Ask Bible Buying Guide: NKJV Study Bible Comparison

Lewis asked to see a comparison of the Thomas Nelson Full Color NKJV Study Bible and the Holman Full Color Study Bible NKJV Edition. Both Bibles have a lot of material and benefits. Both have lots of commentary and articles, book introductions, center-column references, in-text maps and charts, etc.

The Thomas Nelson has word studies with Strong’s numbers and definitions, 100 short articles at the bottom of the page, several tables in the back, a topical index, etc. You can see the review here: Thomas Nelson NKJV Study Bible – Review

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The Holman has 21 full-page articles. 15,000 study notes, reading plans, a concordance with topical information, etc. You can see the review here: Holman NKJV Study Bible – Review

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About The Author

Randy A Brown

WordPress writer by day, Bible reviewer by night, pastor all the time. And there's also that author thing.


  1. Alexander thomson

    Thank you for this comparison and for the two individual reviews.
    I would have five comments.
    1. It is getting difficult to choose between competing Study Bibles, even those of the same translation! I am thinking towards getting several, but then deciding which is best for me, and then selling or donating the one(s) not going to be retained.
    2. The greater part of these Bibles is the text – fine, if the Study Bible is one’s only copy of the text; but unnecessary and expensive if one already has the text. Would academics lose kudos or publishers profit, if we had Study Notes?
    3. In conversation with even unbelievers who are literary persons, I find that they are actually quite horrified at the design of Study Bibles. They would rarely, if ever, produce similar editions of their own favourite books. They would rather see Bibles with a page of clear text , perhaps with. a margin or margins for variant readings, alternative translations of words and phrases, textual cross-references, topical or thematic references, etc.. Then, on the opposite page, we could have the more extensive and discursive matters, with some room for personal annotations, an option considered essential in editions designed for study of a text.
    4. Just as the literary world would take care to keep a poem on the same page, so should psalms and the like not be divided over two pages, and even a logical paraagraph should be set in the same page. We need a radical overhaul of the way we present a page of Bible text.
    5. In the case of so large a book as the Bible, we should be publishing a study or desk Bible in A4 size, keeping smaller sizes for portability etc.. Now, of course, we can accommodate an interleaved or loose leaf edition, much more useful to the serious student.

    Sorry to go on so much; but I can only say that I do discuss these matters with interested believers and unbelievers; and I find that there is astonishment among non-Biblical literary academics that our Study Bibles are so constricted in design. Thete is a general consensus that we need to go back to the drawing board!

    • Randy A Brown

      I agree. Study Bible designs are busy. I like the latest trend of focusing just on one thing, like the Spurgeon (to an extent) and the Story of Redemption study Bible. Instead of trying to give you everything possible, they give you the main purpose of that particular Bible. I also like having the tools in a separate volume so they can be used with any Bible.

    • Prentiss Yeates

      For what it’s worth, some study bibles are designed with the translation team in mind. The Nelson NKJV study bible, was developed long ago with the notes from the translation team. I have both, my copy of the Nelson Nkjv is 20 plus years and will be replaced by the brown calfskin leather being offered this coming month. I’ve seen a photo of the final copy and can’t wait. The Spurgeon study bible is really built for the reader to add to their own study, that and it’s probably the best built bible on the mass market bible shelf.

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