With such a central and important place in the Christian’s life, buying a Bible for daily use is not like buying just any other book. A Bible for daily use should become a pleasant companion and long-lasting tool. There are so many different versions, translations, study Bibles, reference Bibles, themed Bibles and more, that selecting and investing in a Bible can become quite a confusing task. Here are some thoughts on your daily reading Bible.
All believers need to have their own personal reading Bible, one that is their daily go-to Bible from which they take their daily bread. In terms of translation, ask your pastor for his suggestion and go with it. It is helpful to read and memorize from the version that will be used from the pulpit if your daily reading Bible is also the Bible you carry to church.
A good reading Bible should be one you actually can read – don’t get a Bible with tiny print or a Bible so full of footnotes and markings that you cant simply read. It is my preference that a primary Bible be as simple and unadorned as possible, with two columns per page to aid in legibility and to relieve eye fatigue. Long line lengths and small letters do not lend themselves to comfortable reading. Also, look for a Bible that will stay open and is comfortable in your hands. You want Genesis and Revelation to lay open flat on a table just as Isaiah does. A Bible that is stiff and won’t open well is not a good reading Bible.
I would avoid study Bibles for daily reading due to the added information, illustrations and maps. These are immensely useful for more in-depth Bible study, but for a daily reading Bible the added bulk can be unruly. Avoid tacky theme Bibles as well (like the Fireman’s Bible, the Princess Bible, Today’s Woman Bible, etc.). God’s Word in its simple form is far more effective than marketing tactics. For daily reading, actually reading without distraction is the goal.
Many people mark in their Bibles, highlighting special verses and making notes in the margins. This is certainly a good practice. Personally, I prefer a clean, unmarked Bible for personal reading and only mark in my Bibles used for more focused study. By keeping my reading Bible clean, I am not distracted nor influenced when I read through a passage at a later time.
The goal of a daily reading Bible is to get you into the Word of God without distraction. The book itself – with its text, line length, cover and binding, page style, paper and even smell – should not draw attention away from your reading or distract your mind. If you notice nothing but the content of the Word and do not even notice the particular traits of the physical book, then you have a good reading Bible.
Above all, read your Bible daily, get the Word of God into you, and be nourished!