It’s time for our annual 12 Bibles for Christmas (here’s last year’s list), where we list 12 of our favorite Bibles of the year (most were reviewed this year or will be) and provide ideas for your Christmas list. Most of these were reviewed this year. Those that I haven’t reviewed I’ve seen in one form or another and I liked what I saw. Many of them set standards for Bible design. Most of the Bibles this year focus on readability. There’s something here in just about every price range.



The Cambridge Clarion sets the standard in design. I love it’s overall size, font, single column paragraph layout with poetry set to stanzas, outer column references (which can help you find the verse numbers), translator’s footnotes, and maps. The verse numbers are there, but they stay out of the way without hindering readability. It includes 2 ribbons.

It’s available in KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, and NIV. Covers include calf split, brown calfskin with art gilt (not available in NIV), and black goatskin with art gilt.

Buy from Amazon,


Pitt Minion


Cambridge’s Pitt Minion is a complete reference Bible in double column paragraph format in a handy size. It includes a 6.75 font, center-column references with translator’s footnotes, red letter, concordance, and maps. Depending on the edition you get it will have 1 or 2 ribbons. The Pitt Minion is an excellent choice for carry if you can read the small print.

It’s available in KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, NIV, and NLT and in calfsplit and goatskin with paste-down liner and art gilt.

Buy from Amazon


Compact Westminster


The TBS Westminster is a double column verse-by-verse KJV with a clean modern font. It includes 200,000 cross references in the margins near the verses they correspond to. It also includes translator’s footnotes, chapter summaries, updated words in the margin, several tables of weights and measures, pronunciation index, concordance, daily reading plan, and maps. It includes 4 ribbons. The Compact Westminster might not be in available in time for Christmas, but it’s worth the wait.

It’s available in soft cover, hard cover, calfskin, calfskin with metrical Psalms, and two special editions celebrating the reformation. Here’s a sneak peak.

It’s available in KJV.

Buy from TBS (image from TBS)




Cambridge’s Transetto takes Bible design in a different direction. Literally. It’s turned 90 degrees, creating a single page in two columns. The text has no verse or paragraph breaks. The small font is highly readable and the compact design is highly portable. It’s a sewn binding with a card cover. It sells for $15 or less, making it a great stocking-stuffer.

It’s available in KJV.

Buy from Amazon,


Schuyler NKJV Quentel (71)

Schuyler’s Quentel series has a large print 11-point Milo font in 2 column paragraph format. It has 36gsm paper, references and footnotes are placed in the footer, concordance, maps. Everything about it, layout, font design, cover, ribbons, paper, was designed to set higher standards of elegance.

It’s available in NASB, ESV, and NKJV

Buy from EvangelicalBible



The Schuyler Canterbury is a KJV with construction like their Quentel series. It includes the 11 point Milo font, 36gsm paper, double column verse-by-verse format with Psalms in single column. It has decorative drop caps, section headings within the text, references in the footer, concordance, note paper, and maps.

It’s available in edge-lined goatskin and paste-down calfskin. Both come in multiple colors.

It’s available in KJV.

Buy from EvangelicalBible (image from EB)


ESV 6 Volume Reader’s Set


Crossway’s 6 Volume Reader’s Set is a hard cover Bible set that removes all the extras to create a sharp single column reading Bible. There are no verse numbers, chapter numbers, references, or footnotes to get in the way. Headings are used sparingly and where appropriate. The thick paper helps make this a high quality book set. It includes a slip case that holds all 6 volumes.

It’s available in ESV.

Buy from Amazon,


Holman Reader’s Bible


Holman’s Reader’s Bibles are based on the Crossway ESV Reader’s Edition. They remove the chapter and verse numbers to create a highly readable Bible in a single volume. They have a black letter 9-point black font in single column paragraph format.

It’s available in KJV and NKJV in hard cover.

Buy from Amazon


Holman Reader’s Reference Bible


Holman’s Reader’s Reference Bible is a design by 2k?Denmark that places complete references (not just the verse numbers) on the page next to the verses they correspond to. It’s a single-column setting in black letter.

It’s available in NKJV in hard cover

Buy from Amazon,


LCBP Paragraph Bible

LCBP Paragraph BIble (8)

The LCBP Paragraph Bible is a single volume reprint of a three volume Cambridge reader’s edition that’s now out of print. It doesn’t place verse numbers in the text. Instead they’re placed at the beginning to the paragraphs. It has an 11 point font that’s highly readable. Artworks is placed throughout the text. It has an edge-lined calfskin cover and 2 ribbons.

It’s available in KJV.

Buy from Local Church Bible Publishers


ESV Thompson Chain Reference


The popular Thompson Chain Reference in ESV. This is a topical study Bible that lets Scripture interpret Scripture and is mostly influence-free. It includes the 2016 text, the marginal chain references, topical index, topical back matter, concordance, maps, etc. It’s scheduled for release on December 1 (UPDATE – It’s now been pushed back to February 2017) and is available for pre-order.

Buy from ChristianBook (image are test sheets from ICRS)

ESV Personal Reference

Crossway’s ESV Personal Reference Bible (24)

Crossway’s ESV Personal Reference is a handy size Bible with a footprint similar to the Pitt Minion and slightly thicker. It has a single column format with poetry in stanzas, 7.5 font, references in the inner margin, footnotes in the footer, and a nice concordance.

It’s available in ESV

Buy from Amazon

Final Thoughts

That’s 12 Bibles that I think would make great Christmas gifts.

What would you add to this list?