John Hobbins has promised a full review of these two study Bibles. He gives a teaser of what we’ll be in for here: Upcoming Reviews on the ESV and NLT Study Bibles.
I have found examples of running commentary that are top-notch, such as that of David Reimer on Ezekiel (ESVSB) and that of Scot McKnight on Matthew (NLTSB). I have read essays that had me singing for their precision, clarity, and vigor, such as that by Peter Gentry on the Septuagint (ESVSB) and I don’t know who’s Introduction to the Time After the Apostles (NLTSB).
I admit that personally I’m too intimidated to do a review of any study Bible. These books are so massive and complex that any review will be superficial. Plus, a study Bible tends to show its virtues over time. One of the things I always appreciated about the NIV Study Bible is that when a question came to my mind about the text, there was consistently a note addressing that question.
About the best you can hope to do in reviewing a study Bible is giving anecdotal or hit-and-miss stories about what you liked or didn’t like. Unless, that is, you intend to take the job seriously and invest a lot of time and energy together with an open mind.
Check out John’s teaser: Upcoming Reviews on the ESV and NLT Study Bibles.