Which Bible?

An enquiry received this week:


I have as many have heard that the Bible is a great story book to read.  I have no religious belief but would like to try reading it.  Could you please suggest the best version to read in this fashion?

Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated


Which version would you suggest, and why?

3 thoughts on “Which Bible?

  1. I would probably suggest The Message – Obvious I know but it does read more like a novel than a bible, though perhaps a particularly american accented novel.
    However it also depends on the style of Novel one likes to read! The Message is particularly suited to a more modern novel style, if one was particularly into a classics style of Novel and/or something of a more poetic and litery style of writing I would probably offer forward the New Jerusalem as you can’t beat the psalms in the NJB I reckon.
    Alternatively, or in addition, I would possibly also suggest a Chronological Bible (there is a new one just out/coming out – NKJV Chronological Study bible by Tyndale, but there have been plenty of these on and off in various versions – I would look full details up but I note that the STLD site is still down a week after it should have been back up, though it has informed me today that it will go Live Imminently!).
    The reason for suggestiing a Chronological version is that it makes sense in terms of order and understanding in relation to historical values, timelines and perspectives etc, which for someone new and looking at it as literature might be somewhat helpful – unless of course they like novels like the time-travellers wife!
    So anyway there’s my opening suggestions.

  2. Here’s an alternative to actually reading the bible (not that you can beat a good read) – watch it instead – an online video of the whole of the New Testament – free !
    The WatchWord Bible has donated 1 million free online subscriptions in a campaign to “Bring Back the Real Christmas” and to “Put Christ back into Christmas”.
    You can find more information and register for the free subscription at:
    www bringbacktherealchristmas.com

    I have signed up and it’s excellent!

  3. I have had this type of inquiry sometimes! – and I don’t usually start with a Bible at all. People reading the Bible front to back tend to get lost in Leviticus or Chronicles before they get to the really important bits about 3/4 of the way through! I start with the 100 Minute Bible, which really isn’t a Bible at all – but it is a synopsis of the whole story. A great alternative is Walter Wangerin’s ‘The Book Of God’ which tells the Bible as a novel, or ‘The Book of Books’ (published by Lion, forget the author) which uses a storytelling format to appeal to the inner child!

    If they did want a real Bible, like Melanie I would advise a chronological one, either the excellent Cover to Cover or the NLT Chronological.

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