It’s time for our 12 Bibles for Christmas 2017. This was a good year for Bible publishing. We saw a lot of reader’s editions, new designs that focus on readability of the typeface, higher quality paper, and an overall focus on the text. Even Study Bibles are starting to become more focused on a specific purpose rather than trying to include everything.
Continuing our tradition, the Bibles in this list are those that I have reviewed this year. I’ve reviewed a few older editions that I wanted to include, which means there are too many to limit the list to 12. I’ve added them as a bonus at the end. I’m only including Bibles that I have personally seen or those that I’m familiar enough with to recommend. The Bibles are in no particular order.
See last year’s list here: 12 Bibles for Christmas 2016
1. KJV Comfort Print Thinline Large Print
Thomas Nelson commissioned 2K/Denmark to design this typeface. The section headings help break up the text into smaller portions, which is helpful for both reading and preaching. It’s thin and light, making it great for carry and holding, but the paper and doesn’t suffer because of it. The typeface and paper make this text-only KJV a great choice for reading, carry, and preaching.
2. KJV Canterbury
Between the paper quality, typeface, readability, and calfskin that lays completely open, the Schuyler Canterbury is a beautiful Bible. 2K/Demark’s design along with Jongbloed’s production has created one of the sharpest KJV’s available. It includes 55,000 cross references, section headings, ornamental drop-caps, a glossary, and more. The Schuyler Canterbury in calfskin is a excellent choice for anyone looking for a large print KJV with highest quality paper and print in an affordable price-point.
3. CSB Readers Bible
The Holman’s CSB Reader’s Bible is a joy to read for long periods of time. The overall size and dimensions just right, and the typeface and layout design are optimal for readability. The paper is thick enough to reduce show-through, but thin enough to keep the text-block thickness manageable. It also includes maps, which is great for those of us that enjoy looking at the maps to get a better picture of the setting. This edition uses 2K/Denmark‘s Bible Serif typeface. I highly recommend the CSB Reader’s Bible to every CSB fan.
4. CSB She Reads Truth
The CSB She Reads Truth Bible is an excellent women’s devotional/study Bible. The focus is on reading and applying God’s Word, and developing a love for it. The typeface is 2K/Denmark’s Bible Serif and is highly readable.The devotions aren’t as theological-based as a standard Study Bible. This would make an excellent gift for any woman interested in spending time with God’s Word. It comes in a variety of covers.
5. CSB Spurgeon Study Bible
Holman’s CSB Spurgeon Study Bible is one of the most interesting study Bibles that I’ve seen. I love the paper and print. The design is beautiful. It’s uses the Bible Serif typeface from 2K/Denmark. It looks like a Quentel with study notes. Verse numbers are in green, which makes them both easy to find and easy to ignore. It doesn’t include word studies, topical lists, theological articles, or cross references. Instead, it provides Spurgeon’s teachings along with the Scriptures, which is great for reading along with your study and for reading as a devotional.
6. CSB Pastor’s Bible
The CSB Pastor’s Bible is an excellent Bible for reading and preaching. It has very few distractions within the text and the verses are easy to find. The pastor’s helps are especially good for those new to ministry. I can recommend this Bible to those not in ministry because the single-column paragraph layout in large print using 2K/Denmark’s Bible Serif typeface is such an amazing design.
7. NIV Sola Scriptura
NIV Sola Scriptura is a four-volume set that presents Scripture in an elegant readable format. Like any good reader’s edition, it removes numbers, letters, and bad formatting getting in the way of our comprehension of the Bible. It’s different from other reader’s editions in the way it presents the order of the biblical books. It presents them in a way that makes sense when you consider literary forms. The books are made well and the layout is beautiful. It has super thick paper and the typeface and word-count density are perfect.
8. NIV Readers Bible
The NIV Reader’s Bible is different in that it includes the footnotes at the end of each book. The footnote keys are placed within the text but they are easy to ignore. The chapter numbers are placed in the margin and help you keep track of where you are without creating unnatural breaks. It does have breaks for separating thoughts. It shows the chapters and verses in the header so you can know where you are within the text. Books are placed in standard biblical order. NIV fans will enjoy reading from the NIV Reader’s Bible.
9. Personal Size Quentel
I haven’t seen this one in person, but I am familiar enough with the Quentel series and the paper to recommend this Bible. It has a double-column format in paragraph with an 8.5 Milo font in a personal size edition similar in size to the Clarion. To help keep the size down they’ve removed the concordance and used 28gsm paper. It’s available in calfskin and edge-lined goatskin. (Image from EvangelicalBible.com)
10. ESV Global Impact Bible
The Global Impact Bible is a unique Study Bible. It’s purpose is to show the magnitude of influence the Bible has had on the world. It has lots of articles and quotes that demonstrate the Bible’s influence on society and history. It is an excellent choice for those who want a Study Bible with information that’s not focused on theology.
11. ESV Thompson Chain Reference
The Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible provides tools to allow Scripture to interpret Scripture and help you do your own study. The ESV edition improves on just about every point of the Thompson system. It has cleaner maps and charts, the ESV concordance, a cleaner numerical index, redrawn charts, and the typesetting was widened to add to readability. It has the same updated marginal notes as the NKJV. The ESV text is presented in paragraph format.
12. NLT Immerse
The goal of Immerse was to make the most readable Bible possible. It improves readability through visual design by removing all of the clutter. In other words there are no chapter numbers, verse numbers, footnotes, or section headings to get in the way of readability. It improves readability by using spaces and asterisks to create visual queues. It’s available in paperback in 6-volumes.
Bonus: Devotional – Daily Light Slimline Edition
Daily Light Slimline Edition from TBS is an interesting devotional that creates devotions from Scripture. The Bible is its own best devotional and this keeps man’s opinion and thoughts out of the way. The Bible is always my first choice for reading, so having a devotional that’s just Scripture is best my reading style. It includes devotionals on specific themes and contains a reading plan. Daily Light Slimline Edition from TBS is my favorite devotional.
Bonus: Older Editions
These are a few older editions that I reviewed in 2017 and loved so much that I couldn’t leave them off the list.
1. KJV New Cambridge Paragraph Bible
The NCPB has the most readable layout of any KJV. The calfskin is soft and flexible and I love the overall size. The font is clean and decently dark. The NCPB is very close to a reader’s edition. The NCPB stands alone in KJV Bible design. I recommend it to every KJV reader – especially those that are used to modern layouts but are new to the KJV.
2. NKJV Pitt Minion
Even though it’s small, the Cambridge NKJV Pitt Minion Reference Bible is a complete reference edition including concordance and maps. It’s excellent for personal study, reading, and carry. It’s a good choice for preaching if you’re used to preaching from smaller fonts. It’s easy to carry, designed well, and made to last, and doesn’t sacrifice features. Both calf-split or goatskin are high quality and should last for many years.
Well that’s my 12 + 2 Bibles + 1 devotional for Christmas 2017. I’m enjoying the new trend of reader’s editions and the Bible Serif typeface. Bibles are starting to be more focused on the text and are becoming more readable. Even study editions are finding ways to reduce the clutter. This is a great time for Bible publishing.
What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.