As a beginner, how would I obtain a high-quality copy of The Bible?

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Hello, AskBibleScholars. As of now, I know virtually nothing about The Bible. I have not laid my eyes upon a single page as of yet. If I wanted to obtain a copy of The Bible, what is the best version that would be available for me to purchase? I have heard of annotated versions of The Bible, that add footnotes and explanations to certain passages. Is it possible in any way for me to acquire a version of this nature? I don't want to read a copy of The Bible and be misguided by the potential lack of context and mistranslations, however insignificant, that could possibly be found in many areas of the standard English version of The Bible.

Thank you for your time.

3 Answers

In my opinion, this is one of the best answers that I have seen. I've copied/pasted it below:

There is no single best Bible translation for all readers. Every reader will have a reason for reading, with particular needs in mind. Considering the number of Bible translations, one very likely already exists that will satisfy the reader's need. There are a few criteria that will help determine the appropriate translation: Is this intended as a literary reading or a devotional one? What is the reading level the reader is comfortable with? Does the reader wish to have the assistance of the notes of a study Bible? If a devotional reading, is there a confessional translation that would be preferred, or a particular confessionally-adjacent study Bible? Does the reader need the apocrypha? What format does the reader wish: a printed hardcover, paperback, or deluxe edition, or just electronic? If a printed volume is desired, which size? Does the reader desire any special features (enlarged text, large margins for notes, etc)? Which language is the reader most comfortable reading? With the right answers to the questions above, and likely a few others, one would likely find a very good match.

best version of the Bible

That is a very subjective answer and no real right answer. What are you looking for in a Bible? Modern English? Historical accuracy? Which religion? I assume you are asking about the Christian Bible. Even then A Catholic Bible differs in the number, order, and passages than those used by Protestants or other denominations.

My students are very happy with the Harper Collins Study Bible, which is the New Revised Standard Version translation, with copious notes, good maps, introductory essays and prefaces. It's an all-inclusive Bible, so Old Testament/Hebrew Sciptures + Deuterocanonical Books/Apocrypha + New Testament. The translation is readable, important manuscript variants and translation difficulties are noted. Here's the hardcover version from Amazon: , but there are a softcover version and a Kindle version, too.