My question is how to compare and contrast the contents of The Apologetics Study Bible and The Apologetics Study Bible for Students. It is clear from the title that the latter is targeted toward students, but my understanding was that the average Christian adult is no better versed in subjects such as apologetics, philosophy of religion, natural theology, etc., than the average Christian student. I want to know why a potential buyer/reader would choose one over the other, apart from their age or schooling status.

The above link offer a small clue. From the standard edition:

More than 100 articles relate biblical truth to science, history, archaeology, psychology, philosophy, and other critical subjects. Strategically placed alongside the text of Scripture.

From the student edition:

In addition to the complete HCSB text and dozens of articles collected from today’s most popular youth leaders, including general editor Sean McDowell, this new study Bible also includes:
Two-color design-intensive layout on every page for the visual generation
Sixty “Twisted Scriptures” explanations
Fifty “Bones & Dirt” entries (archaeology meets apologetics)
Fifty “Notable Quotes”
Twenty-five “Tactics” against common anti-Christian arguments
Twenty “Personal Stories” of how God has worked in real lives
Twenty “Top Five” lists to help remember key apologetics topics

However, it is very difficult to find any more specific information, as it seems few people have read both editions.

How does the Biblical commentary in each edition of The Apologetics Study Bible differ, in terms of scope (the number of topics addressed), depth (how thoroughly addressed topics are explored, i.e., does one go further into point->counterpoint->countercounterpoint->etc. than the other), focus (are some types of topics a heavier focus in one than the other), etc.? Does one include more non-apologetic commentary than the other to fill the space of whatever content it lacks?

  • 1
    This question might be closed because it is not strictly about the beliefs of Christians. You might want to direct your question to the publisher of the book in question.
    – Steve
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 19:43
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not one of the topics that can be addressed in questions here
    – guest37
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 0:03
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    @guest37 Who cares if it's not an exact match for the general categories listed there? It's a perfectly good question in the scope of expertise and format that we like; additionally it falls somewhere between answerable with objective facts and a little bit of "good subjective". Some expertise applied to this question should be able to provide a quite satisfactory answer without creating the kind of debate problems we avoid by closing some kinds of question.
    – Caleb
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 9:55
  • @Caleb - Ok. I retracted my close vote.
    – guest37
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 11:53

1 Answer 1


The best bet is probably to go to amazon and click Read a Sample, then compare similar sections, such as Genesis. Apologetics Study Bible (ASB) and Apologetics Study Bible for Students (ASBS)

My observations from the samples:

  • 1-to-1 footnotes
    • Gen 1:1, 1:14-18, 1:26-27, 2:2-3, etc
  • both have mid-chapter page-length commentary, but with different content
    • midway through Genesis 1, ASB has "Are the Days of Genesis to be Interpreted Literally" vs ASBS has "How Old is the Earth"
    • ASB might have more (this is only from sample and the locations aren't the same; ASB is 1728 vs ASBS 1648 pages, though the styling/formatting is not the same)
      • ASBS has 2 in-between Genesis 1-5
      • ASB has 4 in-between Genesis 1-5
  • ASB seems to have slightly more in text commentary (Twisted Scripture)
  • ASBS has challenges/answers in the text one might come across, ASB doesn't (that I saw)
  • ASBS seems to be the one with Bones-in-dirt

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