Best Study Bibles for Pastors | Reviews, Pictures, Suggestions

Study bibles for pastors are informative and supportive resource aids that serve to strengthen those in ministry both personally and vocationally.

Pastors, because of their important, yet sometimes challenging, role in the church, are in need of consistent encouragement and hope as they minister to the needs of their congregation and community.

Easily-accessible daily reminders of God’s presence and promises are critical to a pastor’s ministry success. Study bibles are a great way for pastors to study Scripture and acquire the fuel they need to faithfully respond God’s call on their life.

The study bibles below are suggestions based on significant research written for other pages on Best Bible Commentaries, like this chart which compares 50 different study bibles and this article, How to Choose a Study Bible.

The first five study bibles listed below contain notes and articles on issues important to pastoral ministry, like leadership. The second five listed are study bibles that have been written by other pastors, because those in full-time ministry would benefit from the insights from others in full-time ministry.

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Best Study Bibles for Pastors: 5 Suggestions

Maxwell Leadership Bible – available in the NIV and NKJV

Get this book on: Amazon

Pastors are leaders. Christian leadership is different than any other kind of leadership. It has different challenges and different measures of success. John Maxwell is one of the most respected voices on bible-based leadership today.

Pastors, whether leading an outreach event or an elderboard meeting, are constantly leading others. This study bible extracts leadership wisdom from the pages of Scripture, which includes general leadership principles and biographies of successful Christian leaders.


  • Now available in the NIV Comfort Print® typeface
  • Over 120 “Profiles in Leadership” lessons drawn from the people of the Bible
  • Hundreds of compelling short articles and notes on mentoring and influence
  • A complete reference index to the 21 Laws of Leadership and the 21 Qualities of a Leader

The Pursuit of God Bible – available in the NIV

Get this book on: Amazon

The life of a pastor doesn’t just consist of good works. The heart and soul of a pastor is critical to ministry success. Sometimes pastors work so hard tending to the souls of others, that they can neglect their own soul because they run out of time and energy.

A.W. Tozer’s writings minister to the soul. His devotional insights encourage the heart. Tozer’s books have been read by millions seeking greater insight into God and His Word. Readers have been comfortable by the man that many consider to be the American version of C.S. Lewis.

This study bible includes key passages from Tozer’s most beloved works, like The Attributes of God and The Pursuit of God.


  • On Scripture: Over 365 selections, each sharing the page with the Bible passage to which it refers, add depth and insight to a particular verse’s application for the believer.
  • Reflections: More than 100 writings that apply the deep meaning of the Christian faith to everyday life.
  • Challenges: Nearly 100 entries tied to scripture that exhort the reader to resist complacency in particular areas of one’s “living out” the Word in the world.
  • Brief biography of A. W. Tozer
  • Close to 600 Tozer selections
  • Book introductions
  • Concordance
  • Maps

Biblical Theology Study Bible – available in the NIV

Get this book on: Amazon

Pastors are often interested in a variety of topics related to Scripture, such as history, archaeology, as well as the various subcategories of theology.

The Biblical Theology Study Bible includes information on all these topics as an all-in-one resource. From the publisher: Biblical Theology allows you to ponder the individual stories and themes of Scripture while observing how they all fit together in God’s grand biblical narrative.

It answers the question, How has God revealed his word historically and organically? Biblical Theology studies the theology of individual biblical books and select collections within the Bible and then traces out themes as they develop across time within the canon.

With three articles introducing Biblical theology and 25 articles unpacking key themes of Scripture, the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible equips you to follow the progressive unfolding of God’s story. Helpful introductions to books and sections of the Bible combined with 20,000 verse-by-verse study notes will guide you to a clearer understanding of every portion of Scripture.


  • Complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV)
  • Previously published as NIV Zondervan Study Bible
  • 28 theologically rich articles by authors such as Tim Keller and Kevin DeYoung
  • 20,000 verse-by-verse study notes
  • Hundreds of full-color photos, more than 90 maps, and over 60 charts
  • Comprehensive book introductions
  • Over 60 trusted contributors
  • Cross-references and the NIV Comprehensive Concordance

ESV Study Bible – English Standard Version

Get this book on: Amazon

Winner of the ECPA Book of the Year Award

Like the study bible above, pastors are often interested in a variety of topics related to Scripture. The ESV Study Bible includes information on all these topics as an all-in-one resource.

From the publisher: The ESV Study Bible was designed to help you understand the Bible in a deeper way. Extensive study notes, charts, maps, and articles make this study Bible a valuable resource for serious readers, students, and teachers of God’s Word.


  • 20,000+ study notes
  • 80,000+ cross–references
  • 200+ charts
  • 50+ articles
  • 240 full-color maps and illustrations
  • 2,752 pages
  • Single-column Bible text (9-point type); double-column notes (7-point type)

Every Man’s Bible – available in the NIV and the NLT

Get this book on: Amazon

ECPA 2015 Christian Book Award Finalist!

Pastors are human, too. They have the same temptations and weaknesses as anyone else, which makes Every Man’s Study Bible a valuable resource. From the publisher: The Bible for every battle every man faces! This is a man’s type of Bible―straight talk about the challenges of life.

Every Man’s Bible has thousands of notes on topics from work, sex, and competition to integrity and more and trusted advice from the pros, just for men. Every Man’s Bible is written by the best-selling author of the Every Man’s series, Steve Arterburn.


  • Book introductions and 44 charts
  • Study Notes Help you gain a better perspective on a particular verse or passage
  • Men, Women, and God―This feature focuses on two of the most important relationships in every man’s life: his relationship with God and his relationships with women
  • Someone You Should Know―Profiles of men in the Bible and what their lives can teach us about the importance of faith in our own lives
  • What the Bible Says About―Gives insight into the Bible’s vital message on all kinds of topics for daily living
  • Perspectives―Glean bits of information from great men who have lived through many of the same issues and struggles that you face
  • Personal Gold―Sound advice from the pros: Henry Blackaby, Stuart Briscoe, Tony Evans, David Jeremiah, Gordon MacDonald, Bill McCartney, J. I. Packer, Joseph Stowell, and Chuck Swindoll

More Study Bible Suggestions for Pastors

David Jeremiah Study Bible – available in the NIV and NKJV

Get this book on: Amazon

From the publisher: What It Says. What It Means. What It Means for You. Drawn from more than 40 years of study, Dr. David Jeremiah, one of America’s leading Bible teachers, has produced a deeply personal and comprehensive study Bible packed with features specifically focused to help you discover what Scripture says, what Scripture means and, most importantly, what Scripture means for you.

The Jeremiah Study Bible presents the best of biblical insight and study tools along with clear, practical application to bring about authentic transformation in your life.

Life Principles Study Bible – available in the NIV, NKJV, and NASB

Get this book on: Amazon

From the publisher: During his many years of ministry, Dr. Charles Stanley has faithfully highlighted the 30 Life Principles that have guided him and helped him to grow in his knowledge, service, and love of God.

In this study Bible you will explore each of these principles in depth and learn how to make them a part of your everyday life.

You will also find answers to life questions, practical life examples, passage introductions, passages for study and reflection, and key truths for discussion, prayer, and Christian living. Featuring the easy-to-read NIV translation, this Bible will help you grow in your relationship to God and equip you for the future God has planned for you.


  • 30 Life Principles articles highlight Dr. Stanley’s essentials for Christian living
  • Thousands of Life Lessons verse notes
  • Life Examples articles highlighting the people of the Bible
  • Answers to Life’s Questions and What the Bible Says About articles
  • God’s Promises for Life index
  • Hundreds of God’s promises highlighted throughout the Bible text
  • Book introductions
  • Concordance

MacArthur Study Bible – available in the NIV, NKJV, NASB, and ESV

Get this book on: Amazon

From the publisher: A classic resource, The MacArthur Study Bible is perfect for serious study. Dr. John MacArthur has collected his pastoral and scholarly work of more than 35 years to create the most comprehensive study Bible available.

No other study Bible does such a thorough job of explaining the historical context, unfolding the meaning of the text, and making it practical for your life.


  • 125-page concordance, including people and places
  • More than 20,000 study notes, charts, maps, outlines, and articles from Dr. John MacArthur
  • Overview of Theology
  • Index to Key Bible Doctrines

The Swindoll Study Bible – available in the NLT

Get this book on: Amazon

Winner of the 2018 Christian Book Award for Bible of the Year.

From the publisher: The Swindoll Study Bible offers the best of Chuck Swindoll’s wit, charm, pastoral insight, and wise biblical study directly to you as you study God’s Word.

Chuck’s warm, personal style comes across on every page, and his informed, practical insights get straight to the heart of the Bible’s message for the world today.

Reading each part of this study Bible is like hearing Chuck speak God’s Word directly to your heart. It will both encourage readers’ faith and draw them deeper into the study of God’s Word.

In Pastor Swindoll’s own words: “This study Bible was designed with you in mind. As you read the Scriptures, imagine my sitting beside you and sharing personal stories, important insights, and hard-earned lessons that will encourage you to walk more closely with Jesus Christ.

You’ll discover the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the Bible: Who wrote it and when? What does it mean, and where did its events occur? Why should I trust it? And most importantly, how can I apply it today?

“It’s that last question more than any other that has fed my passion to publish this Bible. My primary focus in ministry has been teaching biblical insight for living . . . for genuine life change. After all, that’s why God has communicated His Word to us―so that we may become like His Son, Jesus Christ, the central figure of this Book.”

The Weirsbe Study Bible – available in the NKJV

Get this book on: Amazon

From the publisher: Now you can experience Dr. Warren Wiersbe’s lifetime of powerful Bible teaching in one place. Whether through his bestselling “BE Series” commentaries or his popular “Back to the Bible” radio ministry, Dr. Wiersbe has guided millions into a life-transforming encounter with God’s Word.

Now, in this single volume, you have access to Dr. Wiersbe’s trustworthy, accessible explanations of the Bible’s truths and promises, through his comprehensive system of study and application notes. Make the most of your time reading, studying, and reflecting on Scripture with The Wiersbe Study Bible.


  • Thousands of verse-by-verse notes by Dr. Wiersbe
  • Hundreds of Catalyst notes which more deeply reveal important biblical themes and character issues to motivate transformation by the Holy Spirit through the Word
  • Book introductions featuring Dr. Wiersbe’s historical background, themes, and practical lessons for each book of the Bible
  • “Be transformed” section in each book introduction specifically pointing to the life-changing impact of that particular part of Scripture
  • Thousands of cross references, showing the connections throughout the Bible
  • Concordance with key words for deeper word study
  • Full-color maps