Expensive Bibles

Expensive Bibles

Expensive Bibles

Did you know that one of the top ten most expensive books of all time is a Bible?

The Gutenberg Bible, which only has 48 remaining original copies, is the most expensive bible and one of the most expensive book ever sold.

The Gutenberg Bible was the first movable Bible printed in Europe. The original publication only has around 180 copies.

One such copy fetched a whopping 4.6 million euros in 1987.

What Makes Expensive Bibles?

There are inexpensive Bibles and there are expensive Bibles. If you ask people why Bibles are expensive, the answers will vary.

But what actually makes a Bible expensive? Here’s an attempt to dissect what is inside your bible to make it more expensive:

  • Paper thickness and quality. The thicker the paper, the more expensive it becomes. A higher quality of paper may make the pages last longer but it does not come cheap.
  • Hardbound covers are more expensive than paperback covers
  • Additional artistic designs like gold lining and satin materials can add to the expense.
  • Book Binding. Binding materials varies but using leather binding is expensive even if it makes your book durable.
  • Bible covers. Though bible covers give added protection to your bible, it is additional cost to make your bible more expensive. Tooled bible covers, leather covers and specially crafted designed book covers can add more cost.
  • Bible usage. A study bible is more expensive than a regular reading bible. A lectern bible is more expensive than a study bible. Lectern bibles are usually reserved for church use.
  • Rarity. Older and original translations of the Bible are rare and has historical value. This makes them expensive as in the case of the Gutenberg Bible.

Given these reasons, most still find the added cost is worth having a Bible that they can hand down to their children.

A brief review

To illustrate how a simple bible can turn into an expensive one, check out the samples below. Learn how the added cost can turn into an advantage.

Open Bible
expensive bibles


  • A study bible in New King James version
  • Features new 4,500 study notes
  • Includes 300 new word studies
  • Includes an 8,000 Biblical Cyclopedic index
  • Exciting new graphic designs and charts


  • Thick paper that keeps markers and water colors from seeping through
  • Has line margins for journaling
  • Comes with a ribbon marker
  • Lies flat when open for easy reading and notation
  • Faux leather binding makes for an elegant and sturdy design
  • Lighter because it’s paperback and not hardbound


  • Font size is only 7 which is even smaller than the standard small font of 8
  • Paperback cover prone to early wear and tear
  • No verse cross reference


NSRV Lectern Bible, Black Goatskin Leather over Boards, NR936:TB: Anglicized Edition

expensive bibles


  • A New Revised Standard Edition Lectern Bible in Anglicized text
  • Has large clear print
  • Hard cover and reinforced bindings
  • Goatskin leather binding
  • 3 ribbon markers
  • Includes the Apocrypha
  • Beautifully designed gold foil cover and art-gilt edges


  • Uses Anglicized text to keep away from distracting US English texts
  • With bold section headings for easy reading
  • Goatskin leather binding for durability and elegant look
  • Hardbound and reinforced binding to safeguard against natural wear and tear
  • The 3 ribbon markers help to mark different parts of the book


  • Hard cover makes it heavier to carry
  • More expensive than regular Lectern Bible

Bible book prices range from a few dollars to more than a thousand. The most expensive is priced at several million dollars.

But the high price has its advantages. The more expensive it is, the likelier it is to have better quality and durability. It will last longer and handed down from one generation to the next.

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