For anyone new to faith, we’ve created whistle-stop tour through the most popular Bible translations
Last I week I came home from Tesco with 8 kitchen sponges, pink lemonade, 12 cat food pouches, and a bar of Fruit and Nut chocolate. All this would have been fine, but I was sent out to get food for tea that night.
For over 30 minutes I shuffled up and down over-lit aisles. Past deli-counter meat, through the books and DVDs, and along gardening supplies...even though I have an all-concrete yard. The sponges were for a jagged mountain of dirty, dishes, the pouches for a pair of slightly-overweight tabbies with no patience, and the chocolate because,well, it’s chocolate.
None of what I bought could be used for a meal that night (the cats do not like to share!). This was because I didn’t know what I was getting before I left home that evening. I went out with no idea what I was getting, and when confronted with tens of thousands of options, I get almost all the wrong things.
Choice without knowledge almost never ends up in the right direction, and when you need to choose something that is new to you, it can all seem daunting. All the wrong decisions play out like deleted scenes from a bad movie. For anyone new to faith, new to Christianity, and new to knowing what Bible to pick - we’ve created whistle-stop tour through the most popular Bible translations out there at the moment.
Note: almost all Christians will refer to different Bibles by their abbreviations as the full titles can be a bit of a mouthful. We’ve supplied the abbreviations in brackets, but don’t let the various jumbled letters people use put you off exploring for yourself the different Bibles
The World-Wide Bible...
This is by far the most widely-read Bible in the world. It’s the one you’ll find in homes and church pews because it is both reliable and incredibly clear. A completely original translation, the NIV underwent a revamp in 2011 that updated some of the language, making it more inclusive to a wider readership.
This is the Bible for a general reader, who wants to get on the same page as most other Christians in the world.
This is the original English-language Bible. Translated in England at the same as the plays of William Shakespeare were being written and performed, it is safe to say that the KJV’s language is not in common use today. That being said, the KJV Bible is still held by millions to be the most authentic version of God’s word. If either authenticity or a vibrant poetic voice are what you prefer, then the KJV is best for you.
The Classic in New Clothes...
Based primarily on the King James Version, the NKJV was commissioned in 1975, and based a significant amount of its changed on the recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls (a collection of original-language Bible texts discovered in a cave during the 1940s). As an update of the KJV, this translation is in a similar vein to its predecessor, but clarifies a lot of the language.
This is the translation for those wanting a Bible as rich as the KJV, but in an easier text.
If you went to school in the UK, you may be familiar with this Bible (even if just for the simple line drawings found throughout). The Good News Bible was made especially for the UK Church, and is a favourite for use as a Children’s Bible. That doesn’t mean that Adults can’t relate to a Bible that cherishes approaching the Bible with an honest heart.
A Bible for Digging Deep...
If you are serious about reading the Bible for all it’s worth, this is the Bible for you. Committed to being as literal as possible, the ESV is a favourite amongst people who love deep Bible study. Steering away from interpretive leanings, the ESV has kept to heart the mission to present the Bible ‘as it is’.
This is the Bible for anyone wanting a modern translation that keeps front-and-center as accurate a translation as possible.
New in 2017, the CSB Bible aims to have the best of both worlds. Wanting to be both easily readable as well as being accurate as possible, this Bible has been made to appeal to as many Christians a possible. Positioning itself in the same position as the NIV, this Bible is looking to grow into a bestselling Bible as more and more people find its idealistic aim appealing.
A Bible for Life...
A Bible which captures the heart of the original texts, the NLT Bible is a Bible for everyday life. Its contemporary language and clear translation has made it the choice for many modern readers. The current best-seller of the NLT Bible is the INSPIRE Bible that mixes the creativity of Adult Colouring Books with a journaling edition of the NLT.
This is the Bible for anyone wanting a translation that is modern in language, but still reliable and relatable.
Made for 21st Century readers, the Message is told in today’s language - right down the slang and idioms that characterise today’s speech. Translated by Eugene Peterson, the idea behind the Message was to make the Bible sound today as it would have to listeners 2,000 years ago. It’s all about the message of the Bible, and what it means for you.
This is the Bible for anyone wanting to hear the text of the Bible presented in their own words.
What do you think? Does one of these Bible sound like the Bible for you? Or what Bible was most important to you when you took your first steps into faith?
For a more detailed look at what Bible features are avaliable, check out out post on choosing the right Bible for you.
August 16th, 2017 - Posted & Written by Aaron Lewendon