Well, I’m no theologian, but I have enough commonsense to research and compare translations for myself. God wouldn’t create His Word and make it too complex for you to understand with out a litany of degrees and accreditation. You can do it.
If you desire, seek guidance from your pastor or mentor, but use your own critical thinking skills to identify the best Bible for your personal study.
During my private study time, I tend to draw from several translations. My favorite is the New American Standard Bible because it is the most accurate translation word for word. The King James gave me a good start, but the old English is cumbersome. We’ll talk more about the King James later.
The New American Standard Bible (NASB)
According to Bibla.Com the NASB “became respected as a good study Bible that accurately reflects the wording of the original languages yet is not a good translation for Bible reading”. Good enough for me. Here’s how it translates the all-famous 2 Corinthians 10:13:
“But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you.”
The King James Bible (KJB)
The King James Bible is a staple in church culture. It’s most popular with tradionalists and older Christians. It’s written in 17th century English and can be misleading and difficult to understand for us today. Check out how the King James translates our sample scripture:
“But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.”
Good Old Faithful – The NIV
Then there is the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. This easy to read and easy to understand adaptation of scripture is popular for obvious reasons. It’s accuracy is rarely questioned, but some say the text may take some textual liberties to boost our understanding.
Check out 2 Corinthians:
“We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you.”
Don’t You Love The Message?
Finally, I also use the Message alongside my other versions to study scripture. This amazingly clear, concise rendering of scripture makes Bible study fun as well as educational. Here’s how it handles 2 Corinthians:
“We’re not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they’re our superiors. We wouldn’t dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, the quite miss the point. We aren’t making outrageous claims here. We’re sticking to the limits of what God has set for us. But there can be no question that those limits reach to and include you.”
Lots more words than the other translations, but I challenge you to be confused! I love The Message!
Again, these are just a few of my favorite “go to” translations and versions. Go online to read and compare countless variations to find the perfect study Bible for you!