Below is a list of Study Bibles I use and would recommend. Each study Bible has a different set of helps with its own strengths. I own a copy of each of these, but you may want to choose one that best suits your own purposes.
As some of these author’s have put their own notes in these Bibles, it is worth mentioning that some few of these notes have met with some disagreement and sometimes heated debate. I leave it to you to decide while cautioning you to always look at the writings of men through the lens of the Bible, and not the other way around. Each man will of course make their own case as convincingly as possible, but where debate leads to greater division I would caution against making any kind of emphatic stand one way or the other, but urge you to rather take these differences as mere opinion on the matter, one that others also well-studied in Scripture have disagreed with for whatever reason.
- Highlights the words of God in Blue, the words of Christ in Red, and the words of the Holy Spirit in Purple so you always know who is speaking.
- Every time a place is mentioned in the Bible, there is a map showing the location of that place where it would be today.
- Time line of world events alongside Biblical events for easy reference.
- Each prophecy is labeled, and shows whether or not is has already been fulfilled or has yet to be fulfilled.
- Brad Strand’s extensive personal notes and commentary on each chapter of the Bible.
This Bible is packed with a lot of research and extra information not found in any other Bible. Very useful for anyone who wants to go another layer deeper into their Bible study. Several readers of his notes, including me, take issue with his creation account as he supports a GAP theory approach. Whether or not this detracts from the overall Gospel message is a matter of some heated debate. As this is a very recent publication as of 2010, time will reveal it’s true value. For my personal study, there is more to his research to be had than an argument.
References are linked by topic so that you can follow a particular topic as it shows up all the way through the Bible. For instance, the first topic mentioned is “Creator” in Genesis 1:1 and the link from there goes to Exodus 20:11, then to Nehemiah 9:6 all the way through the Bible to Hebrews 11:3. This reference also comes with a number that can be referenced in the back of the Bible showing all the references in the Bible for that one particular topic in one single snapshot of Bible references.
This Bible makes a topical study of the Bible very quick with the topical snapshot at the back, and very easy to follow through the various passages.
References are noted in the text of this Bible by small letters of the alphabet. As you read and see one of these letters, it will reference a letter in the center column which may give a definition of a word, the next reference(s) relevant to that word in particular, or may reference one of Scofield’s personal notes on that page or another page.
Each book of the Bible is outlined for you at the beginning of each book with an introduction and guide for breaking that book of the Bible into more easily digestible sections.
This study Bible has been the standard for many years, and while heated debate has taken place over some few of his notes, there is very little, if any, disagreement on the value contained in the references, notes, and introductions to each book of the Bible.
Each book of the Bible is introduced with a Summary by John Maxwell with a focus on it’s value to leaders and leadership roles. There are also several other sections in the introduction which include: God’s role in that particular book, main Leaders in that book, other people of influence in that book, and the primary lessons of leadership that can be drawn out of that book of the Bible.
Where one of the 21 Laws of Leadership apply, he breaks that Bible passage down for that particular law and the particular character that law involves. There is literally a wealth of information from a leadership perspective, and my only criticism is that the leadership lens gets a little over used and can get in the way of a simple Bible reading for self study. While John Maxwell is simply doing what he does best, this Bible is reserved by me for when I am specifically looking to draw out leadership lessons from a particular section or Bible study session.
This Bible was a gift from my wife as I was lamenting the limited note taking space in my current Scofield Bible at the time. I love this Bible for it’s simplicity. There are no study notes from anyone else, and no introductions to the books of the Bible. It is the absence of all these notes that give it a very clean appearance with no distractions, and has a very simple reference system whereby the references are always directly beside the verses they are referencing, and a simple concordance in the back to easily find those references again.
I use this Bible when I want to really get away from what everyone else thinks and just want to let God speak to my own heart. While you do not need a Bible nearly as expensive as this one (again, it was a gift), this one has very generous and wide margins on the top and sides of the main text body, allowing me to place my own notes as God speaks to my heart through His Word. There are also ample and very generously lined note taking pages in the back for any additional notes to make your own set of references.© 2010-2013 John Bagwell www.MenRising.com All Rights Reserved