Selecting a Bible Version

Selecting a Bible Version


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Selecting a Bible version is important! Many times we hear of references made of the Bible in such terms as the “Word,” the “written Word,” “God’s Word” or “God’s Truth” for example. While these all refer to the one concept, God’s instruction book for our lives, there are many versions of the Bible. Your job is to find the best version for you.

You may wonder why there is more than one version if the Bible. The various accepted versions are carefully written to give more clarity of the verses from the King James Version which was written in Early Modern English which can be difficult for many people to understand today. I find the use of different versions quite helpful to compare verses in my studies. You may as well.

My Bible Version Experience

When I decided to study the Bible, I hit an impasse. I had the King James Version and it was totally Greek to me! I remember feeling upset when I visited my first Bible study at a church God had led me to attend.

The teacher picked up on my concern and asked me what was wrong. As soon as I told him, he handed me a Bible and told me to skim through it. It was the New American Standard Version. I was amazed at the clarity it brought me almost immediately! I still have it and I still love it!

In the Baptist church that I had attended since I could remember, we didn’t really use our Bibles much so I didn’t realize there were other versions. To put it in a nutshell, I was twenty-four and totally ignorant about the Bible. So I went on a quest with my daughter in tow to search for a Bible based church.

This is really the first step in Christian growth — to insure that you attend a Bible based church if you don’t already attend one. You have to have the courage to walk away from a church that teaches church doctrine over Biblical doctrine. If you don’t do this you will never attain the mark of your Christian growth.

But, getting back to the Bible that I had received, I used it to help me understand the KJV that I had and other versions I read for various studies. It greatly enlightened me about the importance of Bible Studies. 

Making The Best Bible Version Choice For You

As we give our time to Bible study and actually use it in our lives, God will enlighten us through whatever version we’re using. So my advice may be different than others, but when selecting a Bible version, get one that opens up God’s Word to you, especially when you are new to His Word. Use it as the means to get familiar with the scriptures and to get it into your heart or spirit. As a thought, you may also wish to have a version of the Bible that your Pastor uses for church services and study to make it easy for you to follow along.

I mainly use The KJV, but use other sources, prayer and meditation to help me understand scripture.  I also use the KJV of the Open Bible which offers many study notes that are invaluable. I love this Bible too. It’s so old it’s falling apart, but I have many markings in it. This is my daily study Bible that I have used to make notes, highlight and underscore scripture. You may wish to have such a Bible as well should you not wish to mark or write on the Bible you take to church and Bible studies. 

As you can see, over the years you may find yourself with a few Bibles that serve your study needs well. This is good because enjoying the Bible you have will keep you motivated to study even when you get busy. 

Selecting A Bible Version Through Comparison

To help you get started on your quest for selecting a Bible version that is right for you and to perhaps supplement the KJV, I’m including a list of the most popular versions and a sample for each with the same verse so that you can see how they compare.

The New International Version (NIV) Matthew 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

The King James Version (KJV) Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

The New King James Version (NKJV) Matthew 17:20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

The New American Standard Bible (NASB) Matthew 17:20 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

The New Living Translation (NLT) Matthew 17:20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Selecting A Bible Version Conclusion

In closing, I believe it is in your best interest to do a little research. Talk to people about their favorite Bibles and ask them to explain what it is they like about them before selecting a Bible version for purchase.

Carefully consider your situation such as whether you’ve studied the Bible for years, if you are a new Christian or you have never studied the Bible in depth before and so forth. The next comparison for selecting a Bible version that is right for you is to narrow your selection by price, book size, and the cover materials. You will find genuine leather the most expensive and paperback the least expensive.


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