Which Version of the Bible Should I Study?

There are so many translations of the Bible, each one offering a unique reading experience. Which translation you choose to read should be based on your individual language preferences and understanding of the background of Biblical times. However, it is recommended that you take the time to explore all the different versions of the Bible available to you in order to find the one that provides the greatest understanding while speaking to you the most. Here are a few popular versions and descriptions of what sets them apart from their counterparts.

New American Standard

By translating the grammar and terminology of the Bible into contemporary American English, this version provides a strong adaptation of the Bible. Verses with difficult comprehension standards have been summarized to make it easier for readers to understand without losing the original meaning. The last official update to this version was in 1995. Some scholars say it has 807,361 words.

English Standard Version

This version is a literal translation of the Bible in contemporary English. Published in 2001, this translation utilizes some gender-neutral language in its interpretation. Every word of this translation has been compared to the original Hebrew version to prove its accuracy and clarity. It has about 757,439 words.

King James Version

Also known as the Authorized Version, the King James Bible is the original English-language translation of the book. Cited by many as the best-selling book of all time, the King James version is known as the original Bible. First published in 1611, the traditional language in this version is considered by scholars to be the most authentic. Scholars also say that the 1611 edition of the Bible has 788,280 words.

New International Version

This modern translation was first published in 1978 after 13 years of work by a team of Biblical scholars and church leaders. A diverse group of people from a variety of denominations worked together to ensure the accuracy of this version, paying close attention to retaining its lyrical and inspirational qualities. Rather than following a word-for-word translation, the team subscribed to a thought-for-thought process. An updated version was released in 2011. This translation is easier to interpret for most readers because of its use of modern language. It has about 727,969 words.

By immersing yourself in any or all of these translations, you will come away with a better understanding of historic Biblical times as well as the grace and humility of the human spirit. Regardless of the version that you choose to read, the underlying messages and lessons are all the same. Don’t forget the lessons you’ve learned or the messages you’ve read. You can share them every day with those around you by wearing a simple T-shirt that says exactly what you want to share.

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