What Is The Easiest Version Of The Bible To Understand
When it comes to the best Bible version for beginners, the New Living Translation is one of the easiest versions of the bible to understand and read. I use this version often on the blog as well as when reading the bible out loud to our kids.
The original language of the bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The Bible versions we have today have been translated into various forms and translations so that we can better understand Gods Word.
With that being said, some translations and versions are easier to read than others! A lot of times people approach reading the bible with a version that is from the King James Version or a version that is quite difficult from our everyday language.
So, in frustration and difficulty reading from these types of versions, readers give up from pursuing the word of God. This is why it is so important to have an easy to understand bible to read in normal, modern English.
What Is A Good Study Bible For Beginners
There are study Bibles suited for many different people. Is there a study Bible best suited for younger believers who want to grow a deeper faith?
Or for folks who want short, quick answers? And for newer believers who arent quite sure where to start?
Here is a list of some study Bibles for beginners.
Dont get the wrong idea. These are serious study Bibles suitable for any believer.
Most study Bibles for beginners have enough content to carry you through to a very deep level of understanding.
I selected these study Bibles as suitable for beginners because they are easy-to-read, colorful and informative.
They present Gods word in an engaging way that is very relevant for the current times. And some are value-priced.
They are all popular and they all have great ratings on Amazon. But even more important, most of them have won awards for the quality of the work that went into them.
They are very friendly to the beginner, yet they are also very appropriate for a serious Bible student.
Speaking of beginners, I just published this new post Must-Have Childrens Bibles for Every Age and Learning Style that you will definitely want to read for any of the younger Bible students in your life.
Which Bible Version Is The Most Accurate And Easy To Understand
There are a lot of translations and versions, so how do you know which one to choose? Who should you trust? There are so many opinions and options out there, so I want to explain the reasons why I recommend the NLT, ESV, and the CEV. Then you can make an informed decision that you feel confident about.
Its helpful to know the two major approaches in translating the Bible from the original text.
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek with a little bit of Aramaic here and there.
The two main approaches to translating the Bible are word-for-word and thought-for-thought.
In simple terms: Word-for-word translations try to stick as closely as possible to each word of the original languages. The thought-for-thought translations lean more towards being clear and expressing the Bible in modern English. This doesnt mean that they are not accurate. Its just a different emphasis and approach in translation.
Bible Versions/Translations Fall Somewhere in this Spectrum
Translations like the ESV are more word-for-word. The NLT and CEV are more thought-for-thought. Paraphrases like the Message would be on the far right of that spectrum. Paraphrases take the meaning and express it with words that are not in the original text.
A lot more can be said about Bible versions and translations, but thats the essence of it.
The NLT and CEV are not nearly as far leaning as some other translations like the NIrV . For that reason, I dont recommend the NIrV here.
You May Like: What Does It Mean To Be Holy In The Bible
One Could Easily Be Overwhelmed And Confused By The Many Different Translations Available These Days
The Scriptures were originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, which makes translation necessarybut why are there so many? And are they really all that different? Is one better than another?
There are several factors that have contributed to the assortment of translations at our fingertips today. The first, and possibly most important factor, has to do with the original Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic manuscripts from which translators are working. The English translations we have today are based off of these original manuscripts found throughout the years. The better shape of the original manuscript and the quantity of manuscripts, the better the base from which to translate.
Wrights quote obviously raises the question of the possibility for errors or distortion in our Bibles. Scholars today have more resources available than they did many years ago, which make better, truer translations possible. Nevertheless, the fact remains that no translation is infallible. Errors in translation are inevitable. That does not, however, negate the fact that Scripture, in its original form, is without error. Though our translations today may have errors, readers can be confident that these errors are cosmetic in nature, not doctrinal.
When people ask me which version of the Bible they should use, I have for many years told them that I dont much mind as long as they always have at least two open on the desk. N.T. Wright
Why Do We Need Multiple Translations
When reading a word for word translation, you may read the phrase kill two birds with one stone and think the author is literally talking about killing two birds with one stone, unless you have the background knowledge and understand this phrase is actually a common saying. A thought for thought translation would instead tell you the meaning rather than a literal translation- achieving two things in a single action to explain the idiom.
There are other limitations as well. Other languages such as Greek, have several words for something we only have one word for. The word love, in Greek has many ways to say love.agape, philia, eros, and storge. Each word describes a different kind of love, whereas the English language only has one.
We use the same word to describe a romantic love to explain a friendship kind of love or love for a child. Yet, we can all agree that each of those loves are different.
Did I lose you yet? I hope not!
Bottom Line : Multiple translations primarily exist because of the complexity of language as well as different motives to meet specific needs.
You May Like: Who Is Thomas In The Bible
Why Get A Study Bible
The were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, since they received the word with eagerness and examined the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men. Acts 17:11-12 ESV
Has the time come for you to get your own study Bible?
Maybe its because God has now given you the grace and character to become like the Bereans, who studied the scriptures daily to see if these things are so.
Or maybe you want to build your faith in order to become a more effective witness of the new life God has given you through Jesus Christ.
Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.
Or its possible you want to become more effective as an apologist to counter the arguments of skeptics and cynics alike and to show them the way to drink the Living Water of scripture.
So lets take a closer look at the study Bibles available today:
New International Greek Testament Commentary
This five-star commentary helps students of the Bible exegete Scripturewith understanding of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Even students new to Greek will glean from detailed verse-by-verse commentary and insightful comments about each section of the text.
If you were to scroll through praise of NIGTCs 13-volume collection, youd read comments like this one on Epistle to the Galatians from The Expository Times: Massive learning is combined with an easy style. Students who work carefully through this commentary alongside the Greek New Testament will learn much.
And NIGTC volumes have won multiple awards:
- Academy of Parish Clergy Top Ten Books of the Year 1 Corinthians
- Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion award for Commentaries Galatians
- Academy of Parish Clergy Top Ten Books of the Year Special Recognition Colossians & Philemon
- Christianity Today Number 3 Critics Choice for Commentaries Hebrews
- Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion finalist for Reference/Commentary 1 Corinthians
No wonder NIGTCs The Gospel of Mark, Philippians, The Epistles to the Thessalonians, and The Book of the Revelation are ranked number one at bestcommentaries.com.
You May Like: Do Not Judge Others Bible
Tip Number Five: The Best Translation
The best is subjective. There is no one single translation of the Bible that stands head and shoulders above the rest. There is one version of the Bible that is used by more seminaries, more churches, and quoted more often by Christian websites. If you Google verses of the Bible, the chances are high that it will return a Bible Gateway link and that translation will be the New International Version . The NIV as it is called, is the most often used but many do not consider it the most reliable and even though it might be the most often quoted of any of the major translations that are used today doesnt mean it is the best. What is popular is not always right just as what is right is not always popular.
Only you can decide which translation is best. I have only given you the three that I think are the most accurate and the best for Bible study. You ultimately will have to make your own decision. I have more than one translation myself. Whichever one you choose, a good Study Bible will never disappoint and the English Standard Version, the New International Version or the New King James Study Bibles will be something that you will get years and years of satisfaction from. There is so much enjoyment in studying the Word of God. And if you have all three Study Bibles, then youve won the Triple Crown. And then you can teach me a thing or two about the Bible I am sure.
Interpretation Centered Study Bibles
These types of study Bibles are primarily designed to help you understand the meaning of the text in each book of the Bible. In other words, they want to help you get to the heart of the authors original intent.
Usually, these Bibles have loads of study notes underneath the text, plus maps, diagrams, cross-references, and dozens of other helpful tools.
Sometimes the study notes are written by a number of biblical scholars, such as with the ESV Study Bible, and other times theyre written primarily by a single individual, like the MacArthur Study Bible .
Personally, I believe the best study Bible will have study notes written by a variety of scholars. This allows you to get a variety of perspectives on a variety of texts. If all the notes are written by a single person, youre only getting their interpretation of all the passages. This can get especially dicey if youre getting into more difficult texts, like in the Book of Revelation.
However, this is just my personal recommendation and I certainly wont judge you if youre a fan of the MacArthur Study Bible or Sproul Study Bible.
You May Like: Does It Say The Earth Is Flat In The Bible
So What Is The Best Bible Translation For You Right Now
As Mark Ward says, the best Bible translation is all the good ones. But if you are trying to decide on one, whichever Bible translation you choose, make sure you pick one that you will actually use, read, and study.
Buying individual hard copies of these Bibles could run you a few hundred dollars. But having them all in Logos gives you a much lower price AND makes them portable, so you dont have to pack a trunk full of Bibles to explore different translations when youre traveling or running errands or studying at a coffee shop.
Is One Translation Strategy Better Than The Other
Dave Brunn, author of One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal? says no, that neither is mutually exclusive or mutually contradictory but are instead mutually complementaryeven mutually dependent.11
Brunn writes, When a translator tries to be more precise on one level, such as the word level, it tends to make the translation less precise on other levels.12 Thus, according to Brunn, each translation has its strengths and limitationsbut also balance each other out.
To illustrate what he means, Brunn references a telescope, a microscope, and a wide-angle lens:
Which of these three ocular instruments gives the best and truest perspective? . . . Obviously, each one is valuable in its own way, and each makes a distinct contribution toward helping us understand the world around us. A microscope does not eliminate the need for having a telescope. And a telescope does not eliminate the need for a wide-angle lens. These three instruments are not in competition with one anothervying for the position of greatest significance. Instead, they complement and balance one another. Each one increases the value of the others.13
So, too, are the many versions of the Bible. If we understand the translation goals of the various English versions and how they complement each other, Brunn says, that can help us glean the full richness of meaning God intended.14
You May Like: Where Does The Word Bible Come From
Final Thoughts About The Best Bible Version
So, out of the best Bible translations which one is the best for you? The simple answer is, the one you read. There are so many great options out there it comes down to which one you prefer. Go check out BibleGateway you can read several of them side by side and see which you prefer. Then go buy your favorite.
The bottom line is you should choose the Bible translation that you most like to read. Read a few and figure out which one you enjoy reading. The best Bible translation is the one you actually read.
Now that you know what translation to use check out: How To Read The Bible
Lets hear from you! What is your favorite translation? What do you think is the best Bible translation?
A Note About Study Bible / Application Notes
One quick note about the study Bible /application portions of both types of Bibles. The original biblical manuscripts are inspired by God, infallible, and should be obeyed in all circumstances.
The notes, however, are not inspired by God. They are written by men and women and are based on their particular interpretations of scripture. While their comments can certainly be helpful in understanding the text, they dont require obedience of any sort. Only the Bible itself commands that kind of obedience.
Don’t Miss: How Many Chapters In Each Book Of The Bible
Objections To Modern Translations
Only the KJV is Inspired
There is nothing in the Bible that would suggest that one particular Bible translation would be superior to others. Neither does it suggest that God would choose one particular Bible translation, in one particular world language, to be the most authentic version. The great majority of Christian denominations do not attribute any special accuracy or authority to the KJV.
Different Hebrew and Greek Manuscripts
The KJV was translated into English from a set of Hebrew and Greek manuscripts known as the Textus Receptus, put together in the 16th century. It was based on seven manuscripts that were available in Basel, Switzerland.
Since that time, the scientific method of paleography has been developed. By analyzing the paper, ink and handwriting, scientists can determine approximately when and where a manuscript was written. Some of the results of paleography have been tested and verified by accelerator mass spectrometry, a form of radiocarbon dating.
It is now known that the manuscripts of the Textus Receptus date to the 10th century A.D. and later. Thus, they have been copied over by hand many, many times since the originals, with a chance of additional compounded errors each time.
New Revised Standard VersionNew International Version
What Is Your Favorite Bible Translation Let Us Know In The Comments
|Hot Issue Topic The subject of Bible translation is one that could be considered a hot topic. Here are some more hot issue topic articles that you might want to check out:
Interracial dating and marriage Jack Wellman examines the question of whether or not the Bible addresses this issue.
Politics and the Christian Jeff Telling shares a conversation that he had with a friend on the topic of controversial politics and how a Christian should examine issues before they cast a vote or endorse any one in government.
Is there really a place called Hell? Jack shares some study notes on the existence of Hell which may be a subject argued between believers and non-believers.
- Jack Wellman
So true Ron. It seems that those things that are popular are not right and what is right is not popular but we are such a pragmatic nation and it fits well with our pragmatism . We rather like what we can do than what has already been done for us . I was told that Mormonism was the fastest growing religion in the worldbut so is Islam and so by their standard, that must be true too!
Recommended Reading: How Do I Read The Bible