The Scofield Study Bible III - Pocket Edition
(New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006), 1989pp, genuine leather, $33.99

First of all, let's get past several bones which seems to get stuck in many people's teeth: not everyone will agree with everything C. I. Scofield taught and, study bibles which include notes always exhibit biases reflecting a particular approach to scripture. But that's what all teachers in the Body of Christ provide and we are to make use of them as best we can regardless (Eph. 4:11). If you dislike C. I. Scofield's teaching or don't believe that a dispensational approach to interpreting scripture is sound, then you won't like this bible. But, if like me, you understand dispensationalism to be the result of sound biblical interpretation, then this "pocket edition" is an amazing bible study companion.

First, let me say that Oxford University press has produced a beautiful work of high quality--which really cannot be found anywhere else in this form factor or for this price. The genuine leather and sewn binding are first-rate. Due to its pocket size, this bible is thick for its width and height. Yet it lays open beautifully, nor due the pages stick together like so many new bibles. The paper itself is high quality, not skimpy and is whiter than most. In short, the pocket edition of this work is as high quality as most high-end bibles (ala Cambridge) costing 3-4 times as much. For a compact version, it is hard to imagine a nicer package.

Regarding the contents: this is the fully updated Scofield Study Bible with all the modern improvements and revisions (clarifications, charts, tables, and full set of study helps at the rear). The study aids include: the complete index to subject chain references (6 pages), a thorough subject index (37 pages), an index of proper names (29 pages), and a real concordance (61 pages). In regard to the concordance: it is the same concordance as the full-size Scofield (which is abbreviated from the concordance found in the revised MacArthur Study and Baptist Study editions of the NKJV). Still, a strong concordance compared with the embarrassments which are typically passed-off these days. This is a red-letter edition (words of Christ in red).

It also bears mentioning that Oxford has not succumbed to the postmodern mantra of our age so often found in modern study bibles: wasting precious print space for eye candy. (The Nelson NKJV Study bible being a prime example which comes to mind where visually appealing insets are so commonplace that useful information suffers at the hands of visual presentation.) Very little space is wasted. Indexes are real indexes--whoever did these indexes understands that an index is only as good as it connects the searcher's concept with the destination material. A refreshing change from the flimsy charts or tables which many study bibles have which purport to be indexed helps.

Older folks will need glasses to read this text: it is quite small--as one would expect--it's a pocket edition, right?! Still, it amazes me how well Oxford University Press has done 'shrinking down' the update Scofield Study Bible into this small package while retaining all the information while retaining quality.

In summary, if you are looking for a handy-size, high quality study bible which upholds the literal interpretation of Scripture and refuses to spiritualize away God's promises or find prophetic fulfillment in approximations, I highly recommend the genuine leather version of this work (ISBN 0-19-527568-3).