What Bible? – Buying a Bible (Adults)

Trying to advise somebody on what Bible to purchase is rather like trying to advise what car to buy! This is an almost impossible task as there are so many ‘models’ and it depends on personal preference, on the budget available and on what the user requirements are. One thing is for sure, a Bible is more essential than a car!

It is good to have a non-electronic Bible that is within easy reach when you are at home, or is at ‘at hand’ when you go to Church or to a Bible discussion, home group etc. Any ‘special’ Bibles that are ancient or have gathered dust over the years are best kept safely and for everyday use it is good to have something new that you will feel at home using. There are some suggestions below to save time in choosing a Bible as it is easy to spend many hours researching, without finally being able to make a decision on what to buy.

I would suggest a Bible that is not too expensive, one that is comfortable to hold, easy to understand and comfortable to read. Look for one that has a reasonable font point size that you will feel at home reading and that you will want to read without straining your eyes. (A point size guide is provided below for you to upload.) It’s good to have a Bible that you can easily underline sections within, or make your own notes on the pages.

The Bible is a ‘library’ of 66 books, split into the New and Old Testaments. I would suggest you get a version of the Bible that isn’t just the New Testament, for you will want to read both testaments. However, to cut down on costs it is okay to get a Bible without the apocrypha (a collection of other books in addition to the 66.) It is a good idea to get a Bible that also has a guide to the books, bible helps and maps within. Usually these just amount to a few extra pages and do not necessarily come at extra cost. However, you can get versions with many extra pages, in other words a ‘Study Bible’, but that may push up the price too much as well as lead to quite a heavy book to take around and hold to read.

To get you started on getting a Bible, two versions to consider are the NIV (New International Version) and the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version). If you are happy with a Bible that you already have and you use it regularly and find it useful, then you might want to stick with that one. If not, then buy one written in a way that is easier for you to understand and want to read.

The New International Version is a readable modern English scholarly translation. You can use this for quite an easy read and also for study, such as at small group meetings. This has proved to be a very popular translation over recent years, and has a large array of sizes, covers and fonts.

The New Revised Standard Version is a modern English scholarly translation that is useful for reading and study. It is sometimes abbreviated as NRSVA, where the ‘A;’ is for Anglicised (English). This is the version that is used for reading out at Holy Trinity Church, in the notice sheets and in the readings given on this website. There are only slight differences in the two translations (NIV and NRSV).

If you can get to a Christian bookshop, do have a look and feel of the real thing. Failing that, it is probably best to buy something online that has been recommended.

Please email me for specific links to recommended Bibles for purchasing online (all in the roughly the £9-£15 category). God bless you in your journey of faith!

Rev Alan Bradford