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Thompson Chain Reference Bible Review

Easy to learn and use, the Thompson Chain-Reference system contains over 100,000 topical references in over 8,000 chain topics, helping to make in-depth topical study and lesson preparation easier and more efficient.

Thompson Chain-Reference Bible

Smyth sewn pages | Gold gilding | Gold stamped spine | Words of Christ in red

The Good

The Thompson Chain Reference Bible is in a league of it’s own. There really are no other Bibles quite like it. While it’s not a “study Bible” in the sense of commentary notes and human opinions offered up to the reader like other study Bibles, it has a study Bible feel to it. In fact, this Bible studies itself. The “chain references” guide the reader on an in depth study of nearly any topic that can be thought up and the best part is, all the answers to your questions are scriptural and not human interpretations.  There is a “topical index” located in the back of this Bible that allows you to search any question you may have in an alphabetical fashion. And again, the best part is, all the answers are scriptural. There are also many old fashioned yet satisfying maps and illustrations found in the back of this Bible unlike anything I have ever come across before. They look to be hand drawn and you can really get a sense of the heart of the man behind all the detailed and painstaking work. You can really see his love for Christ in the details. It honesty gives you a sense of learning from a true brother in Christ who is pouring his heart into yours, and not just another big name publishing company. Reading all my other study Bibles can sometimes feel as though they are just trying to educate. This Bible however, feels more intimate and convicting. Its most likely because the scriptures are doing all the teaching. Believe me when I say that there is no other Bible like this. It’s simple yet, inexhaustible. There is also a kings glossary in the back that assist the reader in defining old English words that are found in the King James Version. There are even some black an white photographs and probably the largest “archaeological discoveries” section I have ever seen in any Bible to date.

The Bad

The bonded leather version appears to be of lesser quality than most of my other Bibles. It has a brittle and rugged feel to it. In fact, the bonded leather is so brittle that after having the Bible in the open position for even a short amount of time, I noticed that the spine grows a spine of its own if you will. A crease forms down the middle of the brittle spine that becomes very noticeable. This phenomena  does not occur after long hours or years of use, but within just minutes of having the Bible in the open position. I noticed it after the very first use. This particular Bible that I received also came with a defect in regards to the index tabs. I found one thumb index tab to be located in the wrong place. All the index tabs were correctly situated at the front of each corresponding book except for the first epistle to Timothy. The index tab for 1 Timothy was on the last page of said epistle. It was clearly out of place. I believe this is most likely a fluke but it’s something to be on the lookout for. I have an ESV version of this exact same format and the thumb index tabs are all in their correct locations.

Final Thoughts

This Bible is very unique. It has an old-timey feel to it, like a Bible that your father or grandfather would carry around. It is not flashy, nor colorful, nor updated with all the new thoughts and opinions of the evangelical world, like all my other Bibles, and you know what? I like it! In fact, I purchased this exact same Bible in the ESV translation as well. All my other Bibles/Study Bibles to some degree appear to use the same ideas, materials, and formats when presenting their study tools and outlines. They are all formatted in like fashion except for little minute differences here or there. But this Bible; there really is no other like it. Its has a sense of the distant past that seems to emanate from it, like its and antique or a rare collectable. But aren’t antiques always the best of finds? Unmolested by political correctness, and biased opinions; it seems to radiate  pure and heart felt motives. I have some concerns for the physical construction of this Bible but no doubts about the outstanding contents found on the pages therein. If it were not for the less than desirable quality of the construction of this Bible, I would have given it a 10/10. I would highly recommend this Bible to anyone who reads this review but especially for  those that want an unbiased Bible, a reference Bible, or a Bible that speaks for itself.

Brilliant! An unbiased Bible that studies itself.

0out of 10


  • Inexhaustible Verse References
  • Family Tree Illustrations
  • Unique maps and drawings
  • Kings Glossary
  • Outstanding Topical Index


  • Less than Desirable Leather Quality
  • Index Tab was Out of Place

I was provided this Thompson chain bible for free from the Kirkbride company in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

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