I'm asked all the time what Bible I use (in fact, I was asked twice this week alone!) so I thought I'd share with you what I use for my own personal quiet time and for studying.
Admittedly, I have a slight obsession with vintage Bibles so they're all around the house. I even have a book of Psalms (in Swedish) from 1819...it's one of the many books I gathered from my grandfather's library after he passed away when I was in high school.
The Archaeological Study Bible
The Archaeological Study Bible is my day-to-day Bible.
I absolutely love history so I adore all the little side notes and extra pages that delve deeper into things like what the front gate of a city looked like and the significance of it, the role of women in the Greco-Roman world, as well as showing ancient texts and artifacts (super fun for the Art History Major like me).
This Bible is in NIV so it's the translation I grew up with and the same wording of all those Bible verses I learned in Sunday School as a child.
I also love that the pages have ample room for notes and reminders for myself in the margins.
Room for note-taking is big for me when I study and have my daily devotions. For the past 15 years of studying (since going to Bible School at Capernwray), my Bibles have always had large margins so I can fill them to the brim with reminders from sermons, my personal study, and quickly penned reflections or cross-references for further investigation on a passage.
Here are a bunch of other options if you're looking for Wide Margins and plenty of room for note taking!
THE JOURNALING BIBLE
There's also The Journaling Bible, which many friends (and my husband) love. It's not a great fit for me because there are lines all down the sides and that inhibits how I write, but it works great for them! This is the Bible you've probably seen on social media because it's crazy popular for those who want to draw, doodle and pretty it up! (which btw is SO not the reason my husband has it. Insert hearty chuckle)
The Voice is a fairly new translation and last year when I began looking for a copy, the Bible bookstore near our house hadn't even heard of it. The girl actually asked me if I was talking about the reality show. "Um no," I looked at her bewildered. "This is a Bible." haha
I ended up finding the translation on Amazon and am REALLY loving going back and forth between this and my NIV. It's so fun to see how things are translated a touch differently.
The same meaning, of course. Just said in a different way.
The tone is more current and is stated that "It recaptures the passion, grit, humor, and beauty that is often lost in the translation process." And it really does. Eight year old Laith has since, taken my copy as his own. He has a Youth Bible, but The Voice speaks to his little heart best!
Click here to see how The Voice compares to various other translations, including the one you're using now!
When I'm writing one of my Bible Studies, a blogpost, or am just wanting to see what a verse says in a different translation...I often end up at biblegateway.com and blueletterbible.org (both also have great apps I use all the time on my phone). These sites are fantastically simple to maneuver and have tons of different avenues to go deeper: topical index, passage lookup, keyword search, devotionals, reading plans, and on and on!
I also love The Message version for it's story-like quality.
It's so much easier to go to this great site than carry around 20 different Bibles with me when headed to Starbucks to write and study!
If I were to purchase a new Bible today...
I'd definitely walk out of the store hugging the brand new Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible because I think it's so important to understand what the framework of the time was when the Bible was written. It adds such richness to my studying and understanding.
The Bible was written for us, but it wasn't written about us.
Want to learn more about it? Click here for a little video!