Numerous study Bibles are available with endless annotations, charts, maps, images, sidebar notes, timelines, etc. The latest is the ESV Study Bible, which I heartily recommend. Although very helpful, these tools for study can get in the way of a straight-forward reading of Scripture. To remedy this, the International Bible Society has published The Books of the Bible (TNIV). Their mission is to “actively encourage more frequent, comprehensive Bible reading.”

The Books of The Bible project encourages better Bible reading, particularly by emphasizing the reading of whole books. The result is an inviting and clean visual presentation of the Bible that can be understood and enjoyed more easily. The Books of The Bible differs from the format of most current Bibles in significant ways:

  • chapter and verse numbers are removed from the text (a chapter-and-verse range is at the bottom of each page)
  • individual books are presented with the literary divisions that their authors have indicated
  • footnotes, section headings and other supplementary materials have been removed from the text (translators’ notes are available at the back of each book)
  • the books of the Bible have been placed in an order that provides more help in understanding, based on literary genre, historical circumstance and theological tradition
  • single books that later translations or tradition divided into two or more books are made whole again (example: Luke-Acts)
  • single-column setting that clearly and naturally presents the literary forms of the Bible’s books

By all means expand your knowledge of Scripture and get a good study Bible. But by no means let your knowledge about Scripture eclipse your reading of Scripture!

Learn more here.


  1. I’ve read The Books of the Bible and recommend it to everyone. I’ve bought several boxes to give away as gifts. I would love to have your support in seeing The Books of the Bible printed in a high end edtion, like the new TNIV Reference Bible in Renaissance Fine Leather from Zondervan. If you can tell me who I can contact to get TBotB in a better, more permanent edition I would be forever grateful.

  2. A friend encoraged me to read this website, great post, interesting read… keep up the nice work!

  3. Welcome, Sharon, and please do pass along to your friend a hearty “thanks” for sharing.


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