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Choosing the Best Bible

Tips to Researching Before You Buy

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Choosing the Best Bible
Bill Fairchild

If you're having trouble selecting a Bible, you are not alone. With so many versions, translations and hundreds of different study Bibles to choose from, it's hard to know which one to buy.

One reader, Jo, offers this advice:

"The Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation (rather than New International Version, which I also own), is the best Bible I've ever owned. Even my ministers have liked the translation. The #1 on your top 10 list is the Life Application, which I do very much like. But I think the New Living Translation is easier to understand than the New International Version and it costs considerably less. It's put out by Tyndale House Publishers versus Zondervan who publishes the NIV."

I'm actually embarrassed to admit, I own fourteen different study Bibles that I've accumulated over the years. But most of us don't have the budget or the time to build such an assorted collection. Instead, let me present a few tips to help you decide on the best Bible.

Compare Translations

It's a good idea to have at least one Bible in the particular translation that your minister uses to teach and preach from in church. This makes it easier to follow along during the service. But, like Jo encourages, you may also want to have a personal study Bible in the translation that is easiest for you to understand.

Research Before You Buy

Talk to people about their favorite Bibles and ask them to explain what it is they like about them. Carefully consider what's most important to you before you buy.

Once you've narrowed down your selection, compare prices, text sizes and preferred cover materials. Often the same Bible will come in different cover formats. Genuine leather will obviously be the most expensive, next bonded leather, then hardback, and paperback as your least expensive option.

Here are several resources to look over before you buy. They are designed to help you decide which Bible is best for your needs:

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