As pastors, preachers, teachers, and ministry leaders, we all have our Bibles. We actually may be blessed to have multiple copies, in multiple sizes, in various translations, for various needs. We may have a personal devotional Bible that we don’t write in in order keep fresh for devotions. We may have our study Bible that is falling apart from the amount of writing, turning, reading, opening and closing we do on a regular basis. You may even have a Bible that you use strictly to preach from. It might feel good in your hands, open and lay flat, with large text, etc. And that is what I want to look at today. Preaching Bibles.
Before we start, however, let’s look at a couple of things. You are called to preach the word. Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” What power. What directness. Paul charged Timothy “in the presence of God” to preach the word. Those are strong words that carry a heavy weight. I hope you feel the weight of that exhortation as you carry on similar work today. And then did you catch the time frame of when Timothy is to preach? In season, and out of season. So what did Paul mean by in season and out of season? It doesn’t matter, because you are either in season or you are out of season. Timothy is charged to preach period.
So as I briefly review of a couple of preaching Bibles, I want to be clear that whether we have the Word in front of us, or whether we have stored His Word in our hearts and are ready to preach at the drop of a hat even when we don’t have our Scriptures with us, we are called to preach. By God’s grace, Sunday mornings are, for the most part, a controlled environment where we are safe to proclaim God’s Word to our congregations. Let’s never forget that our brothers and sisters around the world don’t all share the same luxury as we do. So to discuss preaching Bibles is truly a luxury not everyone has.
With that in mind, I want to point out two Bibles our friends from Crossway have produced that are an absolute joy to hold, open, study, and read. They are the Omega Thinline Reference Bible (OTB) and the Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible (HLB). Crossway has produced two beautiful products with these releases.
Let me share some key features of both of these Bibles that might help you decide if one of these could be your next preaching Bible.
- They open nicely and lay flat without needing to hold down a side of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, it stays open, and that is nice!
- Bound with a premium goatskin cover
- Printed on high-quality European Bible paper
- Art Gilding
- Four ribbon markers
- Extra-smooth sewn binding
- Full-color maps
- Black letter text
- Lifetime guarantee – I mention this because these two Bibles are an investment. But the guarantee you receive is a peace of mind that this Bible will last through years of regular use.
Here are a few differences between the two Bibles. The Omega Thinline Reference Bible is printed in a double-column format while the Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible is printed in a single-column format (as its name suggests). The Omega is printed with a 10-point type while the Legacy is printed with a 9 point type. The Legacy is written in a paragraph format with the Section Headings written to the side of the text. This allows us to identify different portions of the text throughout the Bible, but also allows the Scripture to flow continuously without any breaks. The Omega is written with the section headings inserted between the different sections. If you like cross-references, then the Omega has over 80,000 cross-references to help in your reading and study, while the Legacy offers New Testament cross-references that include direct quotations from the Old Testament and parallel passages in the four Gospels.
So where do I stand on these two Bibles? Well that’s a great question because I’m drawn to features on both. Let me go ahead and say that either Bible is a true work of craftsmanship and would be a joy to own and use as a preaching Bible (or an everyday Bible to be honest). When I compare the two side-by-side I love how clean the HLB is with its single column printing and lack of an extensive cross-reference system. There really is a “wow” moment when I pick it up to read. The OTB, on the other hand, has 10-point type, which honestly helps a lot. So when I pick up the Bible to quickly scan and read, the larger type (albeit 1 point larger), helps me to focus in on the text. I know you want an answer on which Bible I would choose, so here it comes: For a preaching Bible I would choose the OTB because of the double-column format with larger type. I feel that it is easier to look down at the text and find what I’m looking for easier. But on the flip-side, if I am in my office reading the text, then I would prefer the clean, single-column look of the HLB.
Both of these Bibles would be a wonderful choice as a preaching Bible. You won’t go wrong by choosing one or the other.
Click here to purchase the Heirloom Thinline Bible
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