Choosing a Bible used to be simple. A friend wrote -- Back in 1978, when I was first born again, I used the same Bible everyone else did: a paperback edition of the Living Bible called The Way (in fact, I wasn't aware there was anything else for quite awhile). It wasn't until about a year later that I 'graduated' from the Living Bible to the New International Version. This was a bold step for someone in my peer group; the only other person we knew who used an NIV was our youth group leader, of whom we were all in awe, because he was so smart that he could actually pronounce names like 'Mahershalalhashbaz' without swallowing his tongue. Over the following years, I slowly became aware that there were even more Bibles to choose from, and they continue to be fruitful and multiply to this day. There are so many editions and translations available that if they were laid end to end, they would reach all the way from the Gideons to Wycliffe International. How is the hapless Christian to choose one? I have owned 3 or 4 different versions of the Bible and have glanced at many more in the bookstores. This, as any government official will tell you, constitutes Extensive Research. I am therefore fully qualified to tell you which Bible you should own. Using the handy reference guide below, find the category into which you fit best to find out which Bible you should be reading: **Business Professional: ESV, New King James or New International Version. Carry a medium-sized hardback edition in a conservative black or dark blue zippered case. Do not write in your Bible or stick papers in it; take sermon notes in your daily planner. Clip your pager and/or car alarm remote to the pocket on the front of the cover. Carry a book by Larry Burkett with your Bible. **Pastor: King James Version. Carry a softback leather-bound edition. Use the built-in ribbons to mark your key Scriptures for a sermon. Keep your Bible in a briefcase with a book by Chuck Swindoll. **Advanced Pastors Only: Dake Reference Edition. Keep a magnifying glass in your briefcase so you can read the dispensation charts in the back. **Housewife/Mother: New International Version For Women. Carry it in a quilted cover with a handle and lace edges. Make sure something falls out whenever you open the cover, such as a pacifier, a Happy Meal toy, or cracker crumbs. When you can't find your Hi-Liter, mark passages with crayons from the bag of toys you also carry at all times. **Pentecostal/Charismatic: The Amplified Bible or any "Spirit-Filled" version. Carry a large print paperback edition and stuff it full of offering envelopes, tracts, sermon notes, and church bulletins. Tape a Benny Hinn crusade schedule inside the front cover. When asked to read out loud in a group, say, 'I'm reading from the anointed Bible-The Amplified Bible!' before you read. If you are a woman, carry a tambourine with your Bible. If you are a man, carry a book by John Avanzini with your Bible. Keep your Bible as dog-eared as possible. When the spine breaks, fix it with duct tape. **New Convert: Jump up from the altar, rush straight to the bookstore, and buy the biggest Bible they have-preferably a six-inch-thick, 25-pound family Bible, complete with a family tree and color photographs of St. Peter's Basilica. Take it to McDonald's and read it while eating a Big Mac. Get Special Sauce on it and think God is going to strike you dead. Later, buy a Living Bible and have all your new Christian friends sign their names inside the cover. **Teenager: New International Version Youth Bible or Life Application Bible. If you are a girl, get a hardback or leather-bound edition and emboss your name and a little dove on the front cover. If you are a boy, get a paperback edition and tear the front cover off. When leaving the house for Sunday church services or a youth meeting, always forget to bring your Bible until your mother reminds you. When you arrive, quickly throw your Bible into the nearest pew so your friends won't see you carrying it. Alternative method: Keep it inside your backpack with a pair of shoes on top of it. **Adult Sunday School Teacher: Scofield or Thompson Chain Reference Edition, International Inductive Study Bible, or Greek/Hebrew Interlinear Bible. Get an annotated reference edition with two pages of commentary or maps for every page of Scripture. Mark the individual books with special adhesive tabs. Using twelve different Hi-Liters, color-code each and every verse. Carry a Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, a New Unger's Bible Dictionary, a Halley's Bible Handbook, and three notebooks (not to mention a bottle of Doan's Pills!) with your Bible at all times. NOW SERIOUSLY, we are truly blessed to have so many choices when buying our Bibles. There are almost as many different versions of the Bible as there are different types of people-but we are all created by the same God, and all of our Bibles are written by the same Holy Spirit. No matter who you are or which version you own, I encourage you to keep the pages of your Bible worn from constant reading and stained with tears of repentance and thankfulness!