In this video I’m reviewing a bunch of study Bibles. I like some a lot, and I’m not as fond of others. I’m offering my honest take, but I could be wrong about stuff. The goal of the video is to help you get a Bible in your hands that’ll spark your curiosity and make you want to read and study the Bible a lot, and connect with God who I believe is on the other end of this document.

Here’s a link to my previous video where I talk about what to look for in a general sense in a study Bible:

Here’s a link to Samaritan Ministries who are not sponsoring this video, but who I’ve talked about in detail in other videos they did sponsor:

Giant thank you to everyone who supports this channel. If you wanted to kick in or learn more about that, you can go to



  1. The best study Bible is the one you read yourself without predetermined doctrine clouding your judgement. Don’t let authorities tell you what to think, read it and come to your own conclusions and then see what others have thought.

  2. I’ve watched this video probably a dozen times to help me buy a study Bible I can really dig into. Tonight I ordered the NLT Illustrated in leather and some book tabs to match it. I’m very excited.

  3. Matt, I wish you would mention a bit more about the availability in different font sizes. Like many elderly I wear bifocals, but I don't want to have to wear them to read the word. The same way you disliked the bible that would close up, I dislike having to get up, go find my glasses, to sit and study.

  4. 1. I have to say, I LOVE your library behind you!!! lol

    2. I love my Bullinger's Bible. At least HE is honest (in most of it) plus i have a Young's and a Strong's concordance. We have sooo many different Bibles in our house… and we've given away sooo many as well to people we know don't have one. I don't do "study Bibles" because I know it's just one person's or a certain group's opinion. Most of them pretty much condemn women when they try to tell them how to live… as if they know what women go through and are too stupid to learn any other way.

    3. Yeshua hung around a LOT OF WOMEN! He had a special affinity toward them. He even said that the one who washed His feet with her hair would be read about from now on! and she is! every single time anyone reads those verses! How is it that men can think totally different from Yeshua? that women can't think or do for themselves. You men need to rethink your thinking!!! (I'm including Paul in that too).

    No, I will let YHWH and Yeshua and the Holy Spirit teach me rather than any opinionated man. There are very few people that could even think to be possible to change my opinion. I trust God rather than man.

    People need to study the Orientalisms of the time too. what things were acceptable back then…. how were things done back then? The Bible IS an oriental book, written IN the middle east, for middle eastern people (until Yeshua changed all that). Eastern living is totally different from Western living. Don't forget that!

    May YHWH's Holy Spirit be on each and every one of you!

  5. I think the comparison at 34 minutes ish is good however, thinking of me and my wife, if we both had those bibles and read them together, we could share the differences in perception and compare or communicate from our point of view. Women generally are more feeling and emotional generated and men more statistic and logic. It can sway either direction and both men and women are capable of seeing things differently which is why I think its cool to have them so different so we can share from a bible written in our point of view but relate to the others as well.

  6. I prefer my MacArthur Study Bible. I find his approach to be the least messy. He gets right to the point, points out historical facts that tie the stories together, and he's a pretribulationist, which I agree with.

  7. Thank you for working to lay out the case for study of the Scriptures. It is only through just that, study, that any individual can make independent decisions about what "works." It is hard to imagine that just reading what you have in hand might inform you, or is it? Translations, word for word, thought for thought, yada, yada … pick one and stay in it. Then find another and do the same. You will be surprised at what is actually the similarity between the books you have held. When told to love, forgive, confess, accept Christ does it matter that one version of Scripture has a variance on a phrase? A man running through the building yelling, "Fire, fire…!" is understood. Later we can parse what he meant. Good job brother.

  8. Thank you for what you said about the women's Bibles! I am a woman who strives to study the Bible so that I may know God deeply and serve him better. As a mother of four and teacher to many more children, in different capacities at my church, I take my responsibility to know the Word very seriously! I need to know it if I am to impart it to the next generation.

  9. I get the criticism of study Bibles geared toward women, but realize there is a strong market for it. The criticism should be directed toward that market (the women who like to use that type of study Bible), not toward the publishers. I say this as a woman 🙂

    As an aside, ohhhh man do I want that Ancient Faith study Bible.

  10. Got a few you did reviews two years ago NLT study one! Not in print any more. we added these two are really nice well made 1. ESV story of Redemption Bible A journey through the unfolding promises of God Brown or burgundy 2. NIV Verse mapping Bible- soft leather both from christian books site. ❤ your channel more please! 2023 is going to be a great new start of reading bible time…

  11. I loved the SHE READS Truth Bible (layout, style, organization, etc). Until I saw the HE READS TRUTH Bible 🙄. Do you think the HE READS TRUTH could function for Women as well? Thanks.

  12. I have the She Reads Truth and just ordered the He Reads Truth for a friend so we could have the same translation and such for studies together….Now I’m annoyed by learning they are very different and want a He Reads Truth for myself 🫠

  13. I don’t like the NLT Bible. It reminds me of the Living Bible back in the 70s. In fact, I decided not to go to a particular church because they always use it as a main resource. Although, for new believers both can be good resource to help the reader get established in the faith. My personal preference is the Amplified Bible with just enough notes for clarification without trying to steer the reader in a particular direction. I prefer to let the Holy Spirit do that. I have also read KJV, NKJV, NIV, NAS. I also prefer to refer to commentaries that are written with a healthy fear of God guiding them. I only want the truth, not man’s opinion or their own narrow view.

  14. Thank you for doing these. I’ve bought the Bible’s targeted to women and have felt defeated. I’m so glad you go through everything so I can actually get a bible that’s useful to me.

  15. Thanks for this. I agree with your assessment of the women’s study Bibles. Wow what a difference! I cannot understand why any publisher would “dumb down” a Bible for any group with the possible exception being a children’s Bible. How can anyone justify such a patronizing attitude?

  16. Women’s devotionals, Christian books for women, women’s conferences, women’s ministries, and women’s study bibles are always lame. They are always so surface level. Thankfully I was pointed to the puritans, because I got sick of all the fluff. I also just get a Bible with zero notes now, and make my own based on what I learn.

  17. I have a couple study bibles I’ve gotten second hand (love reading others notes and seeing what they highlight) but I was gifted a brand new Lutheran Study Bible and I repeatedly find it super helpful. Now, I’ve been quick to call myself a handful of denominations, and am now stepping away from that, so I’m not Lutheran, however I love the notes and I love the charts. Plus it’s hard cover that passes the lay test.🤙🏽💕

  18. Also, would love to see you interact with the JPS New Testament Study Bible which approaches the New Testament from a Jewish perspective – something that is desperately needed to really unpack the NT and especially the life of Jesus and the writings of Paul.

  19. I've always had to look into the He Reads Truth studies because there's just more scholarly "meat" there than in their She Reads Truth studies, which tend to be much more devotional and light on scholarship. It's definitely patronizing and as a woman in seminary (earning my 2nd Masters in my 2nd seminary), it's also an academic robbery. Women deserve quality biblical, historical, and theological education in not only academia but at the lay-level in their bible studies, conferences, and leadership programs.

  20. Unfortunate that you missed out the Ignatius study bible, presumably that was because only the new testament is finished now but I definitely think it should've got a mention. Will be fully finished soon and it's an incredible study of the original manuscripts

  21. Hey Matt, I haven't finished the video just yet (43:29) but your points about the she reads truth and the he reads truth bibles kind of concerned me. I don't disagree with your point and with some of the women who have posted that it's not a academic study Bible. But I wouldn't describe that as a drawback as your opinion led me to believe. Yes it's more of a devotional or current events type Bible and sure there may already be a lot of that for women, but that doesn't make it awful. I looked into the org that partnered with Holman, She reads truth. It appears that the majority of leadership in the LLC is female. I think that perhaps their publications happens to be heavily influenced with female specific issues because they have their phone apps for each of the he/she/kids read(s) truth and that may be the most popular topics from their she reads app. Again, with so much female leadership they may be biased and those may have been the very same questions they had when they were new to the faith. Perhaps this was their best attempt for outreach to the new believer. I would conjecture that most people don't come to the faith through knowledge but through personal experience with God. Therefore a book that tackles females issues headfirst in such a delicate society is not bad. I can't confirm any of that but it's just speculation. Honestly as a male, I'm more disappointed in the he reads truth because it didn't have more male specific issues. Like what's husband headship and biblical study about that. I'm all for academic and apologetic study because they are my favorite topics but it doesn't mean that as a man and new husband I knew how to be a good husband. Sure premarital counseling exists but why are we as Christians not imparting practical knowledge of being a God fearing male too. Yes we are upset that there's been abuse from patriarchy but there's also a neglect of the male and boys being raised today. This has lead to so many broken homes and households because boys are becoming fathers when they didn't have their own and they didn't learn what God has really asked of them first. So yes, the She reads truth isn't an academic study Bible but it's not claiming to be either. It claimed to be a woman's study Bible. The he reads study Bible seems to me that it failed to be a study Bible geared towards men and that there needs to be a clear delineation from a gender specific study Bible to an academic study Bible. I pray that you read this and hear my heart brother, be blessed. “May the Lord bless you and protect you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace."

  22. Another woman here and a long time scholar of the Bible. I could not agree more about the Women’s Bibles. My primary problem about the majority of Women’s Bibles treat women as if we are idiots. I have a devotional Bible that was a gift that has never been cracked because it is so condescending. Thanks for bringing up the two Women’s Bibles that actually were study Bibles. I might look into them, the the Ancient Faith Study Bible is more my speed!

  23. I am in complete agreement with your assessment of She/He Reads Truth Bibles. I have almost stopped looking at anything geared towards women because it is almost always surface level & “me” centered.

  24. Just to defend Crossway a little, there is a new Men's Study Bible with the same notes as the women's and the students bible with the little devotionals and character profiles geared towards men and not women. I love mine!

  25. @Matt Whitman, I have stumbled upon your channel due to an event that led me to lookup MacArthur's study bible. I will get into the event in a bit, but due to your approach of communication I decided you would be a good individual to ask the question I am about to ask.
    So, on Christmas, my father in-law gifted me, my wife, his two sons and their wifes with a MacArthur's study bible each. Of note, my wife and her family are Lutheran.
    My background is much more diverse and different.
    I come from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a state of former Yugoslavia.
    My mom's side of the family (extended) is Catholic, my dad's side of the family (also extended) is Eastern Orthodox, but I have grown up an atheist and am still an atheist.
    In my youth I was baptized as a requirement of Croatian government in order to get my citizenship. As part of this process I went to church on regular basis to put an application and avoid questions. During this time I became a believer and was practicing Catholicism. Ultimately I return back to atheism after I learned of horrors of war and what my parents, their friends, neighbors and family went through and the fact that I was baptized as a requirement of a government.
    Anyway, I have no issues with anyone else's believes. Being from former Yugoslavia, I have friends and family who are Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim and Jews and also agnostic and atheist.
    Additional, I do not push my atheist beliefs on others. That is not my job nor do I think it is OK for me or anyone else to push their beliefs on someone else.
    So, being gifted a Bible is a bit off putting if someone knows my views on it. I would be like me gifting him a Quran study book. Which BTW crossed my mind, but I know that is not the right approach.
    So the question. What do I do?

  26. I loved this video. My choice is The Complete Jewish Study Bible though, as I am in a phase almost feeling strangely compelled to learn and really curious about jewish traditions and heritage to understand the NT better. best wishes


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