What is the Best Study Bible for a New Christian?

Accepting Christ into your life is the best decision that you will ever make. This time of transition is exciting, but it can also be a little confusing. For many people it will take a while to fully understand their new lives. If we’re being completely honest, those of us who have been believers for decades are still figuring a few things out. One way to make sense of your newfound faith is to read the Bible as often as possible. Then the question becomes, “What is the best study Bible for a new Christian?” If you’ve ever shopped for a Bible, you know that there are so many more options than you’d have ever guessed. Dozens of translations, viewpoints, demographics, and additional features make the process harder to navigate. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular study Bibles that are a good start for new believers.

One Year Chronological Bible

Every Christian should read through the Bible chronologically at some point in their lives. Doing so allows for the story of the Bible to flow more easily and can help the reader understand context better. For new Christians, it might be a good way to read through the Bible for the very first time. There are actually many different ways to read through the Bible chronologically.

Arguably the best study Bible for chronological reading is published by Tyndale and comes in a few different translations. This is more of a straightforward Bible to read and less of a study Bible, though. For something that offers more supplemental material, maybe check out this study Bible from Thomas Nelson for things like maps and information about culture of the day. A day’s reading in these books may come from several different books of the Bible depending on what you’re reading. For example, King David’s story can often jump between Psalms, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, and perhaps more. This may sound confusing, but it actually gets you all of the information on each event at the same time.

This option will allow you read through the Bible in a year as well as get the full message start to finish. If that seems like a daunting task, though, here are a few other ways you can go.

She Reads Truth - The Best Study Bible

One of the hottest selling new Bibles out there comes from the folks at She Reads Truth. Aimed at women who wish to fully dive into the word on a regular basis, the book is a great example of the many new Bibles we are seeing targeted for certain demographics. This may limit the audience, but it also allows for a Bible that speaks to the issues that often go unaddressed by other versions. The She Reads Truth Bible might just be the best study Bible for new Christian women.

In the She Reads Truth Bible you will find many devotionals, optional reading plans, maps, and more to help women understand the context of scriptural events. The Bible comes in a few different colors, most of which are hardcover editions. If you prefer a more traditional feel of leather, that’s also available.

With the text in the Christian Standard Bible translation, this Bible is made to be easy to read for today’s audience while also keeping the accuracy that is desperately needed. This would make for a great gift to a woman who appreciates artistic quality in design. For a new believer, it might be a little easier to get into than one of the more academic-looking versions.

What is the Best Study Bible for a New Christian?

The MacArthur Study Bible

One of the most highly-rated study Bibles on the market, the MacArthur Study Bible is a first class way to study scripture. Dr. John MacArthur is a prolific writer who has contributed to over 100 books on leadership, Biblical commentary, and more. He has also served as a pastor for nearly 50 years and has a long history of academic influence.

As far as the study Bible itself, it can be found in a number of translations including the NIV, NKJV, NASB, and others. There is even a large print version if you need it. MacArthur brings decades of preaching and Biblical wisdom into this work, so it is full of words of wisdom on just about any topic. Generally speaking, you may not want to start out as a new believer reading a Bible with commentary coming from the viewpoint of one man, but MacArthur is a trusted source for Biblical observations. To date, the MacArthur Study Bible has sold roughly two million copies.

The Apologetics Study Bible

Believers of any age are going to eventually face an argument against Christianity that they don’t have the answer to. While there are some mysteries in life we’ll never have answered, it’s good to know that there are some answers to be had. Apologetics is another way of saying that there are real ways to defend why you believe what you believe. For a new Christian, there may be times when he or she is asked by a non-believer to explain why they chose Christ. The first step in answering this question is to work on sharing your testimony, but apologetics might be able to help anything beyond that.

The Apologetics Study Bible is a great tool to have as you read through the Bible for the first time with fresh eyes. With thoughtful articles on challenging worldviews and compelling evidence, this study Bible will lend strength to the texts that are being read. Some of the writers of these pieces include C.S. Lewis, Albert Mohler, and Ravi Zacharias. Like with most study Bibles, we suggest you purchase the physical book rather than the e-book as they can be hard to navigate with all of the extra material.

ESV Study Bible - The Best Study Bible

For a new Christian who wants a bit of a challenge, the ESV Study Bible is a great way to get in-depth with the Bible. Some study Bibles are meant to be taken to church, school, or wherever you’re traveling while others are supposed to sit in your study next to your favorite reading spot or at your desk. The ESV Study Bible is more of the latter as it is a large volume (300 pages longer than the next version on this list)  that invites a long period of dissection.

The Bible comes in a few different versions. The larger edition being over four pounds in weight and then a personal size option that is substantially lighter. Either way will lead you to some great Bible study, but the bigger size offers more articles. Any study of the Bible for a new believer can be challenging, but the ESV Study Bible is probably the one from this list most often used by seminary students and those seeking a deep understanding.

The Adventure Bible

How about something a little lighter? No, we’re not suggesting this colorful book for adults. So far we have been suggesting study Bibles that are suited for older kids and up, but we know that not every new Christian is an adult. The Adventure Bible offers an exciting way for children to read through God’s word. If color were the deciding factor, this would definitely be the best study Bible on the list.

This Bible is a great starter kit for parents seeking out the best study Bible for their kids. There are easy to follow charts, diagrams, and other explainers that will help a young Christian keep track of who’s who. Eventually you’ll want to progress them onto something a little deeper, but the NIV translation here is more than enough for a child who is just coming into the faith. For children who need more pictures than text, maybe try something like The Beginner’s Bible. It’s a very simplified telling of Scripture that focuses more on illustration.

Life Application Study Bible

As far as sales are concerned, the best study Bible on this list, the Life Application Study Bible comes in a variety of different forms, including all of the essential translations and a couple of different sizes. If some of the more demographic-specific or academic study Bibles are a little too overwhelming, the Life Application Study Bible is a great way to break into Bible reading as a Christian. There are a lot of practical tips on Christian living that make ancient texts sound a little easier to apply to the world today. You can dive deep into the word without being bogged down by an excessive amount of study material.

So there you have it. While there are dozens, if not hundreds, of great Bibles out there, there are some great choices for the best study Bible for new Christians. No matter which way you end up going, we hope that new believers take scripture reading seriously and find a way to consistently glean the impactful wisdom from God’s word.

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