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Best Bible for Beginners: Easy to Read and Understand

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This article may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information. All Bible quotations are from the New International Versions (NIV) unless otherwise stated. Full Bible copyright permission can be found here.

A bible is the living word of God and a daily reminder of His power and grace. Today, let us help you choose a bible that is easy to read and understand, to help you continue your walk in faith.

For many who have recently started their journey to follow Jesus Christ, as a new believer, studying the Bible can be daunting.

With so many different versions and translations, it can take time to decide which is the right one for you.

Fortunately, there are some good bibles for beginners that can help guide you through this new journey in Christ.

Before we get into the details here are a few differences to note when it comes to a bible, a study bible and a journaling bible.

If you aren’t fully aware of what each type of bible offers, continue reading to learn which variety of these bibles would be your perfect choice.

Next, we will also discuss what to look for when it comes to buying a bible, followed by the different types of study bibles that are suitable for beginners.

Note: The Bibles and study Bible recommendations listed below are from my own research and understanding, to help you choose a good first Bible. Please carry out any further research to find your most suitable best beginner Bible.


1. Bible

This is the word of God contained in scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

A bible comes in different translations like the King James Versions (KJV), English Standard Version (ESV) or the New International Version (NIV).

The KJV, ESV, NLT and the NIV can be considered as some of the popular translations, but there are a number of other translations you can choose from.

While the KJV is the widely used version of the bible, it can be difficult to understand as a beginner. So the ESV or NIV are two of the best bibles for beginners, in my opinion. The language is easy to follow along and understand when compared to the KJV.

2. Study Bible

Study bible for beginners

Next we have the study bibles.

If you are choosing your first bible, I would suggest start with a study bible.

Study bibles are perfect for beginner adults who want to learn and understand the bible better.

The advantage of a study bible is that in addition to having the Old and the New testaments of a bible, it also has a number of cross refences, explanations, study notes, theological notes and graphical maps for easy learning.

The maps and illustrations included in study bibles, make learning the bible interactive and engaging.

In my opinion, a study bible is the best bible for beginner adults who are serious about learning the bible.

3. Journaling Bible

The last type of bible we are going to talk about is the journaling bible.

This is again the entire bible available in different translations – most commonly the ESV and the NIV.

A journaling bible is perfect for someone who was wants to have a personalised and vibrant learning experience.

The uniqueness of a journaling bible is that each page is usually in a single column, giving you some extra black space to write your own personal notes. This way you can engage with each verse creatively and write down your notes right next to each verse.

This is perfect for someone who is hands-on and loves being creative when it comes to learning the bible.

A good bible for beginners contain resources such as commentary and notes from scholars that will help deepen your understanding of Scripture.

This article will look at some of the best study Bibles for beginners so you can get the most out of your Bible study time.

How to Pick a Good Beginners Bible for Adults?

With all these choices available, how do you narrow down the best bible for you?

With the many different types and translations of Bibles available, it can be overwhelming to choose one.

Here are a few additional things to consider when picking a beginner bible.

Best bible for beginners


There are many different translations of the Bible, so you’ll want to choose one that you’re comfortable reading.

Translation Comparison

There are three main types of translations: word-for-word, thought-for-thought, and paraphrase.

Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.

1. Word-for-Word Translations

Word-for-word translations, aim to translate the original text as literally as possible. These translations prioritize accuracy over readability, which means that the resulting text can sometimes be difficult to understand, but are highly accurate.

Some popular word-for-word translations include the King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and English Standard Version (ESV).

These translations are often favored by scholars and those who want to study the Bible in-depth.

2. Thought-for-Thought Translations

Thought-for-thought translations, prioritize readability over accuracy. These translations aim to convey the overall meaning of the original text in a way that is easy to understand.

Some popular thought-for-thought translations include the New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), and Common English Bible (CEB).

These translations are great for those who are new to the Bible or who prefer a more easy-to-understand reading experience.

3. Paraphrases

Paraphrases are the most loosely translated type of Bible.

These translations prioritize readability and accessibility over accuracy, often using modern language and idioms to convey the meaning of the original text.

Some popular paraphrases include The Message, The Living Bible, and The Amplified Bible. These translations are suitable for those who want a more contemporary reading experience or who struggle with traditional Bible language.

When choosing a Bible translation, it’s important to consider your own needs and preferences.

Do you want a translation that prioritizes accuracy or readability?

Are you looking for a more traditional or contemporary reading experience?

By considering these factors, you can choose a translation that will help you connect with the Bible in a meaningful way.

My Recommendations for the Best Translation

As mentioned earlier, some popular translations include the New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), the King James Version (KJV), and the English Standard Version (ESV).

My personal recommendation for an absolute beginner is the ESV, because it is easy to read and understand, with NIV second on my list.

Study Bible

If you only had to choose one bible to learn the word of God, my suggestion would be a study bible. Because a study bible is a bible plus a learning tool.

With the extra explanations, illustrations, cross-references and study notes already available for you, learning the bible can be less daunting and more exciting.

With the availability of additional notes and resources, you will have the answers you need while you read your bible.


Finally we need to decide on the size and format of the bible you prefer.

If you are in search of a bible to carry in your handbag with you, then you may want to consider a pocket bible.

But if you want to choose a bible that you would like to keep at home for a personal study experience then a large print version is the best option. The large prints usually are in a text size of a 10-11.5 and a easier on the eyes.

There are also giant print versions which have a font size of 12-14, and finally the standard version that normally comes in a size 8 which is also fairly good to read.

Bible Cover

Bible covers are also something you would want to take into consideration.

It usually comes in three options;

  • Hard cover
  • Paperback
  • Leather

While leather is the most longlasting option, it is a premium option and price may be a factor to consider.

Some book stores also sell bibles or study bibles in imitation leather that resemble the look and feel of a leather bible.

While the imitation bible is not genuine leather it is priced a lot lesser and gives you a similar feel of the leather version.

Hardcover Bibles are also good to consider as bible pages are usually of a thinner quality and a hard cover can keep the pages safe. But on the downside, these Bible are difficult to fold back while reading, and need to be placed flat on a surface.

Another disadvantage is that a hardcover adds overall weight to the bible as compared to the paperback or leather varieties.


What is the Best Bible Version for Beginners?

There are many different versions of the Bible, and deciding which is best for you can be challenging.

For an absolute beginner, choosing a Bible that is easy to read and understand is essential.

One of the most popular versions of the Bible for beginners is the New International Version (NIV).

The NIV is the best bible to understand as it is designed to be easy to read, with clear and concise language. It’s also one of the most widely used versions of the Bible, so you’ll be able to find resources and support if needed.

If you’re looking for a more traditional version of the Bible, the King James Version (KJV) is a good option.

The KJV is more formal, but it’s still understandable for beginners. And because it’s been around for centuries, plenty of resources are available if you need help understanding it.

Whichever version you choose, make sure to read it regularly and study it carefully. Reading and reflecting on God’s Word is the best way to learn about it daily.

Best Study Bibles for Beginners

Bible for beginners

If you are starting your journey into Bible study, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the different versions and translations of the Bible that are available.

To help you get started, we have compiled a list of five of the best study Bibles for beginners, that are suitable for most adults – beginner, intermediate or advanced.

Amplified Study BibleZondervan


The first Bible on our list is the Amplified Study bible.

The Amplified Study Bible is one of the most popular versions of the Bible, and the Study Bible includes over 5000 study notes to help explain complex concepts and passages. Also, maps, charts, and timelines are included to provide additional context.

I personally used the Amplified bible when I first started learning the word of God. I love the cross references and the study notes at the bottom of each page that helps me go deeper into the learning the bible.

Check out the Amplified Study Bible>>

ESV Study Bible by Crossway

ESV study bible by Crossway

Each book of the bible starts with explaining the author, date and background of the book, along with coloured maps and timelines

With over 20,000 study notes, 80,000 cross references and 200 charts, this is an in-depth easy-to-read study bible for beginners.

It also has 240 full colour maps and illustrations that take you back in time and visualise the bible text.

The graphical layout is a treat for those who like a more visual experience when reading a study bible.

Take a look at the ESV Study bible by Crossway.

MacArthur Study Bible

The MacArthur Study Bible might be a good fit if you want a more in-depth study experience.

This study Bible includes over 25,000 study notes from Dr John MacArthur to help you understand tough topics like sin, grace, and salvation. In addition to notes, articles, character profiles, and maps are included.

Take a look at the Mac Arthur Study Bible>>

Tyndale Life Application Study Bible

The Life Application Bible BY Tyndale House

The Life Application Study Bible is designed to help you apply biblical truths to your everyday life. So if you are interested in a study bible that relates to your daily life this is a good choice to consider.

With over 10,000 application notes, this Study Bible guides you in living out your faith daily. There are also profiles of over 400 key people in the Bible and maps and charts for extra context.

The Life Application study bible comes in a personal size and a large print.

It also comes in different translations like the KJV, NKJV, NLT and the NIV.

Here is the Life Application Study Bible for you to check out>>

Archaeological Study Bible

The Archaeological Study Bible is the fourth, focusing on helping readers understand the historical context. This can be consider for those who want to learn about the places and events written according to the scripture.

Finally here is the Archaeological Study bible>>

Quest Study Bible

Are you someone who has a lot of bible related questions?

The Quest study bible might then be the best choice. It has margins that provide questions and answers corresponding to verses on the page.

While this is a great question and answer bible, it can be used as an additional resource to one of the other bibles listed above.

The Women’s Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

The Womens Study Bible NIV

My personal choice for a study bible for women is the Women’s Study Bible by Thomas Nelson.

If you like me enjoy a full color bible reading experience, this pretty bible is worth considering.

This study bible stands out from the rest as it gives detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women, along with verse-by-verse study notes. It also showcases full color maps, charts, timelines, and family trees.

Check out the Womens study bible by Thomas Nelson.

ESV Womens Study Bible by Crossway

ESC womens study bible by Crossway

Another beginner study bible for women is the ESV Womens Study bible by Crossway.

This is similar to the ESV study bible by Crossway mentioned above, but targeted more to women.

With beautiful illustrations, 80,000 cross reference, character sketches, maps and timelines this bible is centred for women who are serious about learning God’s word.

You can find more details of the ESV Womens study bible by Crossway here.

ESV Mens Study Bible by Crossway

As the name mentions, this bible is created for men who are looking to dive deeper into understanding the bible.

It has 12,000 theological study notes, 120 character profiles, and 900 key biblical facts.

You can read more about the ESV men’s study bible by Crossway.

Things to look out for when searching for the best Bibles for beginners

When you are looking for the best Bible for beginners, there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind:

  • You will want to ensure that the Bible is easy to read and understand. There are many different versions of the Bible, so you will want to find one written in a language that is easy to follow.
  • You will want to find a Bible that has study aids that can help you understand the text. These aids can be in the form of footnotes, commentary, or even maps and illustrations.
  • You will want to find a Bible with a guarantee or warranty if anything happens.

Final Words on Best Bible for Beginners

A good study Bible is very important for a new believer to continue in the journey of faith. It helps remind us of Gods promises and helps us grow stronger in faith. This is why choosing the right Bible is very important.

For beginners, an easy to read version like the NIV or the ESV can help in understanding the word of God better.

Its also important to keep sizing in mind, so you don’t end up in a Bible that is too small to read or too large to carry around. Pocket Bibles are also handy if you want a small Bible to carry with you in your handbag.

Checklist on Choosing a Bible that is Easy to Read:

  • Select your choice of bible translation
  • Bible or a Study Bible or Bible Journal
  • Font size – Personal, Standard or Large Print
  • Bible cover – Hard cover, paper back or leather

Here are my choices below, but feel free to choose what best suits you!

Best bible for beginners – New International Version or the ESV study bible.

Best study bible for beginners – The Amplifies Study bible or the ESV study bible.

Best bible version for beginners

Spread the Word of God!