We are incredibly blessed in the English-speaking world with a vast array of options when it comes to Bibles. However, that can make it really difficult to decide what is the best version or even the best edition of each version is for us! A good resource is which has many different versions available online for free, and they can give you a good idea of readability.


Although we’ve linked to, we don’t have any affiliation with them and don’t gain anything from you clicking on these links. If your usual book supplier has these books, go with them!

Versions of the Bible

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

This is a revised version of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), released in 2017. Largely a word-for-word translation, it’s more readable than the ESV in a lot of places, but more literal than the NIV. As a new translation, there are not many churches using this Bible yet, but it is a worthwhile option to consider.

English Standard Version (ESV)

First released in 2001, this translation has become more popular over the past ten or fifteen years. A word-for-word translation, it is more literal than the NIV, but can sometimes be more dense and less readable.

King James Version/Authorised Version (KJV/AV)

This is one of the most famous translations of the Bible, and chances are that if you’re of a certain age, this is the version of the Bible that you’ll have heard quoted. Along with the works of Shakespeare, the AV contributed a lot to the development of the English language over the past 400 years or so. It’s probably not the best option for modern readers as the language is quite difficult, and there’s an argument that it’s not the most accurate translation. However, for many people, this was their first introduction to the Word of God, and many Christians prefer their favourite memory verses in the older version.

New International Version (NIV)

This has been one of the most popular versions of the Bible in the UK over the past 30 years. It translates the Bible phrase by phrase so is generally very readable, but is not the most literal translation. The NIV is often a good translation if you’re reading the Bible for the first time.

NIV Editions

Hannah Dunnett Journaling Bible (

Hannah Dunnett is famous for her beautiful cards and prints which incorporate Bible verses. This journaling Bible includes space to write your own thoughts in the margins as well as illustrations to encourage you in your study time.

Life Application Study Bible (

An old favourite, the Life Application Study Bible contains introductions to each book of the Bible, a concordance at the back, and notes under the text which encourage you to think about how you can apply the principles in the passages to your life.

Men’s Devotional Bible (

This Bible includes a year’s worth of devotions to help you with your Bible study. Specifically targeted at men, many of the reflections are written by ordinary Christian men, not famous pastors, and are all designed to encourage and uplift.

Soul Survivor Youth Bible (

With articles on how to read the Bible and what Christianity is about, as well as on themes, issues and storylines of the Bible, this is a popular option for young people and is edited by Soul Survivor leaders and workers.

Soul Survivor Bible in One Year (

Split into daily readings from September 1st, this is a great Bible to give young people and students to encourage them into a daily Bible reading habit.

Study Bible (

The standard NIV study Bible focuses on bringing historical and theological background to its notes on the text. Like the Life Application Study Bible, it also has introductions to books of the Bible.

Women’s Devotional Bible (

Similar to the Men’s Devotional Bible, this Bible contains devotions and reflections written by women for women. The devotions cover a full year, and there are also reading plans to encourage you into the next.

Zondervan Study Bible (

A more recent study Bible, this is edited by D.A. Carson and contains over 20,000 verse-by-verse notes. There are also numerous articles, introductions to sections of the Bible as well as books, and the whole Bible is very aesthetically pleasing, if that kind of thing is important to you!

ESV Editions

Archaeology Bible (

A very recent release from Crossway (who produce the ESV), this contains hundreds of notes and articles from archaeologists and history scholars, “helping readers situate them in their historical context while recognizing the truth that the eternal God became flesh entered human history at a specific time and in a specific place.”

Illuminated Journaling Bible (

A beautiful journaling Bible with illustrated Bible verses throughout, this is a bit of a luxury item.

Men’s Devotional Bible (

The ESV answer to the devotional Bible for men and edited by Sam Storms, this Bible contains a year’s worth of devotions from a variety of pastors and leaders.

Reader’s Bible (

Unlike many of the other Bibles on this list, the ESV Reader’s Bible is stripped right down – there are no chapter or verse numbers, and each book reads from start to end without any significant break.

Study Bible (

The flagship ESV Study Bible is an impressive volume, with tens of thousands of verse-by-verse notes, essays dealing with doctrinal, historical and ethical issues, and the usual pre-book background information.

Systematic Theology Bible (

Specifically designed to show how our doctrine comes from Scripture, this is particularly ideal for those involved in teaching ministry, or who want to deepen their understanding of systematic theology.

Women’s Devotional Bible (

This devotional Bible also contains a year’s worth of reflections, as well as book introductions and character profiles throughout.

CSB Editions

Apologetics Study Bible (

With contributions from apologists such as Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, and Albert Mohler, this Bible helps to encourage Christians to understand and defend the faith better and with more confidence.

She Reads Truth Bible (

A women’s devotional Bible with a difference, this includes devotions, calligraphy, many articles and illustrations to deepen knowledge, as well as reading plans for different books of the Bible.

Spurgeon Study Bible (

Edited by Alastair Begg, this Bible offers notes and reflections from the Prince of Preachers himself, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Study Bible (

With word studies, photos, timelines and maps, as well as the usual book introductions, study notes and concordances.

Worldview Study Bible (

The motivation behind this study Bible is to help show how the Christian faith can and should change our worldview. Contributors include Carl Trueman and Darrell Bock.