The Bible is one of the most debated books in the world. This is apparent in the sheer number of different religions across the globe – each with its own interpretation of the Bible and what it teaches. For many followers of the Christian faith, these differences can be confusing, causing us to wonder – what does the Bible really mean to say?
If you’re stuck in a rut trying to understand what the Bible is trying to teach you, don’t worry. You can take the reins on your learning and discern right from wrong by taking the time to study the books of the Bible by yourself. Wondering how to do it? Unlock new wisdom and enrich your faith by equipping yourself with the best study bible.
If you are looking for a large font size bible, please check our 10 Best Large and Giant Print Bibles.
Top 10 Study Bibles Ultimate Table
New King James Version
English Standard Version
New King James Version
King James Version
English Standard Version
New Revised Standard Version
New International Version
New International Version
King James Version
King James Version
What is a study Bible?
A study Bible is a special type of bible that has an in-depth commentary on all the books.
But, it has sections for dictionary, concordance, and index too.
Study Bible is great to understand verses better, also very useful as a reference book.
The purpose of a study Bible is to provide a way for Bible readers to study the Bible both independently and with others.
Typical features of study bibles are an explanatory introduction, historical background, textual criticism notes, and comprehensive cross-references.
Study bibles often include one or more full-page maps for each book which summarize geographical locations referred to within that book. This helps get a better feeling for the author’s intended meaning when he used particular cities, countries, mountains, rivers, etc.
Who will need a study Bible?
Study Bible is for serious bible readers who want to learn and understand the truth on a deep level.
The study Bibles are not for those who prefer only a superficial knowledge of God’s Word because they are written at a more challenging reading level.
A beginner reader may find them difficult to read, but an advanced student could very much benefit from their in-depth discussions on almost every verse of the Bible.
Three Factors to Consider When Choosing a Study Bible
Study Bibles come in a variety of styles and designs. But there’s more to choosing one than just considering its aesthetic. Inside each study Bible are unique differences that can either make them an effective learning tool or a complete waste of cash.
Wondering what makes a good study Bible? These factors should help you find the best one for you.
1. Provision for Notes
Reading and writing go hand in hand, especially throughout the process of learning. When studying a Bible, you might find yourself having to jot down information to reinforce new learning constantly. A good study Bible should have enough space for notes to help you keep track of all the important points throughout the learning process.
Some study Bibles have extra spaces right next to the scripture, and then others offer users extra pages after a certain number of Bible pages to summarize what was learned in the last few passages.
Then some Bibles have blank pages all the way at the back of the Bible. While this makes it more certain that you’ll have enough space to write what you’ve learned, it can be tedious to turn from your notes to the specific page of the corresponding scripture when reading back.
2. Reflection Guides
The main difference between a study Bible and a regular Bible is the inclusion of areas for reflection. These Bibles often provide short reflection guides at the end of a certain number of scriptures to help readers better understand what the Bible teaches.
These guides ask specific questions that push the reader to find meaning in the verses. They’re particularly helpful if you find yourself wondering what a specific passage meant as you read it.
Reflection guides can come at the end of a set number of verses, the end of a chapter, or the end of a book altogether. The more guides there are inside a study Bible, the more you’re likely to learn.
3. Study Theme
There are study Bibles designed to help you understand the scripture better, and then there are others specially written to bring out thematic concepts from the texts.
For instance, a study Bible made for married people might highlight teachings related to marital life. Study Bibles for the youth are designed to emphasize areas in the scripture that encourage young individuals to be respectful, obedient, and resilient, especially in the face of temptation.
Determine whether you’d like a study Bible that teaches the scripture’s basic meanings or if you want to find specific learning that you can apply to your life and difficulties.
Study Bible translations
There are 3 main approaches for Bible translations, and each approach has its strengths and weaknesses.
1. Literal (Word-for-word)
A literal translation gives an exact word-for-word equivalent of the original text as accurately as possible, paying careful attention to grammar, syntax, and details of ancient languages.
The most accurate word-for-word Bible translations are:
- New American Standard Bible (NASB)
- English Standard Version (ESV)
- King James Version (KJV)
- New King James Version (NKJV)
2. Dynamic Equivalent (Thought-for-Thought)
A dynamic equivalent translation attempts to convey the full intended meaning of the original text, making it readable and understandable in modern English.
The most accurate thought-for-thought Bible translations are:
- New Living Translation (NLT)
- New International Version (NIV)
- Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
- New English Translation (NET)
3. Paraphrased (Concept-for-Concept)
Paraphrased translations are the easiest to read Bible translations available. They were created by taking a concept from an original text and rewording it in simpler terms without attempting to preserve the original wording or grammar of the source material.
Top 10 Best Study Bible Reviews
Best NKJV Study Bible
Written by one of the most celebrated Bible teachers in America, The Jeremiah Study Bible NKJV provides readers a deeper understanding of the scripture for an effective relationship with God. The book packs countless features that make it the best study bible in the market today.
This study Bible logically presents information – first discussing the scripture, then exploring what it means in a general sense, and helping you reflect to find out what it means for you. Each entry is short, comprehensive, and actionable, making it easy for readers to adopt real change in their lives without complicated, unrealistic goals.
Finally, the Bible uses the New King James Version translation, one of the most used and appreciated translations. This makes it even easier to understand, which makes it ideal for first-time learners.
If you’ve already got a substantial understanding of the Bible and want a deeper guide with more complicated themes and concepts, the MacArthur Study Bible might be your best choice. This study bible was put together by Dr. John MacArthur – one of the most respected pastors and Christian teachers today.
This study Bible contains key points from his sermons and scholarly work, providing Christians a more in-depth learning experience for a stronger spirituality. The Bible also explains historical accuracy, explaining each Bible character and Biblical event thoroughly for a thorough understanding.
With 20,000 study notes, charts, maps, and other information resources, The MacArthur Study Bible is the ultimate learning guide for Christians who want more from their studies.
Best ESV Study Bible
If you’re looking for a study Bible that really makes it easy, the ESV Student Study Bible is a perfect choice. This comprehensive Bible study guide accurately dissects the word of God to provide a deeper understanding of how it applies to our daily lives.
The study Bible contains hundreds of snippets of information, including Did You Know facts, Bible character profiles, and an extensive glossary of key terms for voracious learners who want to get the most out of their Bible studies.
To make learning even more comprehensive, the book also includes up to 80 different, highly detailed maps and illustrations to give readers a better visual perspective of the Holy Land to depict where things happened according to Biblical references.
Because it can be hard to decode Biblical text. The ESV Study Bible English Standard Version makes it easy by providing literal translations that bring the scripture’s message into the light. This study bible is ideal for individuals who want to get the stripped-down gist of the Bible’s verses, making it a common choice for beginners.
The ESV Study Bible English Standard Version boasts an extensive collection of study notes from notable scholars, as well as straightforward chunks of text that explain the scripture in the simplest way possible. This makes it a good choice if you really want to get your daily dose of Bible learning with ease and convenience.
Here is a book containing an in-depth study of the Bible that would cater to the deeper quest to understand Christianity and Biblical Theology. It would satiate the thirst for an in-depth search for knowledge of the words of God. It is tailored to fit those teaching the word of God, students, and serious readers of the Bible.
It earned a prestigious award ECPA Book of the Year Award, and sold almost one million copies. The book, which has 2,752 crisp pages, contains colorful illustrations of maps and more than 200 charts. On top of that, it has almost 20,000 study notes, 80,000 cross-references, and more than 50 articles. It has thumb indexes and study tools for easy study and browsing. Indeed, this book is for the serious study of the Bible, for it has been thoroughly written by 95 writers who were considered Bible scholars and teachers in Bible study.
Best KJV Study Bible
– With a vast collection of annotations and study notes from several different and respected scholars, the KJV Study Bible Large Print Hardcover Red Letter Edition: Second Edition is one of the most reliable study bibles in the market. The KJV had become the authoritative source of enlightened words, an inspirational guide of the words of God.
This study bible has optimized text and fonts to make it easier and more enjoyable to read. It contains thousands of study notes from the most notable Bible teachers for a straightforward and clear understanding of the scripture. For a more comprehensive study experience, this study bible also includes 48 different images and maps to help readers visualize the scripture as it happened in Biblical times.
The beautifully crafted front cover design would entice the reader to browse the pages that contain different maps, charts that have been redrawn to give it a modernized appeal. It also contains around 5,700 study notes that became authoritative in this field as it is being considered time-tested and proven.
It would be perfect for long hours of reading because it has a large font that makes your reading enjoyable without stressing your eyes. It would enrich your understanding of archaeological sites and various Bible personalities as written by known pastors and religious teachers.
Finally, the KJV Study Bible Large Print Hardcover Red Letter Edition: Second Edition makes it easy to scan through important texts by providing readers indexes of key texts from the gospel.
There is an abundance of additional features presented in this KJV study Bible like book introductions,
Bible prophecies, Paul’s letter, and more. This study Bible’s size is quite smaller than many study Bibles
in the market, making it suitable for mobility.
This Bible is one of the most accurate when we talk about doctrinal essays and study notes. It also offers
an inexhaustible amount of cross-references. You will also love the Quick Glance definitions presented
to the reader on the same page as the material, which is being studied.
Each Book in the Bible provides informative background and introductions with an included outline and timelines. Not to amiss that it contains icons for an easy reference of the important notes and information. This is indeed a book in the world of Christianity!
Best NIV Study Bible
Learn how to enrich your life through the words and inspiration from the lives of the prophets as it makes you feel their pain, their mistakes as they tried to live up to the task given by God. As carefully illustrated with charts, timelines, and diagrams, Zondervan allows you to be transported to ancient times.
In this stressful and toxic world, find inner peace through the insightful words from this book as you find them to apply to your daily experiences. Find comfort with these words and make you realize that all things happen as part of God’s will.
As the new generation draws inspiration from this book as a guide for their life activities, this book ranked number 1 in the Bible bookselling industry. It contains almost 10,000 notes that you can find relatable and applicable to your life.
Having a hectic schedule but still want to squeeze time to have Bible study and reflection? This would come in handy for its size is perfectly fit for the person on the go. It may be a personal size, but it already encompasses 20,000 study notes, including colorful maps, charts, vivid illustrations on timelines.
Your day would be complete by having this in your bag, for it provides inspirational writings, insights, biblical texts, and teachings. You might be carried away with these insightful passages and be inspired. This could be the best companion that you can have to last for a toxic day. The size is perfect for it can be carried or be put inside the bag. Despite its size still could be considered a comprehensive and concise study of the religious writings, reflections, and notes. The size did not compromise the substance of the study of the Bible.
Questions about the Christian faith would surely find answers in this book. Zondervan and Christianity Today International originally conceived the concept of having a question and answered biblical books. Two powerful publishing companies collaborated and published the book that would hurdle the questions about the Christian faith.
This book features questions and answers in an engaging manner that would eventually shed light on some biblical passages’ gray areas. You have some questions lingering in your mind on some phrases, passages, and events in the Bible. Then this book would help you be enlightened with your questions.
It has around 350 articles that delve into the most questions regarding the Bible. The notes had been continuously being updated to keep in tune with the changing times.
If you search for a biblical source that provides fresh insights and the latest scholarship findings, you might like to settle for this book. Renowned Biblical scholars have scholarly written it of the Society of Biblical Literatures. This society is considered one of the groups classified as biblical experts guided by Harold W. Attridge, Ph.D. He was known for his writings on Hellenistic Judaism and the early history of the church. This would make you understand that this book has been written with new perspectives and insights.
The book is the revised edition, and it includes new findings, charts, and maps. Be awed by encountering the new religious findings and concepts, in-depth articles, comprehensive notes as it guides you to your spiritual quest. You might find yourself glued with enthusiasm with the scholarly works of the Society of Biblical Literatures members.