My Favorite Study Bible

Is it the Ryrie Study Bible? Scofield Study Bible? NIV Study Bible? Reformation Study Bible?

No, right now it is the NIV Wide Margin Edition—lots of white space on all four sides of the page for notes. I’ve had this for about four years, and I estimate that I have about 3000-4000 comments, underlines, color-coded highlights, and other types of notations. There is room for more, but I have just about worn it out (I purchased the $40 hardcover rather than the $140 leather edition).

My color code scheme: red for what has been accomplished for me through the blood of Christ, green for the attributes of God, blue for prayer. I place short notations in the margin for other topics that are important to me: M for missions, CR for creation, EV for evangelism, F for family, B for baptism, and so on.

I do own an NIV Study Bible and a number of commentaries, but I find it best to put my own writing in the blank margins. This allows me to tailor my “study Bible” for what I’ve learned in my own meditation and study, as well as to put in notes from sermons I hear and books I read. By doing this, the thoughts are reinforced in my memory, and are there in front of me as a starting point the next time I read the passage.

I’d love to do my daily reading and studying with the more literal English Standard Version, but they haven’t come out with a decent wide-margin edition. They have a journal edition coming out in August, but it has a two-inch margin on the outside of the page rather than a one-inch margin on each side of the page, and I’m not sure that I will like that. I’m undecided at this point.

Grace and Peace

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