (i.e.,practices). An example of the apostles binding practices on people is found in Acts 15:20.
The additional study tools and features are one of the biggest draws to the Ryrie Study Bible. The inclusion of an expanded topical index, a comprehensive concordance, 16 full color maps, an 8 page historical timeline and Daily Bible Reading adds powerful and distinct study tools that make information quickly accessible. Detailed articles include a synopsis of Bible Doctrine, The Inspiration of the Bible, Understanding the Bible, How We Got Our Bible, The Meaning and Blessings of Salvation, Archaeology and the Bible and A Brief Survey of Church History.