Bibles Make Excellent Christmas Gifts (Part One)

Photo credit: Patrick Fore, unsplash.com

It may be hard to believe, but Christmas is just around the corner. As you prepare for this upcoming advent season, you are likely considering gift ideas for those on your list. One gift that you may consider giving to someone this year is a Bible. Whether it be a family member, friend, fellow church member, or someone you are discipling a Bible always makes for a good gift. This may be easier said than done because there are countless options when considering a Bible to give as gift. In this article we will take a brief look at four Bibles that you may want to consider.

English Standard Version (ESV)

One of the most popular modern translations is the English Standard Version (ESV). The ESV is a wonderful essentially literal translation that aims to balance between readability and eloquence. It was first published by Crossway in 2001 and was slightly updated in 2011. The ESV is available in many different styles including study, journaling, and reference.

One basic style of the ESV that would make an excellent gift is the ESV Wide Margin Reference Bible. This edition features wide margins (1in) for note taking, an excellent cross reference system for deeper study, concordance, full color maps, and ribbon marker. Crossway offers this edition in TruTone brown, as well as a premium top grain leather edition. The only difference between the two being the binding and two ribbon markers with the premium edition.

Another style offered is the ESV Large Print Wide Margin Bible. The features of this Bible include: larger print (11pt) for easier reading and extra wide margins (1in) to allow for note taking. Standard features include the ESV text notes, full color maps, and ribbon marker. It comes in several binding options such as genuine leather, bonded leather, and TruTone.

New English Bible (NET)

One of the newest Bible translations available today is the New English Bible (NET). This translation is one of the most unique, in that it was originally released online. The translation team set out to make a reliable translation, yet one that was highly readable in modern English. What is unique about the way the NET was translated is the translators put together notes that explained why they chose to translate certain passages one way, and provided further explanations in the notes. These notes are still available on the website net.bible.org. In recent years Thomas Nelson Bible publishers have brought the NET on as one of their Bible translations and have released several wonderful editions including a full notes edition, which will be discussed in a full review at a later date.

One excellent edition of the NET that was released this year is The TEXT. Mainly marketed for engaging younger readers, The TEXT provides the full NET along with a study system that aims to take the reader into deeper study of the Bible. Features include: A four-step study system called TEXT the text, answers to tough biblical questions, 100 short devotions on the person and character of God, a prayer guide, and other study helps for deeper biblical study.

Another edition of the NET is the NET Single-Column Reference Bible. This edition features the full text NET Bible, an excellent cross reference system for deeper study, concordance, full color maps, and two ribbon markers. As with all NET Bible’s, both of these editions come with access to the over 60,000 translator’s notes available at free at netbible.org.

Next week we will look at two Bible translations that have been trusted for generations: the King Janes Version and the New King James Version.


Editor’s Note: The resources discussed in this article were provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Zach Kendrick is the editor of Reading For The Glory.


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