For the Love of Bibles: The Pilgrim Study Bible

Pilgrim Study Bible

I love Bibles. As a family, we probably own fifty of them. I have never taken the time to actually count how many Bibles we have. Bibles come in all shapes and sizes and colors and versions. From the little Gideon’s pocket New Testament to the critically acclaimed ESV Study Bible that weighs in at over 4 lbs., you don’t have to search far in my office or at our house to find a copy of God’s Word.

I have decided to do a series of blog posts featuring some of the Bibles that I own, starting with the Pilgrim Study Bible.

This Bible is precious to me because it was a gift from my wife’s grandfather, Mr. Bean. Because I am a pastor, Mr. Bean loved to talk theology and church with me. Occasionally he would mention how much he loved the Pilgrim Study Bible. He would frequently ask, “Do you have a Pilgrim Study Bible?” To which I would have to deliver the always disappointing, “No, sir. I don’t have that particular study Bible.” One time, when he was in his early 90s and just a few years before he died, he took it upon himself to rectify my sorry status of not owning a Pilgrim Study Bible. It was hard to find, but he was able to secure a beautiful red leather Pilgrim Study Bible from Oxford Press. He even had my name imprinted on the front.

Version

Although it has never been my primary choice for reading, studying, or preaching, I have a great appreciation for the King James Version. The King James Version (KJV), also known as the Authorized Version, is easily the most widely printed and best selling book in all of human history. First published in 1611, it was the first mass produced Bible, and as such, holds a special place in literary history. It is a very literal translation, meaning that the scholars that translated the text using a word-for-word translation theory. Therefore, the King James Version is considered to be a very accurate and reliable translation.

For many people today one of the attractive features of this version is that it’s outdated language actually preserves a certain regality and beauty that makes is sound special and unique. For others, however, especially children, it can be almost impossible to understand, even though almost every King James Version anyone owns has been updated linguistically. An actual 1611 version looks like a foreign language.

Study Notes

This particular study Bible has notes that are brief but helpful. If you have ever owned a Ryrie Study Bible or more recently popular MacArthur Study Bible, then you will probably find the notes lacking.

The notes are written from a dispensational, premillinial perspective. The Bible’s contributing and consulting editors include the founding president of Dallas Theological Seminary.

Aesthetics

Although it is not a thinline Bible and, therefore, has a pronounced thickness to it, it is surprisingly handy and small. The type is pleasant to the eye and is not too small to require my reading glasses. The pages are very thin, yet the shadowing (seeing the text from the other side of the page) is not too bad. The gilded-gold page edges are appropriate and classy. For marking your place, the Bible has one red ribbon is more than adequately long, which is important because I’ve noticed it easily frays.

Call me a sentimentalist or a romantic, but I love the feel of this Bible. Holding it my hand, I can picture myself standing in the pulpit back in the 1950s in a traditional Baptist church in the South, dressed in a sharp three-pieced suit, handkerchief in pocket, with a red hot hell-fire and brimstone message to deliver. Although that vision will never become a reality, I was honored a few years back to stand in a suit and tie in Knoxville, Tennessee, offering my family words of hope and joy and consolation…delivering the funeral message of Mr. Bean from his favorite Bible.

Pilgrim Study Bible close page

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14 thoughts on “For the Love of Bibles: The Pilgrim Study Bible”

  1. I remember finding an old genuine leather Schofield Bible in a small Christian Bookstore in Saint Augustine. As a new Christian, it was my first Bible purchase. I can still smell the leather and remember how the pages felt in my fingers. It is always hard to break in a new vessel containing God’s Word, but as it is used, it gets seasoned. Something new comes out of it every time you pour His word by it’s reading.

  2. Brett: This is probably a very cherished Bible for you coming from your wife grandfather. If you are interested, they sell the Pilgrim Bible at Paxon on Blanding in OP… I do not remember if they are black, burgundy or brown, but they had a whole stack of them up there. If I had a treasured heirloom to pass to my kids, I wouldn’t mark it up either… I’d go and buy another one to mark on!!!

  3. Wow, John, I didn’t realize they had that Bible in stock. I’ll check into that next time I’m over in Orange Park. Thanks for the info.

    1. Pam, are you familiar with the “New Pilgrim Study Bible”? I’ve seen it in stores. It’s very hard to find the old Pilgrim Study Bible these days, but not so hard to find the “New” one.

  4. I have the Pilgrams Study Bible but need to get a new one as I have used this one for years. Can you tell me where I can find one?

    1. Carol, as I mentioned to Pam, The New Pilgrim Study Bible should not be too difficult to find, but if you want the old edition, it will be harder to secure a new copy. There are some used and hardback copies currently available through Amazon, Half.com, and http://www.abebooks.com but I’m not finding many copies available these days. If you find a resource to share with others, please let me know.

  5. Just an update. It is really impossible to find this Bible, so I think I will have mine recovered in leather. Actually I have two of these Bibles and they are very precious to me. I would never part with these. While searching for a good study bible I did find a Zondervan Study Bible that I think is close for the Pilgrams Study Bible and with more footnotes. Just a thought.

  6. Brett;
    As I get older, I now realize that the most precious possession in all the world is the Bible/The Word of God.
    To think that Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away but His Words will never pass away…..is the cornerstone of Bible study and victory in His Word-
    I now own 40+ Study Bibles over the years and I think that
    3 of the Bibles on the market today are wonderful beyond words-
    these are: The New Pilgrim study bible
    The Scofield original 1909/1919
    And the Thompson Chain ref
    All of these in the KJV are magnificent!!

  7. Dorothy,

    My recommendation is that you check regularly on ebay and on http://www.abebooks.com. Also, find a good used Christian bookstore, preferably locally owned, and see if they can’t help you locate one.
    I wish I could do more to help you on this but that is all I know to do.

    If you find one, let me know; I get these kind of requests every once in a while.

    Thanks!

    Pastor Brett

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