When I was given the opportunity to review the He Reads Truth (HRT) Bible, I knew I could not offer a proper evaluation without having the chance to examine the She Reads Truth (SRT) Bible as well. I’m grateful to the publisher for indulging my curiosity and sending me one of each to review and give away!
As I expected, although the translation is the same, the Bibles themselves are quite different.
When placed side-by-side, it’s easy to see that one is larger than the other. It turns out that the HRT Bible contains nearly eighty more pages than its gender-specific counterpart. Keep reading to find out what makes up that content.
First, a little background: The She Reads Truth ministry was founded in 2012 to engage women of all ages in the Scripture through daily reading plans and a vibrant online community. In 2015, the ministry was expanded to offer men a new way to connect with each other through coordinated study of the Word under the brand He Reads Truth.
Both the SRT and HRT Bibles are presented in the Christian Standard Bible version which I reviewed here. Both are black-letter editions set in a custom Bible Serif typeface which was designed specifically for “optimal” Bible reading. (That’s their concept, not mine.)
These gorgeous hard-cover Bibles are Smyth-sewn which means they will lay flat when open no matter where in the text you are reading. The wide margins and ample white space offer the reader plenty of room for note-taking and Bible journaling.
The ministry’s namesake Bibles were designed as a tool to help men and women develop a habit of reading the Bible every day and enjoying it.
The SRT and HRT Bibles both include a detailed introduction to each book of the Bible as well as a curated reading plan for that particular book AND related supplemental passages from other parts of Scripture. They both include full-color timelines, maps, and charts. And instead of a concordance, you will find a list of key verses and a topical index.
The SRT and HRT Bibles both feature the exact same theme verse represented artistically at the beginning of each book. The verses in the HRT are less feminine in design and created digitally with heavier fonts.
The She Reads Truth Bible is gorgeous. Each book is opened with a beautifully hand-lettered verse. Most are printed in one or two colors; some are full color (see below):
The She Reads Truth Bible was prepared by women for women and contains 189 devotional readings contributed by 17 writers—all women.
The general editors and founders of the SRT ministry, Amanda Bible Williams (above left/top) and Raechel Myers (right/bottom), wrote nearly a third of its 189 devotionals while Erin Davis and Rebecca Faires together contributed nearly half. And a handful of devotionals were contributed by popular authors Annie Downs, Liz Curtis Higgs, Ellie Holcomb, and Andrea Lucado.
The He Reads Truth Bible features NO devotionals, but it’s still nearly 80 pages longer than the SRT Bible. So, what fills that gap?
“The CSB He Reads Truth Bible includes robust, well-crafted theological extras to draw the reader back to Scripture, increase biblical literacy, and foster a growing affection for God and His Word. Color coded by genre, each book of the Bible features detailed book introductions, a reading plan with supplemental passages for deeper understanding, and full-color maps, charts, and timelines by the He Reads Truth team. In addition, the He Reads Truth Bible features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization. This Bible invites every man to count himself as part of the He Reads Truth community of ‘Men in the Word of God every day.'”https://hereadstruthbible.com/
The HRT Bible is packed with 125 full-color charts, infographics, and illustrations as well as “detailed” outlines for each book. This makes the HRT Bible read more like a study Bible than a devotional Bible, and this is the biggest difference between the two.
Quick clarification about what Holman means by a “detailed outline” in the new He Reads Truth Bible. The “detailed outline” for Acts is three pages long, but the pages are mostly empty. Check this out:
I’ve been teaching verse-by-verse through Acts for two years (I inherited that pacing from my Dad), and this is NOT a detailed outline. It’s not even a remotely detailed outline. It’s a basic overview of a few topics covered in Acts.
And to answer your question: Yes. EACH outline is this “detailed.” It’s my opinion that the “detailed outlines” account for the 80+ additional pages in the HRT Bible.
I’d like to explain all the differences, but there is too much. Lemme sum up: The He Reads Truth Bible has more white space; less devotional content; more infographics, maps, and charts; and less contributors than the She Reads Truth Bible.
Both Bibles Have an Issue That’s Hard to Ignore
As with any Bible, the pages are extremely thin. In the She Reads Truth and the He Reads Truth Bibles, the pages are so thin that the text and/or illustrations on subsequent pages interferes with the text on the page you’re trying to read.
I hate to say it, but it seems that the publisher paid so much attention to the type, the layout, and the styling that they neglected to consider how distracting it would be to have such translucent pages.
Should you choose to purchase one of these Bibles, you’ll need to choose your writing instruments with care so as to avoid the ink’s bleeding through the pages. I’d recommend using only colored pencils for highlighting and pencils with soft lead for note-taking. Definitely do not use gel pens or markers. Even ball-point pens with a medium tip will be distracting.
That said, I’m a note taker, Bible journaling woman. This Bible would never work for me. I prefer one with thicker pages and a concordance.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”