The Thompson Chain Reference Bible has been around for over 100 years. There’s a reason that it’s been around that long. The Thompson could be considered a study Bible, a topical Bible, or a reference Bible. I think it is most accurately called a topical reference Bible. To be considered a study Bible, most users would expect it to have commentary. I think that is more accurately called a commentary Bible. I think a better study Bible would be a Bible that gives you the tools you need to study the Scriptures for yourself. With this in mind, the Thompson Chain Reference Bible makes a great study Bible. Rather than giving commentary, it compares Scripture with Scripture, allowing the Bible to be its own commentary. The Thompson is called ‘influence free’ based on this assessment. However, this is not exactly accurate. The topics themselves are influenced by Charles Thompson’s theology, as well as marginal headings, chapter summaries, and outlines of each book. In most cases, I don’t have any issues with these choices. The Thompson has many features that I like in a study Bible: Chain references Topical index Better than average concordance Chapter summaries Page summaries Book outlines Character studies Archaeological encyclopedia Red letter Italics for added words Self-pronouncing text Marginal headings (rather than in-text headings) Links to parallel passages Translation notes Sewn binding Blank pages for writing...Read More
I’ve used a Thompson Chain Reference for many years. This Bible is primarily a topical Bible. It contains over 7000 topics that are chain referenced throughout the Bible. The margin contains the topics in each verse with a reference to the next verse in the chain. In the back is a topical index that gives you a number for each topic. Turning to the number in the back gives you all of the verses that Thompson lists for each topic. It also contains character studies, archaeology, etc., and one of the best concordances in any Bible available. Thompson is widely used because it doesn’t contain any notes or commentary, allowing scripture to interpret scripture. It’s not 100% thorough in its topics (you won’t find the Rapture, or even much on the Millennium), but it’s still the best I’ve seen. One thing I really like is that most of the time, when I go to write a topic in the margin it’s already there. For example, in Acts 2:38, I would write repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and filled with the Spirit. All three topics are already there. The Thompson Chain Reference Bible is available in several translations, sizes, and...Read More
Choosing a Bible
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