Which Bible Translation To Use?
Wondering Which Bible Translation to Use
There is a lot of noise about the various Bible translations and which Bible translation to use. There are those in the King James camp who consider the King James Bible to be “the original.” But it’s not the original; the originals were Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic! It is not even the original English translation. Prior to the King James Version there were roughly half a dozen English translations.
For in-depth study of the Bible, as is done in Bible College, the original wording of the ancient languages is always used. Even the lay-person wishing to dig deeper into God‘s Word does well to study the original wording in the original language to drill down deep to discern the meaning of the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic words. The original words shed more light on God’s Word, especially when we look for other places in the Bible that it is used. For example, the word translated as “love” is actually several different words in the original language. Phileo is brotherly love, whereas agape is love beyond reason as a choice, not a feeling. So when deciding on which Bible translation to use it depends on the language you speak as well and your opinion of translation.
So the question remains which Bible translation to use for Christians? There are literally dozens of English Bible translations. Many translations have come about as a result of new discoveries of original manuscripts in the original language that give more information, making a new translation that much more accurate. It is important to note that new discoveries of original manuscripts have not disproved the accuracy of the translations we have, but instead confirmed that the Bible in the forms in which it exists today is incredibly accurate. Even the King James has been update to the New King James Version.
There is one thing to be said for the Bible. It can, and will, change your life, bring you closer to God with fresh understanding of His love and His ways, but it can’t do any of these things if you don’t read it. Regardless of the which Bible translation to use it has to make sense for you. For some people, and especially young people, reading the King James can be like reading a foreign language.
So, readability is necessary if people are to read it. Accuracy is necessary because the Bible stands on its own. It doesn’t need help. But sometimes people need help and this is where various translations help to spread the Word of God to a new generation.
The New International Version is a popular choice. It is close to the KJV, but with fresh language that is easily understood. It is the one I read first and it birthed my love for the Word of God – a love I never had before. The New Living Translation is also easily understood, and many use The Amplified when studying. It expands many of the words with added comments and synonyms that aid understanding of certain words and passages.
There are paraphrases, such as The Message, that are popular with youth especially, but it can definitely give insight to readers that they have never had before. The Bible can only help you grow in the knowledge of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit if you read it. God’s Word is alive, powerful, and inspired. The power is not in the words, the power is in the Author. He is powerful enough to touch and change every reader of the Bible – no matter the name on the cover. So the next time you think about which Bible translation to use, decide on the one that works for you.
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