Best Study Bibles

Compare Features of Today's Top Study Bibles

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. Here are a few ideas to consider from today's best Study Bibles.

• Also, don't miss these top children's Bibles.

ESV Study Bible
ESV Study Bible. Image Courtesy ©2001-2009 Good News / Crossway

The ESV Study Bible, released in October 2008, has received tremendous praise. Not only do great Bible teachers and scholars like John Piper, Mark Driscoll, R. Albert Mohler Jr. and R. Kent Hughes endorse the ESV Study Bible, my very own Bible study teacher (my pastor's wife) gives it high marks. 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 ESV Study Bible is definitely a front-runner on my Bible study shelves. More »

NIV Life Application Study Bible
NIV Life Application Study Bible. Image Courtesy of Tyndale House

The Life Application Study Bible is one of the best study Bibles to help you understand God’s Word as you read, and teach you how to apply its truth to your daily life—your job, family, friendships, problems and questions. The study notes are right 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. More »

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

The NLT Study Bible is a recent and well-received addition to my Bible study armory. For starters, the New Living Translation presents God's Word in language that's incredibly clear and easy to grasp. It's simply a joy to read, because, as frequent readers attest, "I get it—all of it!" Year after year, one of my ongoing goals as I read through Scripture is to comprehend the Bible in its entirety, as a complete, unified work. The NLT's comprehensive book introductions and master timeline have really helped me progress in this area.

Compass Study Bible
Compass: The Study Bible for Navigating Your Life. Image Courtesy of Thomas Nelson

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 The Voice translation, a refreshing new crossbreed of "word-for-word" and "thought-for-thought" translation approaches. I decided to give Compass the ultimate test by starting my reading in the book of Revelation. I have to say, I was amazed and impressed. Never before has this difficult book of the Bible come alive and stirred my emotions while simply reading in my quiet time. Personally, I think Compass would make a great gift for a new believer, a seeker, or anyone who wants to take a fresh and meaningful journey though the Scriptures. More »

Thompson Chain-Reference Bible
Image Courtesy of B. B. Kirkbride
The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible has a unique reference system that allows you to follow any subject, person, place or idea, from the beginning of your Bible to the end. I believe it is 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. Durability and hand craftsmanship make it perfect for those who really use their Bible. More »
Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible
Image Courtesy of AMG Publishers
The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible is great for Bible school or seminary students. Most of us don’t have time to learn another language while in Bible school. This Bible 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. More »

The Starting Point Study Bible is an excellent Bible for new believers or believers who recently rededicated their lives to Christ and need to make a fresh start. This Bible will help you begin (or start over) on 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.

The Comparative Study Bible
The Comparative Study Bible. Image Courtesy of Zondervan
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 allows you to easily read and compare the text in all four versions. More »
The Amplified Bible
Image Courtesy of Zondervan
The Amplified Bible is another great Bible for those wanting to understand the meaning of Scripture in the original Greek and Hebrew language. 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. More »