Finding A Bible
Choosing a paper Bible is a daunting task!
Choosing a Translation
First of all, there is the task of choosing a translation. There are three types. 1. Literal: these versions try and mimic the original languages the Bible is based on. They are not actually literal or you could not read them, but they are close. Examples: NASB, ESV, RSV and NKJV. 2. Dynamic: equivalents which are very accurate and more readable. Examples: NIV, NLT. 3. Paraphrases: which are very readable and less accurate. Examples: The Living Bible and the Message.
You can’t buy a bad translation if you go to a Christian bookstore. They are all very good. My favorite is the NIV because it is gender sensitive and translated by a community that was fairly diverse.
Deciding on a Cover
The second issue is choosing a cover. Hardback? Synthetic? Leather? The choice is mainly based on tastes and budget, unless, you want it to last a long time. If you want it to last you need to look at several things. One, is the binding sewn or glued? If glued it will tear over time. Two, is the inside lining leather, synthetic or paper? If it is paper, again it will tear and your bible will fall apart over time. Three, if you want a cover that will last synthetics are the worst, bonded leather the second worse, hardbacks are in the middle, then genuine leather (pigskin), calfskin, and at the top of the list goatskin.
The third issue is choosing a font size. The worse your eyes are, the bigger the font you will need.
Here is the bad news. If you want a Bible that will last a long time, you will have to pay for it. Also, I don’t know of a single Bible company in the US that makes top quality bibles anymore. If you want a Bible that will last, three companies stand above the rest. R.L. Allan, Cambridge and Schuyler. They are all based in Europe. Their Bible’s are top notch, but they will cost you $100 and up.
At the end of the day what matters is that we read our Bible’s not what kind we own. But it is nice to have some idea of where to start when you decide it is time to go old school and get a new paper Bible.