There are a lot of Bible to choose from. How do I find the Bible(s) that is right for me? We will try and provide some guidelines to assist you in this process. We cannot of course choose the Bible for you, but we may be able to point you in the right direction.
Question 1 – What Bible translation are you going to use? Obviously if you are in the market for a particular translation you will search for Bibles in the given translation. If you use the NKJV for example, you will find a wide variety of choice in Cambridge, Schuyler and Allan Bibles. If your translation of choice is the NLT your choice will be a bit more limited. Please use the “Translation” tab at the top of the home page so you can choose Bible based on translation preference.
Question 2 – What’s the most important feature(s) that I need in a Bible?
Typically we want everything in our personal Bible. We want it to be highly legible with wide margins, thick and opaque paper, bound in beautiful and durable goatskin, and able to fit in our back pocket….Wishful thinking!
Legibility – Perhaps this is the most important feature in the Bible – You want a Bible that is easy to read. Typically (there are of course always exceptions) pocket size, compact, personal size, wide margins, thinline Bibles – i.e. Bibles that have a premium on size or note-taking are going to have smaller font in order to be small. Legibility is of course relative. Legibility has a different meaning to a 20 year old compared to a 75 year old….. There are many other factor associated with legibility. One other major factor is the degree to which print shows through the page ‘ghosting.’ Ghosting can be a distraction for some. Two factors mitigate against this. One – is paper opacity. If the paper is relatively opaque – the ‘see-through’ will be less noticeable. Second – line matching. Bibles that have line matching have lines on opposite sides of the page match – which nearly eliminates the ‘see through’ issue altogether. Many Bible descriptions will have this feature listed.
Font Size – Caution! Closely connected to legibility is its most common yardstick – font size. Typically font sizes of 10 point or greater have better than average legibility. Now here is the caution. Font families can look completely different in the same size: example – Cambridge uses an 8 point Times Semi Bold font for its Concord Reference Bibles. This Bible is however more legible than many other Bibles with larger fonts – particularly ‘thinner’ fonts…
Portable– A Bible that travels well – in a carry-on, back pack or purse. Remember that typically Bibles that carry well in a purse are not going to be at the top of the legibility charts. Having said that, there are some really great compact Bibles that are amazing legible for their size.
Note-taking capability. You need a Bible that you can take notes in. If note-taking is a premium you should be looking at 2 essential features: paper quality and width of margins. Some Allan Bible have lined paper in the back of the Bible as well. Wide Margin Bibles are typically fairly big Bibles because of the added space for the 1″ + margin space. Do not expect the text to be more than 8-9 point – i.e. not exceptionally large. If the text was large the Bible would be enormous.
Red-letter for the words of Christ. This is pretty self-explanatory. Most high end Bibles do not come in red letter. Red letter Bibles are more difficult to read due to the lighter color. Cambridge has a few editions that are red letter. If this is a ‘deal breaker’ for you you will have eliminated about 75% of the high end Bible market.
Cross-References/Text. Bibles typically come with or without cross-references. Anyone who has studied the Bible knows how important cross-references can be to study. A quick note about these invaluable references. Many Bibles have cross-references that are so small as to be essentially illegible. If you want to have these in the Bible itself, take a minute to see if you will be able to read them. Keep in mind as well that there are dozens on places to find cross references online. This is honestly the most efficient and exhaustive way to find cross references. If you Bible is to be used primarily for travel or reading and meditation a ‘text’ Bible may be sufficient.
Classic Reference Bible – Many Bibles fall into the ‘Classic Size’ range. These Bibles do not fit into a ‘specialty’ category and will require research to determine whether or not they fit your specifications. Typically these Bibles are a person’s ‘standard’ ‘go-to’ Bible.
Study Bible – We actually have a page dedicated to study Bibles. Of course, many people carry these to church every Sunday, but obviously they average 4-5 lbs and can be a bit cumbersome. You probably can’t put this in your back pocket either….