In the last few years, Reader’s Bibles have become popular. So when I found one at my local used book store late in 2019, I decided to buy it and try reading it in 2020. Not familiar with this idea of Reader’s Bibles? These are Bibles that are formatted more like a regular book. Does a regular book have 2 columns, verse numbers, cross references, etc? No. Therefore, a Reader’s Bible is single column, and things like verse numbers and cross references are removed. Not every Reader’s Bible is exactly the same, but they are formatted for a more simplified reading experience.
The one I acquired was the NKJV Deluxe Reader’s Bible – hardcover – by Thomas Nelson. See it HERE.
Of course, there are pros and cons to different types of Bibles, and one Bible will not be the best for all times and circumstances. We really are blessed in our modern age to have such a huge selection of Bibles available: different versions, different types of study notes, different formats, etc.
I don’t adapt to change well, and I’ll honestly say that the single column was odd for me at first, and I wasn’t initially a fan. But it grew on me as I kept reading, attempting to read the entire Bible in 2020. (I am almost there, and should finish by the end of the year.)
The lack of verse numbers can be frustrating if you want to further investigate a certain verse, but it is not that hard to figure it out when you grab your regular Bible. My Reader’s Bible did, over to the side, have a subtle verse notation every 5 verses, so you could narrow it down.
In the end, I really liked the single column format for poetry and prophecy, but I did not like it as much for narrative and history – where it just seemed too dense on the page. Perhaps I’d most prefer a Bible that combined single and double column, depending on the genre!
Again, the point of a Reader’s Bible is to create a more streamlined reading experience, so it is not fair to criticize it for lacking certain features. We also read the Scripture in different ways at different times. Study notes and other extras in a Bible can be helpful and aid in our understanding, but these extras can also be distracting or overwhelming.
I’ve blogged about Bible reading a number of times, and I encourage you to try different things. If you keep failing at Bible reading, maybe you just need to try something different – whether a different type of reading plan, a different version, or…a different Bible.
Does a Reader’s Bible sound interesting? Well, give it a try!
If you’ve read through a Reader’s Bible, feel free to leave a comment, sharing your experience.