Ever wondered which Bible translation is best? New translations seem to pop up almost every day. How do you know which is the most dependable to trust with your spiritual growth? Never fear! I’m going to share easy-to-read Bible translations I like and learn using.
Well, I’m no theologian, but I have enough common sense to research and compare translations for myself. God wouldn’t create His Word and make it too complex for you to understand without a litany of degrees and accreditations, right? You can do it. I can do it too.
Ask around and get some advice on easy-to-read Bible translations.
You can seek guidance from your pastor or mentor, but use your own critical thinking skills to identify the best Bible for your personal study time.
I seriously believe what can work for one can be the worst resource for another. Still, your pastor or mentor can recommend some easy-to-read Bible translations based on accuracy and how closely they relate to the original texts.
As for me, during my private study time, I tend to draw from several translations.
My undeniable favorite is the New American Standard Bible because it is the most accurate translation word for word.
The King James translation gave me a good start, but the old English is cumbersome and sometimes gets on my nerves.
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 a good translation for Bible reading”.
It works for me. Here’s how it translates the all-famous 2 Corinthians 10:13:
Let’s do a comparison of how it reads. Here’s how it translates Corinthians 10:13:
“No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind, and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
Now, let’s look at it in the King James Version:
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Pretty good, right?
How about the King James version?
The King James Bible is a staple in church culture. The funny thing is I used to think that’s exactly how Jesus spoke.
It’s most popular with traditionalists and older Christians.
It was written in 17th-century English and, again, can sometimes be misleading and difficult to understand for us today.
some scholars also say the King James Bible was ok for its time, but it was based only based on some Greek manuscripts.
Check out how King James translates our sample scripture, 2 Corinthians 10:13:
“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.”
You also have the New American Standard Version.
Oh yeah, the good Old Faithful – The NIV
This easy-to-understand adaptation of scripture is popular for obvious reasons. Some say the text may take some textual liberties to boost our understanding.
In fact, Dr. Doublas J. Moo is a professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College in Illinois. I read him quoted in an article on the Christian Post.com. Regarding the liberties and differences, he says: “So sometimes we seize on the differences. And yeah, they are there. But there’s such a minority compared to the vast bulk of agreement that you have between the King James and NIV and ESV or an NLT.”
I don’t worry about it. I read several versions of the NIV and someone has managed to grow spiritually and stay a Christian. 🙂
Also, the New International Version has taken some heat with its gender-neutral references. Look, I know God is a man and that works for me. Critical thinking is necessary in my personal opinion. Along the same lines, I further know He was not the blonde-haired, blue-eyed chump like in those paintings.
Anyway, check out 2 Corinthians in the NIV version:
“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.”
I’m okay with the older version of the NIV. Most scriptures I quote here are in that version.
Oh Girl, don’t You Love The Message Bible?
Finally, I also use the Message along with 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, they 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! It uses those extra words to adequately describe intent and purpose. I love The Message!
Again, these are just a few of my favorite “go-to” translations and versions.
Further stuff for my Christian sister: