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WHICH BIBLE TRANSLATION SHOULD I READ?
Which Bible version is best for me?

You got KJV, NASB and now the Message. And so today I want to talk about the three different types of Bible translations and the pros and cons of each.

No Bible Translation is Perfect
• The original Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek [which is why most theological schools teach Greek and Hebrew] meaning men had to interpret what they believed the text was saying.
• The problem is that there are close to 5 million words in the Biblical Greek language and only 1 million English words making it very difficult to always find an exact English word or phrase that reflects the true meaning of the biblical text.

1. “Word for Word” Translations – These versions are normally written at a 11-12th grade reading level.
a. This is where the translators attempted to take each word from the Greek/Hebrew (Aramaic) and translate it to English preserving the exact word order
b. One example of this type would be the King James Bible
i. Pros – The translators prided themselves on translated the Greek/Hebrew manuscripts word for word preserving the authenticity of the original manuscripts.
ii. Cons – The problem is that it was translated in 1611 in Old English words that are over 400 years old.
iii. So, not only are there words like thee, thou, whither and comest, restoreth that we no longer use but there are other words that mean something totally different today than they meant in 1611.
c. Amplified – Another one in this category is the AMP Bible which is one of my absolute favorites.
i. Pros – It adds key words and phrases in brackets to help you better understand what you are reading.
ii. Cons – The words they add are left up to the interpreter who added them.

2. “Thought for Thought” – NIV, NLT
a. This is where the translators took whole phrases and tried to capture the general idea of what the phrase was saying and then disregarding the original word order and then translated it into English.
b. Examples of these would be the New International Version and the New Living Translation
c. Pros – They are written at a 7-8th grade reading level making it very easy to understand which is great because the Bible is already hard to understand.
d. Cons – Some of the original meaning can be watered down in an attempt to make it more readable.

3. Paraphrase – The editors took whole chunks of the Bible and did not even try to attempt to translate it literally but rather they put it in very modern words that people can understand.
a. The most popular paraphrase today is the Message Bible.
b. Pros – it is the easiest Bible to read aimed to be read at a 4-5th grade reading level.
c. The obvious con here is that a paraphrase disregards the meaning of individual biblical words and they take liberties in adding more words in an attempt to make it more readable which then makes it subject to the interpretation of the translators.

So, what’s the best one to use? The one that you enjoy reading the most and the one you feel that God speaks clearest to you. I personally subscribe to the NLT because I’ve found it to be the best combination of accuracy and clarity and when I read it I actually understand what the Bible is saying. I would only use a paraphrase, such as the Message Bible, as a secondary resource only after I’ve read and studied from an actual bible translation.

source

46 COMMENTS

  1. ALLEN? What about this one "The Devotional Bible and it is a New Century version" … when I purchased my bible it was this one because I was unaware that there were different versions. I am a beginner bible reader… other than what was read in Church! I really want to hear, feel and understand as best I can the words of God.

  2. [No Attacks…Just Facts]
    Regarding original KJV [1611], it would be very advantageous to engine research (SPURIOUS Bible Texts]
    Spurious – forged, false, fake

  3. Don't forget only the Geneva, KJV , NKJV and, MEV are based of the received text tracing back to Antioch. All others are based on the highly edited and sometines contradictory Critical Text. I think its wise to consider this when choosing what to read.

  4. Just saw thus video! Love the NLT for general daily reading but also like to have the NASB on hand when I want to see the literal meaning. Was using the NIV before the NLT, no dramas with the NIV but prefer NLT.

  5. Great message! My favorite is the Amplified Bible. I also use the New American Standard. Some say the KJV is the only acceptable Bible and all others are corrupt, but that idea does not hold water – What if you only speak Cherokee? or Tagalog? or Lakota? What if the Lord delays His coming 1000 years – by then, English will have changed to the point that no one would understand a millenia plus old language. It is hard enough to understand now! I love the little tracts that Jack Chick has published, but the only drawback to them is the scripture references therein are all the antiquated KJV English. Anything that hinders a person's understanding of God's Word needs to be changed, especially young people who have never heard words like "whither" or "paps" or "victuals" or "malignity" or passages like 1 John 3:9. The KJV version seems to imply that if you are born again, you will stop sinning completely. That is what I thought when I first read it right after being born again. But the Amplified gives the clear meaning, stating that one who is born again will not make a PRACTICE of sinning, but rather wants to do God's will. Again, anything that gets in the way of understanding the true meaning of God's Word needs to be changed.

  6. The bible does not contain errors. The King James Version (KJV) is to me the most accurate. I have read many versions, I find the King James Version to be the most accurate in glorifying God and conveying the message. The entire world is a lie concocted by Satan. The world God created does not know God! Anything that has to do with God isn't easy only because we were created in the image of the Creator. The mind was created with brilliance and for brilliance. Except the mind isn't being used without the Holy Spirit. God says, Seek Me! Anything the human mind finds easy to comprehend God is Not in! An NIV bible or NLT can not truly lead a Christian to a successful warfare because these translations are missing key battle praises to God and instructions from the LORD. The King James Version is hard to understand however most effective in warfare. By the leading of the Holy Spirit, the King James Bible led me to a successful war against Satan, broke Generational Curses and rededicated an entire country back under the leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ. The King James Translation is the truth! Also, it arms the Christan against the attacks of Satan. Satan is a lawyer against Christians however, cries out for mercy during battles anytime I'd pick up my King James Bible.

  7. I just bought the NIV, NASB, NLT, KJV and CSB yesterday

    I also had the ESV and NKJV for a while.

    I’m reading the NLT now and it’s really easy to read🙏🏾

  8. It’s been 3yrs I hope you changed your mind on this… God says in ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭12:6‬-7 KJV; ““The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt KEEP them, O Lord, thou shalt PRESERVE THEM from this generation for ever.”
    He also said in Matthew‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬;
    “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
    If God’s PURE AND PERFECT word is only found in the original then we DONT HAVE his word! You are calling God a liar if he couldn’t preserve it. If all translation are his words why they don’t say the same, lots of verses and key doctrines missing! God said we shall live by EVERY WORD! but we don’t have the original therefor we cannot be saved and follow his words! This leads to 1 conclusion Gods word is out there, would God keep it hidden away from us or do we have it in front of our eyes and been using it for over 400yrs? For those that say it has to be the original, please give me a verse in the Bible that mentions originals! Did you know that there are many translation within the authors when they wrote it in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.

  9. Luke 4:8 say "Get behind me Satan for it is written you shall worship the Lord your God & Him only shall u serve. I like this because Jesus puts Satan in his place. Some other versions leave out" Get behind me" out. Ive always wondered why because it seems the power of Jesus' position is diminished with that line missing

  10. So I've been following an online bible study. I use the NKJV and they use NIV, i personally prefer the NKJV but i could still keep up as we read. I noticed something in Matthew 5:22. In NJKV it says "But I say to you, who ever is angry with his brother without a cause will be in danger or judgement"… in NIV it says "But anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgement"… These 2 version have 2 completely different meanings. One implies it's ok to get angry, especially when there is cause and another implies you can never be angry. I just wanted to warn ppl about some versions because, it can be terribly misinterpreted and could even result in completely different ways of living, especially as a Christian.

  11. Mr. Allen Parr is very incorrect In His views about God's word. If God is perfect, then his word has to be perfect. Also why would he allow the original writers to write their scripture perfectly….. but then God can't do the same for us today, especially in the King James Bible? That proves that God is a double standard hypocrite.

    This link I provided below is the link to my video I made in refuting this video. Watch this video and you'll seem a logical scripture truth for yourself that God did give us a perfect Bible in our language and that is the King James Bible.
    https://youtu.be/53Efw0Am3dY

  12. i read good news bible because my english as bad. i understand good news about 90% and i can guess the meaning some difficult words in our indonesian bible.
    KJ Bible is so hard for me. And our English Catholic Bible is difficult too.
    I read Good News Bible to learn English.. that's it.

  13. I read the King James Version and personally disagree with this video. The Bible promises us that the word will be preserved perfectly, so it only makes sense that there can only be one that is true as they contradict one another. The reason I choose the KJV is because it comes from the translations from Antioch rather than the translation from Alexandria, Egypt. And if that's not enough, every other major English translation actually has verses that are removed from the passages. For example, Acts 8:37 is often removed or mentioned only in footnotes.

  14. I read from a Gideons bible in a hotel once and understood it right off the bat. The thing is, you can’t really get a personalized Gideons bible. I grew up with KJV, but I want a bible I can understand. Not one where I have to set the book down and guess or use context clues. I think NIV or NLT will be best. Thank you!

  15. This presentation ignores the difference in authority of the original Greek texts used to translate. Those Bibles (mostly modern) that use the Alexandrian Text are flawed with inaccuracies and diminish the divinity of Christ. The Geneva, KJV, and other Reformation Bibles rely on the Byzantine Text which is quoted far more often by the early church fathers and reflects the solid theology and doctrine of the Church from its infancy. Educate up to the majesty of the Received Text Bibles, not down to the street language of the modern versions.

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