By Mike Willis
Since the American Standard Version went out of print several years ago, some who have used that translation to study and preach from have experienced some difficulty in finding a copy of it bound well enough to stand the wear of daily usage. Consequently, much appreciation should have come when Logos International published the American Standard Version in a study Bible comparable to Dickson’s Analytical Bible in the King James Version.
This edition of the American Standard Version is an outstanding job of printing, as the price reflects, which is bound in genuine leather, has gold edges and a ribbon marker. No copy of any translation of the Bible to my knowledge is superior to this one in that respect.
The Logos Study Bible has an excellent concordance and detailed cross references. (The cross references are much more detailed than in the old edition of the American Standard Version published by Thomas Nelson and Sons or the New American Standard Bible published by Creation House.) In addition to the concordance and cross reference, this publication also has a topical analysis of the Bible passages relative to most Bible subjects which is well indexed. This section of the Logos Study Bible is similar to Nave’s Topical Bible except that it only lists the verses pertinent to any given subject and does not quote them.
A critical apparatus is appended to each page to list the variant readings and textual basis behind each reading. Obviously, this publication was intended to be used by serious Bible students.
In addition to twelve topographical maps, the Logos Study Bible also includes a brief introduction to each book which discusses authorship, subject material, destination, and purpose of each book. All of these helps would be useful to any Bible student.
I would like to be able to unequivocally recommend this publication of the American Standard Version but I cannot conscientiously do so because of the 120 page commentary on the Holy Spirit included in the Study Bible in which the authors make every argument which I have ever heard to defend the Pentecostal (Trinitarian) position on the Holy Spirit. (Perhaps this will remind us that the helps, published in most every Bible, are uninspired.)
The commentary is so subtle that it would easily deceive the person who is not prepared to discuss the subjects of Holy Spirit baptism, the cessation of miraculous spiritual gifts, tongue-speaking, the manner in which the Holy Spirit leads an individual and most other distinctive Pentecostal doctrines. Here is an example to illustrate just how subtle the commentary is. The comments on 2 Cor. 12 about Paul’s “messenger of Satan” or “thorn in the flesh” attempt to prove that it was a false teacher who followed Paul from town to town. After citing what he apparently thought was sufficient evidence to prove that, the author said, “If Paul’s thorn in the flesh was the continual aggravation caused by a hostile person and not a sickness, then one cannot claim support from this passage that there are some illnesses which God may refuse to heal.”
Arguments on tongue-speaking are presented, modern experiences of it are reported, and instructions are given about practicing it in this 120 page commentary on the Holy Spirit.
For this reason alone, I cannot recommend the Logos Study Bible. If you are able to handle the Pentecostal position very adequately, you might be able to use this publication profitably. But to the young, inexperienced Bible student, the commentary on the Holy Spirit might constitute a serious threat to his faith. He could easily be tossed about by the winds of that false doctrine. I would much rather recommend the New American Standard Bible to such an individual.
Truth Magazine, XVIII:1, p. 12
November 1, 1973