This week I’ve been studying the book of Esther. I’ve shared my study moments on Intastories, and I’ve received quite a few questions about the bible(s) I use during my study time. So, I figured a blog would be a great place to archive what I’m using and how I use my 4 bibles in rotation to study.
I’m no expert. Let’s make this very clear. I don’t have a well designed annotating system (I freestyle my annotation), however there are great systems out there to assist with annotating your reading and highlighting key words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and more). Also, let’s take this slow — no need to rush out and buy the bibles I’ve listed here. For instance, I started with one bible and over time added to my resources or found other ways to have access through digital copies until I was ready to invest in the hard copies. Kindle and Apple Books are your friend.
So let’s jump into what I use on a regular basis, first up:
- Single Column Journaling Bible, I’ve linked it, here. I purchased this ESV (English Standard Version) bible back when Christian bookstores were easily accessible, almost 5 years ago. What drew me to the bible was the design and how it was specifically created with a single column larger margin area devoted to taking notes or doodling. If you like to take notes during Sunday Service, Bible Study or doing your own study time and don’t particularly need to carry a journal, then grab this bible. I especially love revisiting certain scriptures and reading my notes again and again.
- Tony Evans Bible Commentary, I’ve linked it here. So here’s the thing before I use the bible commentary, I read through the scriptures and passages a few time my ESV or NIV bible . I find it best to let the Holy Spirit speak to you through His word, before drawing from someone else’s interpretation. Then I use the commentary to compare and contrast. It’s a great tool. Tony Evans is great at diving deeper with scripture and illustrating passages in such a way that they come to life. In addition, Pastor Evans adds links to his commentary to watch him teach on certain chapters. It’s like a full-circle experience. I JUST recently purchased the hardcover version of this bible, before I was using the digital version available on Apple Books and Kindle.
- Eugene Peterson Message Bible Simply put the message bible gives a more contemporary voice to scriptures. It makes the original language and tone of other versions of the bible easier to digest. Although the message version “breaks-down” scripture I would encourage you to rely on other versions before using this one. It’s a great reference but understanding the author, time, and location of certain passages is important for a complete understanding and not just a quick interpretation. I’ve added a link to the message bible, here. I have a vibrant turtle back pink one that’s pretty light weight and compact.
- Life Application Study Bible Last but certainly not least, the application bible. I usually end my study time by referencing the study notes, textual notes, and cross-references provided for each book and chapter. The application bible also gives some applicable tips to help navigate life and strengthen your walk. I don’t have a hard copy of this bible I instead use the one Apple Books version.
So there you have it — a breakdown of each bible I use and how I use them.
If you have any questions, you can drop them in the comments section.