Considerations in Purchasing a Bible

A large Bible requires one to look further to the top of the page. This, like too small a font, creates eye strain. For younger readers, this isn’t an issue.
A softcover Bible keeps shifting, requiring reading curved pages. Picky personal preference, perhaps.
Whiter paper, without much bleed-through, gives greater contrast and less distraction. Some readers easily ignore seeing text from the opposite side of the page they’re reading.
Reading a version one is familiar with aids memory, but an unfamiliar version fosters thinking. Here’s a tough consideration! I’ve read each of many versions at least a couple times, or extensively: KJV, RSV, NIV, Amplified, New RSV, NASBRE, J.B. Philips, and, to a lesser extent, many other translations. The result? While I’m aware of differing shades of many to passages, I don’t have verses well ingrained to memory, as, say, one faithful to the KJV or Douay would.  Nonetheless, currently I’m reading two translations new to me, and quite different from one another: The New Jerusalem Bible and the Knox Version; sometimes I’ll read the same chapter in each–loving it (but not aiding memorization)!
One can’t take seriously a pop-style paraphrase. Many modern translations are written at a child’s reading level. This simplistic style is bland and uninteresting, tedious. Any day, I’ll take the KJV, with its archaisms, to The New Living Bible.
Passages put to verse formatting breaks up the reading, perhaps, as opposed to paragraph formatting.  Likely, paragraph style makes for reading paragraphs rather than phrases (where each phrase is given its own line, as in prayers and songs, Psalms, etc.).  Some find verse numbering within the text, rather than in the margin, distracting (picky).
A study Bible is a good source, but for daily reading it’s distracting and makes for added weight and size. Use study resources for studying. If you’re reading four chapters a day, to read through each year, you likely don’t have much extra daily study time.
Perhaps a casual textbook cover doesn’t give scripture its do dignity. Maybe gold leafing and fine leather aren’t suitable for a backpack or for reading at coffee shops, though.
Follow this video for a comparison of several Catholic Bible translations:

2 thoughts on “Considerations in Purchasing a Bible

  1. Hey professor! I was in your class last semester. Still following your stuff! Your posts are very interesting and very well thought out. I doubt you will remember me from class but nonetheless I enjoy reading your blog.


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