What Study Bible Do You Recommend?

I’ve actually posted this question on Twitter a couple of times and got just a few responses, and thought maybe I’d get more input here…

About 20 years ago, I was given a beautiful red-leather bound Thompson-Chain KJV (King James Version) Bible as a gift.  It had my name embossed in gold on the front cover, and I spent many years reading through it, marking verses, making notes, and well, just  loving it.

I could turn to certain passages of marked Scripture and see the highlights and underlines or notes in the margin and remember a particular sermon I’d heard or study I’d participated in.

Sometimes I could read one of those notes and feel God’s Spirit speak a message anew to my heart.  I would go into the concordance and learn more.  I would cross reference verses and have a better understanding of what I had read.

Throughout the years, I collected more Bibles – a NKJV (New King James Version), my grandmother’s NIV (New International Version) – and have used all of them at one point or another.

And then it happened.  One Sunday after church, I lost track of my Bible.  The one I’d had for so long, that had so much meaning and so much of my Spiritual journey marked throughout the pages.

I thought for sure it would just turn up somewhere and I would find it again – but it’s been 6 months and I haven’t seen it.  I retraced my steps.  No luck.  I checked at church thinking I’d left it in a classroom after dropping my daughters off in class.  Nope.

And I began to grieve over the loss.  I didn’t realize just how special that Bible had been to me until I lost it.  And since then, I have struggled with my Bible study.

I’ve looked at new KJV Thompson-Chains, but the availability of other newer versions (like The Amplified or The Message) have intrigued me.  I found a parallel Bible with NKJV (now my favorite version) and The Amplified Bible.  Hmmmm – giving that one serious thought.

But I have looked and looked for that one Bible that could be both used at church and personal study, and I’m honestly overwhelmed because I haven’t found “the one.”

I love having cross references and a good concordance, but can use a separate concordance if need be.

So I’m putting this question to you:

What do you use for your personal every day study?  Do you use a different Bible or version for church?  Why do you love your particular Bible(s)?

I am praying over this.  Wherever my Bible is, I am praying that SOMEONE is finding it useful and using it and learning from it.  And I am praying to find another Bible that is both easy to use and profoundly impacting in my spiritual growth and walk with Christ.

Thanks for your recommendations – I appreciate your input!!!


3 Responses to “What Study Bible Do You Recommend?”

  1. Charlene @ A Virtuous Woman Says:

    My favorite Bible is a Scofield study Bible, KJV, that I’ve had for over 30 years. the cover has come off of it and I have it in a carrying case–it’s the one that I’ve marked and read and know where everything is–but it’s gotten so fragile that I don’t use it as much as I used to. One of the bookstores here has a service where they send Bibles off to be rebound–I’ve thought about doing that, but I hate to turn loose of it-what if something happens to it? I’d really hate to lose it!

    Besides that, I have a NKJV that I like for daily reading. It’s probably my favorite for daily use.

    I have a Comparative Study Bible that has KJV, Amplified, NASV and NIV side by side–it’s good for comparing different translations, but it’s bit bulky to carry around–I use it mainly just for study, not routine reading. I also have a Complete Jewish Bible and a Tanakh, as well as a Chronological Bible–I can’t remember the version, it’s either NIV or ASV or ESV.

    (I feel ashamed sometimes of how many Bibles I have relative to the time I spend in them, comapared to people in other parts of the world who are grateful to have just one!)

  2. Helen Says:

    This morning I find myself sitting in front of the computer surfing the web looking for a good and true study Bible. I’ve read several things about the KJV Study Bible and am leaning towards it. I come from a long line of KJV users and any other version is “UNHEARD” of. I struggle with this because I have a really hard time understanding KJV. Good Luck in your search and keep me posted on what you end up with, it would be a help to me. I hope your beloved Bible turns up.
    God Bless You♥

  3. Randy A Brown Says:

    Hi. I have a Thompson KJV and I love it. Sometimes I try to look at other Bibles (I have many) to use as my main Bible. Every time I try to set the Thompson aside and carry something else I end up going back to my Thompson. Recently I’ve been looking at wide margins (I do this every year). My goal is to make my own version of the Thompson. It would be a lot of work, and it wouldn’t be useful for a long time, but it would be worth the journey. One wide margin I like is the KJV Note Taker’s from Church Publishers:
    It is only available in KJV. I am also a fan of the NKJV, and my favorite is the Thompson (or a good wide margin). Another good translation that I’ve been reading about is the ESV. I don’t recommend The Message as your main Bible because it is more of a paraphrase. The Amplified Bible does look interesting and I like the parallel Bibles that have KJV, AMP, NASB, and NIV, or just two versions such as KJV and AMP. I still always go back to my KJV Thompson. Almost everything that I want to write in the margin is already there, so I just highlight it the color of the topic (I color code according to topics – I do a lot of topical study). Before the Thompson my favorite was the Duggan Topical Study Bible, but it’s out of print now.

    My recommendation: Thompson in either KJV or NKJV.


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