Which Bible Translation?

What Bible translation is best?  There have been 900 translations, some incomplete, in English alone.  When I was a child, my dad had a “Parallel Bible“, that had 4 translations, side-by-side.  Besides using Bible Gateway, for side-by-side study, or reading how a verse is translated in all the English translations they carry (over 50?), I have a Bible called The Word: The Bible From 26 Translations.  Here is an excerpt from the most helpful review on amazon:

While this sounds rather daunting, this version does a very smart and efficient thing. While it is true that there are 26 different translations, this edition only lists any significant differences from certain translations as compared to the King James version, which is used as the primary reading verse. So in reality, for each verse, you may have about three to five different readings underneath the King James verse. If something in the KJV seems foggy in meaning, you can immediately skip down underneath the verse to see the alternative translations. This brings much clarity and insight. 

-Frank Forest 

That is probably my favorite Bible, if I could only choose one.  It was first published in 1967, and I have  the 4th revision from 1988.  Obviously, this one does not include most of the popular versions on today.  The NIV, for example, was still pretty new in 1988.

Speaking of the NIV: that was my favorite, that I carried for many years.  I personally think the NIV is a good version, but that there are better ones.  Specifically, I believe that the CSB and the NLT accomplish the goals of the NIV superiorly.

The Bibles I have carried over the years are:

  • NASB
  • NIV
  • NKJV
  • NLT
  • HCSB
  • ESV
  • CSB

Here are some articles that I think are very helpful:

Mark Strauss’ article does a great job of explaining why I chose the CSB over the NIV, ESV, CEB, NRSV, and NKJV.  No translation is perfect, so for study, it is great to have a number of translations and study tools.

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