As a believer, your Bible is one of your most valuable utilities. You probably use it multiple times a week, look to it in hard times for God’s wisdom, and in times of joy for praise. You probably also want to use it for years to come! Why shouldn’t we put a little thought into choosing one? Here are 3 big things to think about when you’re shopping for a Bible:
You’ve probably noticed that the Bible wasn’t originally written in English. Here’s a nifty little chart to help you figure out how to choose your translation:
Maybe you fancy having multiple translations at your fingertips for study. Our editor and writer, Benjamin G. says “For my church use, the main consideration was the Bible the pastor uses. In my previous church, we used the NIV, so I bought that one. In my current church, we use the NRSV, so that’s my church Bible now. For study, I use as many translations as I can. And I use electronic Bibles for that purpose now.” (Click here to see our recommended list of free Bible apps.)
2. Physical Features
Yes, we know beauty is only skin-deep, but let’s get practical here! “Small enough to fit in my purse? How heavy is it to carry/hold up? Are the pages so thin they’ll crinkle and will the cover bend?” These are just some of the questions our Rose editor Jessica C. asks herself. You don’t want the size or weight of your Bible to keep you from taking it to church or reading it daily. You probably want to make sure the print is big enough for you to see if your eyes aren’t as keen as they used to be.
Then there’s the quality… “It sounds silly, but it’s important to me to have good-looking Bible,” says Rose staffer Rachel. “By ‘good-looking,’ I mean highlighted, underlined, years of notes in the margins, well-loved. But this means it has to be sturdy. It has to survive kid’s church if the little ones decide to ‘baptize’ my Bible in apple juice.” (Note: if you don’t want a Bible that will fall apart in a few years, avoid bonded leather and glued spines!)
Love having commentary, an index, or lots of footnotes? Did you know there are Bibles out there with cross-references and multiple translations on each page? (note: these are enormous and heavy unless they’re digital!) Maybe you like to take notes in wide-margin Bibles. Want tabs to flip to the right book quickly? (There’s no shame in this!) Think about how you will use your Bible on a daily basis before taking your new possession to the cash register to make it final.
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