What Bible’s Do I Recommend?

Some Backstory….

When I was younger, I had an old Thomas Nelson Thinline King James Bible. I received it from my parents after I made a profession of faith. It was a Genuine Leather, perfect bound with a paste down liner. It had super small print, but I read, studied, and preached from that Bible. I still have it, but it is falling apart and now I keep it for the notes and just the general fondness for my first Bible.

As I graduated from high school, I became more and more interested in premium Bibles. I could barely rub 2 nickels together but just daydreamed about owning one of those amazing Bibles that all the preachers and missionaries I knew used.

Once I was able, my first premium” Bible purchase was a $50 plus shipping Local Church Bible Publishers (LCBP) Notetaker’s KJV. It was a great Bible with a large font and I ended up gifting that one on to my grandpa so he could have a large print. The Bible made it easy for him to take notes and be able to read the text. After buying several Bibles and as I continued looking for the perfect one” I was surprised that I continued to use a Bible that did not have a premium price”. It was the Trinitarian Bible Society Westminster Reference Bible. I will talk about it more later.

But before we get to my recommendations, I want to take a second to share something with everyone. Once I seen those premium Bibles, I wanted one so bad that I kept researching, watching YouTube videos, and looking at photos to the point that it took away from my studies. I bought several Bibles looking for the right one” for me to the point that I owned 10+ Bibles.

In the end I used one of the cheapest one I bought and realized that if I am not reading it then it does not matter what I have. I ended up gifting several of my premium Bibles to friends and family and kept using my cheaper one.

Why? After all the money and time I spent why would I give them away?

Well, giving is a big commandment in the Bible and giving God’s Word seems to be perfect for that but also it was me letting go. I realized that it does not matter what my Bible looks like as long as I am reading it and applying it to my life. We are so blessed to have God’s Words so easily available to us that some forget how precious it truly is. Just take the time to read your Bible. It is OK to want a premium Bible and to even own several of them but, if you spend all your time admiring the binding rather than reading the Word then it will do you no good.

Now, I will step off my soapbox and get to my recommendations.

Here are 4 Bibles I have used/use.

The Westminster Reference Bible (TBS — Trinitarian Bible Society) I looked at this Bible for a little while. But, based on some reviews I didn’t know if the text would be too small for me. I was definitely wrong. I ended up getting this for $77 (includes shipping) and I am so glad I did. The one thing I have always wanted was a good reference Bible that only had references. No commentary, no corrections, and no red letter. This Bible checked all of those boxes. I have to say to read and study with this Bible is a pleasure. It is truly the ultimate reference Bible to own (in my opinion). Even has 30 blank pages in the back to add my study keys, notes, and anything else I would want to have. The proceeds will go to shipping and translating reliable Bibles for those who need it.

The pages are nice, thick, and takes my Tombow pencils well. The font is black and consistent, but not as bold as I would prefer. In extreme low lighting I find it harder to read and stay focused but easy to read most of the time. In normal dim house lighting it does fine. By small candle light it might be a challenge but it is still readable by a campfire. They do have a Large Print edition that helps with that. The margins where the references are allow for minor notes and the back provides even more room. All the above make it a good all around bible.

Here is a link to purchase this Bible at TBS and they also have a $20 hardback (which I highly recommend) for those who are concerned about price. The Large Print also comes in a $27 hardback edition! You can also get it at Evangelical Bible and The KJV Store. I bought my leather bound at The KJV Store but my hardbacks from TBS.

The Pew Bible by Church Bible Publishers (CBP) This is the best text only I have found with a dark font. It is perfect for carrying around and reading at home. I prefer a black text only (not against red letter but just not a preference) and the font is bold and large. It is a reprint of the old Large Print Cambridge with a 10-point Medieval Petite font and with the Tombow pencils I use work perfectly on the pages. I rebound mine with leather and added 4 ribbons. If I need more space or margin next to the page, I just add a blank page ( I will show how soon ) or just reference in a notebook.

This is only $10 + shipping!

Here is a link to purchase this Bible.

The Wide Margin KJV (First Word by Bearing Precious Seed) I include this one because I love the margins and the text (mostly… more on this later). It also has 27 blank pages in the back. It is smaller in dimensions for how big the margins are. The text is clear and looks like a Times New Roman Font that is about a 8-9 point.

It reminds me of a cheaper alternative to the Cambridge Wide Margin Concord. This Wide Margin is only $50 plus shipping and helps support a ministry. The Cambridge Concord Wide margin’s prices is $150+. Now, I will have to say that the 1 thing I could not get over and it was the lightness” of the font. It seems to vary a lot and makes it hard for me to read without distraction at times. Don’t get me wrong, for the price this is a great option. I find myself wanting to use this Bible. I have just grown so used to a bold font that it is hard for me to go to a lighter font.

Here is a link to purchase this Bible.

There is 1 Bible I would like to mention that I would love to own. But, have not had the chance to get it yet and probably won’t ever own one.

The Schuyler Canterbury KJV Wide Margin. I love the drop caps and the look of this Bible. I love old KJV text blocks and this is a modern flavor” of the old style. The font looks crisp and there seems to be a lot of praise for it. The price of $200+ makes it difficult for me to purchase but I keep hearkening back to what I experienced before. Will having this Bible make my reading more enjoyable and more clear? Or is it a Bible I will spend more time admiring the binding rather than admiring and studying His Word?

Here is a link to this Bible.

Thank you for taking your time to read this short summary of the Bibles I use. I will have to say though that the ultimate Bible for me would be the Cambridge Large Print Black Text Medieval Petite text block with drop caps, verse references, and the chapter summaries. If it had a margin between a .5-inch to 1.5-inch that is all the way around the text would be great. LOTS of blank pages in the back would be plus. I only need a couple of maps that just reflect different Bible ages (No maps would be OK with me considering all I have seen get the Exodus route wrong).

I might need to create the text block and do a kick starter so I can have it myself and others who prefer an elegant but simple text block as was once printed. Let me know in the comments if you feel the same.

Once again please remember, it is not about the look of the Bible as long as it is being read and applied to one’s life! Colossians 3:2 .

In Christ,

A. T. Sully

NOTE: I was not asked to write these small reviews. I just thought someone might profit from my time in finding the perfect premium” Bible.

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April 25, 2020

Prayer, Poetry, and Ponderings from a Christian Writer.

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