A few years back, I decided the time had come to purchase a new everyday Bible. I'd used the pink imitation leather NIV Bible my mom had given me in high school for about 25 years, and I was ready to consider buying a new one. This did not turn out to be an easy task. Apparently, Bibles come in a wide variety of sizes, styles and translations. I spent hours of research time learning about new translations, special features, and price comparisons. Knowing what I know now, I thought it might be helpful to put together a checklist of questions from my research criteria.
- What Bibles do you already have? I knew I wanted to go with a new-to-me translation. I often discover new layers of meaning when I read a familiar verse in a different translation or paraphrase. This is BY FAR where I spent the majority of my research time. There are a ton of translations and paraphrases out there, so read up on the one to best serve your study needs.
- How important is the font size? I'm not getting any younger, so I paid special attention to the font size of the verses on each page. A thin Bible can have its appeal, but for my everyday Bible, I needed at least a 9 pt. font. My next Bible, I'll have my eyes on a nice large print edition.
- Do you have a good study Bible? I already had several study Bibles, so that wasn't a priority for me with this particular purpose. However, if you don't use a good study Bible, a book of commentary or a Bible dictionary, I'd encourage you to add these tools to your study toolbox.
- How much will you be jotting down notes in your Bible? At times in my life, I would not have written in my Bible because it seemed irreverent. Then, I heard a speaker say he used his Bible like a journal. That made so much sense to me, and I knew I'd need at least some space on the sides to write down personal notes. Those of you who want lots of writing, or drawing space), there are so many wonderful journaling Bibles out there today.
- When will you be using this Bible? I use a different Bible for my daily devotion time. Let me offer you these two Christian Standard Bibles (CSB) for consideration. The Reader's Bible offers Scripture in a single-volume format. As you can see in the photo, it looks like a reading book. No chapters and no verses. It lets you read the Bible as a story - it is the greatest story ever told after all - and this Bible would be an excellent way to start out a morning.
- Do you know the primary function of this particular Bible? I'm a big fan of the She Reads Truth organization, because they never lose focus, helping others study God's Word. Their new CSB translation Bible is a devotional-meets-study-Bible type. Further, in considering a Bible's function for my artistic daughter, I had a fun time picking out a creative journaling Bible. Know the function.
- Will you be transporting this new Bible back and forth to church or a study group? Paperback Bibles are the least expensive, but they don't hold up as long if you carry them back and forth to church. Hardback is a viable option, and I've seen some beautiful cloth covers over them. I used my pink leather imitation leather one for 25 years, and it still has lots of life in it.
- What is the age and reading level of the person who will be using this Bible? I got my daughter a big-girl Bible when she was three years old. We'd read from a number of preschool Bibles, but I wanted her to associate God's word with a more mature, grownup mindset. We read it together years before she could read it on her own. This faithgirlz Bible would be a perfect size for a little one who is learning to own her first big-girl Bible. It also fits nicely in a backpack when your teenager or college student wants to carry one with them.
I received these CSB Bibles as part of the Lifeway Blogger Program. I received the faithgirlz NIV Bibles from an agency seeking reviews for this product. I've previewed these books at no cost to me in exchange for my honest feedback. The opinions expressed here are my own.