I received a NKJV MacArthur Study Bible several years ago… I think I was in middle school. It weighs about 5 pounds. It was my upgrade from the Children’s Bible that I grew up with. (Side note: My Children’s Bible is autographed by Bobby Bowden. He spoke at my church when I was little and for some reason I ended up getting my Bible autographed by him. True story. I’ll show it to you.)
I’ve always worn the fact that I read NKJV as a badge of honor. I had a bit of a martyr complex about it. I was willing to read difficult wording and phrasing because I was more disciplined or something. It had nothing to do with my faith in the NKJV translation (Another side note: My former associate pastor Nic Gibson one told me that the NKJV had “all of the historical inaccuracies of the KJV without the beautiful language”). It made me feel good that I didn’t have to have a “watered down” Bible like the NIV or (God forbid) The Message. That was a load of crap.
This is the first time that I am admitting this publicly.
For my birthday this year, my wife and mother-in-law got me an ESV Bible. It is much smaller, bound in black, and has far less commentary.
…and it is easier to read.
On very few occasions have I ever sat down to read my Bible and felt emboldened to read beyond the section that I was looking at. But now… I actually get caught up in the story. Imagine that… the Bible is enjoyable now.