No, this isn’t about new process theology. It’s about a new process in my own thinking.
Some years ago I thought a study Bible was the greatest! Man, I could read my study Bible and find out exactly what it meant! And my Large-print NKJV MacArthur Study Bible really did make the Bible come alive for me and helped my understanding immensely.
I bought a few other Study Bibles along the way. I got a NRSV New Oxford Annotated Bible first; then the MacArthur; then Zondervan’s NIV Study Bible; then a free NASB MacArthur SB; and finally a review copy of the new NLT Study Bible from our friends at Tyndale.
But what really opened my eyes was my NASB reference Bible. I discovered that I could learn things without all that commentary, as long as I had good cross references and text notes.
In the ensuing years I have become more and more comfortable using just a reference Bible. So most of the Bibles I have acquired recently have been reference Bibles rather than study Bibles or simple text Bibles. But I have become aware recently that few Bibles have the fine reference system that the NASB has, and I have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of information I get from those Bibles. Even the excellent notes of the NASB are unfortunately limited, and limiting.
So I have come to the conclusion in the last few days that what I need to have, as my main Bible, is a good study Bible. So what’s the problem? I have enough study Bibles, don’t I? Just pick one!
One thing I haven’t told you yet. To be my main Bible, it has to be comfortable to read sitting in my recliner in the living room, and I have discovered rather painfully that that rules out hardcover Bibles. It’s gotta have a soft cover, either bonded or genuine leather, or one of the new soft artificial leather covers like Tru-tone. So far, the only study Bible I own that’s not hardcover is the NIV. And that means I will probably be buying a soft-cover study Bible of some sort in the near future.
And so, I will be doing a short series of posts here on Study Bibles, the ones I own and others I am considering. I haven’t decided yet how much detail I will go into here on the blog, but I hope you will find it interesting. And the new study Bibles like the TNIV, ESV, and NLT, to say nothing of the wonderful NET First Edition, could make this quite a series!