What Is The Best Study Bible In 2023? List Of The Best

Were you looking to take your Bible study to the next level in 2023? Look no further than our list of the best study Bibles available today!

From comprehensive notes and commentary to user-friendly design and digital integration, these top picks offer everything you need to deepen your understanding and enrich your spiritual life. So get ready to dive in and discover the perfect study Bible for you!

What Is a “Study Bible”?

If you’ve ever been taken aback by the sheer size of someone’s Bible, chances are you were looking at a study Bible. Study Bibles range in size from large to enormous, but they are all noticeably thicker, more comprehensive, and heavier than a standard Bible.

This is because a study Bible contains not only the text of Scripture but also a wealth of additional content that a regular Bible does not. A study Bible may have many features (such as the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible), or it may only have a few—it all depends on the purpose of the resource.

Every modern Bible includes the Old and New Testaments and a few basic features that we expect from most books. Most Bibles have a table of contents, division and chapter headings, page numbers, and other features.

Most standard Bibles also include basic study aids, such as cross-references (the small superscript letters in the text that point to similar Scriptures) and footnotes (the superscript numbers that clarify a verse or phrase). A standard Bible will frequently highlight Christ’s words in red, include a thematic index of Bible verses, and offer simple reading plans. They often top it all off with a few maps in the back, making it easier to follow along with Moses, David, Jesus, and Paul’s journeys.

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Key Study Bible Characteristics

Aside from the features of a regular Bible, most study Bibles have several (or all) of the following:

Notes for Study

Study notes are similar to footnotes in adding scholarly context to the text. These range from explanatory sentences to longer paragraphs that delve deeper into the subject. Many regular Bibles, for example, include a footnote next to the word “Behemoth” in Job 40:15 that says, “or hippopotamus.”

However, the study note on the verse in the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible provides four different scholarly interpretations of the mysterious creature God describes to Job in this passage—as well as how these various theories related to the central aim of this particular text: God’s wisdom far outweighs Job’s wisdom.

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These are similar to expanded study notes. Articles are much more detailed and can be several hundred words long. Unlike study notes, which are laser-focused on a specific word or phrase, articles usually expand on topical themes or provide additional insight in keeping with the purpose of the study Bible.

For example, the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible includes an article on ziggurats, an ancient type of structure, right next to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel.

Charts, tables, timelines, illustrations, and maps

Most study Bibles have visual aids to help you understand what’s happening. Depending on the study Bible, these may include photographs of real-world archeological sites, artists’ concepts of lost artifacts, historical timelines, and family trees—the latter useful when determining which of the many Herods is causing trouble at any point in the New Testament.

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Whitespace and borders

A lot of helpful information is crammed into study Bibles. However, another key differentiator is how much space is left for your Bible study. Bible study frequently involves note-taking and reflection—and it helps to have plenty of room in the margins (or even dedicated pages and worksheets) for you to fill in with your observations.


A study of Bible concordance is far more comprehensive than a simple thematic verse index, allowing you to look up the significant places a given word appears throughout Scripture.

While a regular Bible may provide a few verses that help you feel at peace, a study Bible concordance will give you a list of significant places where the word “peace” appears.

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How To Choose The Best Study Bible?

Choosing the best study Bible can be daunting, given the wide variety of available options. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a study Bible:


Choose a translation that is accurate, easy to understand, and fits your personal preference. Popular translations include the New International Version (NIV), English Standard Version (ESV), and New American Standard Bible (NASB).

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Study Aids

Look for a study Bible that includes helpful study aids such as introductions to each book of the Bible, maps, charts, and cross-references.


Check if the study Bible includes commentaries from trusted scholars, which can provide insights and help with interpretation.


Consider features such as the size and format of the Bible, the type of cover, and whether or not it includes digital resources such as apps or online access.

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Think about your purpose for studying the Bible. Are you looking for personal spiritual growth or academic goals? Choose a study Bible that aligns with your specific needs.


Study Bibles can range in price from inexpensive to quite expensive. Consider your budget and choose a study Bible that fits within it.

The best study Bible is one that you will use regularly, and that helps you grow in your understanding of God’s word.

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10 Best Study Bible

#1. The ESV Study Bible

The ESV Study Bible, released in October 2008, has received numerous awards and accolades. It is at the top of our list because it is widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive Bibles ever published. Teachers and scholars such as John Piper, Mark Driscoll, R. Albert Mohler Jr., and R. Kent Hughes support this English Standard Bible Study Bible version.

The ESV Study Bible was the first to receive the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s Christian Book of the Year Award in March 2009. (ECPA). It was the best Bible and sold out as soon as it hit bookstores.

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#2. The Life Application Study Bible

In 2019, the third edition of this best-selling, award-winning study Bible was updated and expanded with new and relevant insights.

The Life Application Study Bible assists readers in understanding God’s Word as they read and teaches them how to apply it to problems and questions that arise in daily life, whether at work or in relationships. You won’t have to look for the study notes because they’re at the bottom of each page.

The NTL version of the Life Application Study Bible was named a winner in the Bible category of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s Christian Book of the Year Awards in 2020. (ECPA). Tyndale House Publishers publishes the Life Application Study Bible in several popular translations, including the NIV, NLT, NASB, and KJV.

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#3. Quest Study Bible

The Quest Study Bible is for readers who have unanswered questions and want to learn more about God and his Word. You’ll find answers to hundreds of popular and challenging topics in articles and resources from today’s most trusted scholars.

This study Bible also includes helpful sidebar notes that clarify difficult passages. Themes, characters, and events are identified in book introductions. Whether you are a new or seasoned Christian, the Quest Study Bible will help you deepen your understanding of Scripture.

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#4. CSB Ancient Faith Study Bible

The CSB (Christian Standard Bible) Ancient Faith Study Bible, released in September 2019, is already among the winners of the Bible category in the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s Christian Book of the Year Awards (ECPA).

This study Bible is intended to provide readers with insight into their rich biblical heritage through study notes and commentary drawn from the writings of famous early church fathers.

Without sacrificing readability, the Christian Standard Bible version provides a highly literal and reliable translation for serious study. The Ancient Faith Study Bible allows readers to glean wisdom from some of history’s most illustrious saints for their modern lives.

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#5. Compass: The Study Bible for Life Navigation

The idea behind the Compass Bible is precisely what the title suggests. It was created to assist people in connecting with God by pointing them in the right direction and revealing their place in God’s story.

Compass is written in the Voice translation, a hybrid of “word-for-word” and “thought-for-thought” translation methods. Its translation of Revelation, one of the Bible’s most difficult books, is delightful.

Compass is an excellent gift for a new believer, a seeker, or anyone looking to embark on a unique and meaningful journey through the Scriptures.

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#6. Hebrew-Greek Bible Key Word Study

The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible is ideal for students in Bible school or seminary who don’t have time to learn Greek and Hebrew. This study Bible assists in unlocking the vast vocabulary and intricate structure of the original Hebrew and Greek languages.

Another reason the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible appeals to seminary students is because it is available in many translations, including the KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, and CSB.

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#7. The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible

The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible features a one-of-a-kind reference system that allows readers to follow any subject, person, place, or idea from beginning to end. It could be one of the best topical study tools ever created. It is beneficial for teachers who must prepare their own Bible study lessons. It’s handcrafted and long-lasting, making it ideal for Bible readers.

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#8. The Starting Place Study Bible

Let’s face it: the prospect of studying the Bible can be intimidating if you’re starting out on your faith journey. The Starting Place Study Bible, released in 2019, provides an introductory exploration into God’s Word for those needing assistance and guidance getting started with their studies.

The notes, introductions, character profiles, and other features are all simple to use, allowing new believers to gain confidence as their understanding of the Bible grows. Another great feature is the Bible’s low cost. The Starting Place Study Bible is a beautiful gift for new Christians.

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#9. Starting Point Study Bible

The Starting Point Study Bible is excellent for new believers or those who have recently rededicated their lives to Christ and want to start over. This Bible will assist you in starting (or restarting) your journey with Christ by teaching you how to lay a solid foundation of faith. It will also help you in applying biblical truth to your everyday life.

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#10. The Amplified Bible

The Amplified Bible is another excellent choice for those seeking to comprehend the meaning of Scripture in its original Greek and Hebrew languages. When you have this Bible, there’s no need to study or dig for the rich nuances found in the original biblical languages.

The Amplified Bible expands vital words and defines phrases as you read using a unique system of brackets, parentheses, and italics. The whole meaning of God’s Word is revealed verse by verse.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a study Bible “the best”?

 A good study Bible will provide extensive notes, commentary, and background information to help readers better understand the context and meaning of the text. Other important factors may include the following:
The quality of the translation.
The readability of the text.
The user-friendliness of the design.

Are digital study Bibles just as good as print versions?

Yes, digital study Bibles can be just as good (if not better) than print versions, as they often offer additional features such as search functionality, cross-referencing, and multimedia resources. However, some readers may prefer the tactile experience of a physical book.

Is it necessary to have a study Bible to study the Bible effectively?

While a study Bible can certainly be helpful, it is not necessary to effectively study the Bible. Ultimately, what matters most is a reader’s dedication to prayer, reflection, and engagement with the text.

How do I choose the proper study Bible for me? 

Consider factors such as your Biblical knowledge level, preferred translation, learning style, and budget when selecting a study Bible. Reading reviews and asking for recommendations from trusted sources can also be helpful.

Can a study Bible help deepen my spiritual life?

Yes, a study Bible can be an invaluable tool for deepening your spiritual life, as it can provide insights, context, and guidance for interpreting and applying the teachings of the Bible to your life. However, it is essential to remember that spiritual growth comes from a personal relationship with God, not simply from reading and studying the Bible.


With so many excellent study Bibles on the market in 2023, there’s never been a better time to engage with Scripture and grow in your faith.

Whether you’re a seasoned scholar or just starting on your spiritual journey, there’s a study Bible out there that’s right for you. So don’t wait – choose one from our list of the best and start exploring the depths of God’s word today!

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