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I purchased a new Bible this week. I’m thrilled, as I always am by all things related to studying the Word. I looked at a lot of Bibles before I chose this one. So, I thought I’d share my She Reads Truth Bible review with you.
Why a New Bible?
But first – why a new Bible? My old Bible was not falling apart, and had lots of notes, highlighting, and underlining in it that are very meaningful to me. I don’t want to lose those insights, so I definitely will not be getting rid of my old Bible. I got rid of a falling apart Bible once and have regretted it ever since! Don’t ever get rid of your old Bibles!
Back to my reasons – not because of the notes and highlights, but in spite of them. But why did I choose a new Bible? I had two clear reasons.
First and foremost, I wanted a new translation to study. I chose the Christian Standard Bible. I find that sometimes my familiarity with a translation can dull my sensitivity to the Word. I’ve studied thoroughly in the King James (KJV), New King James (NKJV), and New American Standard (NASB) versions. I’ve used the New International Version (NIV) extensively as well. I wanted something fresh and new to me. So, I chose the CSB.
I also wanted a clean slate for fresh notes and insights and new highlighting of verses that pop out to me. I wanted to start with and use a cohesive color scheme for highlighting verses throughout the Bible. In my old Bible, I used yellow here and there, purple here and there, blue, green, red, orange, and so on with no plan. I wanted to be able to look at a highlighted verse in my new Bible – in blue for example – and know that it always referred to God: who He is, what He’s done, what He is like. For my new color scheme, I’ll be using Arabah Joy’s Bible coding guide and my colored pencils.
Why the She Reads Truth Bible?
I chose the She Read Truth Bible because it contains a key verse for each book, it has a reading plan for each book of the Bible as well as for the year, it is not weighed down with commentary but does include devotionals, and it is available in a single column format.
First, beautifully scripted verses begin each book of the Bible. These verses highlight the key theme of each book. They not only make wonderful page dividers but great memory verses as well. While the calligraphy may not include the entire verse – and never includes the reference for reasons that elude me – a table in the back of the Bible has these verses in their entirely listed in one handy place.
Second, each book includes a reading plan. At the beginning of each book are a timeline, a little background, and a summary statement of the message and purpose of the book. Just beyond the timeline is a plan with five days per week of readings to guide the reader in understanding each book better.
Each plan is accompanied by a ‘Going Deeper’ selection of verses to read that coordinate with each day’s reading. Looking at the Gospel of John, for example, I see that John 1 includes Isaiah 55:10-11 and Hebrews 1:1-4, as companion passages. These short additional readings will help me to further my understanding of the interconnectedness of Scripture.
Along with the reading plan, I mentioned the minimal study tools: a timeline, brief background, and summary statement. These are just enough for me, as I have plenty of Bible study resources, both in print and online, to guide my study. Just a quick overview of each book is all I need or want.
A third reason for choosing the She Reads Truth Bible was that it is not weighed down with commentary. I have plenty of Bibles with commentary in them and believe this tool has its place. However, I wanted a Bible that would leave plenty of room for my own notes, insight, and application, without me relying on someone else for my understanding. I think sometimes we rely too much on the easy availability of multiple tools for study more than we rely on the Holy Spirit. With little commentary, I’m hoping to open the door a little wider to the Spirit.
Finally, I chose this Bible because of its one-column format. I have had Bibles in both two-column and one-column formats. I simply prefer the single-column format.
Drawbacks to the She Reads Truth Bible
As thrilled as I am to have made this purchase and be starting with a new Bible, I am less-than-thrilled with two of the features. First, it is only available in 8-point type, which presents some challenges in reading. By ‘some challenges’ I mean it strains my eyes if I try to read it without my glasses. But, at 50-plus, I’m happy to still be able to read anything without glasses! If I must put on a pair of readers to use this Bible, I’m happy to do so.
Second, the She Reads Truth Bible is not available in a red-letter edition, which I had thought about getting this time. My general philosophy about red-letter Bibles has been that “All Scripture is inspired by God…” (2 Timothy 3:16), so why make any part of it seem more important? For that very reason, I’ve not had a red-letter Bible for years. However, I recently challenged my unsaved relatives and friends to read the ‘red parts’ and some have tried. So, I thought I might get a red-letter Bible. Not a huge problem, as I do own one red-letter Bible. If this Bible had been available in a red-letter edition, I would have purchased it.
Choosing Your Next Bible…Or Not
Maybe you’re in the hunt for a new Bible. If so, I hope this review has helped you somewhat. But my primary purpose in sharing this review was not to get you to buy a new Bible (this one or another). Instead, it was to provide some food for thought about why you might choose to get a new Bible when might be a good time to get a new Bible, and what type of Bible you might want to get.
Perhaps you’ll realize you’re happy with your Bible but need a cohesive highlighting strategy. Or maybe you’ll understand the need to have a plan for reading the Bible systematically. Maybe this review will help you to decide on key elements of a study Bible you need to consider (if so, check out this post also). But perhaps this post has you thinking about studying the Word more seriously for yourself. That would be the ultimate reward for my writing.
As I dive into my new Bible, I pray that you will dive with equal fervor into your [new, old, beat-up, untouched] Bible. Let the Word thrill you in whatever form or version you read it!