Easiest Bible Versions To Read And Understand For Beginners
Which are the easiest Bible versions to read and understand for beginners?
Are you feeling spiritual in the New Year? Have you decided to dive into reading the Bible for the first time or the first time in a while? Great, then we have a perfect list for you.
If you are religious or interested in exploring different religions then reading the Bible is a great place to start. However, reading the Bible is also great for those who are absolute atheists, agnostics, or who practice other organized religions. It is an interesting book that can give you insight into world history. If nothing else, the Bible is an excellent historical source document wherein you can understand a great deal about
With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, the Bible is often referred to as the most read book in the world. The full Bible has been translated into 636 different languages with thousands more languages having partial translations. There are at least 108 different versions of the Bible. Versions differing from translations in that a translation is in a different language than the original while a version is an interpretation. Different Bible versions have different contexts, different interpretations, leave out or add books or verseswhich ultimately can make it a more or less accurate book.
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Easy To Read Bible For Adults
Along with the Life Application Study Bible NLT, the NIV version is also another easy to read bible for adults and youth as well. I personally believe it is the best NLT bible for beginners.
The Life Application Study Bible truly makes the best NLT bible. I have been a fan of the Life Application Study bible for as long as I can remember. This Life Application Study Bible NIV is also another fabulous and easy to read bible for adults.
Make Sure To Read A Christian Bible
The first thing to do is to make sure youre reading a Christian Bible. The Christian Bible spans from Genesis to Malachi in the Old Testament and Matthew to Revelation in the New Testament. It includes 66 books total, and in the very last chapter, Revelation 22:18-19 says:
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this scroll and if anyone takes away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take away his part of the tree of life and out of the holy city, which are written in this scroll.
Thus, we cannot add to or take away from the Bible. The entire contents of Gods Word, from Genesis to Revelation, comes from God and is divinely inspired. We cant cut out verses, remove chapters, or add books. The Bible is Gods Word and His speaking to man, so we have to make sure that were reading His very word in the 66 books of the Bible.
But there are some bibles that add to or take away from Gods Word. They may add a book or two , or they may alter key verses.
For example, the Jehovahs Witnesss bible translates the last part of John 1:1 to say that the word was a god instead of saying the Word was God. This is grossly inaccurate. The full verse of John 1:1 should be translated this way:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
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Best Bible Version For Beginners
What is the best bible version for beginners? I have three to recommend! Each of these versions is the best bible to understand and included the New Living Translation , The New International Version , and The New International Readers Version .
Each version presents thought for thought translation and helps to provide in-depth study as well as personal development making each the best bible for beginners to understand!
New Living Translation Version This translation is accomplished by translating entire thoughts into modern English rather than word for word. The result is an easy to understand bible with our everyday language.
New International Version This translation was formed through many bible scholars seeking ways to best capture the original language and context into modern English and continues to be updated. The NIV is the most-read version of the English bible.
New International Readers VersionThis is based on the NIV but offers an even easier version of the NIV to read and understand.
I was introduced to this version when my children received an Adventure Bible For Early Readers with this translation. It boasted at getting kids excited about getting into Gods Word and I can attest that this is true. Yes, there are also NIrV bibles for adults, too!
A proper translation makes a world of difference!
What If I Can’t Read The Bible
If you find it too hard to read the Bible, you can listen to it instead. There are audio Bibles for each Bible translation. If you download the Youversion Bible app on your tablet or phone, you can listen to the Bible instead of reading it.
You could also try reading a children’s Bible. These normally just have some parts of the Bible, not all of it. They are written like stories with very easy words and pictures. This is a good place to start if you find reading very hard.
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Language Is More Than Words
Language is more than just words. Think about how often things go without being said . Behind words are cultural values, assumptions, habits of kind, that arent translated well and can be missed if we dont know any better.
Growing up, my father would recite Spanish sayings, and when wed ask him what they meant he would say it couldnt be translated in English. The reason being there was no exact translation that would keep the intended meaning. If he translated it literally, it would lose the entire meaning, much like idioms.
Consider the phrase its raining cats and dogs or kill two birds with one stone. Could you imagine reading that in the Bible? How would we translate that so that the reader understood the meaning rather than the literal translation?
There are also cultural values and assumptions associated with words and phrases.
For example, when I say Im from inner-city Cleveland. I say this not just for demographic purposes, but because there is a different culture in inner-city Cleveland than say, the burbs that surround Cleveland.
Another example would be when you classify someone as a homeschooler… usually, theres a connotation of social awkwardness .
So you see, it gets very complicated to take a piece of work and translate it to a new language without explaining the intent.
Its like trying to decide whether someone is mad at you over text messages, but on steroids.
The King James Version
For a long time the King James Version has reigned supreme among English-speaking Christians. It was originally completed in 1611 having been commissioned by King James I of England in response to perceived problems in earlier English translations detected by the Puritans. Daniell, David . The Bible in English: its history and influence., 435. The translators had guidelines intended to ensure that the KJV would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy.
James gave the translators instructions to limit Puritan influence on the translation: intending to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy . The translation was done by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England.
The King James Version differs slightly from other versions of the Bible due to its use of the late and Textus Receptus manuscripts. Modern scholars have the advantage of having found many earlier manuscripts which they see as better witnesses to the original text of the biblical authors. However, most modern translators compare all manuscripts when translating. No matter what the case, the King James Version is still considered quite accurate and the differences have no impact on any major points of the Christian faith.
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The Best Bible Translation To Read Is
For starters, the best Bible translation is whichever one youll actually read. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says:
All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.
The Bible, as we see in these verses, is Gods very breath. Its the breathing out of God and His speaking to man. As we read the Word, we not only touch God as the Spirit, but we also breathe in more of who He is.
Not only so, but as we read the Word, were completed and equipped for our service to Him. We breathe in more of God Himself, and were prepared and furnished with the tools we need to serve the Lord.
Thus, when deciding which Bible translation you should read, consider which one you will actually read. If you have an NIV Bible at home on your shelf, you dont have to put off reading the Word because youre afraid its not the best Bible translation out there. You can always pray to the Lord about difficult or confusing parts. The point is to make sure that youre reading.
Every Christians goal should be to daily read Gods Word. In Acts 17:11, the apostle Paul said that those in Berea were noble for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily. We want to be this kind of a Christian. We want to be ones reading and examining the Scriptures daily.
Choosing A Bible Version
There is no one way to translate a book as large as the Bible.
With such a cultural and linguistic distance between then and now, its really more of an art than a science: an art that seeks to communicate the Bibles truth to todays readers. That means that there are a number of different Bible translations out there. Nowadays, they are more commonly called different versions of the Bible. The two words, though meaning different things, are used pretty interchangeably. For ease, Im just going to stick with version.
The big stumbling block for people trying to choose a Bible is which version to pick. There are a lot to choose from. It also doesnt help that they almost all go by acronyms. How would you, as a new Christian, feel if you were asked to choose from NIV, ESV, NRSV, NLT, KJV, NKJV? Daunting, no?
To help you choose with speed and confidence, here is a quick run through four of the most popular versions of the Bible:
The New International Version Bible:Short for the New International Version Bible, the NIV is the most popular version of the Bible. Its written in pretty standard English and is the one youll most likely find in a Church. Its simple text means that it is often given away to new Christians. If you are looking for a first Bible, the NIV Bible would be a solid choice.
The New International Version
There was a time when the only translation most believers held to be valid was the King James Version. The New International Version was one of the first translations which managed to show Christians there were “better” translations available which were just as valid. The NIV was translated directly from the original languages by more than 100 biblical scholars of various denominations. A self-governing body of fifteen biblical scholars, the Committee on Bible Translation, was developed to oversee the translation work with various teams working on the translation and submitting it for review by intermediate editorial committees and then to a general committee of 8-12 members before being sent to selected individuals before a final review. Samples of the translation were tested for clarity and ease of reading with pastors, students, scholars, and many others. The NIV charter made provision to update the NIV as new biblical scholarship and changes to the English language took place. While most NIV readers use the 1984 revision the latest one was released in 2011.
The NIV is considered a dynamic translation–seeking to balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought translation styles. There is a reason the New International Version is this year’s #1 selling Bible. The NIV gets a score of 7.80 for reading difficulty.
Which Version Of The Bible Should You Read
The best-selling English translations of all time were as follows:
- The Living Bible sold more than 40 million copies in 1971 alone
- New King James Version has sold over 30 million to date
- Todays New International Version 25 million and counting
The best bible translation is a matter of personal preference, mostly regarding ease of reading or understanding based on ones native language. However, most people prefer versions rooted in Greek and Hebrew, such as NIV, NRSV, NLT, among others, due to their accuracy compared to dynamic equivalence type translations like The Message.
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Reading Level Of Bible Translations
Below is a table containing the reading levels of the most popular Bible versions:
|Reina Valera||Spanish Translation|
Based on data from the ECPA Bestsellers as of January 2021, these are the top 10 most popular Bible translations.
The King James Version is best for historical value and poetic language. The KJV uses Elizabethan English from the 1600s thats why it is not on my recommended list of easy-to-read versions.
Some of the reading levels have a range because different publishers and groups have different standards for how to measure them.
For example, the Message is a paraphrase of the Bible and intended for reading not as a Study Bible. This is because most paraphrases are influenced by one person and based on a group of language experts.
Personally, I dont recommend paraphrases of the Bible for beginners this is because paraphrases lean more towards making the original text flow smoother in English and can also contain biases from one individual translator rather than a team.
However, this doesnt mean that paraphrases are not devotional-type reading Bibles. Paraphrases are great to enhance your understanding but do not rely on it as your main version of the Bible.
What Are The Most Popular Bible Translations
Lets compare by sales? Heres a list from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association as of January 2020.
Lets take a comparative look at twelve of the more common English Bible translations used today.
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Not All Translations Are Equal
When choosing the best translation of the Bible for teens, its important we are using a translation written in language they can understand. Some translations with very easily understood language, such as The New Living Translation or The Message, are very popular among those who teach teenagers, but they arent without their critics. The Message, in my opinion, is perhaps most useful if thought of as a commentary – helpful for explaining certain parts of scripture, but I dont use it for teaching or preaching. My concern with using translations that have made such an effort to be “easy to read”, is they tend to gloss over some of the more difficult or complex parts of scripture.
There can be a danger of reacting just as unhelpfully the other way. Those who use only the King James Version of the Bible may be guilty of this. In an effort to be so true to the original text, they can insist on an English translation that is difficult to follow by today’s teens. It would be easy to pick on the KJV loyalists, but even if I disagree with their version of choice, I admire their determination to stick as close to the original manuscripts as possible.
I know many people like to use the New International Version. I think the NIV is a great translation, but it takes a few liberties that cause some issues. Personally, I think there are translations that are more faithful to the original manuscripts.
Start With Audio Bibles
Kids dont just pop out of the womb reading, so we start by using audio Bibles and of course fantastic read-aloud story Bibles with our pre-readers.
Using audio Bibles can be an engaging way to hear the Word of God read aloud, especially for kids who arent reading or not strong readers.
Its important to note that the Bible was written in a largely oral culture, so it was written in order to be read aloud. The public reading of Scripture was a primary way Gods people were expected to take the Bible into their minds.
For a well-produced dramatized Bible on CD, The Word of Promise Audio Bible is a good choice.
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What Is The Easiest Version Of The Bible To Understand
So what version of the bible is easiest to read?
When it comes to the best Bible version for beginners, the New Living Translation is one of the easiest translations 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 translation to read in normal, modern English.