Macarthur Study Bible-Dispensationalism & Christ's Eternal Sonship

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Javilo, Oct 12, 2008.

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  1. Javilo

    Javilo Puritan Board Freshman

    Does Macarthur's dispensationalism so poison his study bible so to make it
    trash? How can one tell what is useful and not? It seems that the
    dispensationalism influences everything even if so subtly. I believe it is
    too difficult to discern what is good and bad so probably better just to
    discount it.
    Also, I know he changed his view from Christ's incarnational sonship to
    the biblical view of eternal sonship. However, he didn't change the notes
    in the Macarthur Study Bible to reflect this. Look at the notes for
    Hebrews 1:5 and Romans 1:4. So because of the cumulative effect of these two problems, is it a good idea to avoid the Macarthur Study Bible?
    Is there a study bible available that gets these two issues right?
    God bless.
  2. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member


    John MacArthur is a wonderful man, a pastor at heart and a champion of the doctrines of grace. He is a dispensationalist. No denying that. If you are not a dispensationalist, then the MacArthur Study Bible probably isn't the best choice for you. The Reformation Study Bible is a good alternative.
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Although it was "revised and updated" when it was issued in the NASB a couple of years ago, I was disappointed to see that apparently the notes in the MacArthur Study Bible were not revised to reflect MacArthur's change on the incarnational sonship issue despite him changing his views on the issue about 10 years ago. (I don't know that any changes were made other than including a concordance and maybe a few other helps.) Nevertheless for a number of reasons I still think it is the best Study Bible out there, although I'm sure most here will disagree. (However I've yet to see the ESV Study Bible, which I expect to be excellent.) Obviously no one should uncritically accept the study notes in any Bible.

    If you are confessionally Reformed I would recommend the Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible. It's in the NIV, but nevertheless it is the best Reformed Study Bible hands down with the notes, articles and the confessions, which are also cross referenced in the study notes. I've never thought much of the notes in the New Geneva (NKJV)/Reformation Study Bible (ESV) although the articles by J.I. Packer are good. The notes in the Spirit of the Reformation (NIV) Bible are based on the old New Geneva/Reformation notes but in many cases are more thorough.
  4. MLCOPE2

    MLCOPE2 Puritan Board Junior

    I've used the MacArthur Study Bible for 2 years now and it has been a tremendous help in helping me along into a reformed soteriology. MacArthur is a dispensationalist mostly in regards to viewing the church as separate from Israel (leaky dispensationalism as he calls it) but several reformed theologians have held that position as well. All in all the study bible is well worth it and like all things it must be approached with a discerning mind and a spirit of humility.
  5. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    I know this is slightly off topic, but how seriously do the reformed treat the holding of incarnate as opposed to eternal sonship?
  6. jogri17

    jogri17 Puritan Board Junior

    That kinda attitude is somewhat disturbing. He no longer denies the eternal sonship of Christ. In the mid 90s he wrote a letter and said so. Some of his old sermons out there that do show his old views but it is on the reccord that he does affirm it. Yes he is a Dispensational but the notes are too good to not have access too. I would reccomend just buying the one volume commentary or a software version. You can buy it with a whole lot of stuff for 50 bucks via grace to you
  7. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    I use the Reformation Study Bible (ESV), MacArthur Study Bible (NASB), The Open Bible (NKJV), and The Life Study Bible (NIV). I only use the first three for serious understanding of the text since I don't fully trust the NIV but comparing the notes and articles is helpful. I don't think MacArthur's Dispensational views affect enough of his theology to damage the overall good of his input. Most of it is fabulous; you just need to keep his understandings in mind for when it is questionable. At one point I was trying to understand amillenialism a little better through the study bibles texts... MacArthur's didn't help :)
  8. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    I use a MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV), and love it. It has really enhanced my personal study. It's pretty clear and explicit when he ventures down the Dispensational path, but otherwise it is a tremendous asset...
  9. Calvinist Cowboy

    Calvinist Cowboy Puritan Board Junior

    I received a copy of the MacArthur study Bible (NKJV) about 11 years ago, and I thank God for it. Yes, MacArthur's not perfect (e.g. I just finished reading through the major prophets, his notes for which are strongly colored by his dispensational views) but he did open my eyes to Reformed soteriology. His notes on the New Testament, particularly in Romans and Ephesians, really hit the nail on the head regarding election and justification. Not only that, but he is very readable (unlike some of the posts on this board;)).
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