In the last 10 years we have seen so many translations that ones starts to wonder if I have the right one. I have discussed this issue at various different blogs, and here is what I have concluded.
- You need to own at least one literal translation
- This is the bible you use to study with. I would say that it is almost mandatory that you study with a literal bible
- Ones I recommend:
- ESV, NASB, HCSB
- Only recommending newer translations
- The NASB is really in a class of it’s own as it is the most literal English bible you can read.
- The reason I can recommend the HCSB is because of the footnotes. If the main reading is a optimal translation, the footnotes will always give you the literal translation
- Everyday bible
- This is the bible you use to read and memorize verses
- This is really a matter of choice
- Find one you like and read it!
- HCSB, TNIV, ESV, NLT, (Second Edition)
- Causal Bibles:
- These would be Paraphrase bibles, and the only one I can think of would be the Message Bible. I would not use this to memorize verses with, which is virtually impossible to do anyhow. But I would use it to get a better understanding of the meaning, and to add color to the bible. Makes for interesting reading, that’s for sure.
If you notice I have left the NKJV and the NIV. For one, and this is personal I never warmed up to the NIV. I think that the TNIV is a much better translation, and has improved the NIV. I only recommend the NKJV to those of you that love the KJV. The KJV is old, and does not take advantage of any of the latest scholarship. So if you love the KJV that much, read the NKJV. Otherwise I would recommend any of the above translations.
Just to be clear if you just love the NKJV, or the NIV, more power to you. I read the NKJV for 20 years, and most scriptures I have memorized are from that translation. But I encourage you to take a bold step and buy, read, and compare these different translations, you will gain so much by doing this.
Which is the best translation? The one you read!
I’ll post more later on the each of the translations and try to give you pros and cons to each one.