A Guide to Choosing the Best Bible to Buy

4 Tips to Consider Before You Buy a Bible

Stack of Bibles
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If you're looking to buy a Bible but having trouble choosing the right one, you're not alone. With so many versions, translations, and study Bibles to choose from, both seasoned Christians and new believers wonder which is the best Bible to buy.

Choosing a Bible

  • It's essential to own at least one Bible in an easy-to-understand translation and one in the version your minister uses in church services.
  • Know the purpose your Bible will be used for, and then choose a Bible that best fits that purpose.
  • Get advice from experienced and trusted Bible readers regarding which Bible to buy.
  • Shop around and stick to your budget when choosing the best Bible for you.

Nowadays, Bibles come in every shape, size, and variety you can imagine, from serious study Bibles like the ESV Study Bible to trendy editions like Faithgirlz! Bible, and even a video game-themed variety—the Minecrafters Bible. With seemingly endless options, making a decision can be confusing and challenging at best. Here are some tips to consider when choosing which Bible to buy.

Compare Translations

It's important to take time to compare Bible translations before you buy. For a brief and basic look at some of the major translations today, Sam O'Neal has done a first-rate job unscrambling the mystery in this quick overview of Bible translations.

It's a good idea to have at least one Bible in the same translation that your minister uses to teach and preach from in church. That way you'll find it easier to follow along during church services. You may also want to have a personal study Bible in a translation that is easy for you to understand. Your devotional time ought to be relaxed and meaningful. You won't want to struggle with Bible dictionaries and lexicons when you're reading for inspiration and growth.

Consider Your Goal

Consider your primary purpose for purchasing a Bible. Will you be taking this Bible to church or Sunday School class, or will it stay at home for daily reading or Bible study? A large print, leather-bound version may not be the best option for your grab-and-go Bible.

If you're in Bible school, the purchase of a Thompson Chain-Reference Bible could make in-depth topical study much more manageable. A Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible may help you become familiar with the meaning of biblical words in their original languages. And an Archaeological Study Bible will enrich your cultural and historical understanding of the Bible.

As you can see, it's vital to think about how you will use your Bible, where you will take it, and what purpose the Bible will serve before you invest.

Research Before You Buy

One of the best ways to research is to talk to people about their favorite Bibles. Ask them to explain which features they like most and why. For example, a reader, Jo, offered this advice: "The Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation (NLT) rather than New International Version (which I also own), is the best Bible I've ever owned. Even my ministers have liked the translation. I think the NLT is easier to understand than the New International Version, and it costs considerably less."

Ask Christian teachers, leaders, and believers you admire and respect which Bibles they use. Get input from different points of view while carefully keeping in mind what's most important to you. When you take time to research, you'll gain the confidence and knowledge needed to make an informed decision.

Keep to Your Budget

You can spend as much or as little as you want to on a Bible. If you're on a tight budget, obtaining a free Bible is easier than you might think. There are even seven ways to acquire a free Bible.

Once you've narrowed down your selection, take the time to compare prices. Often the same Bible will come in different cover formats and text sizes, which can change the price point considerably. Genuine leather will be the most expensive, next bonded leather, then hardback, and paperback as your least expensive option.

Here are a few more resources to look over before you buy:

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Your Citation
Fairchild, Mary. "A Guide to Choosing the Best Bible to Buy." Learn Religions, Apr. 5, 2023, learnreligions.com/how-to-choose-the-best-bible-3977064. Fairchild, Mary. (2023, April 5). A Guide to Choosing the Best Bible to Buy. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/how-to-choose-the-best-bible-3977064 Fairchild, Mary. "A Guide to Choosing the Best Bible to Buy." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/how-to-choose-the-best-bible-3977064 (accessed May 29, 2023).