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How To Choose The Best Study Bible

You don’t have to be a serious seminary scholar to buy a study Bible. I have one and I’m not a pastor, deacon, elder or anything like that.

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You just have to be someone who reads the Bible and wants a little better understanding. You could have been a Christian since childhood but there are still some very confusing passages in the Scriptures.

It doesn’t matter what version you read because there are some things that are a mystery.

My favorite thing about them is that many have literally thousands of notes. In fact, one of them I saw recently has more than 25,000 study notes.

The other great thing about study notes is that they are usually written by a pastor or theologian who has years of wisdom and experience within the Word of God.

There are also dozens of maps, introductions, diagrams, character profiles and a huge topical index.

I have a NKJV study Bible and I love everything in the front of it. There is a great chronology of Bible events and world events. It goes from creation up until the Apostle John wrote Revelation.

There are also outlines at the beginning of each book of the Bible along with profile notes and charts.

If you’ve ever opened your Bible and wondered the following then you need to look into getting a study Bible:

  • What does a particular passage really mean?
  • How does this verse or that verse apply to my life?
  • Isn’t this story or that story irrelevant to me today?
  • Why do I need to worry about these ancient cultures?
  • I have a relationship with God but what in the world is He trying to say to me in His Word?
  • How can I connect with the Bible people of thousands of years ago?

If you have asked any of these questions before then keep reading.

How do we go about choosing the best one for us, a friend or relative?

I think the very first thing you need to do is decide which Bible translation you will be comfortable with. There are a whole bunch of them but here are a few good ones to consider.

  • King James
  • New King James
  • NIV
  • NASB
  • ESV
  • NLT
  • NRSV

Those are the main ones and I wouldn’t veer too far off from these because then you get into paraphrases that can be confusing and set you back in your understanding of the Bible.

Once you have a translation in mind, next think about what type of cover you desire. There is hardback, paperback, bonded or fake leather, and then genuine leather.

Next you want to think about your budget and how much you want to spend. Most Bibles, no matter what kind of cover, are very affordable. I’ve even seen genuine leather Bibles for under sixty dollars, which is quite excellent especially for a study Bible.

If you want to have a really nice one for years to come then I would definitely recommend a real leather bound Bible.

I’ve owned bonded leather study Bibles before and the cover and the pages fall apart after several years and now it just sits on my bookshelf.

Finally, you want to feel comfortable with the notes and commentary in the study Bible and there are many to choose from. My favorites are Life Application, John MacArthur and Crossway.

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