Saying you need a Bible for a Bible study sounds a bit silly, except that I attended My First Women’s Bible Study without one. It gave me the opportunity to fill my thought closet with words of incompetence and I went on a shopping spree for the “perfect Bible.”
My Bible purchase began with a phone call to my older sister, a Christ-walking Bible carrying woman. I knew she would have the answer since she’s friends with our pastor, and she did. My sister told me Pastor Steve recommends the “Life Application Bible“ and even suggested that I would prefer the “large print” version. I wrote this down on paper and drove 30 minutes to the closest Christian Bookstore.
With my slip of paper, I asked the salesperson at the Christian Bookstore to locate the Large Print Life Application Bible. As a new Believer, I was full of pride knowing I could describe the Bible I wanted! There were at least 200 different Bible choices at this store, all sitting behind the counter of the salesperson’s register. If you wanted to buy a Bible, you were required to ask for a Bible.
My salesperson looked me in the eye and said “Which translation?” I thought about this, then said “You know, the Life Application One.”
She replied, “NIV, KJV, or another?”
Okay, I was feeling silly again. I did not research this (translation, I did not ask my big sister which translation I needed). Thus ensued a lengthy conversation with the Bible salesperson as she explained the benefits of the translations. Eventually I selected the NIV New International Version translation.
Once I selected the Bible translation, and the Life Application Large Print Bible, I found a slight problem: the Bible was too heavy! It was so heavy, that I could not carry it to church. I couldn’t hold my Starbucks coffee or hold the hand of my young child, so she would not disappear in a crowd of 5,000 people! It was not convenient for Sunday church, so eventually I purchased a “thinline” Bible to place inside my handbag and carry to church.
Another mistake I made with my purchase was the Bible translation. My pastor and the leader of my Women’s Bible Study both use the King James Version. Sitting in church with my personal Bible on my lap, I read a different translation than Pastor Steve and lost my focus. Now I leave my heavy Large print Life Application NIV Bible and my Thinline NIV Handbag Bible at home, and use one of the church provided KJV Bibles with the old smelly papers, tiny print and red ink. Hey, at least I’m in the same translation when the Pastor speaks! I have the Bible Gateway phone app…and I’ve started using that, but it distracts me to have my phone turned on while in Church,
At home and for Bible study, I continue to use my own Bible. This large print application Bible has become as common to me as my daily cup of coffee. Each morning in study, I sit with the words of truth and study the Bible.
Stasia Nielsen, Womens Bible Cafe™ Leader says this: As a missionary, we have traveled the world endeavoring to get the Word of God into the hands of those who do not have the great privileges we have here in modern society. I know one missionary, who while in prison in China, had but one page of Philippians that they kept crumpled in their clothing. He memorized it, and when he was beaten he would repeat the words over and over in comfort. He was eventually released. His story inspired me to memorize that book of the Bible. As a new Christian, I read King James Version as I felt it was closest to the original. As a new missionary, I chose the NIV because it was easier to read, and memorize and share with others. More recently I chose the New King James Version, because again it is the closest to the original without the old language that can be hard to understand from the King James Version.
My recommendation for your Bible purchase is to find one that works best for you. Go to the Christian Bookstore and discover the vast selection that awaits your purchase. Savor the different sizes, weights, leather colors and translations.
Once you select the Bible you like, have fun shopping for the perfect “Bible Cover.” Apparently they come in different sizes! They’re like shoes- you have to try them on your bible for the perfect fit! Find what Bible you’re comfortable with and then use it until it wears out….
These Are the Bibles I’m Using Today
Note: The KeyWord Bible is very difficult to use. I carry the thinline Bible to church in the translation my pastor reads from. The print is super tiny, though the Bible does fit in my purse.
Key Word Bible
Spirit Filled Bible
Inductive Study Bible
Jeremiah Study Bible