Bible Index page

Study Bibles include extra helps such as more cross references, footnotes, maps. They may have introductions to books of the Bible, historical backgrounds, even topical Bible studies – either in the back of the Bible or in side bars throughout the Bible.

Study Bibles can be very helpful, as long as readers realize that the study helps are not inspired like the Bible. It is helpful to know the belief system of the persons who added the study notes. Study bibles compiled by Sunday keepers are not likely to have a helpful Bible study on the Sabbath, and their study helps on prophetic books tend to be way off, from a Seventh-day Adventist perspective.

NLT Study Bible

NLT Study Bible

A study Bible will have introductions to each book and will provide some historical background. You can find lots of Study Bible on Amazon. However, if you want a physical Bible, you might want to check it out in a physical store, so you can handle it and examine its readability. You can return a physical bible to Amazon if it doesn’t meet your needs, but it’s not as easy as returning a Kindle version. 

For serious study, it is best to stick to “formal equivalence” translations – that is translations that try to stick closely to the wording as used in the Bible without a lot of interpretation. Examples are the KJV, the NKJV, the ESV (English Standard Version) and the NASB. It’s always good to have one of these to compare to a “dynamic equivalence” translations such as the NLT, the NIV and other translations. “Dynamic equivalence” means that the translators tried to get the original meaning across using words and phrases that may differ from a direct translation of original words or phrases. 

One popular study Bible with Seventh-day Adventist study aids is the Remnant Study Bible. The NKJV imitation leather edition is quite reasonably prices, as study Bibles go. The hardcover NKJV edition costs more and may not be worth the extra money. We recommend the NKJV version over the KJV because it is much easier to read by modern readers.

Another excellent study Bible aims to be  helpful for both new believers and scholars. It is the Andrews Study Bible. It is also reasonably priced in the NKJV hardcover edition.

Reference Bibles

ESV side Reference Bible

A Study Bible is not the same as a Reference Bible. A reference Bible should have a lot of cross references, either in a center column, in one margin, or the bottom of each page.. The more cross references, the better. A Study Bible may or may not have cross references. A Reference Bible will always have cross references, but the number of references will vary. Check out the descriptions to compare.

A Reference Bible is less subject to editor bias, because you can compare the  Bible references for yourself to see how the actual texts compare. 

One example of a reference Bible is the ESV Trutone Personal Reference Bible to the left.