Study Bibles and Reading Bibles

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Mr. Bultitude

Puritan Board Freshman
I've heard it said that it's good to have one translation that you read for devotional purposes, and another translation to consult when you do in-depth study. Do you agree with that, or is it better to have one translation for both purposes? If you do think it's good to have two translations for distinct purposes, then which use does memorization fall under?
 

AndrewOfCymru

Puritan Board Freshman
I like to keep it simple and have one main translation for devotional, study and memorization. That said, if I were doing an in-depth study, I would certainly use other translations for comparison and contrast purposes.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
I tend to use the Authorised Version in most cases, as I generally find it the best translation available. I also make comparison to the Young's Literal Translation (and less frequently, NKJV and Geneva) when studying, but I tend to use one translation for reading and memorizing across purposes.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I disagree with Jacob. Most of the guys I know who have in-depth knowledge of the original languages tend to get mired down with context and other issues when trying to define the meanings of words. They love reading their Greek and Hebrew if they know them. A lot of issues arise for those of us who don't have a grasp on the original languages that can be confusing. Then we stumble upon the issue of manuscripts and variants. I tend to trust the translators of solid translations. I think we all should trust the translators and their solid work in translation of God's Word. Variants have to deal with Manuscripts and historicity. But the Translator's are men who are worthy and should be trusted in my estimation. God's word is to be received and understood. That is the goal. These men who have worked to that end are recognized in their field of work and labor.


I use the KJV and some supposedly Literal Translations for reference. I am down to using the KJV and ESV for daily reading. The ASV, Revised Version, and NASB are good Formal Equivalence translations I refer to for comparison against the KJV, NKJV, Young's Literal, J. P. Green's Literal and Modern KJV for study. I use the KJV and ESV for my daily reading and most of my references in correspondence. I trust the KJV the most.
 

Cymro

Puritan Board Junior
I stick to the KJV always, but sometimes check with one or two others
if I am unclear in my mind over a phrase.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
KJV, ESV, ASV 1901, NKJV, NASB, 1984 NIV in that order. As far as study Bibles, with loads of textual notes, I often refer to the MacArthur in a NKJV, or the huge ESV study Bible. The Reformation Study Bible, edited by RC Sproul in NKJV has good notes too, but not as voluminous as the other two.

I've been delving into the study of Koine and it is a formidable task. Finally memorized the alphabet and can sound out words and have begun memorization. I've read that it can take 10 to 12 years to become a really fluent reader of Greek. I'm using Mounce's Greek For The Rest Of Us right now, along with a few other grammars and primers.

For a good example of how complex interpreting Koine can be, even for obviously advanced students, check out this link here on Textkit.
 

MusicMan

Puritan Board Freshman
NASB, ESV, KJV, NKJV are my study versions. My fave is the 1977 NASB I've had for decades and filled with notes. I am enjoying the HCSB more than I thought I would as a devotional Bible.

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Jash Comstock

Puritan Board Freshman
I tend to stick with the ESV for all purposes. If you have a good Strongs concordance, you've got all you need with one translation!
 

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
I use the AV with a chain reference system (Thompson and more recently Westminster) for study and devotional reading.


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Free Christian

Puritan Board Sophomore
I use the KJV, with things im not sure about I look up in my Mathew Henry, either my book or computer version of it.
 

Jonah

Puritan Board Freshman
I've heard it said that it's good to have one translation that you read for devotional purposes, and another translation to consult when you do in-depth study. Do you agree with that, or is it better to have one translation for both purposes? If you do think it's good to have two translations for distinct purposes, then which use does memorization fall under?
I am a big tool worshiper. I love kitchen knives, expensive screwdrivers and wrenches, wood planes (yes wood planes in particular!). And I never really even used my wood-planes anymore than for just very basic tasks, and in rather an amateurish way. I think this is idolatry, even as far as woodworking is considered - I put the plane before the woodwork. I also love books, and methods. I love charts a lot. And dictionaries. I have a beautiful Kind James Cambridge Bible, and I have special library pens that I can use on its thin dainty paper without defiling it. I even did it at one time quite extensively. Now there is nothing wrong with my planes, tools, bibles, pens, and methods. There is nothing wrong with asking around about the best programing language to start with, the best course on biblical Greek, the most scholarly and deeply reformed commentary on Micah. Boy do I love it! But just as well I am also quite bothered by it, and can't find a simple answer.
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."
 
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Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
It helps me to do most of my devoltional reading in the same translation I use for most of my teaching and writing, which tends to require deeper study. Sticking mostly to one translation helps with familiarity, which for me makes handling the Bible easier all around. That said, when I need to study a passage deeply I usually consult more than one translation, plus reference works.
 

Jonah

Puritan Board Freshman
I often refer to the MacArthur in a NKJV, or the huge ESV study Bible.
I think about acquiring ESV bible for kindle. My pastor said that ESV is a great and probably most comprehensive study Bible available. What do you think, gentlemen?
 

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
I have the ESV Study Bible for Kindle. It works well and you can try a sample to see if you like it. I'm not sure if it's the "best" study Bible out there, but I have found some of its notes to be helpful at explaining things.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
I often refer to the MacArthur in a NKJV, or the huge ESV study Bible.
I think about acquiring ESV bible for kindle. My pastor said that ESV is a great and probably most comprehensive study Bible available. What do you think, gentlemen?
It's pretty extensive for certain. In addition to problems with the ESV and its underlying manuscripts, I would warn that the ESV Study Bible is certainly not consistently reformed. There are some reformed men who worked on it, alongside Baptists, Pentecostals, Anglicans, and so on.
 

Jonah

Puritan Board Freshman
It works well and you can try a sample to see if you like it. I'm not sure if it's the "best" study Bible out there, but I have found some of its notes to be helpful at explaining things.
How is the navigation? What is your favorite study Bible? Thanks.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
How is the navigation? What is your favorite study Bible? Thanks.
Navigation is good (I use the go-to menu to navigate to a book and the first thing you see is a chapter selection page). I can navigate nearly as fast as a hard copy. I think with the latest Kindle update the footnotes now appear as an overlay on your current page (sort of like the dictionary window), which is a pretty nice feature (as opposed to navigating to the "footnotes" section).

I don't really have a favorites study Bible. Usually I just read plain-text Bibles and if I really want to study will pull out some commentaries. I used a MacArthur Study Bible for years though and profited greatly from it. Jimmy sounds more like the study-Bible guru so hopefully he'll chime in :)
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Jay, by the way.. the only study Bible that's out now that I would recommend is the Matthew Henry Study Bible. I personally just have the Matthew Henry complete commentaries available when I want to reference them, but this greatly reduced format could be helpful.
 
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