This is My Bible: Hunting for the Perfect Bible

As a Biblical pastor / scholar, people often ask me what Bible I utilize and or suggest. I have a different answer for each person. If you were raised in the church, then pick one that sounds like what you know, or the very same version. If you are new to the faith and just want to get a sense of what Scripture is saying pick something more toward the thought for thought, possibly the Older NIV.

I prefer the ESV. First, all of my mentors and professors have always used ESV for preaching and teaching. To “keep up” with where they were I got an ESV. Second, I believe the ESV is the most literal “contemporary” translation of the Original languages. Yes, I’ve taken Greek and Hebrew, thus helping me come to this conclusion. I should state that some of my Hebrew professors say the NASB is more correct in translation. Third, ESV is very close to the KJV which I memorized as a child. While I like the idea of the CSB, especially since I know some of the translators, but it is so different from what I've memorized that I can't make the change.  

Let's talk about my current Bibles. Below you'll see ESV Bibles on the right and the new CSB Bibles on the left. You may be wondering why so many Bibles? Well, it is because I'm on a quest to find the "Best" Bible, for me that is. 

 You may notice that almost all of these Bibles are the same, or close to same thickness. The exception is the bottom on the right pile; my Ultra-thin ESV.

Since I tend to hold my Bible while preaching and teaching I need one light and thin. Also, I need one which can be curled for ease of holding. The Black CSB, bottom of the left column, is the only one that curls as I'd like.

Not only does the "Best" curl, and feel thin enough, but it must be the right size. Some Bibles are too tall and wide, while others are just a little short. There is a direct correlation between Bible size and Bible thickness. If you want thin, then you gotta go bigger in the layout. If you look at this next photo, to me the perfect size is the Ultra-Thin (middle of the 3). The one with a purple stripe is a single column but is too short and too thick. The black CSB on the bottom is just a little too big.

The Final aspect is the "book block." I thought that I should begin investing into a single column text. Several suggested that reading the Bible in single column will lead you mentally to appreciate it and enjoy it more than the split text of the Bible. I'll post more on this in the next post. Second when considering the book block is spacing. I like white space. As a graphic designer I've learned to leave ample space so the design can "breathe." Likewise there is something to be said of enough white space in a Bible. I've never invested into a wide margin Bible, but some say that it is the perfect amount of breathing room. The final thing to consider when searching for the Best bible is the page color. If you notice in this next picture, some pages are bright white, off white, and my journaling Bible (second from bottom) is straight up yellow! I liked my journaling Bible in the beginning, but the color, font size and square layout makes it quite akward to me.

 I've compared the font sizes of my Bibles too. While I can easily read all of them, some are more readable from a distance than others. The distance you may say? Well, I do preach and teach from the text, and not having to pick it up every time I wanna read makes it quite nice. My ESV study bible (Bottom) has 6.5 font, my journaling Bible has 7pt, The ultrathin has 7.5, My single column has 9pt. Then if you jump to my CSB Bibles (the last photo) they pick up at 9.5 and finally a whopping 12pt for the reference Bible. Lets put it this way, 12 is way too big, and 7.5 is just too small. I like the 9pt, but would probably be even more satisfied at 10 (what ESV calls large print).

Am I obsessed or a Bible fanatic? YEP, but there are worse things to be obsessed about than a Bible.

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