As a Christian, it is important to understand that other types of Bible exist, apart from those that you are used to. Knowing these Bible types prevents you from making mistakes when you want to get a Bible for yourself. You need a Bible that aligns with the values of your Christian denomination, so it is critical to know the features of each.
Here’s a guide exploring the different Bible types and categories and tips to help you study God’s word.
Types of Bible
There are two major reasons we choose the types of Bible to opt for. The first reason is to improve our relationship with God and learn more about his will for our lives. At the same time, the second reason is to learn about historical times when the men of old lived.
The Protestant Bible is one of the most common types of Bible produced by Protestants. There are 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament in the Protestant Bible, making 66 books in total. According to verified sources, some Bibles contain 14 extra books in a section known as the Apocrypha. Some protestants use these special Bibles.
Some sources see the Apocrypha as an opportunity to learn history and improve theological knowledge. Other sources have little or no interest in it, claiming that the 66 books of the Bible are sufficient for our walk with God.
The Jewish Bible is also called the Hebrew Bible. It is a canon of scripture containing some books regarded as authoritative scriptures by the Christian community. The Hebrew Bible exclusively contains books like the Ketuvim, the Torah, and the Nevi’im.
The Old Testament of the Hebrew Bible has 39 books, but it follows an order that is different from the Protestant Bible.
The Catholic Bible is another common type of Christian Bible that contains 73 books. There are 46 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament.
The Old Testament is divided into Five books, namely: Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom books, Prophetic books, and the Deuterocanon. While the New Testament is also divided into five books: The Gospels, Historical book, Pauline epistles, General epistles, and Revelation.
Also, the Catholic Bible is written in line with what the Catholic canon law dictates. The canon law states that the Holy Books of the scriptures will be published when the conference of Bishops or Apostles has authorized them.
Some of the Catholic Bible translations in line with the Canon law are Douay-Rheims Bible (DRB), Confraternity Bible (CCD), New American Bible (NAB), New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE), etc.
The Anglican Bible is much similar to other Bible types. It contains both the Old Testament and New Testament, although it doesn’t contain the 15 additional books (Apocrypha) that are in the Protestant Bible.
Eastern-Greek Orthodox Bible
The Eastern-Greek Orthodox Bible is also called EOB. It is not a complete English edition of the Bible. The EOB project was managed by the Greek Orthodox Christians who do not have full copyright autonomy.
Also, the EOB comes with more than 200 pages containing introductory pieces, articles, and appendices. The goal of the EOB project was to provide readers with a very descriptive text that would also bless them.
Categories of Bibles
Before you get any Bible, it’s important to make an informed decision. This entails knowing what to expect generally from Bibles before you make a choice.
Study Bibles come with study notes to help readers to understand some passages in the scriptures. Not everyone had the privilege to attend a theological school where the Bible can be broken down and expounded, concerning the original texts. Hence, Study Bibles help the readers to gain a deeper insight into some texts in the word of God.
Not all Study Bibles have the same pattern, but their common goal is to help every Bible reader have a deeper meaning of the texts.
Text Bibles can also be regarded as plain Bibles. They don’t have any extra features like the Study Bibles. So, you will find nothing apart from the Biblical text. Majority of the Text Bibles are not bulky since they don’t have much content or additions. Hence, if you are not a fan of the verbiage that comes with many Study Bibles, the text option should be your best bet.
Notetaking Bibles were specifically created for people who love taking notes as they read the scriptures. Hence, this provides them with the opportunity to have deep reflections or meditation on any verse or passage.
The Notetaking Bible is designed with thick paper, so if you are using ink, it will not show on the next page. There are also big margins made with enough spaces to where you can jot down your thoughts.
Another type of Bible closely related to Notetaking Bibles is Scripture Notebooks. These Bibles have the spaces for notetaking on the right-hand page, and the scriptures on the left. Anyone who loves to write down or highlight key terms in the Bible would love Notetaking Bibles or Scripture Notebooks.
As the name implies, Devotional Bibles help readers have a robust understanding of the scriptures. Devotional Bibles do not come with study notes like Study Bibles, but the content style is tailored to make devotionals a smooth ride.
Some of the features you will see in Devotional Bibles are introductions to each book, devotions, biographies of some people, and the application of some texts. Readers will also find unique features that help them gain in-depth knowledge of what a certain scripture says.
How to choose the right Bible version
The goal of reading any Bible version is to ensure that your life changes as you digest more of God’s word continuously.
Here are some steps to help you select the suitable Bible version
Choose a Bible Translation
The last thing you want is to be struggling to understand God’s word as you read through the texts. You need a Bible translation that provides you with excitement and anticipation for the next text you are about to read.
Hence, before you settle for any Bible translation, you can check out the few popular ones you’ve heard of online. You can compare the verses across different translations to spot their style and then see the one you can easily flow with.
Check for extra features
Not all Bible translations have additional features that make the study of God’s word interesting. There are some types of the bible that come with features like concordance, dictionaries, maps, references, timelines, and the likes. These extra features allow you to have a more vivid picture of what to expect in the texts.
Seek a Spiritual Mentor
If you don’t know how to select from the different types of Bible translations, you can ask a spiritual mentor. Ensure the individual has a good spiritual standing devoid of controversial issues that regularly rock the Christian world.
How to study the Bible
Beyond going to the Church to listen to the word of God, it is important to study the Bible for yourself. If you don’t know how to get started, here’s a walkthrough of how to improve the study of the scriptures.
Put away distractions
Distractions must be far from you when you want to study the Bible. It is quite difficult to study the word of God in an atmosphere where you can hardly concentrate.
Therefore, if you discover that the environment does not favor proper assimilation and meditation, you can change your position temporarily or wait until everywhere is quiet. Distractions prevent you from having a seamless read, as you will find yourself revisiting a particular portion of the scriptures every time.
Pray before you start studying.
Many people underrate the essence of saying a word of prayer before they start studying the scriptures. The essence of doing this is to invite the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth.
John 16:13 (ESV)
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears, he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Also, praying before studying the scriptures helps you to have a deeper understanding of the word of God.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened. That you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might, that he worked in Christ. When he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.
Choose where you want to start studying
Deciding on the perfect spot to begin studying the Bible can be a chore because of the numerous texts the scripture contains. Therefore, instead of picking a random passage to study, instead select a topic that spikes your interest, or something you are confused about.
Studying the Bible becomes effortless when you are eager to know more about something. If you have heard different doctrinal issues that people have talked about, you can study the Bible to find out the truth for yourself.
In addition, if you’ve seen different beliefs about Christianity online, you can begin your Bible study from there to check the truth. Also, if you are going through any challenge in life, you can find solace in the scriptures because there are passages that address every problem anyone can encounter.
Check for German verses on the selected topics
After you’ve decided on the topic you want to study on, find verses that are relevant to the topic. You would need to conduct in-depth research on these verses because some of them might not be easy to find.
One of the reasons why you need to get relevant verses is to help broaden your understanding of that topic. The Bible is not a study book where there are guidelines that can be easily followed- you need to put in the work.
Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then, you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
If you are using a study Bible, you can explore the concordance, the index of subjects, and the dictionary. You can even Google some points!
Read the Bible in Context
Some Christians make the mistake of reading and interpreting individual verses without understanding the previous and subsequent texts. Hence, it would be easy to misinterpret the message in that passage. Studying the Bible as a whole piece is important instead of isolating some verses.
So, when you select those relevant verses, you can read the whole chapter to have a clearer picture. You might find it time-consuming, but this is what it means to study the Bible and find out certain accurate facts for yourself.
Check the verses in various translations
One of the reasons why translations exist is to help you understand the scriptures better if a certain language type confuses you. Also, you need to know that the original scriptural texts were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
Hence, the translations into English might be slightly different from one another. Therefore, check up on some of these verses in different trusted translations that Bible scholars use. This would provide you with a good understanding of the verses.
Carefully browse online
It is easy to visit search engines like Google to see what other people are saying on any topic. However, you need to do this carefully to avoid falling into error.
Always remember that everything you read online is not necessarily Biblically correct and accurate. So, you need to learn how to filter the right information from the wrong one. You can do this by always going back to the scriptures to confirm what you are reading online.
Frequently asked questions
How many types of Bibles are there?
Many Christians often wonder how many types of Bible we have in the world today? Different sources have their answers which are sometimes not the same. However, there are some general ones that everyone should know.
These common Bible types are the Jewish Bible, Protestant Bible, Catholic Bible, Anglican Bible, and Greek Orthodox Bible. A good look at these Bible types tells you that they have some similarities, and the differences are majorly the inclusion or absence of some generally-known books.
What are the major versions of the Bible?
One of the reasons people want to know the major versions of the Bible is that they believe that these versions have a higher accuracy level than the others. Many of these versions of the Bible were translated from original texts, with the intent of bringing every reader to the knowledge of God’s word.
Some of the major versions of the Bible are The King James Version, The New King James Version, The New International Version, The American Standard Version, The English Standard Version.
Other notable versions are The Amplified Bible, The Living Bible, The New Living Translation, The New American Standard Bible, The Christian Standard Bible, and The Message Bible.
Which version of the Bible is best?
There are many schools of thought, each claiming that their preferred version of the Bible is the best. However, you alone can decide the version of the Bible that is best for you. Be sure of your preference and what you intend to use the Bible for.
All the Bible versions were written so that you can have a deeper relationship with God. And since you cannot read all of them simultaneously, it is up to you to decide on your preferred Bible version.
Which Bible is correct?
There is no common ground for the most correct Bible because each school of thought has bragging rights for their preferred Bible type. People who are more interested in history will prefer the types of Bible that have historical inclusion and other additional learning features.
On the other hand, those less interested in history but more concerned about factors like readability and the like will also have their preference.
Which Bible is easiest to understand?
The easiest Bible to understand depends on the reader. However, many people would prefer a Bible written in Modern English, because it is easier to understand. Some fans of literature might prefer Bible translations that use old English.
Did King James change the Bible?
The King James Version of the Bible had a continuous influence on Christianity since when it was established till the present day. During King James’ reign, a new Bible translation was authorized because there were some critical religious issues at the time.
Also, King James wanted to establish his power and domain. Hence, he ended up prioritizing the King James Bible translation project. The King James Bible is the most known translation ever.
Having read this article, you should be able to better understand the different types of Bibles that exist in our world. Before selecting any of them though, make sure to do your research to avoid getting the wrong one that doesn’t meet your Christian needs.