I grew up with King James Bibles. If I recall correctly, my first Bible was a Children’s Living Bible. Then when I accepted Christ as a second grader, my parents bought me a red leather KJV Bible that I still have. As I got older I spread my wings a bit. I spent many years alternating between The Living Bible and NIV. When I started reviewing Bibles for my blog, I got introduced to all different versions. Now that I spend my days teaching the Bible, I find myself coming back to King James and the New King James a lot.
I know that there are so many different versions and translations of the Bible available, and they all sound more conversational than KJV, but it’s for that very reason that I’m drawn to KJV. The language is so poetic and lends itself well to reading aloud or memorizing. And though the new Bibles are well researched, the older KJV just feels more authentic. I always have to at least look to see how it compares to whatever else I’m reading.
My only complaint about KJV has been that the Bibles tend to be rather simplistic and no-frills. Fortunately, Lifeway has a new trio of Bibles for those of us who want to combine the features of the newer Bibles with the language of the old. I’m excited to be invited to review them for you. Even better news, I get to hold a giveaway so one lucky reader will get their choice of one of these new Bibles.
Holman KJV Ultrathin Reference Bible
This is your typical gift type Bible, but with a two-tone brown Leathertouch cover which makes it feel a little special. This basic, no-frills Bible does have a few extras that surprised me. In addition to the concordance and maps in the back, it also has an outline of the Bible and lists of parables, miracles, and prophecies, and it has red lettered text for the words of Jesus, a feature I always appreciate.
Holman KJV Study Bible
I love study Bibles. I have a giant stack of them, each with a different focus. But this one is a general purpose study version geared for those who just want to dig deeper in their Bible study. It’s big and thick and packed with resources. The opening pages have helpful articles written by biblical scholars. In addition to the notes and footnotes on each page, interspersed throughout the Bible are images, charts, and timelines. A King’s English dictionary in the back gives definitions for words we might not understand, and the extensive concordance helps you to find scripture on specific topics. One feature it has that caught me by surprise, because I don’t recall ever seeing it before, is an alphabetical table of contents. Imagine how helpful that would be to anyone who doesn’t have the books of the Bible memorized, to be able to find at a glance the book that they’re looking for.
One Big Story Bible
This is without a doubt my new favorite children’s Bible. It is exactly what I would design if I were creating a Bible for kids. First, the cover is colorful and fun, but very much Bible related with pictures of Bible characters. The text is large print with enough white space to keep it from feeling overwhelming. The text is broken up into bite-sized segments with titles for each segment. Almost every page spread has some king of graphic, whether it’s full page drawings or colorful blocks with questions or fun facts. The gospels have red letter text for Jesus’ words. Each book opens with an intro that answers who, when, and why. The back of the Bible has an index to the most popular Bible stories, a topical concordance geared for children, and Bible maps. It is an excellent resource to get children interested in studying the Bible more in depth.
If you’d like a chance to receive one of these great Bibles, comment below with which features you look for in a Bible. A winner will be chosen at random on May 25.