Staff Recommends: Bible Translations and Tools
We are passionate about Scripture's power to change your life and even impact the lives around you as you dig in to God's Word this year.
What's exciting (and maybe a little intimidating) is Christian bookstores are overflowing with different options and tools for studying Scripture. There are so many translations, age-appropriate versions, study Bibles, paraphrased Bibles, illustrated Bibles, chronological Bibles, journaling Bibles, and more.
Looking for an easy starting point? Valley View staff has a list of personal recommendations that could help you engage with God's Word:
The ESV Study Bible is a well-rounded study tool and is a great resource for many topics concerning the Bible, History and God. It has background information, commentary and cross-references, as well as over 50 articles concerning topics such as Interpretation, Original Biblical Language, as well was information about other religions. If you are looking for a resource to help you grow in understanding of the Bible, the ESV Study Bible is fairly compact and has a lot of helpful information.
-Chad Pickens, Outreach Minister
The Jesus Study Bible is a brand new group effort project with contributions from Louie Giglio, Max Lucado, John Piper, Ravi Zacharias, and Randy Alcorn. Many fail to realize the whole of scripture points to Jesus! This Bible exists to help us recognize this truth by highlighting Jesus on every page. I think this Bible can be a helpful tool in your spiritual development and understanding of the grand arc of scripture.
- Joel Harney, Student Minister
The NIV Adventure Bible is great for Elementary aged kids because of the vivid pictures and comments that are really applicable to life for kids.
The Jesus Storybook Bible is great for kids of all ages but is only a selection of stories and not the whole Bible. We love it because of the thoughtful language and beautiful pictures as the author shows how all of the Bible points to Jesus.
The Action Bible is written in a graphic novel format that really captures the major stories and themes from the Bible. If you have a kid who likes graphic novels, this is a great one to pique their interest.
- Mike Havens, Discipleship Minister
Finding the Streetlights Bible was a game changer for me. I still love using my printed study Bible for quiet moments when I can sit and study, but during long trips in the car or putting away laundry (the worst chore, honestly), I've been streaming Streetlights and it's so encouraging. A fresh way to hear familiar passages; several chapters were in my top 100 tracks of 2016! Find it on Spotify or purchase on iTunes.
- Sarah Rosie Hester, Communications Director
My friend Scott Hamilton told me about this app called Through the Word that has a 10-ish minute-long audio commentary on every chapter you read through. I was impressed.
- Daniel Harney, Worship & Creative Arts Minister
Find this app called YouVersion. Many of you already have this on your phone, but I want to challenge you to find a Bible reading plan on this Bible app! You can do an entire Old and New Testament plan or you can just do it for 40 days. Find a specific plan, read through the Bible this year, and you will be amazed how God will guide you.
-Joe Weece, Senior Minister
I downloaded this app called Verses to see if it could help me memorize Scripture, and so far I love it! I'm not great at committing anything to memory, so the fact that this is working for me is pretty huge. They have little memory games that increase in difficulty as you complete each round successfully. It's nothing too innovative yet, but I'm hoping they add more features because I really like it so far. The only thing is that you have to purchase whatever version of the Bible you'd like to memorize, unless you like KJV - it comes with that version for free.
-Sarah Rosie Hester, Communications Director
Check out this list of Bible-reading plans and tools to help you stay committed to reading God's Word this year.
Straight Through: Read the Bible cover-to-cover in one year. printable
Bible Reading Chart: Read at your own pace and keep track of what you've finished with this color-coded chart. printable
In-depth Study of Matthew: Go deeper in the Gospel of Matthew for an entire year. Available through the YouVersion app. in-app plan
40 Days in the Word: Walk through the steps of effective Bible study and application so you can build your life on the solid foundation of God’s Word and let it change the way you live. in-app plan
Read Through in 90 Days: Finish the whole Bible in 90 days! It's a lot of reading time, but don't forget about your audio options. Your commute could make this plan a breeze. printable
The New Testament in 90 Days: Only three chapters a day can get you through the entire New Testament in just three months or less. printable