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The Best Bibles for New Believers

Trying to select a Bible as, or for, a new believer can be really confusing. Which translation should you go for? Do you want the New Testament or the full Bible? Should you buy a personal size or large print; and what even is a regular size one?

So many questions and too many options. Let us help you with our top picks of the best Bibles for new believers.

Looking for a children’s Bible? Click here to find the perfect one!

  1. The New Believer’s Bible, New Living Translation

Front cover image of the New Believer's Bible, New Living Translation.This one hits all the best-Bible-for-new-believers marks! It’s designed specifically for anyone that has never, or rarely, picked up a Bible and needs a helping hand with where to start, how to read it, and how to make the most of Bible study.

It has so many great features we can’t list them all here (go here to see them!), so we’re just going to pick a few:

  • There is a handy glossary of Christian terms. When you first become a Christian, it’s very easy to get confused by all the new words and phrases (who hasn’t wondered what “abide in Christ” means? Actually we can help you with that one!). It’s easy to get lost! This glossary helps to explain what a large portion of these new words mean and offers places where you can find them being used or explained in the Bible.
  • There are four reading tracks. Each track, or guide, will send you on a journey through the Bible following a useful subject for Bible-reading beginners. It will point you toward the major events throughout Scripture where these subjects are covered and provides notes to help you fully understand what this means for you. The tracks include Cornerstones, to help you lay the foundation for your faith and learn about God’s character, and Big Questions, answering through Scripture some of the major questions a lot of new believers want to tackle.
  • Prophecies about Jesus. Did you know that Jesus’ birth and life were accurately predicted in the Old Testament, centuries before his birth? The New Believer’s Bible shows us exactly where the prophets wrote about Jesus in the Old Testament and where, in the New Testament, those prophecies were fulfilled. It’s a great reminder of the consistency, and validation, of God’s Word.

Another brilliant thing about The New Believer’s Bible is it’s in the New Living Translation (NLT). You’ll find many different translations out there, some of the major ones being the King James Version (KJV), New International Version (NIV), and English Standard Version (ESV). The NLT is also very popular because it translates the Bible into modern English. It was written so that anyone could understand the meaning of God’s Word, not just biblical scholars. The NLT is easy to read and also accurately communicates the meaning and content of the original biblical texts. So, it’s perfect as a beginner’s Bible for new believers!

Click here to purchase.

 

  1. The Message.

Front cover image of the personal size The Message Bible. A great Bible for new believers, written in modern language.Another great Bible option for beginners and new believers, The Message is the Bible in contemporary language. The author, Eugene Peterson, describes it this way: “If there is anything distinctive about The Message, perhaps it is because the text is shaped by the hand of a working pastor. For most of my adult life I have been given a primary responsibility for getting the message of the Bible into the lives of the men and women with whom I worked. The Message grew from the soil of forty years of pastoral work.

Peterson saw the need for a Bible that could convey the essential message of God’s Word to the ordinary person who has not been to seminary (school for studying theology and preparing for ministry). And thus, The Message was born.

We love The Message as an accompaniment Bible; for when you’re studying the Bible and need a more modern take that gets to the meaning of God’s Word. It’s fantastic for first-time Bible readers and those new to Bible study. When the Bible is intimidating and hard to decipher, The Message can really help to shine a light on what God means.

Click here to purchase.

 

  1. Christian Basics Bible, NLT.

This description from the Tyndale House Publishers website really says it all: Front cover image of the Christian Basics Bible in the New Living Translation. This Bible is very helpful for new believers that want to get into Bible study.

“New to the Bible? Either because you have become a Christian recently, or because somehow the Bible seems to have passed you by? Then this edition is for you!

The Christian Basics Bible is filled with features designed to help readers—especially those new to the Bible—connect biblical teachings to Christian beliefs and to see how those beliefs apply to their lives. By delivering the right amount of both information and application, The Christian Basics Bible can become the catalyst for living a vibrant Christian life.”

Neat, huh? There is a whole range of notes and features throughout The Christian Basics Bible that make it uniquely suitable as a Bible for new believers. It is designed to help you engage with the Bible “from scratch”—to help you get a hold of the basics of Christianity.

Click here to purchase.

Side Note: Regular or Indexed?

Wondering if you should get the regular or indexed version of a Bible? With indexing you can quickly reach the book of the Bible that you want, without the need to consult a contents page. There are indents in the pages that direct you swiftly to each book of the Bible. It’s not a necessity, but very handy if you’re jumping around to different parts (which can happen quite a lot). If you’re on a reading track, devotional sequence, or searching for an answer to a question, you may be directed to different parts as you seek God’s response.

  1. Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience, Messiah.

Front cover image of the Immerse Reading Bible, Messiah. This Bible is written without chapter and verses and provides a more accessible way to experience Jesus' life and ministryImmerse is a series of books that arranges the Bible into a storybook format. So that you might literally “immerse” yourself in the story of the Bible, there are no chapters or verses, although you are provided with reference points so you can look up the sections in your regular Bible.

In Messiah, the first of 6 books, the New Testament is rearranged so that the letters of the New Testament are paired with a Gospel (a book that tells Jesus’ life story) that has a similar audience. It presents Jesus’ life and ministry in its entirety. You can read all the major events, plus Jesus’ teaching parables*, and connect the dots as you experience this unique way of absorbing the gospel story. It’s a game changer and especially great for new believers not yet used to reading a traditional (chapter-verse) Bible. Even if you’ve been reading the Bible your whole life, Immerse: Messiah can really help with putting things together that you may not have seen before.

Many people have found Immerse to be an easy reading experience and have picked up on essential new details that had previously been missed. For new believers, this is a great way to experience the Word in a more familiar format that may help you as you begin to read the Bible.

The Immerse series also covers the Old Testament, dividing the OT into five books that bring related sections together, such as all the Prophets’ books (Prophets) and pairing the songs and wisdom writings (Poets).

Click here to purchase.

Immerse is also available in Spanish!

*Parables are stories Jesus uses to illustrate an important part of the Christian life. If you’ve ever heard of the prodigal son, the good Samaritan or the lost sheep, these are all parables and are used to teach us how to respond and/or how God loves us.

 

  1. The One Year Bible NLT.

Front cover image of The One Year Bible, New Living Translation. This Bibles offers a great way to cover the entire Bible in just one year, making the Bible far less intimidating for new believers.

When you become a new believer and start reading the Bible, it can be overwhelming seeing how large the Holy Bible is and can feel like an impossible task to

take on. It’s hard to know where to start and in which order to read through it.

So, it can be extremely useful to have a guide through the Bible. The One Year Bible will lead you in a way that will make sense to anyone, and if you keep up the reading every day, you can get through the entire Bible in just one year and feel exceptionally satisfied that you’ve completed what once felt way too big!

The reading can be done in as little as 15 minutes each day, and you’ll be amazed at how much you will learn in those few minutes spent with God.

This edition is also in the New Living Translation, which makes reading and understanding the Bible very easy. You can also get the One Year Bible in NIV, KJV, and NKJV (New King James Version) editions, and it comes in Spanish too!

Click here to purchase.

  1. NLT Life Application Study Bible.

Front cover image of the third edition of the very popular Life Application Bible. This Bible helps readers to seek and understand God's truth, and how it applies to their own life.The Life Application Study Bible is one of the most popular Bibles—in fact, it’s the number one-selling study Bible in America! And for good reason.

It is absolutely chock-full of study notes and features. This Bible will help you understand God’s Word, perhaps for the first time, or even better than ever. It answers the real-life questions that you may have and provides practical yet powerful ways to apply the Bible to your life every day. And who wouldn’t want that?

Here’s some of the cool features we love (from a list of many, which you can see here):

  • Over 10,000 Life Application notes and features
  • Over 100 Life Application profiles of key Bible people
  • Introductions and overviews for each book of the Bible
  • More than 500 maps & charts placed for quick reference

This is the Bible you will want if you’re looking for something that goes deep into God’s Word to help you really grasp the concepts and contexts and learn how to use the Word in your everyday life. And because The Life Application Study Bible is in the New Living Translation, we believe this is an easier to read and understand version.

You can experience the first chapters for yourself here.

Click here to purchase.

Side note: Red Letter or No?

What does it mean when a Bible mentions it has a “red letter” feature? This is, quite simply, any text spoken directly by Jesus printed in red lettering throughout the Bible. Is it essential to have? No. But it is nice to have that obviously pointed out, especially for new believers.

  1. Filament Bible NLT.

The Filament Bible is pictured with a mobile phone, demonstrating that Filament can be used with a helpful app that expands upon God's Word and helps to put context to Scripture.The Filament Bible NLT is awesome because it’s a “regular” print Bible, a study Bible, and a devotional Bible all in one, plus it gives you access to visual aids like maps, charts, and even animated videos to help you in your study.

When you open a Filament Bible you see clean, simple print; just Scripture. This allows you to really get into the verses and read without distractions. But, cleverly concealed in the free Filament Bible app is all the study notes you could ever wish for, plus reflection articles for your personal meditation and visuals that help to explain the context, verses, and meanings. Every page is linked to a digital library of relevant content designed to help you read deeply. And the best part? It’s regularly updated and added to, so you get new study guides and content as time goes by!

Filament Bible NLT is the one you want if you would prefer a “cleaner” Bible for reading but also want all the additions to help in your study. This is especially great if you don’t want any extra study books or you’re on the move a lot; all you need is your Bible and a smartphone or tablet. And, bonus, this one comes in the easy-to-read New Living Translation too!

You can learn more about Filament Bible NLT and it’s features here.

Click here to purchase.

 

  1. HelpFinder Bible NLT.

Front cover image of the HelpFinder Bible, New Living Translation. This Bible is good for new believers because it answers many specific questions most new believers have about Christianity.As a new believer you perhaps have some very specific questions you’re keen to ask God. Perhaps you want something clarified. Or maybe you need to know what God has to say on a particular subject. Maybe you’re struggling with something and desperately want God’s guidance.

But since you’re not familiar with the Bible, you don’t know where to look first. How do you discover God’s Word on any given subject?

That’s why the HelpFinder Bible made this list! It says it all in the subheader for this Bible: God’s Word at Your Point of Need.

With its extensive index, you can find the parts of the Bible that speak to many different life-needs, emotions, and issues. Subjects include anxiety, death, healing, anger, God’s presence, truth, character, and teamwork, to name a few.

In-Scripture notes point you to God’s promises and offer extra context to the verse content, highlighting parts of the story that are especially relevant to life-need subjects.

HelpFinder is great for new believers inexperienced in reading the Bible or anyone who wants an easy way to discover God’s answers to specific subjects.

Purchase a copy here.

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