The Tools in the ESV Student Study Bible

(Articles on how to use the following tools are coming soon!)

There are many useful tools found in the ESV Student Study Bible (ESVSSB).

Most of these need no explanation. Quite simply, to read them is to use them.

However, it might be good to shed a little light on 3 of the tools provided so that we can have a better understanding of why they are there and how to use them. For some insight on how to use these tools, just click on the bold print below.

The first of these tools is the Textual Footnotes. In the preface to the ESVSSB, these footnotes are described as “…an integral part of the ESV translation, informing the reader of textual variations and difficulties and showing how these have been resolved by the ESV translation team. In addition to this, the footnotes indicate significant alternative readings and occasionally provide an explanation for technical terms or for a difficult reading in the text.”1

The second tool is the Cross-Reference System. The ESVSSB has roughly 80,000 cross-references. While different Bibles have different cross-referencing systems, the basic idea is to connect similar words, phrases, and topics throughout the Bible. This allows us to see what different verses/passages have to say about the word/phrase/topic in question, which helps us to use Scripture to interpret Scripture.

The third tool is the Concordance. Located near the very end of the Bible, a concordance is basically a word index. The concordance in the ESVSSB is not exhaustive (it doesn’t list every reference to every word used in the ESV), but it does provide an extensive list and locations of the words used.

These 3 are just a few of the many tools/features found in the ESV Student Study Bible. Hoping you feel more equipped to use these tools and that you find them helpful in your study of Scripture.

  1. ESV Student Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011), 18.