What Bible is the best to study? Several publishers now teach that baptism is not required, such as the Life Application Bible, and several teach the 1000 year war. How can I know which publishing house and what Bible are the best for me?
First, pick a Bible because you are interested in studying the Bible and not the commentary people insert into their editions. Most, so-called study Bibles, are more forums for stating someone or some group's opinions.
Instead, look for the aids which help you actually study the text.
- Maps are common and help you understand the distances.
- I consider the cross-references critical because most of us can't always recall of the top of our heads what verses may be related to the one we are currently reading. I particularly like the Thompson Chain-Reference system and the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.
- Charts can help you keep your facts straight, such as the order of the kings of Israel.
- Illustrations can help you visualize descriptions, such as articles in the Tabernacle or what the Temple looked like, though realize that these are just guesses and not depicting the actual items.
- Concordances help when you can remember a keyword but can't remember where the passage is at.
- A topical index also is useful for finding starting points in your study on certain topics.
- Dictionaries are sometimes handy, but most are too brief when combined in a Bible.
But study notes, manners and customs, and the like are simply someone's opinion and can distract you from seeing what the text actually says.