As you may have seen recently, several posts here have been devoted to answering Jehovah’s Witness objections that I’ve encountered in recent discussions. In preparing for these engagements, I’ve often referred to a small, pocket-sized ESV Bible with a small note sheet on the inside and important passages with cross references marked in the text. However, knowing that both JW and Mormons are partial, at least in their discussions with “orthodox Christians”, to the King James Version of the Bible, I decided to utilize a paperback version I’d purchased for $1.99 last year.
This particular version, published in 2012 by Barbour Publishing, Inc., is approximately 8”x 5”x 1”, so slightly larger than pocket-size. It retails for $6.99, though you can probably find it in discount stores for significantly less (or one like it). In addition to the entire 66 books of the Bible, this particular publication also has “66 Bible Books at a Glance” which offers a brief summary of each individual book along with author, date, and background information. Additionally, it contains the following appendices:
- Key Verses from Each Bible Book
- Timeline of Important Bible Events
- 50 Old Testament Prophecies of Christ and Their New Testament Fulfillment
- Important Names/Titles of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit
- 25 Key Sayings of Jesus
- 25 Key Biblical Concepts
- 25 Great Promises of Scripture
Now, at this point you may be wondering, that’s great and all, but how is this an Apologetics Study Bible. So glad you asked! With the purchase of this Bible, I’ve started highlighting key verses, color coded, for particular religions/beliefs. For instance, Colossians 1:15-19 is highlighted orange for discussions with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Likewise, John 4:24 is highlighted in yellow for discussions with Mormons. Where particular verses overlap, simply highlight the text in one color and add a vertical line highlight next to either margin. Additionally, I’ll use the margins for writing in cross-references. Finally, this particular publication, by Harbour, has a card-stock page just after the front and back covers, likely for durability since it is paperback, but this makes a perfect place to add key doctrinal notes with Scriptural references. For instance, I’ll make a heading on the Doctrine of Christ specific to the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Under this, I’ll include key passages and any notes from their materials (New World Translation, Reasoning from the Scriptures, etc.) to serve as a reminder.
What about study notes and commentary aids or maps and references? You do not want to rely on that in a witnessing opportunity. It has the danger of wrapping you around the axle. Plus, if you’ve seen the size of the ESV, Reformation, or MacArthur Study Bibles, you don’t want to lug those things around town. Instead, do your “study bible” work before evangelism. Also, building your own study/apologetics Bible like this one will force you to become familiar with the passages, their interpretations, their cross-references, and how to use them evangelistic situations.
There you have it. An Apologetics Study Bible for $1.99.