Gifting a Bible!
So you asked the question “what do you want for Christmas?” Innocent enough, right?
The answer to your inquiry: “I’d like a new Bible.” Innocent enough, right?
And you start shopping.
First, you check online retailers like Amazon. Type in “bible” and do a search in all departments. Easy to search but narrowing it down from over 2 million choices may be a little daunting. Hmm…
Other online retailers are not much help so you head to your local Christian book store and stand before the wall of Bibles…it seems a myriad of Bibles stare back. Which should you choose?
Help in choosing the correct Bible starts with knowing why we have so many selections.
In 1604 A.D. King James authorized a Bible to be made ready for the public churches, one Bible to be used by all churches, and no one would vary from it. The King believed the two available Bibles, the Geneva and the Bishop’s Bible we corrupted by men. Seven years later, after many scholarly men had refined and revisited the original text, the King James Bible, 1611 version, came to be the standard throughout the church of England.
We have versions of the King James Bible which has undergone many updates to bring into the modern English we speak today. The latest is the New Revised King James version, commonly known as the NKJV.
Many Christians, myself included, refer to the Bible as the written Word. This is my belief as I read in John 1:1 & 2: “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
On the shelves, you may find the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible, the English Standard Bible, the Holmon Bible, the Scofield Bible, the New Living Translation, the Life Application Bible and so many more! All modern translations stem from the KJV Bible.
You will see different types of the written Word. You can find children’s Bibles, coloring Bibles, Bibles with study notes in the margins, Parallel Bibles with four versions of different Bibles written on each page, a Bible written in Chronological sequence or Bibles written for beginners to scholars. Bibles are written with people in mind, hence, you may find the Cowboy Bible, the Oil field Workers Bible and Bibles translated for motorcycling clubs, etc.
While choosing a Bible, there is one thing to keep in mind.
Modern Bible translations are translated with one of the following theories:
- A Formal-equivalence, which is a literal, word-for-word translation
- A Functional-equivalence, a thought-for-thought translation
The question to ask here, what does the reader want?
When I began my journey into studying the Word over 30 years ago, the Bible I chose was going to be a major investment, as I wanted one which would last through the ages.The first choice for me: I wanted a Formal-equivalence translation. I wanted to learn to decipher word-for-word myself. I also wanted high quality paper I could write on and not see through the other side, I wanted the letters large enough I could read as my eyes aged. I wanted a true leather cover in a classic color.
I still have my original Bible, it will always be my go to Bible. But it is starting to disintegrate in my hands. Over the years I have added to my collection many, many more types. My newest addition, and currently my favorite to read while sitting in my favorite chair, which is a Functional-Equivalence is the New Living Translation Bible written for the Cowboy, entitled “Learning the Ropes.”
So, which Bible should you choose? Here are a few I found on Amazon:
The New International Version is readily available at most retail stores. It is printed with the Functional-Equivalence theory.
Children’s Bibles abound. The age and reading ability is a consideration for buying a child’s Bible.
Bible journaling has become a great study method. If you have an artist on your list, consider one of these and don’t forget the crayons.
Bible for Grandma? Find Bibles speaking specifically Grandmothers, Fathers, Mothers and more.
Here is a variety of Bibles for the hard to shop-for.
And Last but not least, don’t forget a few accessories.