Questions about buying your next bible?
Whether you're looking for your first Bible, replacing an older one or giving one as a gift, we are here to help you guide you through the Bible selection process. Sure you can click the "order" button, wait to get it and then read it and figure out and ask yourself, What was I thinking? This doesn't do what I thought it did. SO you package it up, pay return shipping, return it, then wait to choose another one... possibly repeat cycle. Why wouldn't you want to test drive something so important that it is going to help you grow spiritually??? After careful, non biased research, here is Mo's Ark's answers to your question.
1. Determine How You Will Use the Bible
Are you a new Christian looking for an introductory Bible? Maybe you're looking for devotions built into your Bible. Or perhaps you have a long commute and would like an audio Bible.
There are plenty of options to choose from. The descriptions below should help you discover more about how you want to use your Bible.
Journaling Bibles provide the perfect way for you to keep a journal of your spiritual life right inside the Bible that you read and study each day. With covers and formats that look like the finest journals, journaling Bibles feature ruled wide-margins for writing observations, reflections, prayers, praises, notes and journal entries.
Study Bibles are loaded with insights and commentary to help you dig deeper. They also include maps, graphs, concordances and charts that shed light on biblical times. Some features people profiles and glossaries to give additional information.
Reference Bibles often include only the Scriptural text, though some include cross-references to help you find related verses. Compact and thinline Bibles are also found here. Many are perfect for traveling or taking to church.
Devotional Bibles provide a regular reading plan. Some also include a daily reading portion to help you read through the entire Bible in a year or inspirational thoughts intended to help you take what is read that day into your daily life.
Gift Bibles are ideal for special occasions like awards, Promotion Sunday, recognition for accomplishments and more. They’re also perfect to take on mission trips or for other times when you want to gift a Bible.
Children’s Bibles are specifically designed for ages 1-12. Age-specific features designed to meet the spiritual and developmental needs of children encourage a lifelong habit of studying God’s Word.
Student Bibles help teens and young adults understand and relate to the Bible’s truths. Students appreciate the engaging cover designs and page layouts and how the Bible addresses the tough issues they face with clear, honest and practical answers.
Large Print Bibles feature larger-than-normal text, making it easier to read. This section offers all types of Bibles, such as Study, Reference, Devotional, etc., all with larger text. You’ll even find compact-sized large print Bibles.
Specialty Bibles offer a wide array of unique features. Parallel Bibles put two or more translations side-by-side for comparison. Additionally, you’ll find Bibles for specific groups of people like those in uniform, brides and more, as well as New Testaments.
Audio & Electronic Bibles offer a way to experience Scripture through other forms of media. Read or listen to the Bible anywhere via an electronic device, CDs or MP3s. They’re ideal for the busy person always on the go.
2. Discern Which Translation Is Best for Your Needs
Choosing a translation can be tricky. Above all, our advice is this: pick the translation that is most readable to you and best suited to your personal needs.
While God is the author of all Scripture, the human writers wrote in three languages. Because these languages don’t translate perfectly into English, translators must decide whether they are seeking to convey the exact words or the central idea of the original text. These translation philosophies are often referred to as "word-for-word" or "thought-for-thought." They are charts out there all over the place with how the translations line up and I'm not going to cross into that topic as you can find these yourself.
NASB (New American Standard Bible) Translation: Word-for-Word, Originally Published: 1970
ESV (English Standard Version) Translation: Word-for-word; a literal update of the RSV (Revised Standard Version), Originally Published: 1970
KJV (King James Version) Translation: Word-for-word from the best manuscripts available at the time, Originally Published: 1611
NKJV (New King James Version) Translation: Word-for-Word; an updated to the KJV, Originally Published: 1982
HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible) Translation Philosophy: A bridge between word-for-word and thought-for-thought, Originally Published: 2004
NIV (New International Version) Translation: Word-for-word and thought-for-thought, Originally Published: 1978
GW (God's Word Translation) Translation: Thought-for-thought, Originally Published: 1995
NLT (New Living Translation) Translation: Thought-for-thought, Originally Published: 1996
The Message, Translation: paraphrased from the original text, Originally Published: 2002
3. Discover the Right Style and Binding
We offer Bibles in a variety of styles, colors, bindings and prices. When making this choice, there’s no substitute for handling the Bible yourself, something impossible to do when shopping online.
Basic Bindings (includes paperback and hardback) are typically less expensive options. Idea if you're on a tight budget or giving multiple copies away.
Deluxe Bindings (includes bonded leather and non-leather) offer you an upgraded feel over paperback and hardback.
Premium Binds (include genuine leather and calfskin) are the best bindings available., but these are the most expensive options out there.