There are many, many study and reference Bibles on the market today. Some are well known based upon the scholar whose name it bears. A top 10 in modern history would include much speculation and personal preference, but nearly all would include the following; Charles Ryrie (Ryrie Study Bible), Frank C Thompson (Thompson Chain Reference Bible), Cyrus Scofield (Scofield Reference Bible), Matthew Henry (Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary), and E. W. Bullinger (The Companion Bible). There is one name which stands alone for one reason – loyalty.
The King James Bible is the most popular translation; 2011 marked its 400th anniversary. You might say one of King Jimmy’s most popular scholars was Cyrus Scofield. Sales of the KJV Scofield Bible exceeded two million copies by the end of World War II. Current sales figures are elusive because of numerous publishers, but Oxford Press, the original publisher suggests “…tens of millions…” That is loyalty.
Cyrus Scofield the Scoundrel
Scofield ‘BC’ so to speak needed to be totally transformed. He fought for the confederates, but later earned an appointment by President Grant as US District attorney. He took the post in June of 1873, only to resign it in December after being embroiled in scandal and corruption. He became a heavy drinker, abandoned his two daughters and cheated on his wife, who eventually divorced him; he spent time in jail for forgery, and escaped other charges in Canada. Some of his connections were dubious to say the least with various financiers who bankrolled his study in Switzerland where he assembled most of his notes. He appointed himself a Dr with no completed doctoral studies. Some still doubt his motives.
God Has Greatly Used the Scofield Bible
Behind many great men of God is a name few would recognize: An employee on the family farm named Albert McMakin persuaded Billy Graham to visit evangelist Mordecai Ham who led Billy to Christ. The story goes that a Christian businessman Thomas McPheeters bluntly asked Scofield why he had never become a Christian; and in the ensuing discussion Cyrus Scofield got saved. Some of that list of troubles occurred after his conversion, leaving some to question as to when he truly surrendered his life, but there does ultimately seem to have been a transformation.
The Scofield study Bible appeals best to ‘fundamentalists’ and those who believe in a premillennial rapture, but many new Bible students have found his reference notes helpful. The Study Bible and some of his other books are available in many quality online Christian bookstore. If you are looking for a more modern study Bible, consider the Life Application or Spirit Filled Life Study Bibles. Be Blessed. Godspeed!