Thinking Out Loud

May 20, 2013

Bibles Worth Coveting

(Yes, I get the post title contradiction.)

I work a few days a week at a Christian bookstore. Some days it’s about retail, but some days I get into some really amazing conversations with people who have little to no faith background, which truly justifies the existence of the place.

There are a number of Bibles in the store that I always say I would grab if the store ever caught on fire. They are the Bibles I covet, and I do have a birthday coming up soon. (Okay, don’t anyone actually act on that, since I have connections you don’t.) So as much as I love my NIV Study Bible, here are few things I would gladly steal if I thought the boss wouldn’t catch me. (Yes, I know. You’re thinking, “First coveting and now stealing.” It’s just literary license, I actually am the boss.)

So here’s my personal wish list:


Note: None of these are weird, esoteric or scholarly editions that only hardcore Bible junkies or geeky academics would want.  This is for the average person reading this.

  • The Voice Bible — I’ve reviewed a book here that describes the making of this translation, and at the sister blog to this one — Christianity 201 — I’ve been using quotations from The Voice now that it’s on but I don’t actually own one. Not yet. (Thomas Nelson; various prices)
  • The Contemporary Parallel New Testament — As mentioned above, you can do a lot of passage comparison online, but there are still times when a physical printed page holds some advantages and grants greater impact.  Includes: KJV, NASB Updated Ed., NCV, CEV, NIV, NLT, NKJV, and The Message (Oxford University Press; $49.99 US)
  • NIV Compact Giant Print Bible — While admittedly it clocks in around 2,400 pages, nobody told this 12-point type, NIV Giant Print Bible that it wasn’t supposed to be huge and clunky. The size is surprisingly manageable. Perfect for vain people who don’t want to admit they otherwise use reading glasses; and the only giant print Bible of any translations that I’ve seen that’s worthy of taking with you. (Zondervan; various prices)
  • NLT Full Verse Cross Reference — This one is not pictured as it’s out of print. Tyndale House Publishers is notorious for taking all my favorite Bibles out of print. We’re not good friends. But I loved the idea of spelling out all the cross referenced verses instead of having to flip back and forth, assuming the cross referenced verses are truly relevant.

Currently on our coffee table is the aforementioned NIV Study, the ESV Study, The Message New Testament (we appear not to own a full edition), a copy of the Common English Bible (CEB) and the Quick View NIV which I reviewed here in November. (The part about the upcoming birthday is true, however.)


  1. How often do you have to explain that you can’t have a small Bible with large print?

    Comment by suesconsideredtrifles — May 20, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

    • Quite often! People want it both ways. But this NIV edition accomplishes both purposes quite well, if you don’t mind the 2400 pages.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — May 20, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

      • My bold print one has 1326 pages including a concordance, plus end-papers with maps. It’s heavy enough at that size. I think twice about taking it to a meeting if I am not going straight home afterwards.

        Comment by suesconsideredtrifles — May 21, 2013 @ 3:10 am

  2. We bought the VOICE bible (hard-cover) from Searchlight in Cobourg and we are so glad we did! You know how Orville Redenbacher used to praise his own popcorn by saying, “and it ‘eats’ better too’ (to the chagrin of every English-Language loving soul watching him on the telly)? Well, this version of the Bible is butter-free, is fresh every time and yes, ‘it reads better too’. No seriously – there’s no butter at all (in other words it’s still a version that gives you solid, spiritual food). It’s a fantastically new experience reading the bible again for us. Please buy one and while you’re at it, buy Paul one too. ;-)

    Flagrant Regard

    Comment by Flagrant Regard — May 22, 2013 @ 12:29 am

  3. I have The Voice Bible on my list to look at and consider next time I go to Brisbane.
    What I really want is something I can’t get – a KJV wide margin (extrawide preferably). I have worn out two Oxford loose-leaf, wide margins and my third one is barely holding together. It appears they are no longer printed.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — June 9, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

    • See if your sources down there can get this ISBN: 9781619700895
      It’s new as of April. A KJV Wide Margin Large Print hardcover. Hendrickson, not Oxford; sorry!
      There are also two leather editions and a genuine leather edition that probably rivals the Oxford for quality.
      The last one is: 9781619701137

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 9, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

      • Thank you so much Paul. I have checked the websites of our two main Christian bookstores (Word and Koorong) and it seems they don’t stock Hendrickson Bibles. I checked out the Hendrickson website and printed out the details, so when I go to Brisbane I’ll check with Word Bookstore and see if they can get one for me. If not, I’ll look at ordering online – something I haven’t done before, but as they say, there is a first for most things.

        Comment by meetingintheclouds — June 9, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

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