Giving the bible as a gift can be appropriate for many occasions, not just spiritual events. The gift of a Bible sends a very particular message, one that cannot be expressed with any other gift. You not only tell the recipient that you love them, you convey a commitment to their spiritual well being.

When giving a Bible as a gift there are several things to consider.

  • Will the person receiving this gift want it? You need to be really honest with yourself. If the answer to this questions is no, it does not mean you should not give them a Bible. If you’re like me and you really love the Bible, you want everyone you know and love to read it and be blessed by it as you have been. But let’s face it, not everyone cares to read the Bible. If you think the receiver of your gift has no interest in reading the Bible, then look for a Bible with features that might interest them. I would recommend you consider a devotional Bible. Devotional Bibles come with essays of varying length that encourage the reader. And there are many versions that are tailored to a specific age group or life stage.

Devotional BibleBible with devotional material added

Here are some examples of devotional Bibles in the New International Version: Busy Mom’s Bible; Sportsman’s Bible; College Bible; Recovery Devotional Bible; Men’s Devotional Bible; Grandmother’s Bible. Each of these has the exact same NIV Bible text, but each has additional devotional essays that are specific to a particular audience. And these are just a few of the devotional options. NIV has many.

Look for a version that will have essays that interest your recipient. Some devotional Bibles have essays contributed by celebrities. Perhaps the person receiving your gift would read essays by a well-known sports figure, a former first lady, or performing artist. Reading these essays is a good first step to reading the Bible text.

  • How much money do you want to spend? The biggest factor in this category will be the cover. A leather bound Bible will cost much more than a hard back cover. (You probably won’t want to give a paperback cover if this is a gift.) Other features will also add to the price. Check out the page on Basic Features to consider which might be appropriate.Then check out the options for devotional and study Bibles. If the person receiving this gift will read and study it, consider a study Bible with tools to help in their endeavor to dig deep into the text. If they will be more of a casual reader review the devotional Bible options. They can be most enriching and help bring the Bible text to life. Generally speaking, study Bibles cost a bit more than devotional Bible.
  • Which translation should you choose? If you’re giving the Bible as a gift you can go with any of the modern language Bibles. With a gift, I would steer clear of the King James Version, as it is hard to read and understand. I would also avoid the Amplified Bible as it incorporates many extra words in each verse; synonyms that help amplify the meaning of the text. That is its strength, but it would probably not make for a good gift. Any of the other translations listed on the chart on the Translations page would be a great choice. The New International Version will have the most options for devotional material.
  • What age is the person receiving the gift? If the person receiving the gift is a child, there are children’s bibles available at Christian bookstores. These are not the actual text of the Bible. They are more like story books that are composed from the books of the Bible. They are written in a way that a child can understand them. You might consider one of these for a child in your life. If the recipient is a teen or young adult, the Bible is a great gift. Choose from one of the devotional Bibles geared toward them. There are several specifically for college students. For adults choose your gift based on the factors already outlined.

The only other consideration is to add the special touch of having the recipient’s name embossed on the cover. Nearly all Christian bookstores offer this service for leather bound Bibles. For a small additional charge you can give your gift a very personal touch.

Embossed Bible coverEmbossed with church logo

Be forewarned. Bibles are not always appreciated as a gift. It can sometimes bring with it an implication of judgment. If you are genuinely giving a gift of love, without condemnation, it will not matter how it is received. Express the love that is motivating your gift, either verbally or in writing, then let the Bible speak for itself. You never know when it might be picked up, read and appreciated.