Bible Versions

When I became a Christian in 1994, my primary Bible for reading and study was the NIV. It was popular at the time so naturally that’s what I received from those who bought me bibles (both of which I still have). I knew of the KJV as a kid and later as a teenager, but I could never read it for long because its stilted old-world English was simply too much effort to enjoy. I preferred  something more modern.

As I got older, I branched out and read other translations–the NRSV, NASB95, NKJV, ESV, etc. In the 2000s, I was introduced to the HCSB and soon thereafter found myself referring to/reading it more than others. During my tenure as pastor I preached from the HCSB most of the time and to this day it’s one of my preferred Bibles for reading.

While my preference was for the NIV and/or HCSB, I also enjoy/ed a number of other translations: NLT, NET, NJB, CEB, and others. In more recent years I have come to really enjoy and read the REB, a translation I was unaware of until reading something about it on Jim West’s blog. I picked up a copy not long thereafter and have enjoyed it ever since. It has become one of my favorite translations.

So, what about you–what are you favorite translations?

Αυτω η δοξα


16 thoughts on “Bible Versions”

  1. I like the TNIV books of the Bible. It has no chapters and verse numbers, and the books are chronologically placed. It gave me another (not new) perspective in understanding the Scriptures. I normally read the NIV, but, on my phone use the HCSB.

  2. Lately I’ve been reading the CEB—Common English Bible. I didn’t think I would like it, but I am finding it very enjoyable. It catches the liveliness of the Hebrew unlike anything since the original Jerusalem Bible did.

  3. James: That’s great! I enjoy the CEB and still read it often. There are certainly phrases that are different than most, e.g., “the human one” for υιος του ανθρωπου, but every translation has its quirks.

    1. I prefer it in the OT over the NT, although I really like the translation of μετανοια as “change your life and thinking” or some such…the emphasis on it being more than an intellectual assent is a healthy corrective to current thinking in too many places…

      But I really don’t like “the human one,” it jars me every time I read it.


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