The 10 Best Study Bibles to Buy in 2018

Compare Features of Today's Top Publications

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Are you in the market to purchase a new Study Bible, but not sure which one is the best one for you? With dozens to choose from, the decision may seem overwhelming. Almost all study Bibles are what's known as "application" bibles, which feature commentary, character studies, maps, charts, and detailed book introductions designed to help you apply Biblical principles in practical ways. Many also serve as "quest" study Bibles, which are designed to help you find within its pages the answers to some of life's most pressing questions. Here are 10 Bibles we consider to be among the best Bibles to help you both apply God's word and delve deeper into its meaning at an intellectual and spiritual level.

The ESV Study Bible, released in October 2008, has received tremendous praise. Bible teachers and scholars like John Piper, Mark Driscoll, R. Albert Mohler Jr., and R. Kent Hughes endorse this study Bible version of the English Standard Bible. In March 2009, the ESV Study Bible became the first Bible ever to win the Christian Book of the Year Award by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA). Selling out as soon as it reached bookstores, it also took the prize for best Bible. 

The Life Application Study Bible helps readers understand God’s Word as they read, and it teaches them how to apply it to the problems and questions that arise in daily life, whether in one's job or in one's relationships. The study notes are at the bottom of each page, so you don’t have to search for them. The Life Application Study Bible comes in several popular translations, including NIV, NLT, NASB, KJV.

The Quest Study Bible is designed for readers with unanswered questions and for those who want to dive deeper into their religious study. With articles and resources from today's most trusted scholars, you'll find answers to hundreds of popular and challenging topics. It also includes helpful sidebar notes that bring clarity to confusing passages. Book introductions identify themes, characters, and events. Whether you are a new believer or a seasoned Christian, the Quest Study Bible will give you the tools to intensify your understanding of God's Word.

The New Living Translation is incredibly clear and easy to grasp, making it not only informative but also fun to read. If one of your goals is to eventually comprehend the Bible as a complete, unified work, the NLT's comprehensive book introductions and master timeline will definitely help you progress in this area.

The concept behind the Compass Bible is just as the title implies. It was designed to help people connect with God by pointing them in the right direction and revealing how they fit into God's story. Compass is written in what's known as the Voice translation, a mix of "word-for-word" and "thought-for-thought" translation approaches. Especially enjoyable is its translation of Revelation, one of the more difficult of the Bible's books. Compass would make a great gift for a new believer, a seeker, or anyone who wants to take a fresh and meaningful journey through the Scriptures.

The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible has a unique reference system that allows readers to follow any subject, person, place, or idea, from the beginning of the Bible to the end. It may be one of the best topical study tools ever put together. It’s especially handy for teachers who need to prepare their own Bible study lessons. Handcrafted and durable, it's perfect for those who really use their Bible.

The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible is great for Bible school or seminary students who don't have time to learn Greek and Hebrew. It will help you unlock the extensive vocabulary and elaborate structure of the original Hebrew and Greek languages. Features include Strong's Concordance numbers, exegetical notes, lexical aids, and much more.

The Starting Point Study Bible is an excellent Bible for new believers or believers who have recently rededicated their lives to Christ and need to make a fresh start. This Bible will help you begin (or jumpstart) your journey with Christ by teaching you how to build the proper foundation of faith. It will also help you apply biblical truth to your daily life.

Do you like to compare text from different versions of the Bible? The Comparative Study Bible brings together four major translations—the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible, the Amplified Bible, and the King James Version. The double-column, two-page spread layout allows you to easily read and compare the text in all four versions.

The Amplified Bible is another great Bible for those wanting to understand the meaning of Scripture in the original Greek and Hebrew languages. No need to study or dig for those rich nuances found in the original biblical languages—this Bible does it for you. With a unique system of brackets, parentheses, and italics, the Amplified Bible expands key words and defines phrases as you read. Verse by verse, the full meaning of God’s Word is plainly revealed.