Best Study Bibles for Preachers and Pastors
Most Preachers and Pastors use basic Bibles for preaching and teaching, but study Bibles are a great resource for sermon and classroom preparation, and counseling duties that Ministers often face… and they can make great preaching Bibles. Here is a list of study Bibles that I find the most useful for these tasks. As always, I cannot give a blanket recommendation on the accuracy of study notes as they all have a bias (even mine would have a bias). I still find them to be great resources. They’re in no particular order.
NOTE- this has become our most popular article. It was originally meant to provide a short list, but due to its popularity we’ve decided to add to it and expand the information. Please be patient as we perform these updates.
Thompson Chain Reference (KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV)
Rather than commentary, the Thompson Chain Reference has topical chains that run throughout the Bible. It also has topical lists in the back and an archaeological supplement. I consider it a ‘study Bible’ and not a ‘commentary Bible’ or ‘study Bible with commentary notes’. It still has lots of useful study tools.
Editions to be added
Word Study Bible
Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
Zondervan NIV Study Bible
Study Bible Alternatives – Reference Editions
These Bibles are excellent alternatives to Study Bibles. They provide reference tools and are great for study, carry, and ministry.
R.L. Allan Longprimer (KJV)
The Longprimer has a great 37-page subject index in the back that I’ve found useful for writing and sermon prep. It has a 10-point font and is a contender for my favorite Bible of all time.
Click here for full review: R.L. Allan Longprimer (KJV)
Click here to buy from Bibles-Direct.com
Click here to buy from EvangelicalBible.com
Cambridge Concord (KJV)
The Concord has a 128-page Bible dictionary that I’ve used many times for looking up something when I’m out somewhere. It also has a glossary of words that have changed meaning or are no longer in use. It’s the perfect size for my hands and for carry. It has an 8-point font that nice and bold.
Click here for full review: Cambridge Concord (KJV)
Click here to buy from Amazon: Cambridge Concord
Click here to buy from EvangelicalBible: Cambridge Concord
Foundation Topical Reference (NASB)
This one has a topical index with 255 pages and 20,000 topics, and a 210-page dictionary/concordance/thesaurus. It’s about a mid-size Bible with an 8-point font that’s sharp and readable.
Click here for full review: Foundation Topical Reference (NASB)
Buy from Amazon: NASB Topical Reference
Cambridge Clarion Series
The KJV edition of the Clarion has a combination concordance/dictionary called the Reader’s Companion. It works better as a dictionary than a concordance because it doesn’t give you any snippets of the verses, so you just have to go look them up to see if they’re what you’re looking for. I would still rather have it than just a concordance. This is about my favorite size and layout. I wish it had the section headings and layout of the NKJV edition but it’s still one of the best KJV’s available and the Reader’s Companion is good to have for study and sermon prep. It has 8.75 font and line-matching. The paragraph format is my favorite for reading. The paper could be more opaque, but the line-matching helps readability.
Click here for full reviews:
Click here to buy from Amazon: Cambridge Clarion
Click here to buy from EvangelicalBible: Cambridge Clarion
Cambridge Pitt Minion Series
The 2nd edition KJV Pitt Minion has the same Reader’s Companion as the Clarion. With a 6.75 font it might not be my first choice for study and sermon prep, but it’s a great choice for carry.
Click here for full reviews:
Click here to buy from Amazon: Cambridge Pitt Minion
Click here to buy from EvangelicalBible: Cambridge Pitt Minion
R.L. Allan Brevier Clarendon (KJV)
The Clarendon has a 324-page cyclopedic concordance that’s great for looking up something and finding it fast.It’s a combination topical index, dictionary, and concordance. There is a lot of archaeological information as well. This is a small hand-size Bible but still has an 8-point font.
Click here for full review: R.L. Allan Brevier Clarendon (KJV)
Click here to buy from Bibles-Direct: Brevier Clarendon in Brown Vachetta Calfskin
Compact Minister’s Bible
No Longer in Print
These Bibles are no longer in print but if you can find them they’re worth considering. Some may be available in digital form.
Archaeological Study Bible (NIV, KJV)
This is my favorite study Bible. Rather than notes on Theology, its notes are on history. It does a great job of proving the accuracy and inerrancy of Scripture. 520 articles, 500 color photos, cultural facts, archaeological notes.
Hendrickson Minister’s Bible (KJV, NKJV, NIV)
This one doesn’t have any commentary in the text. Instead, it has Minister’s helps in the back. It has several articles on key Ministerial duties such as funerals (I used it for this), grief counseling, weddings, etc. It’s now out of print and might be difficult to find.
Did we miss your favorite? Is there something you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments.