I have never met a preacher who doesn’t love Bibles, and I hope I never will. The Bible is our most important ministry tool, and without it we are nothing more than motivational speakers. Like you, I have several Bibles to use for different occasions. Today I am pumped about two brand new Bibles I just added to my ministry toolbox.
The CSB Pastor’s Bible
The first one is the brand new CSB Pastor’s Bible, which just came out a few days ago. I preached from mine for the first time last Sunday, so here are my favorite features.
Sunday may have been the first time I have ever preached from a single column Bible. I assure you that it won’t be the last. It was so much easier to find the text that I needed during the delivery of the sermon.
Since preaching happens in real time with moving parts, we need to be able to read our text without straining our eyes. If you walk around while you preach, like I do, it is imperative that the words are big enough to see in imperfect light and without a stable pulpit. If you are tired of straining your eyes to find your text, you are really going to love this Pastor’s Bible!
There is something very personal about the cover of a Bible. LifeWay has always given countless choices for all of the translations we sell, but our team has upped their game recently. For thirty years I have preached from a black leather Bible, which was fine until I got hold of this brown goatskin leather Pastor’s Bible. The box it came in says, “Brown genuine leather,” but when you look on the back corner of the Bible it says “goatskin leather.” Your preaching Bible is not the place to cut corners, so if possible, invest in a real leather cover that you like.
This will matter more to those who prefer writing notes in their Bibles. All of my sermon notes are on my iPad, but the wider margins do serve to make the single column stick out better.
I am a huge fan of Dr. Jim Henry, so I was pleased to see several wedding and funeral options in the middle of the Bible. These tools will come in handy on those weeks when you get overwhelmed with ministry needs.
The CSB Spurgeon Study Bible
The second Bible I just acquired is the CSB Spurgeon Study Bible. I am using it as a personal devotional Bible. It features thousands of excerpts from Charles Spurgeon’s lost sermons and journal entries. When I started reading this Bible, I felt like I was being mentored by the “Prince of Preachers” who lived over a century ago. Spurgeon preached to over 10 million people in his lifetime, and millions more since then by his books, but now he is impacting me. By the way, it really is a study Bible, not just a Bible with some notes and sermons in it.
The CSB Translation
Both of these new Bibles come in the new CSB translation, which is a major revision of the HCSB. After preaching from the HCSB for over a decade, I was nervous about this change.
The CSB exceeded my expectations, and has been so widely embraced that we are exponentially exceeding our initial publishing goals. In short, LifeWay’s Holman publishers kept their promise to make the HCSB more readable without compromising its commitment to accuracy. The hundred scholars from seventeen denominations didn’t make us choose between word for word or thought for thought. Instead the translators used Optimal Equivalence “a translation philosophy that balances linguistic precision to the original languages and readability in contemporary English.” It’s a translation pastors and members will want to read between Sundays.
I am in the game with you, pastor, and hope these new tools will help you with your walk with Jesus as well as your ministry to his Bride.