Before you even say or think it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having more than one bible! Just think about it: we have multiple purses, shoes, dresses… you name it. So why not have multiple bibles, the one book that you actually need?
True enough, in this digital world, not everyone enjoys “bible toting” anymore. But these four are worth their “weight” in gold! You don’t have to be a minister, preacher, missionary, etc. in order to have more than one bible. Every Christian should want to invest spiritually—and reading and getting a true understanding of the word of God is at the core of our spiritual existence. So let’s get reading!
1. A Standard Bible
The Holy Bible, $1.69
The King James Version is a fundamental necessity because it is the standard, the original edition of the word of God. Most of you probably have one laying around somewhere, even if you can’t put your hands on it at the moment.
Although the language of this version is difficult to break down sometimes, the reason why it’s still important to have a KJV bible on hand is because it gives you the Word in its original form and intention.Other bible versions are just interpretations. There are hundreds of different translations (and that’s just in English!) Some of them I really love—my favorite is listed below—while others I would personally never use or read. When it comes to versions, it’s mostly a matter of preference because you’ll find that many of the verses only differ by a few words or the way the words are ordered.
But the King James Version is your safe place, and you should use it to compare with whatever other version you choose.
2. A Modern Bible
The Living Bible, $4
Since the KJV can be difficult to understand, it’s smart to have a modern bible to compare it with. You can choose from many different versions (too many to name!), but my favorite is The Living Bible. Although this is my favorite bible of all time, many people have never even heard of it! Originally published in 1971 by Tyndale House, this bible “is a paraphrase of the Old and New Testaments. Its purpose is to say as exactly as possible what the writers of the Scriptures meant, and to say it simply, expanding where necessary for a clear understanding by the modern reader. (Bible Gateway).
The Living Bible doesn’t take the KJV and make it say what it wants. It stays true to the original but breaks it down in a way that is so much easier to understand. Other popular modern bibles include the New International, English Standard, and Easy-to-Read versions. I often use the ESV for the verses I post on here but I choose to use The Living Bible as my personal modern bible because to me, it is better for daily reading.
3. A Study Bible
ESV Thinline Study Bible, $29.99
Study Bibles come in a variety of versions but what sets them apart is the additional content that is provided. Some study bibles are very thorough while others only give a surface background on the Word.
Having a study bible is super important because it will give you history on what you’re reading. For example, if you’re reading Ephesians, a study bible will likely tell you who wrote Ephesians (Paul), who he was writing to (the saints living in Ephesus), why he wrote it (to teach and encourage them to endure), and when he wrote it (while wrongfully imprisoned in Rome). That of course, hardly tips the iceberg in terms of background, but this is the kind of information you would otherwise have to Google. How awesome it is to have it right there in your bible!
If you’re wondering why background information like this is important at all, just think of how it relates to the word of God. When you read Ephesians 6:10, which says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (KJV), you’ll understand that Paul said those words in order to encourage the Ephesians to press on despite whatever obstacles they were facing in their lives. He too, had to be strong in the midst of facing his own trying circumstances.
A study bible helps you grasp the true intention and meaning of the word of God through understanding what was going on at the time and comparing it to what is happening in your own life.
4. A Journaling Bible
NIV Beautiful Word Bible, $34.99
Now this one isn’t necessarily a “need.” I just added it in for fun!
What’s really cool about a journaling bible is that it’s totally guilt free. When I was younger, I used to always write, scribble, and doodle in my bibles but when I grew up, I was like, “why did I mess my bible up like that?”
A journaling bible comes with wide, extended margins that allow for you to make your bible yours. Plus, I think there’s really something to be said about writing/drawing. It causes the words to stand out in your mind, making it less likely for you to forget the words you’ve studied.
These bibles are unique in the fact that no two journaling bibles will be the same, and they’re all the rage right now. “Journaling Bibles provide the perfect way for you to keep a journal of your spiritual life right inside the Bible that you read and study each day. With covers and formats that look like the finest journals, Journaling Bibles feature ruled wide-margins for writing observations, reflections, prayers, praises, notes, and journal entries.” (Lifeway).
Studying God’s word should be exciting, interesting, engaging, and eye-opening. For the Word to be effective you have to first understand it. And in order to do that, you need the right tools! Investing in bibles that can help you do that means investing in your spiritual life and in yourself.
Let’s get reading!