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huo

The difference between a Reference Bible and a Study Bible?

I got a free guide on Bible selection from LifeWay.com Christian Store.
On the guide I was told Study Bibles are for start and learn, whereas Reference Bibles also include "focus".
There are four usages: Start, Focus, Learn, and Share.

From the guide, Reference bibles are better than Study bibles. My question is whether study bibles include the references?

When I was comparing the different Bible editions (KJV and NKJV), I found there are reference edition, reference Bible, study Bible, large print edition, gift edition, giant edition, study Bible, children's Bible etc.

I already bought the bibles, Reformation Study Bible (ESV), NASB Study Bible, Chinese New Version Study Bible, KJV Reference Bible, NKJV Reference Edition, and NIV&CUV parallel Bible.

But I'd like to know more about the Bible editions.

thanks
Tsukasa

There's no substitution for holding a book in your hands and flipping through it :). (unless you're a Kindle user I guess?)

Study and Reference are, in my opinion, used interchangeably. According to your guide, Reference contains everything that Study Bibles do, but also include "Focus" material. The Reformation Study Bible would be considered a "Reference Bible" by this standard since it contains advanced material such as 1-2 pgs of Date/Occasion, Authorship, Themes at the start of each book and other thematic commentary.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different Bibles marketed for different people. You should be able to figure out what most of them are for: e.g. slim bibles for people that like to carry a Bible around, wide margins for people that like to take notes, Men's Bibles for men. The Bibles that are marked as "Share" would fall in this category since you are using a specific Bible to minister to a particular demographic.

In Knowing Scripture R.C. Sproul says "Every layperson's "toolbox" should include at least one good concordance, one good Bible dictionary and one good atlas". There is a list of recommendations by Sproul, but I can't find my copy at the moment.

No one Bible will have everything you need, so invest in a quality toolbox instead of buying Bibles for sub-par auxiliary resources.
Ask Mr. Religion

Tsukasa wrote:
There's no substitution for holding a book in your hands and flipping through it :). (unless you're a Kindle user I guess?)

Study and Reference are, in my opinion, used interchangeably. According to your guide, Reference contains everything that Study Bibles do, but also include "Focus" material. The Reformation Study Bible would be considered a "Reference Bible" by this standard since it contains advanced material such as 1-2 pgs of Date/Occasion, Authorship, Themes at the start of each book and other thematic commentary.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different Bibles marketed for different people. You should be able to figure out what most of them are for: e.g. slim bibles for people that like to carry a Bible around, wide margins for people that like to take notes, Men's Bibles for men. The Bibles that are marked as "Share" would fall in this category since you are using a specific Bible to minister to a particular demographic.

In Knowing Scripture R.C. Sproul says "Every layperson's "toolbox" should include at least one good concordance, one good Bible dictionary and one good atlas". There is a list of recommendations by Sproul, but I can't find my copy at the moment.

No one Bible will have everything you need, so invest in a quality toolbox instead of buying Bibles for sub-par auxiliary resources.
From Sproul, Knowing Scripture:

    "A question I hear frequently is, “What translations of the Bible should I use for my private study?” This is not easy to answer. There are so many excellent editions available that it is difficult to choose. Some differ from others only in matters of style and format and thus become a matter of literary preference for the reader.

    Nonetheless, there are some basic and notable differences between translations that ought to be recognized. These differences reflect different procedures and methods in preparing the translation. Of these differing methodologies there are three that are basic:

    1. Formal equivalence. The first method employed is that which seeks to follow the Greek (or Hebrew) text as closely as possible in a word-by-word pattern. Here strict fidelity to the ancient language is stressed in a verbal way. The strength of such a method is obviously found in its verbal accuracy. The weakness is its inevitable cumbersome and awkward literary style. To translate any document from one language to another in this manner makes for difficult reading. An example of this method of translation may be seen in the New American Standard Bible and the New King James Version. Such translations are very useful for study purposes, but somewhat awkward for normal reading.

    2. Functional equivalence. This method, also known as dynamic equivalence, which is the predominant method of modern translations, seeks a maximum of fluid reading style with a minimum of verbal distortion. Since words put together produce thoughts or concepts, the goal is to produce an accurate rendition of the thoughts or concepts of Scripture. Examples of this type may be seen in the New Revised Standard Version and the New International Version.

    3. The paraphrase or free translation. The paraphrase method is an expansion of the functional equivalence method. Here the concept is extended and elaborated to insure that it is well communicated. There are various kinds of paraphrases. The J. B. Phillips “translations” exhibit the classic form of paraphrase. Ironically, Phillips himself did not consider his work paraphrase and was quite annoyed by this designation. But paraphrase it certainly was. A more recent phenomenon is the “modernized” paraphrase seen in such editions as the New Living Translation and The Message. While both of these versions used the Hebrew and Greek as their basis, the premium here is on readability and relevance to modern thought patterns. The more a translation moves in the direction of paraphrase the more manifest is the danger of distortion. Though many paraphrases have been helpful introductions to Bible reading, they are not recommended for serious study. In my opinion, the weakest edition following this method is the Living Bible. For an overview of the history of the English translation of the Bible, why different translation philosophies are used, and how various translations differ, Leland Ryken’s Choosing a Bible is a good place to begin.

    ....

    Though I am the editor of one study Bible with commentary notes, The Reformation Study Bible, there is some cause for concern and caution when using these Bibles. My main objection is based on the frailty of human memory. Time and again I have seen people become upset when a speaker criticized an idea found in the notes of such Bibles: the listener was sure the speaker was criticizing the Bible itself. The problem is that a person opens a Bible and reads the printed page. Perhaps three-fourths of the print is the text of the Bible and the other fourth is the extended comment or note. Too often the average person fails to distinguish (especially later in recalling what was read) between the text of Scripture and the human comment. Because the comments appear on the same page as Scripture, this method tends to “baptize” these remarks in the minds of readers."

    ...

    "Every layperson’s “toolbox” should include at least one good concordance, one good Bible dictionary and one good atlas. The following concordances are excellent.

    The Concise Concordance to the New Revised Standard Version by John R. Kohlenberger
    The Crossway Comprehensive Concordance of the Holy Bible, English Standard Version by William D. Mounce
    The Message Three-way Concordance by Eugene Peterson
    NIV Exhaustive Concordance by Edward W. Goodrick and John R. Kohlenberger
    The NKJV Concordance by Thomas Nelson Publishers
    NLT Comprehensive Concordance by James A. Swanson and Patrick La-Cosse
    Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible (KJV) by James Strong  

    The following are excellent Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias:

    Anchor Bible Dictionary (6 vols.), ed. by David Noel Freedman
    Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary by Trent C. Butler
    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (4 vols.), ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley
    Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary by Ronald F. Youngblood
    New Bible Dictionary, ed. D. R. W. Wood et al.
    Zondervan Pictorial Bible Encyclopedia (5 vols.), ed. J. D. Douglas and Merrill C. Tenney  

    The following are available atlases:

    Baker’s Bible Atlas, ed. Charles F. Pfeiffer
    Holman Bible Atlas, ed. Thomas C. Brisco
    The Macmillan Bible Atlas, ed. Yohanan Aharoni et al.
    The Moody Atlas of Bible Lands, ed. Barry Beitzel
    New Bible Atlas, ed. John J. Bimson et al.
    Oxford Bible Atlas, ed. Adrian Curtis"


If you want a Bible that mimimizes the use of often biased notes, but still provides a wealth of information, my personal recommendation would be one of the Thompson Chain Reference Bibles from Kirkbride:
http://www.kirkbride.com/

If you decide to use a Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, go with the NKJV, as it is the only one of the Thompson's that has all the chains completed. Using a Thompson also guarantee's you will get a verse-by-verse layout of Scripture, versus paragraph by paragraph used by so many bibles today. It is a Bible that will keep you engaged for the rest of your life.

Here is a sample page:

http://www.kirkbride.com/thompson-help-romans.asp
(Click on the many other samples shown at the right of the page)

Today, I believe the very best use of layout, albeit not verse-by-verse, including colorization for references, is the HCSB Study Bible. Fortunately, for those that do not like the HCSB translation, Holman has recently released a KJV Study Bible using the same excellent use of layout. The notes are the same as found in the HCSB version with two differences: word studies are not included, a dictionary of KJV archaic words is included.

View samples of the KJV Study Bible here:
Bible Overview:
http://www.christianbook.com/kjv-...9781433600395/pd/600397?event=AAI

Unfortunately, the Holman KJV Study Bible is not Smythe sewn. The pages are glued, so extra care will be needed to keep the Bible from falling apart with plenty of use. I don't understand why a company would spend the time to make a wonderfully laid out Bible and then skimp on a good binding. Sigh.

Sample Pages:
http://www.christianbook.com/Chri...00397&slide=2&action=Next

If money is no object, the new Schuyler ESV Bible includes the major reformed confessions (does not include the Three Forms of Unity) and center column references. The references do not cross-reference the included confessions, however:

http://evangelicalbible.com/shop/...main_page=index&cPath=256_257

Bertrand's review of this Bible is here:
http://www.bibledesignblog.com/20...-in-black-and-brown-goatskin.html
huo

Dear Patrick and Tsukasa,
I really appreciate and like your comments, which are like textbooks for me.
I am learning a lot from your posts.

Thank you very very much :)

Good Post
Ask Mr. Religion wrote:
Tsukasa wrote:
Tsukasa

You're welcome ^^.

And thanks for the followup AMR.
Ask Mr. Religion

huo wrote:
Dear Patrick and Tsukasa,
I really appreciate and like your comments, which are like textbooks for me.
I am learning a lot from your posts.

Thank you very very much :)

Good Post
Ask Mr. Religion wrote:
Tsukasa wrote:
You are welcome, Huo. Please don't stop asking questions, too, brother!  Thumbs Up

I am sure others lurking here have many of the same questions. I think some folks are hesitant to ask for fear of being perceived negatively. To those I want to say that there are no questions that have not been asked before by others and I am confident someone here will have an answer for them.
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