Study Note Etiquette

Study Note Etiquette

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Approximately 15,000 study notes appear throughout the HCSB Study Bible. We could have included more. As you can see from the list of contributors, there was no shortage of scholarship for this study Bible. What led us to be so discriminate about the notes we included is that input from study Bible users reflected their desire to have necessary, relevant notes within the context of the Scripture being studied. That meant information – notes, maps, illustrations – should be concise and impactful, plus easy to find. Rather than overwhelming the text of Scripture, the study notes and other aids are designed to serve the student of God’s Word and not distract from the text itself.


There are some other things study notes should do if they are to add value to our interaction with Scripture. Here are some of the guiding values that shaped our study notes:


  • Study notes should set the historical and canonical context of the passage
  • Study notes should approach controversial issues with sensitivity and balance, rather than advancing agendas that exclude other biblically defensible views
  • Study notes should use accessible language
  • In the few instances when specialist terms are used, those terms are defined so that there is not a wall between text and comprehension


We’ll talk more about the HCSB Study Bible in the future. Thank you for letting me share some of our approach to study notes with you!



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  • Hi there,

    I was considering buying this Bible 2nd hand... the choice was between this one and another...but  when I looked at where Paul says "I received from the Lord that which I delivered unto you" the footnote for that section simply said "Paul received this by special divine revelation and was preaching it in the cities" or something to that effect.... if I'm not mistaken "I received... that which I deliviered unto you" was the signal phrase for the passing on of an oral tradition in the NT culture of that time period... following the Jewish/rabbanical oral traditions. I expected to find the note mentioning that, but it seemed the note maker of this book was unaware of this.

    Then when it came to Joshua and JEricho....(Dr.)Bryant Wood's work on redating Jericho to the time of Joshua was completely off the radar. The theory proposed (under Ai's footnote) about JEricho was interesting...but I felt that the statement about how Jericho showed no sign of being inhabited during the time of Joshua's conquest (thus it must have been a fortress he attacked) was misleading and that the author of the note perhaps did not know of Bryant Woods work?

    For these reasons I felt I should go with the other study bible. I like the HCSB translation alot and many features of this study bible, but I felt would possibly be missing out on alot of research (which is the reason I want a study bible in the first place).. so I didn't get this one. I'm mentioning this of the sake of "contructive criticism". HOpe it's helpful. Thanks so much for making this available online! God bless you!


  • Is it possible to use the HC Study Bible on-line? I own a copy but it would be helpful to have on-line access in the event I do not have my Bible w/me and wish to use study notes for quick reference. I do LOVE this Bible! It is incredibly informative and helpful - I use it every day.

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