Study Bibles

bible.jpgI’ve encouraged a couple commenters to consider study Bibles, so I thought I’d get a little more specific.

My wife’s favorite (and hey, she’s a librarian!) is the Quest Study Bible.  It has lots of the most common questions addressed in the sidebars.  I like it, too.

The Life Application Study Bible is my mainstay.  It has thousands of explanatory notes, tables, maps, definitions, book introductions, profiles of major characters, etc. 

All those links are for the New International Version (NIV), a very popular translation.  All of the verses I’ve memorized are from the NIV so I’ll switch translations when they pry it out of my cold, dead hands. 

Seriously, there are a lot of good translations out there.   I know some people get very passionate about their personal favorite. 

I am not a big fan of The Message (a broad paraphrase Bible), but if it is your favorite please don’t leave me any nasty comments.  If you want a paraphrase Bible I’d go with the New Living Translation. 

Study Bibles can be extraordinarily helpful, especially if you are new to the Bible.  I always remember that the text of the Bible is most important and was inspired by God and that the explanatory notes were not.  But that doesn’t mean they aren’t important to help us understand the context of the passages, who was writing, to whom they were writing, links to other passages, etc.

Even if you aren’t a believer the Bible can be a fascinating book to study.


8 Responses

  1. My favorite Bible is The Amplified Bible. Sometimes it is a little lengthy to read ou loud in Sundayschool but it opens the understanding up to you. I mostly love it for its illumination of the one word “Believe”. Every where the word believe is used in the bible, it adds (trusted in and relied upon). Its not actually adding words to the bible… but giving you the original meaning of that word before the King James tranlation came out. The reason I like the amplied version is because a lot of people BELIEVE in God but would never trust in and rely upon Him. Here is the truth my friends in Christ… we must Trust in and Rely Upon Christ to be Saved. That’s my two cents about that. Love you.

  2. Preston,

    I like the Amplified for the same reasons. My favorite versions are the NASB and ESV, because they are very literal. I’d rather have the literal ideas of Scripture in my mind and clarify them by further study, than to have the figurative ideas in my mind and then have to get them clarified by studying the literal. It just makes more sense to my way of thinking. But I see where many people have benefitted from the less literal translations, also.

    I’m no Bible scholar, but I’ve studied a little bit in the original languages. Studying Hebrew and Greek words, I’ve found that the Scriptures are much richer than the English language can possibly reveal. Often one translation emphasizes a different shade of meaning than others, so studying multiple translations helps to round out the picture.

    Derek Ashton

  3. Good points. I especially like the NASB for difficult or disputed passages. I need to check out the ESV.

  4. I am so sorry we cannot come to an agreement … your gay kids deserve to be appreciated….If God did not want me to be gay-don’t you think he could do something about it? If there is a God=you sell him short-intellegent design might include me-it would certainly include me genius! Does God make mistakes like this-6 billion people-maybe there is a plan Hater.

  5. Hi Warren,

    You are a bit off topic there. God doesn’t want any of us to sin, but we do. Saying that He “made us that way” will not help you avoid his eternal judgment any more than telling your parents that they “made you that way” would have kept you from getting grounded for any number of infractions.

  6. Just dropped by for a visit. You’ve been a great encouragement to me as I began my blog, and I wanted to return the favor. You have a wide array of subjects and seem to be intelligently committed to bringing Christian understanding to those. Keep up your good work.

  7. I’m a fan of the Reformation Study Bible. Definitely takes the Reformed perspective, though I think in a fair and evenhanded way. Excellent notes and references.
    Great blog! I’ll be linking to you off my page.

  8. Hi Ray, thanks for visiting and for the tip. I listen to a lot of reformed guys (MacArthur, White Horse Inn, Greg Koukl) and really appreciate their perspective.

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