Outreach Bible

What Bible do you all use as giveaways for outreach?

If you meet someone and aren’t sure you’ll see them again, but want to hand out a Bible?

Ideally you’d have something that had study notes and guides that were reformed. Since you’re buying in bulk, the idea would be to get each Bible ~ $5.

I’ve found these and will prob go with one, but if you all do something different, please share:

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What are you communicating to someone, theologically, if the outreach Bible you give him has “study notes”?

I would say you’re simply communicating that, just like the Ethopian eunich, we all need the church fathers to properly understand the Scriptures. The church is a necessity.

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That we don’t want him to have a private interpretation and start Mormonism 2.0. And the notes should point him to Biblical churches and the authority there.

No hard nosed intentions here, but I really dislike Bibles that put man’s words on the same page as God’s words. I think it lowers the authority of God’s words, inevitably. RC used to say this until he got on the Reformation Study Bible gravy train.

When the question was asked above, I found myself (an hour or so ago) thinking “why don’t I give away Bibles as an evangelistic tool?” Of course, I’m not opposed to giving away Bibles at all, but my realization was as years have passed, I’ve become more and more convinced that there must be preaching as the context for Bible reading. That’s the Biblical way. So when someone new and unevangelized came to me for a Bible, I’d give them one, but tell them to sit under the preaching of God’s Word first priority so they would understand the words of Scripture.

In other words, yes, I’m opposed to the “me and my Bible” error of modern conservativish Christianity, but I’d like the main and firm antidote to that being the church and her preaching, and not RC and his buddies who have never been churchmen and whose comments differ from Calvin most especially in the very matter of pastoral care and spirituality being entirely? lacking.

Just my two cents, with love,


In jail, I give out the Gideon KJV, NKJV, or ESV. No notes for practical reasons. 1.cost 2. If I give out a reformation study Bible or whatever I can’t say no to a recovery Bible or Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen or whatever without being accused of religious discrimination, which of course, I am totally guilty of. We also strongly encourage connecting to chapel while they are in there to gain greater knowledge of the Word, in the hope that training in that discipline will encourage them to connect to the local church on the outside.


Joseph Smith and his erstwhile successors no more got Mormonism out of a private interpretation of the Bible than they got it out of my left sock. I’m kind of appalled that you said this. Do you know anything about Mormonism?

What do you find lacking in the text of your New Testament regarding this point? My cheap NASB 1995 is quite clear on this.

My Baptism is showing quite clearly here, so I will bow out of the discussion here. But there are vital issues regarding the authority, perspicuity and sufficiency of God’s holy word here that bear examining. Do not get these wrong, brothers.

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Depends on the environment. I’ll usually recommend the ESV on the Bible app (the Life Church one.) Get them to put it on their homepage and download/default to a good translation if you have opportunity. It costs me and them nothing and they won’t struggle to carry it around. Obviously these recommendations are made to phone-first, younger people.


My 2 cents: It really depends on the person. And if you dont know them well, the type of person. You have to make a judgement.

I have only handed out a Bible to a friend/acquaintance that I didn’t have an ongoing relationship with a handful of times.

All that said, I would lean NIV. I know its not the best translation. More of an interpretation. But it is easy to read, memorize and understand. It was the NIV that was most helpful to me when I began to really “internalize” the faith. Within a few years I moved on to the ESV (That was during the ESV craze in the early 2000s.) I think the concept of milk for babies and solid food for adults comes into play a little bit. The NIV is milk. It makes some questionable, sometimes terrible, changes. But it delivers a lot truth in a way thats fairly easy to understand.

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With the NIV, the point is to have the right Bible for the right task. My first Bible, as a child, was the Living Bible, and what was then called, “Good News for Modern Man”. Either of them an academic study Bible? Hardly - but they both nurtured in me a love for the Bible, the LB especially, that has stood me in excellent stead over the intervening fifty years. As a teenager I was given an NIV78 and later on the 1985 Study Bible.

To my point. If you are handing out Bibles, remember the reading age of the people you are giving it to. A lot of people in prisons are functionally illiterate, so might struggle with even an NIV.


I think of Romans 10:

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? . . . So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

I think also of the Ethiopian eunuch. He had a “Bible.” What he lacked was someone to open it up to him and herald the good news.

“‘About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.” - Acts 8:34-35