How to get the Greek New Testament you always wanted

This post will sound a little like a license to be extravagant or possibly even irresponsible. That isn’t my intention. Instead, I want to increase your exposure to the Greek New Testament by having more of them around. Since it’s Christmas, at the bottom of this post, I have a little gift for you to get you started. Here’s my wide margin, small form factor Greek New Testament

What’s wrong with my UBS/NA28/TGNT?

I remember when I got my first Greek New Testament. There is something special about having that exotic that you’re learning to read in your hands in all its glory. However, if you read your Greek New Testament frequently, chances are that it’s starting to look a bit ragged. This might not be the case with your Tyndale GNT since it’s newer and has better paper, but your UBS has probably seen better days. If your Greek New Testament makes you want to read it, you’re gold. You can stop reading here and find another Facebook post to read. I’ll give you your time back. You’re still here? OK. Here goes.

A reason for your affections

If you’ve never held or seen a beautiful Bible, then you’re missing out on a simple, but powerful pleasure. We all struggle with the desires of the flesh, but why should sensory pleasure only serve the flesh? God made the senses, and He intends us to enjoy His creation. This is why sensory pleasure can be a powerful motivator. If you know someone who has a beautiful Bible, take a look at it. I don’t mean someone with a bonded leather Bible. Bonded leather is just ground leather mixed with a bonding agent or resin and pressed onto paper or cloth to look like leather. No, by a beautiful Bible, I mean a Bible in goat, calf or lamb skin. Smell the leather (OK, now you know I have a weakness), feel its suppleness and the way the pages fall over the cover when you hold it in your hand. Enjoy its visual appeal, and texture. Examine the texture of the pages and any stamping on the cover. Would having a Greek New Testament like this make you want to pick it up and read it? Would it incentivize you to learn to read it? Having a beautiful New Testament, one that you enjoy has the effect of drawing you in, beckoning you to pick it up and open it. The New Testament is for reading, not just studying. The more reasons you can find to want to pick up and read your Greek New Testament, the more you will pick it up and read it. If sensory pleasure helps motivate you, use it to the advantage of your soul.

That sounds indulgent!

Perhaps. However, how much did you spend on books this year? How much did you spend on books about New Testament Greek? Why not actually get a Greek New Testament you love to help you want to read it? If we spend a lot of money on “stuff” (cars, hobbies, houses, clothes, furniture, etc.), but we won’t spend money on a good Bible, what does that say about our priorities? Buying an expensive Bible sounds indulgent because if the Bible is a book, then it is only marginally more valuable than any other book, which is to say, it isn’t very valuable. But if the Bible is a tool for your soul, spending money on it so that that it will last a lifetime is money well spent. If you’re going to be indulgent in spending, your Bible is a better area to spend it on than TV’s, entertainment or even coffee (yes, really). It is worth pointing out that beautiful Bibles are something that we can only have as a result of material prosperity. There may be other places you should put your money, that are more worthwhile than a Bible. But, many of us (including myself) are not as diligent as we could be with our spending. The point here is that our Bibles are a better place to spend money than most of the other material things we tend to spend money on, especially if it causes us to read it more.

Reasons to get a new Greek New Testament

Here are some other reasons to consider getting a new Greek New Testament

To learn Greek:

First, a beautiful Greek New Testament will motivate you to learn to read it. There is no point having a leather bound Greek New Testament if you can’t read it. So spending a little on the Bible you will one day read can help motivate you to learn to read it.

To write in:

I encourage you to write in your Greek New Testament. To do this well, you probably want one with wide-margins, so that you have space to write alongside the text. You’ll also want to have a slightly broader line spacing for underlining text.

To have available:

If you study the Bible, then you might want a Greek New Testament for your desk and another for a comfortable seat where you read. This gives you the opportunity to grab a Greek New Testament as an alternative to a translation. There may be other places you want to have have a Greek New Testament available too. Perhaps in the dining room for when you eat dinner (you do family devotions from your Greek New Testament don’t you?). It is also helpful to have one by the bed and in the living areas. In fact anywhere you have a translation, you might want a Greek New Testament as an alternative.

The ultimate Greek New Testament?

I really like the bindings on the UBS/NA28. But I don’t like the paper. It is too thin and not very durable. And don’t get me started about the ribbon! The paper in the Tyndale GNT is much better and it has a little more room around it for writing. But, while I appreciate the earlier ordering of books, I prefer the traditional order (just because I’m use to it). So, what if you could get the Greek New Testament you always wanted? Here’s my wishlist:
  • Wide margins
  • 1.5pt line spacing
  • Good paper
  • Small form factor (similar to the UBS/NA28/TGNT)
  • Leather bound

…on a budget?

A couple of years ago, Dr Abner Chou put together a Hebrew/Greek Bible that you can download free of charge and send to a commercial printer to be bound. More recently I’ve taken his work and have created just a Greek New Testament that meets the wish list above. It is a Greek only New Testament with wide margins on the outside of the page, and 1.5pt line spacing. Here’s the great thing, when had mine printed (at Snowfall), the printing cost me just $10. That gave me a glossy paper back version. At that price, I can probably get several printed and put them in key places where I often reach for a Bible. If you have some time, create your own paper back cover for it. If you’ve never owned a beautiful Bible, and you can responsibly afford to (or can save up), I encourage you to give yourself permission to spend money and get your Greek New Testament bound in leather. Budget on US$80-200 if you want to do this. Yes it sounds like a lot of money, but it will last a lifetime, you’ll enjoy it, and you’ll use it.

How to get the ultimate Greek New Testament.

If you’d like a Hebrew/Greek Bible, download one of the Hebrew Greek Bible options that Dr Chou put together here. If you’d prefer just to have a Greek New Testament, click here, enter your details and I’ll send you the one I put together for myself. Once you’ve got the file, open it, customize the front page (if you’re going to get it printed, why not put your name in it?), and then follow these instructions Dr Chou put together to get it printed at Snowfall press. I’ve loved the results I’ve had from them. Once you’ve got it printed, send it to Leonards books and select one of their beautiful leather bindings. They’ll send it back to you within a few weeks and you’ll have a Greek New Testament you will really want to pick up and read.

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