Intro – Purpose and Perspective of this Review
First off, no I am not a preacher or a pastor. I’m not seminary trained either. So I cannot give you these kinds of perspectives on this particular Bible. But, I am a layperson who works hard (by the Spirit) to study God’s Word (2 Tim 2:15), to apply/do it in my own life (James 1:22-25), and then share it with others (Ezra 7:10). That is the whole purpose of this blog; to think practically and devotionally about the deep things of God and then to stir up others to do the same (Heb 3:12-14, 10:24-25).
In addition to this, I have spent many years in dialogue with publishers about the premium Bible market. I have reviewed and researched dozens of premium Bibles, so I generally understand what makes for a good premium Bible and what does not.
Finally, this Bible was a gift from a very good friend and many have asked me to conduct a thorough review of it and also give some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the past few years of marking and handling a premium Bible so I will give those out as well, for whatever they are worth.
It is from this perspective, the lay person who studies and teaches God’s word and enjoys using a well-crafted Bible that holds up to consistent use, that I will be evaluating the Preacher’s Bible (which I affectionately call the Student’s Bible because it seems designed for any student of God’s word whether you are a preacher or not).
I am going to try and show some of the advantages and disadvantages of this particular edition of God’s Word. This is going to take place in a couple of posts though. I want to use this Bible and review it as I go instead of all at once at the end. As we move along in these posts I will also do some compare and contrast with other editions and as I said earlier, I hope to show off some tips and tricks I have learned through the years of test-driving a premium Bible. With that said let’s jump into my first official day of reading from the Preacher’s Bible.
Tip #1 – Before you ever write in a new Bible, you want to make sure that you are using the correct instruments. If you choose the wrong pen, pencil, or highlighter you may quickly regret that decision. Wrong implements may write weird on the type of Bible paper you have or bleed through or make indents in the paper that you cannot reverse. The solution? Flip to the back of the Bible where the Concordance is or a page that you have little concern for that also has text on it. A page that you are OK if it gets marked up or even ruined. Create a test page where you can try out different pens and highlighters. I like to write the name of the pen with the pen so I can have it for future reference. Here is an example from my copy of the Preachers Bible, though the paper is so thick it almost doesn’t matter, or does it? See for yourself:
As you can see, there is some bleed through with a couple of these pens. And the Pencil made an indent. But other than that the paper can handle most pens and even the highlighter.
TIP #2 – I highly suggest using Micron Pens for all Bible marking. Here are some pictures of the pens I most highly recommend:
Micron – I use .005 for every color but yellow. For yellow I use a bigger tip because I use it like a highlighter. It doesn’t bleed and is more precise. These pens are great to use and now widely available. They are perfect Bible pens because of the soft tip and ink that doesn’t bleed.
Pilot G-TEC .25 – these pens are nice too. The tip is not soft like the Micron so you need to be a little more careful with how much pressure you apply, but they are super precise! They make very careful clean lines and allows you to write a little smaller and still be clear.
Using a straight-edge – I also like to use a straight-edge when underlining. It just looks cleaner. Here is the one I use:
Here are some pictures showing how I intend to use this Bible. Below you can see the use of the yellow Micron .05 as a highlighter and a blue Micron .005 for the margin note. As I was reading this morning, I noticed that this text was jam packed with some of the attributes of God so I stopped to think and meditate on these and then made a quick list of every one that I could find in the text, the margins are perfect for this type of exercise, there is so much room. Usually, I’m trying to fit things like this into a tight space, not so with this Bible. What I like about this is that I can basically make my own Study Bible with insights from simply meditating on the word or I can write in quotes from sermons or commentaries or other Study Bibles.
Here is the backside of the page above. Very little (if any) bleed through, You can faintly see the marginal note but still very faint.
Here is another way I intend to use this Bible, to make my own reference system. As I read, I want to constantly be thinking about the fact that Scripture interprets Scripture. So when I do not understand something, or something is unclear to me, I want to first search out the Scriptures to see if there are any other texts that may speak to the text I am looking at that may be a little clearer or to the point and help me understand what the text means by what it says. First I want to find out “What does the text say and what did the original author originally mean by what it says?” Then, I can move on and ask “What do other texts say about this issue that might help me understand this text?” or “How does this text fit with that text?” or “How does this text illustrate that text?” The Bible always fits together. If I find a problem in the text, the the problem is with me and my thinking, not the text (Heb 4:12-13; Isa 40:8; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
For example, here in Deuteronomy 13 we see that God tests Israel by allowing false prophets in their midst to find out if they really love Him with all of their heart and soul. Well, that immediately made me think of James 1 where Trials and Tests are talked about. I’ve written about this topic before and you can see that post here if you are interested.
Well, that’s enough for a first run through this Bible. I hope you find this content and these posts helpful.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.