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Many Bible translations are available, especially in the English language. For example, the King James, with its beautiful language, is a favourite. However, newer translations, such as the Revised Standard, are easier to read. Moreover, all Catholic editions include the books of the Apocrypha.

Study Bible options provide extra background information including maps, and historical notes, while smaller pocket versions are easy to carry. Finally, some include several translations side-by-side so readers can discover nuances in the text.

About Bibles

Generally considered to be the best selling book of all time, and still purchased at the rate of around 100 million copies annually, the Bible is a cultural phenomenon. The content of this collection of texts decreed to be sacred in both Judaism and Christianity can vary, as various religious groups incorporate different material. However, a Latin Vulgate (commonly accepted text) Bible was the first major book printed using movable type in the western world. Pioneering printer Johannes Gutenberg of Germany created his beautiful version in the 1450s. Only 48 copies are known to survive and are some of the most sought after and expensive books in the world. To be considered an antique, a Bible must be over 160 years old. Older copies are extremely strong and durable. Printed on 100% acid free linen sheets, they were designed to last. Leather bindings generally only survive for 200 to 300 years, and most older Bibles have been rebound at some point. Thus the completeness and condition of the text block is a major factor in determining how collectable a copy might be. Around 90% of Bibles are in the standard size known as Quarto. Far scarcer are the Folio sized volumes used in the pulpit. Octavo are the pocket sized versions. Often passed down as a family heirloom, many beautiful old Bibles are still extant, and there is a thriving collector's market. Available are Victorian versions with coloured illustrations, children's versions, old family copies, copies previously used in church, and some with a long and venerable history. Additionally, various more recent high grade copies can be obtained.