Rock of Ages Study Bible – Review

 

 

 

 

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Reviewed by Norm Shepard (thanks Norm)

First of all, I would like to thank Randy for giving me the opportunity to share my opinion regarding the Rock of Ages Study Bible. I would also like to apologize for any grammatical errors and any additional abuse of the English language as my education is limited and it’s been quite some time since I’ve attended any institution of learning.

I recently discovered The Rock of Ages KJV Study Bible (formerly the Oxford New Pilgrim Study Bible) through a post someone had recently shared on the BibleExchange.com‘s Facebook page. This bible was originally developed for new Christians, but was found to be useful for Christians of all experience. Although, it is my personal belief that GOD’s word cannot be pinned down to any single translation or language, the ministry of ROAPM prefers the KJV text to other translations as they believe GOD chose to preserve His word in the text of the KJV. Also, according to the compilers of this study bible “all study notes, no matter where they are located, are set apart from the inspired word of GOD by lines and rules, or shadings and should be recognized as being separate from the words of the actual bible text.”

Now, onto the review: The ROA Study Bible includes approximately 1000 in- text notes, you’ll also notice asterisks throughout the notes and main text, which are keyed to a subject index, also included is 33 in-text charts and 35 in-text black/white maps. The notes and references are found at the bottom of the page beneath a double column text. Each book of the bible has summary introductions with an outline and throughout the main text contained within shaded boxes you’ll also find additional information related to the text. The bible also includes 16 Oxford Maps with a map index, and a 200 page concordance.

The ROA Study Bible is available in either Black or Red calfskin and the main text is at least a 10 point font, which I find very readable. I may be a little hyper sensitive to these issues, but like most bibles the darkness of the text at times is a little inconsistent, but overall not bad. The bible also appears to utilize line matching; however I did notice some occurrences where the line matching is not consistent. And like the majority of bibles, the Bible paper shows some ghosting/bleed through, however at 2000 pages the paper thickness has to be kept to a minimum for the bible to remain manageable. Although not as bright, the paper has similar characteristics as the Thompson Chain Ref. Bible.

The ROA Study Bible is constructed very close in style to LCBP Bibles, but without the stitching around the perimeter of the cover. However, the calfskin cover on the ROA Study Bible is a little thicker than the LCBP calfskin covers. Both editions have two ribbon markers, but in my opinion the ribbons on the ROA Study Bible are a little plusher.  Interestingly, in the front and back of the bible there’s three end pages with the leather liners tucked neatly 1″ under the first and last end page. I assume the extra end pages were added to extend the life of the bible. On the side of the bible box it states Abba Leather; however it also states made in Korea? I just assume that the bible was printed in Korea and possibly bound by Abba of Mexico, regardless of whoever bound the bible they did a great job.  My only concern is the folds in the corners of the inside cover, although beautifully executed I just wished they laid a little flatter. In my opinion if you like the way LCBP constructs their bibles you shouldn’t be disappointed with this bible. Overall, the construction of this bible, along with the study material, and all for the price of $60 is an excellent bargain.

From what I understand Rock of Ages is a prison ministry who I had very polite email communication with as I accidently ordered the red calfskin edition, which they were kind enough to change it to the black edition at the last minute. The bible was shipped to me priority mail and I received it in less than a week’s time. According to Rock of Ages website for every calfskin bible ordered they will distribute two vinyl covered study bibles out to prisoners. The price of $66.50 including shipping and handling is a bargain for a calfskin Study Bible, especially when the price helps ROAPM distribute study bibles out to prisoners, who I’m sure could really use the scriptures in their lives.

Outside dimensions are:

9.5″ x 6.75″x 1.75″

To order and for additional information click on the links below:

http://www.roapm.com/content/roa-study-bibles-calf-skin.html

http://www.amazon.com/Study-Bible-formerly-known-Pilgrim/dp/1424333881

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.708707109158340.1073741843.654940757868309&type=1

 

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. Debbie /

    Thanks for the great review! I just placed an order for the black calfskin and am looking forward to its arrival.

    • Thank you for your compliment, I hope you enjoy your new bible when it arrives. The bible appears to be well made, I think you’ll find that it has a sewn binding and I just noticed that this bible also appears to have overcast stitching. Overcast stitching is a feature that is found on bibles much more expensive and should add to the life of the bible.
      norm

  2. Don Denison /

    Dear Norm:

    Great review, you made me want to buy a copy! Did you find any doctrinal bias in the notes at all, are they Calvinist or some other variety of doctrine in any way? It is good to hear that they clearly drew a line between the inspired word of God and the notes. I have found many who thought that Schofield’s notes were a legitimate part of the Holy Canon, my parents were among them. I’ve no issue with the Authorised version though I’ve chosen it for different reasons for my use, I can’t say that God inspired the translators in the same ways that the writers Holy Bible was.

    Again a good job I think I may buy one for a grandson who has chosen to spend 5 years of his life in prison. It is my guess that they won’t allow me to send it directly, that I will have to have the publisher send it. It is good to know that there are ministries like this out there.

    In Christ

    Don Denison

  3. Hey Don,
    I appreciate your comments, thanks.
    I’m sorry I can’t answer your questions more specifically about the notes, but I only had the bible a few days before submitting the information to Randy, which is why I tried to focus on the construction of the bible. However, I can mention to you certain portions of the notes that I’ve noticed just glancing through: First of all there’s a great deal of information in this bible ranging from the basic to the more complex. For instance 7 Dispensations (Ages) are listed in a chart and outlined throughout the bible. Also 8 different covenants are noted ranging from the Edenic Covenant to the New Covenant. However, I’ve noted somewhat of a contradiction with the notes in the book of Daniel where the decree is stated as being given by Artaxerxes, which began the calculation to rebuild Jerusalem, however in the book of Isaiah it is Cyrus who is prophesied as giving the decree, but this is not a new debate. The notes also mention Jesus’ Olivet Discourse and breaks up the verses in three parts dealing with the destruction of Jerusalem, the tribulation, and the return of Christ. I have noticed one piece of information that I was unfamiliar with in regards to measuring the temple in Revelation 11:2. Basically, the notes indicate that measuring is related to weighing the value or judgment and since John was commanded to leave out the outer court of the Gentiles, the Gentiles were not being judged or measured by the Mosaic standard in this instance. When it comes to notes I love the information; but at the same time I understand anything outside the text is someone else’s opinion of scripture, so a certain amount of discernment is in order. The bible does have an introduction on how to best use the study material and explanatory information concerning the text and how the English bible came about. Overall, the bible definitely gives a lot of the basics, but at the same time I have found information that I wasn’t familiar with. Personally, I’ve always felt that the Gospel is much simpler than what the experts attempt to make it out to be. Regarding your grandson, I wonder if Rock of Ages is set up with numerous prisons, and if they will be able to assist you with getting a bible to your grandson? *When I think of Prison ministries I’m reminded of a song that made the summation that at one time we were all convicts prior to accepting Christ Jesus.
    norm

    • Don Denison /

      Dear Norm:

      Thanks for the information and your quick response. It would appear from your response that the notes include Dispensational and Covenantal viewpoints I would assume, given this effort, that a variety of viewpoints have been offered. Your review and your follow-up reply have convinced me to buy this bible for my grandson. I have found that Arizona where he is requires me to send it through the publisher as a prison policy.

      You are right about all of us before salvation being convicts under judgement from the ultimate and final judge, we were also prisoners of our sin nature and were servants of Satan as well. Praise God and thanks to our wonderful Savior we are free from this condemnation.

      Thanks for the review and response, it is always a pleasure to correspond with you, God Bless you.

      In Christ

      Don Denison

  4. Thanks again Don, it’s good hearing your perspective. If you learn more about the Rock of Ages’ bible or prison ministry, maybe you could also share that information?
    norm

    • Don Denison /

      Dear Norm:

      I have visited the Rock of Ages website and carefully read everything on it. They seem to be an honorable ministry and have a large number working in prison, missionary and church planting endeavors. Their beliefs according to what I read are Conservative Baptist and Dispensational Pre-Millennialist. As you noted, in their bible there is care taken to let the reader know that the notes are not part of the Holy Canon. In many ways they appear to be much like LCBP in their viewpoints and some of their activities. I will be using their experience in getting a bible to my grandson. Hopefully a good study bible will help him in his journey to salvation. There are so many damaged souls out there suffering from the events life has brought them and their own self inflicted hurts as well, it is hard to accept that someone in my own family is one of these.

      I’ll let you know how the process works with Rock of Ages, so far they look like the real thing.

      In Christ

      Don Denison

    • I guess it makes sense that Rock of Ages had to publish their own bible, especially if many of the prisons only accept books or bibles direct from publishers. After spending some time in the hospital, surgeries, physical therapy, and recovery as a result of a crime I understand in many cases that our disobedience/sin not only affects us personally, but often spills over and affects the lives of others.
      Romans 8:28

    • Don Denison /

      Dear Norm:

      I’m so sorry to hear that you had to endure all that suffering due to someone else’ ill considered criminal action. Sin remains mankind’s basic problem whether or not it is criminal. I look back on my life and am amazed by what I thought were only personal actions of little consequence except between myself and God, and realize that the results of my sin are widespread. Praise God for his grace and the faith he gives us that makes our salvation possible.

      I will be replying to you and the readers of this thread about the experience of working with ROAPM in getting my grandson a bible and attendant lessons after we get that process complete.

      In Christ

      Don Denison

    • Don I appreciate it, but I’m fine, however I do apologize if I tried to make this about me. I think you got the right idea by turning you and your Grandson’s situation into an opportunity to also advise others.

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