Support us with your Logos purchase

Tag: Bible Journaling

NIV Deluxe Single-Column Comfort Print Reference Bible with Topical Link References

NIV Deluxe Single-Column Comfort Print Reference Bible with Topical Link References

Click for more photos

 

Zondervan has taken one of my favorite Bible formats and added a  an interesting tweak to it. The new  NIV Single Column Reference Bible, now, not only has standard references, it also includes topical link references. Before we go any further, I disclose that Zondervan sent me a copy of the Premier Collection Edition free of charge in exchange for an honest review. I am not required to give a positive review and  my opinions are my own.

 

From Zondervan:

features:

  • Complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV)
  • Hand-bound in a supple goatskin leather cover
  • Smyth-sewn and edge-lined construction for flexibility
  • Art-gilt page edging, with gilt line and perimeter stitching
  • Bottom-of-the-page topical links tie Scripture themes together
  • Over 100,000 cross-references and thousands of topical link connections
  • 8 Pages of full-color maps
  • Concordance
  • Single-column format
  • Elegant two-color page design on premium European Bible paper
  • Theww satin ribbon markers
  • Premium goatskin leather cover lays flat when open
  • Exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print Typeface
  • 9.5-point print size

 

Translation

We start off with the New International Version (NIV), the world’s best-selling English translation of the Bible. For those who do not remember, or are not familiar with the NIV, it is a mediating translation, meaning that it blends the best of both modes of translation, word-for-word and meaning based translations.

NIV is one of the most ideally suited translations for study of the Scriptures, offering the largest range of commentaries, Study/Reference Bibles, Dictionaries etc. It is one of the main translations that I use for study and teaching and will suit the needs of virtually any Bible student quite well.

Cover and Binding

As with all of the Premier Collection, this edition is goatskin, black in this case. As usual, it is quite delightful to the touch.

It it leather/edge-lined for enhanced flexibility, i.e. more suited to one handed use. The end papers are very thick to provide a little extra sturdiness. All in all I would say this is a very well balanced book and it feels absolutely wonderful in my hands while using it.

The signatures are sewn together to ensure that the Bible lays flat and also to ensure that it will last for a lifetime of use.

Paper, Layout & Font

The Comfort Print Font lends nicely to the readability of this edition. It is listed as 9.5 for the font size and this appears to be a true font size. It is a very readable Bible. Also, this Bible is a black letter edition.

The layout is single column paragraph format with “wide margins.” I put wide margins in quotes because the wide margins also house the references. At the bottom of each page you will find the topical links for each chapter.  (more on that in the reference section)

We have a generously opaque, 36-gsm European Bible Paper. Most writing instruments should be able to be used with no issues.

References

There are two sets of references offered. First, we have the standard NIV Cross-Reference System which has around 80,000 references. Then we have the Topical Link References.

There are around 8,000 topical link references. These remind me of the NIV Topical Reference Bible that was available when I was a child. The topical links are keyed to the Concordance to further enhance your ability to have Scripture to interpret Scripture.

Additional Helps

Concordance

Kohlenberger’s full NIV Concordance is offered. It is keyed to the set of Topical Reference Links to aid with Scripture interpreting Scripture.  There is not really much that needs saying about a concordance other than to say that it serves as a basic topical guide to the study of Scripture. I would go so far as to say that if a person studied every topical like and concordance entrt offered, here, then that person would have a stronger grasp of the Bible than around 90% of the Christ professing world.

Maps

There are 8 full color maps available to help visualize the world of the Bible

Footnotes

We are provided with an abbreviated set of Translator’s Footnotes. These are found in a small callout box at the bottom right of the page.

With Premier Collection Single Column Bibles

I have also reviewed the NASB Single Colum Reference Bible and the NRSV Single Column Reference Bible in the Premier Collection. The NIV offering is thinner and lighter than its NASB cousin and about the same size as the NRSV offering.  Of the three the NRSV is my faavorite because of certain design cues but the NIV is the most useful with the 2nd class of references.

As and Every Day Carry Bible

The  NIV Single Column Reference Bible is offered in a somewhat thin-line format. It is about one and one quarter inches thick. I have a tablet pocket in my briefcase which normally holds my carry Bible for the day and this Bible fit in that pocket quite nicely. It is very light weight and did not pose any issues with carrying

As a Teaching Bible

For most people, this format is very useful for teaching. As it happens I prefer a verse by verse format but all in all this is not bad. I did not notice and difficulties in reading the text in bright light. (The font is a touch small for me to read in soft light)

Should You Buy

You should purchase this Bible if you do any kind of Bible teaching. Pastors, Sunday School Teachers, Biblical Counselors, and small group leaders will all find this Bible very useful.  I think it would also come in quite handy for the student. We often say that the Bible speaks to life, and it does, in this case with more of a practical emphasis than others.

Final Thoughts

I love the idea. My only wish is that we had lined notes pages. Half of the margins are used up by the references so it would be nice to have a place to put notes.

This is, probably, one of the most useful NIV that I have encountered in a while. The Topical Link References are an unexpected but delightful surprise. I think this Bible is an excellent offering.

NRSV Journal the Word Bible Review

NRSV Journal the Word Bible Review

 

Bible journaling, in many forms, is a habit which I encourage my parishioners to engage in. (For those that do not know, I am the pastor at Abounding Grace Baptist Church in Arizona). It is a habit essential to your growth as a Disciple, so I am pleased to bring you a review of an interesting journaling Bible option, the Journal the Word Bible in the New Revised Standard Version. (Disclosure: Zondervan provided this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review; my opinions are my own.)

 

Journal the Word Bible Photos

 

The NRSV Journal the Word Bible is an interesting little rectangle, almost a perfect square in its design. This is done in order to keep the Bible a manageable size and still allow for wider margins. More on that later.

 

The Translation

This particular edition is the NRSV. It is also available in KJV, NIV, and NKJV. To be honest, I do not have any clue why Zondervan’s parent, Harper Collins Christian Publishing did not add NASB, Amplified, and New American Bible and thus have a journaling option for all the English translations they publish.

Though technically a formal equivalence translation, NRSV feels more mediating to me. It seems much less rigidly technical than NASB but more rigidly technical than NIV. The OT is superbly done and it is always one of the first OT translations which I consult. I have mixed feelings about the NT but this is not the forum for that.

NRSV is the Academic Standard Text for mainline protestant Bible colleges and seminaries. It is also accepted by a broad spectrum within Christianity, such as Lutherans, Methodists, and Episcopalians. Chances are, if you have been a Christian for any length of time you will have encountered NRSV. If you have not encountered NRSV, you need to. All Christians need to be familiar with several English translations not just pastors and professors.

The Cover

This is billed as leathersoft but, in truth, it feels very much like corduroy. It has a interesting tactile sensation for an imitation leather.  A paste down liner is included, not that it would make any sense to use an imitation leather liner. It is very sturdy, not overly stiff but neither is it very loose. I find it quite comfortable for holding.

The Paper

The paper is a very soft cream color. The muted color of the paper will work well with using colored pencil. It also makes the text easier to view in brighter light settings, such as the Arizona Sun.

I would guess at around 28gsm on the paper. It is a touch less opaque than I would like. The show through is not bad enough to allow you to make out words on the other side of the paper but in some areas you can see dark shadowing from the text on the other side of the page.

The paper is sufficiently opaque for use with colored pencil and regular ball-point pen. I cannot recommend a liquid highlighter as you are almost guaranteed to have bleed through with this paper.

Layout and Font

We have a black letter edition of the standard size comfort print font, which clocks in at around 9-point and is laid out in a single column paragraph format. It is fairly easy to read for most people. I am rapidly heading toward bi-focals so long periods of use are not indicated for me.

The margins are lined and approximately 2” wide. Unlike its art journaling cousins, the Beautiful Word and Artisan Collection Bibles, there are no pre-included pictures for you; that I rather like. Your markings should be your own, not what someone else thinks should stand out from the text. A true journaling Bible requires that the user do the work of engaging the Scripture and add symbols, notes, and other pictures as the Spirit leads.

As an Everyday Use Bible

This is a very sturdy Bible, well put together and crafted with materials which should last for years of use. I carried it in a briefcase alongside my giant print NIV and the Journal the Word Bible held up just fine.

I mentioned it is an odd little rectangle. You may find it a little difficult to find an acceptable carrying case but there are people who will custom create on for you.

Recommended Tools for Annotations

Colored Pencil- For colored pencil you should receive the best results from Prismacolor Premier colored pencils (I have recently become convinced of their superiority). You would also have good results from Prang, a division of Dickson Ticonderoga. I cannot recommend Crayola as they do not show up well on Bible paper.

Ball-point Pen- For pen my two recommendations are Pilot Pen Company’s Better Retractable Brand or Jetstream by Uni-ball. Both will lay down solid color lines and be easily readable.

Should you buy?

If NRSV is your main translation, yes it is probably a good idea to own a copy. If it is not, I recommend finding a wide margin in your preferred translation. The key when answering the should I buy it question is this, will you actually use it? If you will then you, ultimately should buy it.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am pleased with the experience. The Journal the Word Bible gives you the opportunity to make the Bible truly yours. As you are growing in your faith, you have ample opportunity to track the milestones on your journey.

God’s Word Translation Wide Margin Bible Review

God’s Word Translation Wide Margin Bible Review

 

I love a good wide margin Bible and the one I am reviewing, here, is one of the best that I have seen at this price point. Before we go any further, I would like to point out that God’s Word to the Nations Missions Society provided this Bible free of charge in exchange for an honest review and I was not obligated to provide a positive review. My opinions are my own.

The Translation

I am opening the review by revisiting the translation first. God’s Word Translation (hereafter GW) is done in a style called Closest Natural Equivalent.  It is a type of meaning based translation that, as its name suggests, attempts to render the original languages into the closest English possible. If I had to put in a reading comprehension scale, I would say probably 4th to 6th grade.

As English has become one of the two most used languages on the planet, GW is uniquely placed among English translations of the Bible because of its ease of comprehension.  Many of my readers have English as a second or third language and when one of them asks me to recommend a Bible, GW is one of my top choices (I always give three recommendations so that the choice belongs to the reader.)

Comparatively speaking, GW is very close to NLT on the Dynamic Equivalence end of the spectrum. I have been pairing it side-by-side with my NKJV and the experience has been very enlightening. I would compare it this way: NKJV is like talking to my peers (NKJV and I are both 37 and somewhat academic) and GW is like telling the same story to an Elementary Grade Sunday School Class. I would not say that it has a commentary feel when read in parallel but it does feel more like having a conversation with “regular people” as opposed to my theologically trained peers.

GW is a translation you can know and trust. Its position in my ministry is evolving. Currently, I am using it with new believers but I foresee it taking a more active role in my pulpit ministry. In many cases it will provide an excellent supplement to my NKJV. As a matter of fact, I can easily see the God’s Word Translation becomming one of my three main translations.

I find myself liking this translation much more than expected. It’s like spending time with my niece; I always come away more energized and having loved the time we spent together.

The Paper and Margins

The paper in this Bible and the margins are the shining stars. The paper feels to be about 36gsm. However, I have been advised that it is 39gsm. This is important becasue you want a thicker paper in a Bible that is designed for journaling etc. The paper is fairly heavy and opaque but the pages are still very easy to turn. The paper is kind of an off-white, not as cream colored as what Crossway uses but not a bright white either. I took it out into the Arizona sun and had no issues reading off the page; the glare that I expected was not there and neither was there much see through.

The margins are 1.5” and among the best that I have encountered in a wide margin Bible. My regular readers will know that I love a wide margin Bible and even had my favorite wide margin rebound in Bison Leather. Most Bible publishers consider a 1” margin to be wide but I don’t go less than 1.25” to call it a wide margin Bible so the margin size, here, makes it very easy to recommend the GW wide margin Bible to someone who wishes to get into Bible journaling. There is not really an inner margin (gutter) which I don’t consider an issue since I never write in the gutter anywhere.

In point of fact, I consider a wide margin to be the best format for a Bible. In a wide margin you have a true study Bible as you make a record of your studies and grow in your walk with the Lord.

The Cover, Font, Layout, and Binding

The GW wide margin is offered in a type of imitation leather called duravella. Much like trutone, it is a polymer based imitation leather that will easily hold up for 20 years or so. Depending on your usage it may last longer or you can follow some of my colleagues and rebind it in a more premium leather.

It is a sewn Binding which surprised me considering the price point. Sewing the binding matters because it ensures the Bible will last through years of use.

The layout is a line-matched single column paragraph format in a 10.5-point font. It is totally black letter, which in the case of a wide margin Bible is to be preferred. Many, myself included, annotate in red ink and a red letter Bible would most probably be a distraction. I would say, without reservation, that Crossway has found a rival in the typography department. Single-column paragraph format is not generally a favorite of mine due to visual acuity issues but this Bible is very easy on the eyes and a delight to read.

Would I Change Anything

There are a couple things I would add but they are mostly niggling details. I would like to see, at least, a second ribbon or, preferably, three ribbons total. The ribbons are frequently used to mark your place in a reading plan so I think we should always have at least three ribbons in a Bible.

The other addition that I would make is less niggling but I am not really certain how others would feel about it…I would like to see lined notes pages. I would, personally, prefer a couple lined pages with each book of the Bible and if not there, some at the end of the book itself. A Bible that is so clearly designed for note taking really demands that there be as much space as possible for doing just that.

How to Use

First and foremost, for pastors and other teachers, I would put lesson notes in the margins. Since we cannot always have lesson notes with us (I frequently find myself teaching with no advance notice) it is a definite plus to have teaching notes in the margins. As it happens, I like to place small word studies and key phrases in the margins of my Bibles.

For my non pastor friends, I recommend annotating points from sermons that you wish to remember. Symbols are often helpful and some even make drawings/charts to help remember.

As a Carry Bible

Some wide margin Bibles do not really lend themselves to being an Every Day Carry Bible. Thankfully, that is not the case with the GW wide margin Bible. At 6” x 9” it is fairly portable. I am pleasantly surprised, not by the portability of the Bible but at its readability. Normally, you do not get such a readable layout in this size of a Bible.

It’s fairly lightweight, maybe 32oz but I am not 100% certain. It is extremely easy to use one-handed. If you were so inclined, you would not have any issue using this as your main Bible.

Writing in the GW Wide Margin

I wrote in 2 places, for the review, and with 2 different pens. I do not, as a general rule, use a fountain pen to write in a Bible but I used a Pelikan m600 Souveran fountain pen with Diamine Imperial Purple ink on the presentation page. There was moderate show through but it is not in an area which will impact enjoyment of the Bible.

For the other writing, I used my normal Bible writing implement, a Uniball Jetstream. The Uniball did not leave any show through and I was rather impressed with that fact.

Many of my friends and colleagues use colored pencil for their marking and color coding, I recommend Prang as a 1st choice and Crayola as a 2nd choice, and the paper seems to be quite ideally suited to that.

I cannot recommend use of a Pigma Micron Archival Pen this time around. It is virtually guaranteed to bleed through

Final Thoughts

Overall I am much more pleased than I had expected. Considering a price point below $75, I had not expected the quality of paper that we are presented with. I am happy to say that I was wrong. The font and margins were in line with my expectations.

I would have to say, this is the perfect choice for 2020: a new format in a new translation that you may not have considered before. You may or may not make it your primary translation, but you should definitely use it. I think you may find the Bible speaking to your heart in new and exciting ways.

NLT Reflections Journaling Bible Review

NLT Reflections Journaling Bible Review

 

 

Initial Thoughts on the NLT Reflections Bible

It’s no secret that I love a wide margin Bible and in the case of the NLT Reflections Bible, these are the widest margins I have, personally, seen in a Bible, 2.25 inches. Tyndale made the margins ruled which eliminates a huge problem for me; for some reason I cannot write in a straight line on un-ruled paper, so giving me ruled margins made me exceedingly happy.

There are 3 covers available, all with sewn bindings so they will lay flat. Tyndale sent me all three (free of charge in exchange for an honest review; my opinions are my own): Ocean Blue (actually more of a teal) cloth over board, Sketchbook (The cover feels very similar to a Moleskine notebook and is the same shade of black), and Mahogany Bonded Leather over board. Of the 3, the mahogany will be the one I carry most. I cannot explain why, but it seems to be the most “pastoral” and since it will be used in a church plant, it seems the natural choice.

From the publisher

Product Description

NLT Reflections is a handsome single-column, wide-margin New Living Translation Bible. Extra-wide 2.25″ lightly ruled margins make this Bible great for note-taking, journaling, recording prayers, doodling, drawing, and other forms of creative expression.

Special features include

  • A line-matching setting that’s designed to prevent text show-through
  • A durable sewn lay-flat binding
  • Matching ribbon marker
  • Elegant spine hubs
  • Presentation page
  • One-year Bible reading plan
  • 8-point text size
  • 75″ X 6.75″ x 1.50″

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 1704
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 6.38 X 1.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1496418042
ISBN-13: 9781496418043
Text Layout: Single Column|Wide Margin

 

Text Color: Black Letter
Text Size: 8 Point
Thumb Index: No
Ribbon Marker: Yes
Spine: Sewn
Page Gilding: None
Page Edges: White

The Paper & Font

The paper is a crisp white, not quite so bright that it would be difficult to read in the sunlight but not an off-white either; I guess that eggshell would be the best descriptor. Tyndale lists an 8-point font which I would have to say is the most readable 8-point font I have seen in a while. It is not the same font family as my KJV Concord Reference Bible but it is just as readable. Since I am planning to preach from the Reflections Bible, the font is the biggest factor for me; I am pleased to say that I have experienced no eyestrain when reading from this Bible.

Margins and their use

The margins, as I said earlier, are 2.25 inches and they are ruled for easy writing. I think there is one Bible with larger margins but it is only in KJV, if memory serves. In my case, the margins will be used for main points of sermons and word studies.

For writing your annotations, I recommend Papermate’s Better Retractable (shown in photo below) and I recommend Accu-gel Hi Glider for color coded marking. I have the six color pack and I am using the following color coding:

  • Green: Fruit of the Spirit/Christian Life/Discipleship
  • Purple: Kingdom of God/Eschatological Kingdom
  • Blue: the Godhead
  • Yellow: Prophecies of Christ, His Advents, & Ministry
  • Pink: Salvation
  • Orange: Ecclesiology

 

Naturally, your color coding may vary. There are many important topics that are worth color coding; in my case I chose the topics I believe are most important to a brand new church. How you color code is not as important as actually doing the color code. Color coding is one of several memory triggers that you can use to recall information quickly.

Actually Writing in the Bible

Typically, my annotations are word studies although, on occasion, I have been known to add some topical references. In the example shown in the photos, I have provided markings from the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 5. Because the Beatitudes fall into the category of Christian Life, I have marked them with the green accu-gel highlighter pen. You will notice that the coloring is noticeable but it is not so bright as to distract from the text. In the margin, there are some brief comments on the word makarios which we translate as blessed. The word to be studied is in red with the definition and references to Strong’s and Thayer’s in blue and my summary remarks in black.

I have also provided a picture of the opposite side of the page from where I made the markings. You can see the slightest hint of a shadow where I wrote but you cannot make out individual letters and the green highlighting barely shows any shadowing.

For Carry/Daily Use

For daily carry and use, this Bible is a great choice. The format lends itself to reading large amounts of text in a single sitting. Of course, the exquisite margins provide the perfect canvas to record your thoughts as you read devotionally or your study notes while you prepare your lessons. In the case of my wife, who has claimed the Ocean Blue, that point you want to remember from the Sunday Sermon fits here nicely as well. The overall size and weight of the Bible lends itself to one handed use without worrying if the Bible will fall out of your hand while reading. I am very peripatetic (walk while talking) and I have not noticed any issues with that habit and this Bible.

Overall Thoughts

I’m really enjoying the NLT Reflections Bible. It works out nicely for my purposes in using it as a pastoral tool. My only suggestion would be to add two more ribbons so that you can study the Old Testament, Psalms and Proverbs, and the New Testament simultaneously. I hope that, after reading this, you will get an NLT Reflections Journaling Bible and that you will customize your own study/devotional Bible.

 

 

KJV Classic Wide Margin Study Bible (With C.I. Scofield Notes) – Lambskin Edition Review

KJV Classic Wide Margin Study Bible (With C.I. Scofield Notes) – Lambskin Edition Review

 

It is always a privilege to review a new Bible because I love to help people find that one Bible that they will use every day as they walk with Christ. Today, we get to talk about one of my favorite KJV Bibles, the Classic Wide Margin Study Bible from the KJV Store. Before we go any further, a disclaimer: This Bible was acquired at my own expense and this review was not solicited by the KJV Store. My thoughts are my own and the KJV Store had no influence on the content of this review.

 

We will not only talk about this particular Bible but we will also talk about the KJV Store buying experience.

 

Here are some technical details from the KJV Store

 

The KJV Classic Study Bible (With C.I. Scofield Notes) contains reflections on the Word of God that have guided believers for over a century. It features the original 1917 notes from Dr. C.I. Scofield and references in a Center-Column format and is matched to Dr. Scofield’s time-honored study system, with book introductions, center column subject chain references, chronologies, and same-page text helps that provide “Help where Help is Needed.” It also features a slightly larger trim size to accommodate the wide margins.

Features:
– Buttery Soft Black Lambskin Leather Cover
– Quality, flexible Imitation Leather-lined to the Edge
– Sewn Pages for extreme flexibility
– Margin Measurements: 1/4″ inside, 1-1/4″ outside, 1″ top, 1″ bottom
– Large trim size (6-3/4 X 10 X 1-3/4″)
– Black Letter Text
– Clear readable typeface
– Complete 1917 Edition Study Notes by Dr. C.I. Scofield
– Complete Old Scofield cross references in center-column
– Translator’s Preface to the Reader
– Introduction to each book of the Bible
– Subject chain references
– Same-page text helps and subheadings
– Award Page
– Chronologies
– Concordance
– Dictionary of Proper Names
– Subject-Index
– Bible Maps
– 2 ribbon markers
– Printed and Bound in the U.S.A.!
– Pure KJV Text

 

Buying from the KJV Store

Buying from the KJV Store has been one of the easiest transactions I have ever completed. From start to finish the order process took approximately 7 minutes. I did have a question about shipping and when I called for assistance, the young woman who answered the call was most pleasant and found the information I needed in less than two minutes. I have to say that this was one of the most pleasant buying experiences I have ever had. I deal with major publishers and retail stores regularly and have never had a process go this smoothly. The experience alone would be enough for me to recommend the KJV Store even if they did not provide a product that I personally enjoy.

 

Here is what I said on their website a few days after my Bible arrived:

 

I have reviewed a number of Bibles, premium and mass market, and this tops the list as the best KJV I own. The lambskin feels better to the touch than any of the goatskin Bibles that I own, even my venerable KJV Concord Reference Bible. I always say everything about the Bible should bring joy to the reader and this is no exception. You have well outdone the competition and I could not be more pleased with my new Bible.

 

The Major Feature

Anyone who has read my reviews knows that I love a wide margin Bible and this is no exception. Most of my other Wide Margin Bibles give you a 1-inch margin but this wide margin classic gives you an extra 1/4 inch on the outside margin. They get it, pastors and students will annotate their Bibles and you need all the room you can get.

 

One of the most common questions that I get asked is what to write in the margins. I wish that there was a specific answer to this question but there isn’t. As I have said over and over again, what you write in those margins is what will make this Bible uniquely yours.

 

The Leather Cover and the binding.

There may have been a time when I have touched a softer, suppler feeling leather than this lambskin, not that I can recall when. The closest comparison I can think of would be to go to a local Mercedes Benz dealer and caress the leather in a new one. I think I might like this more than the goatskin on my NASB.

 

We need to touch on some practical care information before we continue: Depending on your climate (I live in the Sonoran Desert), you may find the cover drying out. I recommend keeping Lexol on hand to condition the leather. Remember that the oil that naturally occurs on your skin will help the leather.

 

The cover is edge lined with an imitation leather liner. Matched with the sewn binding, it should lay flat regardless of where it is opened to. Keep in mind, lambskin is a thinner hide than cow or goat, and even though it will last much longer than a hardcover, how long this cover lasts will depend on your usage. If this is your main Bible, I would expect to rebind after about 10-20 years.

 

The Paper, Opacity, and Font

The paper, like most other Scofield Bibles, is bright white and fairly opaque. I would guess at least 32 gsms on the paper. The text of Scripture is at a 9-point font and the notes are in an 8-point font. Each of these is a whole point larger than the standard Oxford edition. The edition from CBP offers 10-point font and 1-inch margins whereas the KJV Store Wide Margin edition gives you wider margins at 11/4 inches on the outside margin and gutter in exchange for a slightly smaller font. Is the trade off worth it? I would have to say yes. I travel in a lot of “Reformed” and Baptist Circles and almost every pastor, elder, and deacon that I meet notates the margins of their Bibles and this margin size seems ideal.

 

Important Features of the Classic Study Bible

Why do you want a Classic Study Bible? It offers you

  • An unparalleled, subject-based topical chain reference system that will enable you to follow major themes throughout the entirety of Scripture
  • Enlightening introductions, complete outline subheadings and a complete chronology for each book of the Bible
  • Illuminating, same-page explanatory notes
  • Comprehensive indexes to annotations and subject chain references which permit thorough topical study
  • A detailed study Bible concordance with integrated subject index and dictionary of Scripture proper names
  • 12 pages of accurate, full-color Bible maps (with index of places and natural features) that illustrate the biblical world

 

An interesting note:

In an age where most Bibles are published in Korea or China, this Bible is printed and bound in the United States. This is a rarity in Bibles and many will consider a USA printing to be an added premium.

 

Final thoughts:

I am very well pleased with the WM Classic Study Bible in lambskin. KJV is one of the 3 translations that I have used for more than 20 years and this is far and away my favorite KJV.

 

I realize that some of you, beloved are not Dispensationalists and I respect that. However, there are a lot of people who think they know what Dispensationalism teaches but really miss the mark. I commend this Bible to you for your study so that you might better understand how we in the Dispensational School of Thought view Scripture.

 

How Do I Know Which Bible Is Right For Me?

How Do I Know Which Bible Is Right For Me?

 

Our major focus, here at Exploring the Truth, is the Bible and there is one question that I get asked more than any other, “How do I know which Bible is right for me?” I can understand the question; it feels like McDonald’s has fewer menu choices than the local Christian bookstore. I am going to answer your question but, at the same time, I am not going to; I am not going to tell you which specific Bible to buy but I am going to give you some advice. So, let’s begin:

 

  1. Buy the translation that your pastor preaches from

The easiest way to familiarize yourself with the Bible is to purchase the translation that is taught from the pulpit in your church. If you are not sure, ask the pastor. Three of the most common English translations you will find are the New International Version (NIV), English Standard Version of the Bible (ESV) and the King James Bible (KJV/KJB) and chances are pretty good that you will find one of the three in the pulpit at your church.

 

A little about common translations from Dr. Daniel Wallace

 

The King James Version (KJV) and The New King James Version (NKJV)

The KJV has with good reason been termed, “the noblest monument of English prose” (RSV preface). Above all its rivals, the KJV has had the greatest impact in shaping the English language. It is a literary masterpiece. But, lest anyone wishes to revere it because it was “good enough for Jesus,” or some such nonsense, we must remember that the KJV of today is not the KJV of 1611. It has undergone three revisions, incorporating more than 100,000 changes. Even with all these changes, much of the evidence from new manuscript discoveries has not been incorporated. The KJV was translated from later manuscripts that are less accurate to the original text of the Bible. Furthermore, there are over 300 words in the KJV that no longer mean what they meant in 1611. If one wishes to use a Bible that follows the same Greek and Hebrew texts as the KJV, I recommend the New King James Version (NKJV).

 

Revised Standard Version (RSV) and New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The RSV was completed in 1952 and was intended to be, in part, a revision of the KJV. Its attempt to be a fairly literal translation makes its wording still archaic at times. The NRSV follows the same principle of translation, though it has been updated based on new manuscript discoveries, exegetical insights, and linguistic theories. Much of the difficult wording has been made clearer, and gender-inclusive language has been incorporated. At times, this is very helpful; at other times, it is misleading.

 

The American Standard Version (ASV) and The New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Like the RSV, the ASV and NASB were intended to be a revision of the KJV. However, there are three major differences between the RSV and the NASB: (1) the NASB is less archaic in its wording; (2) its translators were more theologically conservative than the RSV translators; and (3) because of the translators’ desire to adhere as closely as possible to the wording of the original, the translation often contains stilted and wooden English.

 

New English Bible (NEB) and the Revised English Bible (REB)

The neb was completed in 1971, after a quarter of a century of labor. It marks a new milestone in translation: it is not a revision of the KJV, nor of any other version, but a brand new translation.

 

It is a phrase-for-phrase translation. Unfortunately, sometimes the biases of the translators creep into the text. The REB follows the same pattern as the neb: excellent English, though not always faithful to the Greek and Hebrew.

 

New International Version (NIV) & Today’s New International Version  (TNIV)

The NIV was published in 1978. It may be considered a counterpart to the NEB. (The NEB is strictly a British product, while the NIV is an international product). It is more of a phrase-for-phrase translation than a word-for-word translation. The translators were generally more conservative than those who worked on the neb. I personally consider it the best phrase-for-phrase translation available today. However, its major flaw is its simplicity of language. The editors wanted to make sure it was easy to read. In achieving this goal, they often sacrificed accuracy. In the New Testament, sentences are shortened, subordination of thought is lost, and conjunctions are often deleted.

 

The TNIV is to the NIV what the NRSV is to the RSV. Gender-inclusive language is used, and specific terminology is clarified (e.g., instead of “the Jews,” the TNIV will read “the Jewish leaders,” and when “Christ” is used as a title, is substituted for “Messiah”). This is usually helpful, but such interpretations built into a translation can at times be misleading.

 

The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The HCSB, first published in 1999, uses a translational philosophy called “optimal equivalence.” Where a word-for-word translation is not clear in English, they will opt for a phrase-for-phrase translation. The translation incorporates new manuscript discoveries, as well as contains many important translational footnotes. The HCSB is a nice alternative to choosing between a formal equivalence and dynamic equivalence translation.

 

English Standard Version (ESV)

The ESV, published in 2001, is the newest and most up-to-date formal equivalent translation. The ESV has eliminated the stilted English of translations like the NASB, while maintaining the literary excellence of translations like the KJV. Even though the ESV is a new translation, it maintains some of the theological terms that have systematically developed in English (e.g., justification, sanctification and propitiation). The ESV has also consistently translated specific terms in the original language to make theological developments easier to follow, and English concordance searches more accurate. Like the KJV, it has many unforgettable expressions, suitable for memorizing.

 

New English Translation (NET)

The net Bible was published in 2005. The net has all the earmarks of a great translation. At times, it is more accurate than the NASB, more readable than the NIV, and more elegant than either. It is clear and eloquent, while maintaining the meaning of the original. In addition, the notes are a genuine gold mine of information, unlike those found in any other translation. The net aims to be gender-neutral. The net Bible is the Bible behind the bibles. It’s the one that many modern translators use to help them work through the original language and express their meaning in literate English. I would highly recommend that each English-speaking Christian put this Bible on their shopping list.

 

New World Translation

Finally, a word should be said about the New World Translation by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Due to the sectarian bias of the group, as well as to the lack of genuine biblical scholarship, I believe that the New World Translation is by far the worst translation in English dress. It purports to be word-for-word, and in most cases is slavishly literal to the point of being terrible English. But, ironically, whenever a “sacred cow” is demolished by the biblical writers themselves, the Jehovah’s Witnesses twist the text and resort to an interpretive type of translation. In short, it combines the cons of both worlds, with none of the pros.

 

 

  1. Make sure that you buy a translation that it easy for you to understand and if English is not your primary language, get a translation in your native language

2 of the easiest translations to understand, in English, are the NIV and the New Living Translation (NLT). That’s because these are thought for thought or meaning based translations of the Scripture, which means they take the original languages of the Bible, Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, and bring them into English instead of a strict word for word which can be challenging for some to understand.

 

This one may seem obvious, but if your primary language is not English, buy a Bible in your native language; you will have a much better time of understanding the Bible

 

  1. Invest in a Bible with good “helps’

There are lots of different types of Bibles but the best ones will have helps to aid you in your study. What kind of helps should you look for?

 

References

References come two types, end of verse and center column. Center column references will be much more useful as there will be many more of them. You use these to follow a topic through the Bible to see how the Scripture interprets itself

 

Footnotes

Translator’s footnotes go a long way in helping with understanding of the Bible showing you alternate translations and the consensus among the translators

 

Commentary

“Study Bibles” often include commentary on the passage. Be careful, though, as these notes should not replace your own personal study

 

There are other helps but these 3 are the most common

  1. Buy a wide margin Bible

A wide margin Bible lets you chronicle what you are learning

 

  1. Buy the highest quality Bible you can afford

This, naturally, means spending more money; you will probably only have one Bible for most of your life and you definitely want to buy one that will last. Look for sewn Binding, higher quality leather and opaque paper.