John Welch offers commentary on the forthcoming Wesley Study Bible. His main concern is whether or not we need it with the New Oxford, New Interpreter’s and Harper Collins study Bibles already available in the NRSV and countless study Bibles available in other translations.
I’ve followed this project for months, and I think it will definitely fill a void. The WSB will be published by the United Methodist Publishing House, but its target market will be Christians from all Wesleyan/Methodist denominations. Contributors to the Bible reflect the same pan-Methodist diversity. Most of the other NRSV study Bibles on the market are designed for pastors and seminarians and are not very accessible to the average Christian, but this Bible will be aimed more at laypeople.
There’s no shortage of pew Methodists who don’t know beans about Methodist theology or the history of the Methodist movement. I think the WSB will help remedy that problem. For the pastors and armchair Bible scholars out there who don’t like study Bibles because you prefer an entire library of reference books, allow me to remind you that most people just don’t want all those books. There’s definitely a need for “one-stop shopping” Bibles. With the perceived weakness of Methodists in theological circles and what looks like a resurgence of Calvinism among young people, I see a lot of possible benefits from a niche Bible like this and very few drawbacks.