Thompson Chain-Reference Bible Review

Thompson Chain-Reference Bible NKJV

Thompson Chain-Reference Bible Review – NKJV Hardcover Edition

Have you ever gone to purchase a trusted resource, only to find out that it was no longer available?

Twenty-seven years ago, when I gave my life to Christ, I received an original Thompson Chain-Reference Bible as a gift. Several moves later, that reference was lost and I decided to purchase another copy of this Bible… only to discover that it was no longer readily available!

Devastated yet persistent, I continued my search until I discovered in 2020, Zondervan acquired the rights to publish the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible from the original publisher, Kirkbride Bible Company. Prior to this acquisition, Kirkbride published the first complete Thompson Chain-Reference Bible in 1908 and shared this legacy for over 100 years!

Thompson Chain-Reference Bible NKJV Hardcover

During that time, millions of Bible readers around the world grew to love the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, so I’m excited to share that the long wait for the highly anticipated release for this Bible is over! In June 2021, Zondervan published the updated Thompson Chain-Reference Bibles in four popular translations (KJV, NKJV, NASB and ESV)! The original release of these Bibles are printed in 8 point font (with one KJV edition available in 10 font). In May 2022, Zondervan will incorporate its Comfort Print® fonts into the next release as part of its Beautiful Bibles initiative beginning in May 2022.

Now you’re probably wondering: what, exactly, makes the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible so special? How is this Bible distinct from every other Study Bible on the market?

Thompson Chain-Reference Bible - Interior Red Letter Sample

Well, in 1890, Dr, Frank Charles Thompson, the creator of the Thompson Chain-Reference system, began working on a system of biblical “chain-links” that became the foundation of this Bible. If you look at a copy of the new Thompson Chain-Reference Bible (I’m using the beloved NKJV translation), you will see each page is divided into four columns: two columns of Bible text in the middle, and a left and right column of topics and reference numbers.

When you come across a topic that you want to study, find that reference in the column (or in the extensive list of Numerical Index of Chain Topics located in the back of the book) and note the Pilot Number (to the left of the topic number) and the Forward Reference Number (to the right of the topic number). These numbers take you to each verse in the Bible, one by one, that address the topic you are studying, until you have exhausted each verse!

For further clarification on how the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible referencing system works, watch the video below:

The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible is renowned for the 100,000+ topical chain references that it contains, but there’s more! This Bible also contains extensive references including Bible outlines and character studies, Bible harmonies and illustrated studies, a concordance, Hebrew calendar, and colored Bible maps. If you are interested in doing a topical Bible study, this is the Bible you want to own, as this Bible references over 8,000 topics!

When I was a new Christian 27 years ago, I found this Bible a little overwhelming (it’s not designed for beginners), but if you are a seasoned, mature Christian who is interested in studying the Bible on your own and digging directly into Scripture to uncover the truths that it holds, this Bible is definitely worth your consideration, as the reference chains allow you to study the Bible in a way that no other Bible does!

If you are a pastor, a Bible teacher, or a serious student of the Bible, consider the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible an essential resource for your reference library!

I rate this Bible 5 out of 5 stars.


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher as a Blogger Grid #BibleGatewayPartner. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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3 Responses to “Thompson Chain-Reference Bible Review”

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  1. Thanks for this review. My husband and I ended up with a copy 34 years ago when we became believers, too. I know my husband has used it in the past but I have never really dug into it. You have encouraged me to pull it off the shelf. 🙂

  2. Niki says:

    Love my Thompson Chain Reference Bible!!

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