By: Amy Hafner
For No Word from God will ever fail. Luke 1:37 NIV
“(The Bible) It’s the best-selling least read book in America” -George Gallup Jr.
I love the Bible; I have found myself in the presence of a holy, kind, loving God when flipping through the pages of scripture. It has humbled and encouraged me, made me cry, helped me find forgiveness, navigated difficult situations, and transformed my life.
Did you know:
- The Bible is the best-selling book of all time.
- It is currently banned in fifty-two countries.
- 78% of Americans own a physical Bible
- Only 9% of Christians read it regularly.
- George Gallup Jr. said, "It's the best-selling, least-read book in America."
- And it's the only book where the author is madly in love with the reader (I'm pretty sure Lisa Harper said that at the Beautiful Conference, which just stuck with me).
When I first began reading, I noticed many different translations and editions. Some specialize in journaling or study, and some have beautiful designs. If you are in the market for your first Bible or are adding to your collection, I recommend these three:
1. BEST BIBLE IF YOU'VE NEVER READ THE BIBLE:
NEW LIVING TRANSLATION (NLT) LIFE APPLICATION STUDY BIBLE
This Study Bible is written in a clear and accessible language that is easy to read and understand. It has in-depth study notes, including character profiles, charts, maps, and diagrams which will give insight into difficult passages. This Bible will also focus on life application (how to apply scripture in your everyday life) to guide you as you walk with Christ.
2. BEST BIBLE IF YOU'RE IN A BIBLE STUDY:
ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION (ESV) STUDY BIBLE
Although I'm not sure if there is technically a best, this Bible is a favorite of preachers, teachers, seminary students, scholars, and national Bible study organizations. It contains over 20,000 detailed study notes written by scholars and offers cross-references, articles, introductions, maps, charts, and illustrations. The ESV translation is known for its accuracy and readability and balances traditional and modern languages well.
3. BEST BIBLE IF YOU LOVE HISTORY AND WANT TO GO DEEPER:
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV) CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS STUDY BIBLE
If you're looking to add a second Bible to your collection, this may be a good choice. Offering historical and cultural articles, study notes, and annotations, this Bible will enrich your reading experience by providing a comprehensive understanding of Biblical settings, traditions, and customs in ancient times. This edition was written by scholars with expertise in Biblical archaeology, history, language, and ancient culture. It will help a reader see scripture through the eyes of antiquity.
Another great place to start is with the free Bible App. It can be downloaded right onto your phone and will even read scripture to you. But no matter the version or media you choose, our Beautiful team is praying over you this semester. That the Holy Spirit will guide you, speak to you, and walk with you every moment . The Word of God is the key to unlocking the depths of our hearts, lighting the path so we know which way to go, leading us through trials and triumphs with divine wisdom and unfailing love which…never fails.
*Bonus…if you do not currently own a Bible and are signed up for Beautiful this semester shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org The first four people to do so will get a brand new Bible.