In one of the best mail days I have ever had, I received my copy of the The Wesley Study Biblein the mail today. Here are my first impressions:

The Bible is wider than I thought it would be. I am sure the dimensions are easy to find online, but I never bothered to look at them. I would guess it is an inch or two wider than the other Study Bible I usually use. This is not a complaint, I really like the feel of it. It makes the Bible seem to be a little bit thinner.

The overall appearance of the Bible is great. The green and tan faux leather cover looks better in person than it does in the picture. The Bible also comes out of the box in good shape, but does not feel like it needs to be broken in. It is pretty “floppy” but the binding seems like it is solid, so it doesn’t feel like it is fragile or going to fall apart. It also lays flat beautifully from Exodus to the appendices. I can read both the Bible and the notes very comfortably. I also find the layout of the text and notes to both be attractive. The Wesleyan Core Terms and the Life Application Topics are set off in boxes that standout from the notes in a way that is distinct, but not obnoxious – and the Wesleyan Core Terms are easy to distinguish from the Life Application Topics. The only thing I don’t like about the appearance is that the end of the pages almost look like they were spray painted in a matte tan color that matches the tan cover. It is not a big deal, but it is the only part that looks a little bit cheap.

Since these are first impressions, my comments on the actual content of the notes and Wesleyan Core Terms and Life Application Topics will not be all that in-depth. (I will try to write a more substantive review once I have had a chance to familiarize myself with the contents of the notes and Wesleyan and Life Application terms.) My first impression is a good one, though. I looked up the Wesleyan Core Term “General Rules”, which is found in the notes under the Ten Commandments. I really liked the way the General Rules were explained – the three uses of the law are explained: convicting people of sin, bringing them to Christ, and guiding them in their Christian life. The summary of the General Rules is also very well done, mostly simply quoting directly from the General Rules. The third General Rule, in particular, is quoted and then explained – which I prefer to Reuben Job’s paraphrase “stay in love with God” in Three Simple Ruleswhich seems to alter the connotation and meaning of the third rule.

The Life Application Topics and Wesleyan Core Terms are both listed in the appendix in Biblical Order and alphabetical order. I found this to be helpful; however, I wonder why the terms are listed only based on the book that they are found in – chapter and verse is not given. The terms would be easier to find if they were listed based on chapter and verse, as well as page number. This is the only real criticism I had as a first impression. (However, it may also be a strength as it encourages people to actually thumb through the Bible, rather than just turning to the exact bit of information they want to pull out – like I was trying to do!)

My overall impression is a very positive one. I had pretty high expectations for this Bible, and they were met and even exceeded in some ways – mostly that the Bible is better looking and more comfortable to hold and use than I expected it to be. If you were thinking about buying this Bible but were not sure whether you should or not, I would say go for it.

You can buy the Wesley Study Bible from amazon.com herefor $32.97

or at Cokesbury here for special sale price of $24.95 plus s/h. (With s/h the price from amazon and cokesbury is nearly the same.)

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