Which Bible(s) Do I Personally Use?

Other Bibles on My Recommended List

There was a great deal of interest in a previous post entitled, “Which Bible Translation Do I Use?” The readership numbers spiked, I received a number of good comments. May YHVH be blessed!

Now I would like to share with you some other Bibles that have been a blessing to me in my scripture studies. These can be divided broadly into two categories: Christian and Jewish.


Christian Bibles

The Bibles listed below are my favorites, although there are many good ones out there besides the ones listed. (I have dozens in my library!) As with all Bibles that have notes and commentaries, eat the fish and spit out the bones—separate the wheat from the chaff. After all, you do that every time you read a book, newspaper or magazine, hear a news story, watch a television documentary, see a billboard, hear someone speak no matter the subject, or look something up on the internet.

  • The Key Word Study Bible. This Bible comes in several main English translations and contains some 700 pages of grammatical and word study tools at the end of this Bible. Most useful is that every biblical verse contains numerous words that have superscripted above them their Strong’s Concordance Hebrew-Greek dictionary numbers, which can then be looked up in the complete Strong’s Concordance of Hebrew and Greek words in the back of the Bible. This Bible also contains a concordance of key Old and New Testament words, and grammatical notations to help you to understand the verb tenses in the Greek and Hebrew. The Key Word Study Bible also comes in full-grain leather (for durability) and wide margin for those who mark their Bibles. Of course, this Bible comes with center column chain references and maps.
  • The Spirit-Filled Life Bible. This is a popular Bible among Charismatics believers because of its valuable study notes and articles (at the end of the Bible) that pertain to the Spirit-filled life, hence the Bible’s name. In these articles, much can be learned about the gifts and baptism of the Holy Spirit, spiritual warfare and many other subjects pertaining to the Spirit-filled life. Throughout this Bible and on nearly every page, there are not only study footnotes, but column insets (called “Word Wealth”) where key Hebrew and Greek words are defined and examined. This is a valuable tool to use as you’re reading along to help you to derive the most meaning from the biblical text. Additionally, there are a whole series of inset mini-studies called “Kingdom Dynamics” that address all areas of the redeemed believer’s spiritual walk. This is an invaluable study Bible that belongs in every believer’s library.
  • The Companion Bible. This Bible is an invaluable source of information an numerous biblical subjects. If for no other reason, not to mention the thousands of footnotes, this Bible is useful for its 198 appendixes on 218 pages covering a wide range of subjects. This section contains numerous charts, lists, word studies, historical information, and many other fascinating tidbits of biblical information that helps to make the Bible to come alive. The author, E. W. Bullinger, who died in 1913, was a learned scholar, and his Bible contains background information that is valuable in one’s study of the Hebraic roots as well. For example, he discusses the three days and three nights and shows how a Friday to Sunday resurrection is impossible. He shows how the first day of the week as pertaining to Yeshua’s resurrection is incorrect according to the Greek, and how this phrase relates to the counting of the omer. He also shows how and where the Masoretes have tampered with the Old Testament text in certain places.
  • The NIV Study Bible. Although I’m not a fan of the NIV translation, their study Bible contains helpful outlines of the books of the Bible and a plethora of study notes including historical background, which is essential to help you to understand biblical events. It also contains more than 250 pages of Bible indexes, word helps and maps in the back of the Bible.
  • The Interlinear Bible—Hebrew, Greek, English by Jay P. Green. Put on your reading glasses when you pull this volume off the shelf! In one large dictionary-sized volume, it is an interlinear of both the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. Green provides two translations. First, a word-for-word translation or rough translation under the text, and second, a smoothed out word-for-word translation in the side column. Sometimes his translation yields some wonderful nuggets. Perhaps more importantly, for those who are  beginning to learn a little Hebrew and Greek, this Bible makes an excellent study tool to assist you in this process. Again, the main complaint is the small print for the older and tired eyes.

Okay, so what Bible do I personally use? (drum role sound effects) For a number of years I used the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible (KJV) by Spiros Zodhiates. It’s a great Bible and stood up well to my hard use until I spilled a ram’s horn full of anointing oil all over all the pages! (Maybe that was prophetic.) I nevertheless continued to use it for several years afterwards. I set it aside only because the columns were too small for all my notes. I then purchased the same Bible, but this time in the wide margin edition. Great Bible, but margins weren’t as wide as I was hoping for, so I set that one aside too. I then purchased a true wide margin Cambridge University Press Bible in the NKJV. It was a little more expensive, but well worth the price. I hope to go to the grave with this one. The print is a bit small, but it has lots of room for notes on all sides of the columns. This Bible is built like a tank, full grain French Morocco leather (I never buy Bibles with bonded leather, since they eventually fall apart), opens easily and lays flat. Cambridge is known for its tough bindings and high quality paper. I’m very happy with this Bible, although I still have the other two Bibles sitting on my desk, and my Spirit-Filled Life Bible at my bedside.

Jewish Bibles

There are many possibilities in this category, however, I have found the two listed below to be the most helpful to me. Because of their embossed leather covers and fancy gold filigree, both of these Bibles will look impressive on your book shelf. The artistry of the covers show the high respect the Jews have for the Torah and the rest of the Tanakh (Old Testament) as well.

  • The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash (Pentateuch). This volume contains the Torah (the five books of Moses) in English, and then in Hebrew on the opposite page. At the bottom of each page there is huge amount of notes and commentary on the passages located above. Though the translators and editors of this Bible are Orthodox Jews who have no faith in Yeshua, this shouldn’t stop a person from gleaning much valuable information about the Jews’ understanding of the Torah. After all they’ve only been studying it and translating it for thousands of years. We might be able to learn something from them! In the commentary section, many of the classical Jewish sages over the past nearly 2000 years are quoted, so this gives you a quick overview as to the tenor of Jewish thought in the modern era. The print is large and easy to read—even the Hebrew, which is vowel-pointed for easy reading.
  • The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach (Old Testament). This volume contains not only the same translation of the Torah as The Stone Edition Chumash, but the rest of the Tanakh (or Tanach) as well. The English is on one side, while the Hebrew is on the opposing page. There are some footnotes and commentary, but it’s not as extensive as The Stone Edition Chumash. Mainly, it’s an excellent English translation of the Tanakh from respected scholars along with the Hebrew text for those of you trying to learn biblical Hebrew.

Okay, now for the best part of all. I like to collect old Bibles, although I don’t have very many. I have one from the 1880s and one from, yes, the 1700s, which I found in a pile of thousands of old books in the basement of an old bookstore in Vancouver, B.C. in Canada. It was falling apart, so I had it restored. If you’d like to see some before and after photos of it posted on this blog, let me know. By the way, if you have an old Bible from the 1800s or before that is looking for a good and loving home, I’m waving my hand in the air right now!


5 thoughts on “Which Bible(s) Do I Personally Use?

  1. Ya me as well! My dad collects old bibles as well and has 2 from the early 1800’s and one from 1902. That or he collects old but not quite as old bibles that have a lot of foot notes already in them. Very fascinating stuff!

  2. Natan, You may or may not know of Sir Isaac Leeser’s English translation of the OT. I have a rare copy, but you can hunt for “The Leeser Bible” PDF and download it. It was (not sure if it still is) the only authorized English version of the Tanach accepted among the orthodox Jewish. It is a favorite of mine. CL Welter

    • I’ve never heard of this translation of the Tanakh until just know. From what I learned about Isaac Leeser on Wikipedia, he translated the first English version of the Tanakh in America in the 1800s. Since then, many other translations have been made, though I couldn’t tell you how many. It appears that he was not an Orthodox Jew, but tended toward the more liberal Conservative side.

      There are several other respectable Jewish publishing houses that have, since the time of Leeser, translated the Tanakh into English. The notably are the Jewish Publications Society and the ArtScroll Mesorah. I’m sure there are others.

      I’m not overly familiar with the differences or dis/advantages of each translation. Perhaps someone out there can speak to those issues.

      What about the Leeser Bible do you like so well.

      • I purchased my scanned copy of the book 15 or so years ago. I especially like Isaiah and chapter 53 is my favorite.

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