One Bible publishing term that’s become popular lately is “Preaching Bible.” Publishers use this term to refer to a Bible that’s designed specifically for use in the pulpit. These Bibles usually remove tools, such as concordances and maps, that wouldn’t be needed during the sermon. Although they’re labeled as preaching Bibles, and they are great choices for use in the pulpit, they don’t include sermon-related tools and anyone can use them. In this article, we’ll take a look at several preaching Bibles to help you decide if one is right for your needs.
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Table of Contents
- KJV Preaching Bible
- NKJV Preaching Bible
- NIV Preacher’s Bible
- NASB Preacher’s Bible
- ESV Preaching Bible
- NASB Preacher’s Bible
- NASB Handy Size Preacher’s Bible
- CSB Pulpit Bible
- Cambridge KJV Lectern Bible
- TBS Large Print Bible
- ESV Pulpit Bible
KJV Preaching Bible
The KJV Preaching Bible has a double-column, verse-by-verse layout with a dark 11.5 font, line-matching, 36gsm bright white highly opaque paper, and 72,000 cross-references and footnotes with a glossary at the bottom of the page. It’s black-letter. Chapter numbers, verse numbers, and section headings are in blue. It has no other tools in the back. There are 3 ribbons. It weighs 2lbs, 8oz. The overall size is 6.75 x 9.75 x 1.5″. It’s available in brown or black edge-lined calfskin.
Chapter and verse numbers are easy to find quickly. Reference and footnote keys in the text can be a touch distracting and the footnotes and references take a second or two to locate because of their layout. This paper is some of the best I’ve seen and the text has the right amount of line-width and space between the lines for comfortable preaching.
NKJV Preaching Bible
The NKJV Preaching Bible has a double-column, verse-by-verse layout with poetry in stanzas and letters indented. It has a dark 11.5 font with line-matching, highly opaque 36gsm bright white paper, and 72,000 cross-references and footnotes in the footer. This is a black-letter edition. Verse numbers, chapter numbers, and section headings are in blue. There are no other tools. It includes 3 ribbons. It weighs 2lbs, 11.4oz. The overall size is 6.75 x 9.75 x 1.5″. It’s available in brown or black edge-lined calfskin.
Chapter and verse numbers stand out. Reference and footnote keys in the text are large enough to see, but they can be a little distracting. Due to the layout, the footnotes and references take an extra couple of seconds to locate. The paper is some of my favorite for preaching. Line-width and space between the lines are perfect for preaching.
NIV Preacher’s Bible
The NIV Preacher’s Bible is a thinline edition that has a double-column, verse-by-verse layout with poetry set to stanzas. It has a dark 9.5 black-letter font with line-matching, highly opaque 36gsm premium European paper, and footnotes in the footer. Although the layout is different, it matches the NIV Pew Bible to the word on each page. This leaves 1-2″ of space at the bottom of most pages. There are no other tools. It includes 3 ribbons. The overall size is 6 1/2 x 9 7/8 x 1″. It weighs 1 lb, 15.3 oz. Overcast stitching re-enforces the signatures. It’s available in black edge-lined goatskin.
Other than small footnote keys, there are no distractions in the text. The font is among the smallest for preaching Bibles and many will prefer a larger print size. Paper and print quality are excellent for preaching. The thin size makes it great for carry.
NASB Preacher’s Bible
The NASB Preacher’s Bible is a thinline edition. The text is in a double-column, verse-by-verse layout. Poetry set to stanzas and lists are presented as lists. It’s a black-letter edition and has a dark 10 font with line-matching, 36gsm premium European paper, and footnotes in the footer. Section headings and chapter numbers are in red. The layout is slightly different, but it matches the NASB Pew Bible for every word on each page. This leaves some space at the bottom of many pages. In the back are several tools including lists of miracles, parable, perspectives, prayers, and promises. It has 3 ribbons. The overall size is 9 3/4 x 6 3/4 x 1 1/8″ and weighs 2 lbs, 1.8 oz. It’s available in black edge-lined goatskin and includes overcast stitching to re-enforce the signatures.
Other than a few footnote keys, there are no distractions in the text. The print and paper quality are great for preaching, and the thin size makes it great for carry. The red highlights stand out on the page and help when searching for specific section headings.
ESV Preaching Bible
The ESV Preaching Bible is a single-column edition with poetry set to stanzas and a wide outer margin for notes. The paper is 36gsm. It includes a 10-point black-letter Lexicon font. The text has a good amount of space between the lines to improve readability. Verse numbers are larger than the standard for ESV Bibles and include extra space around them to stand out. Footnote keys are the only distraction in the text and they’re small enough to ignore. Footnotes are placed in the footer. It includes maps in the back. The overall size is 6.6 x 9.8 x 1.75 and it weighs 3lbs, 0.7oz. It has two black ribbons. It’s available in edge-lined goatskin and TruTone.
This is an excellent choice for those that prefer a single-column paragraph setting for preaching. The wide margins are great for short notes and references. I found this to be one of the easiest single-column paragraph editions to preach from. It’s also great just for reading or note-taking.
NASB Preacher’s Bible
The NASB Preacher’s Bible was designed by John MacArthur specifically for the pulpit. The 65gsm European paper is ideal for Pigma Microns. It has a wide outer margin for notes. The font is black-letter, 10.5, presented in a single-column, verse-by-verse format printed with line-matching. There are no footnotes, and other than section headings, it has no distractions in the text. It also includes a concordance and 27 pages for notes. The trim size is 7 × 10.125 × 2.5″ and it weighs 5.4lbs. It has 4 ribbons and edge-lined black goatskin leather.
I haven’t seen this one in person, but I’ve heard lots of good feedback about it. It is large and the pages have a touch of glare, but it’s great for preaching and taking notes.
NASB Handy Size Preacher’s Bible
The NASB Handy Size Preacher’s Bible is a smaller version of the regular edition, It has 32GSM, French-milled Bolloré Paper, wide outer margins, and a 9.5-point black-letter text presented in a single-column, verse-by-verse format with line-matching. The text includes section headings, but there are no footnotes or any other distractions in the text. The trim size is 6.5 × 9.75 × 1.5″ and it weighs 2.4lbs. It has 2 Berisfords ribbons, black goatskin leather, and a cowhide liner. Thumb-index is optional.
I haven’t seen this one myself, but it looks like a much easier to use than the original. I think it would be great for preaching and it looks like a better choice for carry, so it can be used for funerals, visitations, weddings, and general use.
CSB Pulpit Bible
The CSB Pulpit Bible was designed with pulpit use in mind. It includes a 16-point, red-letter, font in a double-column paragraph format. Cross-references are placed at the end of paragraphs. Section headings are included in the text and footnotes are placed in the footer. It has a concordance in the back. It has 2 ribbons. The trim size is 8.1 x 11.1 x 2.4″ and it weighs 5 lbs. The cover is leather-over-board goatskin.
I haven’t seen this one in person, but it looks like a good choice. The photos seem to have increased the contrast in order to show the red-letter, which makes the paper whiter and more opaque than it would in real life. This leads me to believe the font is about a medium in darkness, but that’s just a guess.
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KJV Lectern Bible
The Cambridge KJV Lectern Bible was made for use in the lectern and pulpit. It has a double-column, verse-by-verse, setting with center-column references. The font is 12-point, black letter. Print is dark and, even though it has footnote and reference keys in the text, it’s exceptionally easy to read from behind the pulpit. It’s printed on 100gsm paper. It has 3 ribbons. The overall size is 12.0 X 9.5 X 3.5″ and it weighs 10 lbs, 12.8 oz. The cover is goatskin-over-board. It’s available in burgundy or black with and without the Apocrypha.
It’s an extra-large Bible, but it’s also one of the best Bibles I’ve ever preached from. The text has extra space so it never feels crowded. The paper has almost no show-through and it’s easy to grab and turn. It does feel like a beast on the pulpit, but it’s worth it. Due to the heavy-duty materials, it is expensive, though.
TBS Large Print Bible
The TBS Large Print Bible is a KJV that was designed for personal and pulpit use. Its text is a 15.5 font in black-letter presented in double-column, verse-by-verse format. This text is dark and readable. It has no distractions in the text and no other tools. The paper is 34gsm and it’s decently opaque. Trim size is 10.7 x 8.5 x 1.2″. It does not include a ribbon. The cover is a dark blue vinyl.
This Bible is excellent for pulpit use if you can get used to the large footprint. It’s not an elegant cover, but it does bring the price down and it’s a great choice for a rebind if you like an extra-large thinline. It’s an excellent choice for under $40.
ESV Pulpit Bible
The ESV Pulpit Bible is an enlarged version of the thinline. It also matches the ESV Pew Bible. The text is presented in double-column, paragraph format with poetry set to stanzas. The font is 12-point Lexicon in black-letter, with the only distractions being section headings and footnote keys. They’re easy to ignore while preaching. Footnotes are placed in the footer. It has a list of 65 topics with responsive readings in the back. The paper is 80gsm. It’s extremely opaque and it’s ivory in color. It has 3 ribbons. The overall size is 9 3/4 x 13 1/8 x 3″ and it weighs 9 lbs, 11.6 oz. The cover is cowhide-over-board.
I enjoyed preaching from this one. Verse numbers are large enough that they weren’t too difficult to find quickly. Pages are easy to grab and turn. Show-through is almost non-existent. It does feel like an extra-large Bible. Matching the thinline and Pew Bibles make for an excellent carry and preaching combo. Due to the materials and construction used, it is an expensive Bible.
That’s our look at the most popular preaching Bibles designed for pulpit use. There are a lot of good preaching Bibles to choose from. Of course, just about any Bible can be used for preaching, but these were designed with preaching in mind. However, they’re not limited to preaching and they can be used by anyone.
We want to hear from you. Do you use one of these preaching Bibles? Let us know in the comments.