Which version of the bible is best?
This is a question that I have been asked from time to time and although it is easy to give an opinion on personal favourites, it is a lot harder to show people why I have chosen the Bible I have chosen to read.
In my collection and preparation for this article I had a look at the Bibles that were on my shelf and I found that I have quite a few different variations. Of these I have King James Versions, New King James Versions, CEV, Good News Bibles, New International Version, NASB and a parallel Bible that has 4 versions including the Amplified, KJV, NIV and NASB.
Of these, unless I am doing an in-depth study that I want the four different versions as a parallel before I look at the original Greek or Hebrew texts, (for that I use the parallel, that was a great gift that I got for my 30th birthday!) I will use a battered old KJV that I got from a friend of mine called John Oliphant or a NKJV that my wife bought me!
I use the KJV for one reason and one reason only; it is what I am used to! I started off studying the Bible at a young age at my local brethren hall and that is the Bible that was used there and was given out as Christmas presents.
Another possible reason I cling onto that is that I am old school. I do not always go in for modernization and re-modernization and like my Bible to reflect what the spirit of the original texts were.
I attempt not to get into to many debates about “what version is better” as there has been a rising group of folks that I know that tout different versions. I think the ECV or the ESV is making a comeback among the “popular people” I am unsure what the particular argument for that version is, but I am sure there is a relevant one!
Also I try not to get bogged down in the “my version is better than your version” argument. As long as it has the 66 canonical books, has not been altered to fit a cultish practice and has the good news in it, then it down to personal preference. I once got a chart that slammed the other versions (other than KJV) that I used to pass around in my younger days as a newer Christian, but I have grown up and do not participate in such dogma.
I guess what it comes down to for me is the following. If you come to God, wanting to know his words through his scriptures with the right heart, he will change your life, I believe that it does not matter what version you have in front of you.
The reason I believe that is that there are believers in China who only get access to maybe one or two pages at a time and they treasure it with their lives, they learn it, they read it, they study it and their lives get changed, their hearts are pure for the refreshing from God. I don’t see any of them debating whether it is a good translation or not!
From a reader’s point of view, I believe that it is down to personal preference. If you have the version that suits you best and you are getting the most out of your study time then I beg you, do not change what you are doing! If you are learning, growing and becoming more like Christ, then that version is for you!
God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.