My previous post (“I hate Study Bibles”) generated more interest than many of my posts, so just like Hollywood, I thought it warranted a sequel. Just to be clear, I love God’s word, but all those extra tidbits of “knowledge” scattered around the pages of the Bible drive me nuts.
Yesterday, I was teaching on the Pentateuch and I showed my class the following quote from an unnamed Bible in the introduction to the book of Exodus,
“Most Christians recognize Moses as the author, writing sometime after the Exodus from Egypt (about 1445 BC).”
There are several potential problems with this statement, but let’s just focus on the date of the Exodus that most Christians apparently agree upon. (I realize the author of this statement may have only been trying to say, “Most Christians recognize Moses as the author” and just worded it badly, but then that would be another problem.)
I decided to ask my class on Thursday which century they thought the Exodus occurred (BC, of course). Answers ranged from the 20th to the 7th, the most popular answer was the 15th, which the date 1445 BC would fit nicely into. (There are good arguments for placing the Exodus in both the 15th and the 13th century, which I won’t go into here.)
While it was the most popular answer, it was still only one-third of the class, so not really “most”. And these are seminary students, who presumably would know more than the average Christian. One of the students said, “The average Christian is totally clueless about when the Exodus happened.” I’d read a Study Bible that included comments like that.
Share an example (positive or negative) of your favorite Study Bible comment.