Bible Translation Comparison: Top 10 Most Accurate Bible Translations
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Are you looking for the most accurate Bible translation but the overwhelm of all the different translations and choices is leaving you confused?
That is why I put together this post.
I am going to provide a Bible translation comparison of the top 10 most accurate Bible translations so you can compare them for yourself and make the best choice for you.
After reading this post I am confident you will be able to choose the best Bible translation for you so you can start reading, and more importantly start understanding, Gods Word.
Compass: The Study Bible For Navigating Your Life
The concept behind the Compass Bible is just as the title implies. It was designed to help people connect with God by pointing them in the right direction and revealing how they fit into God’s story. Compass is written in what is known as the Voice translation, a mix of “word-for-word” and “thought-for-thought” translation approaches. Especially enjoyable is its translation of Revelation, one of the Bible’s most difficult books to understand.
Compass makes a great gift for a new believer, a seeker, or anyone who wants to take a fresh and meaningful journey through the Scriptures.
I Want To Get A Sense Of The Complexities Of The Passage And What Translators Have Wrestled With To Create Their Translations
Read a range of translations, choosing at least two formal equivalence* translations.
* A formal equivalence, word-for-word translation gives priority to what the original language says and how it says it. It aims to be a literal translation.
** A dynamic equivalence, thought-for-thought translation gives priority to what the text means. It aims to make the text as readable for a modern audience as possible.
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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.
Most Popular Best Selling Bible Translations In 2018
Which are the most popular best selling Bible translations in 2018, you must wonder? Lets find out!
In the world, there are basically over hundreds of different translations of the Bible to English language, and each version can be analyzed in different ways. So, we have a literal translation, which is a word-for-word translation from Greek and Hebrew to the English language. The other option is thought-for-thought translation, which put the emphasis on the importance of the meaning of the translated sentence and the context of the whole text. Based on these differences, people have their own preferences. As we cannot agree on tastes, it means there is no universal agreement of what is the best Bible translation. However, if you want to know which are the top 5 most accurate Bible translations, we suggest you to give a glance at our previous article on 5 Best and Most Accurate Bible Translations According to Scholars.
Also Check: Chronological Order Of Bible Books
The English Revised Version
Several dozen British and American scholars for over a decade worked on new translation with significant changes from the King James Version. In the Old Testament corrections were made to mistranslations of Hebrew words and in the New Testament a great many changes were made based on better textual evidence. The English Revised Version included British spelling and figures of speech which made it not so popular in the United States.
Hebrews 11 The Hall Of Faith
The opening verse in Hebrews 11 gives the very definition of faith as: the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. This chapter is often referred to as the Hall of Faith because the writer reminds the reader of all those who have gone on before and are with God now because of faith. He mentions Cain and Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham & Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, Joseph, Moses and Rahab.
I like to meditate on this verse:
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Recommended Reading: Maryland Bible College & Seminary Baltimore Md
The Most Popular Bible Translations
Selecting a copy of the Bible can be a complicated task. Scholars have translated the original Hebrew and Greek books of the Bible many times over, leading to different interpretations. With so many editions to choose from, you likely dont have time to explore every translation. Heres a closer look at five of the most popular Bible translations.
Thought For Thought Bible Translations
New International Version
Perhaps one of the most popular translations over the last one hundred years, the New International Version was first published in 1973 by Biblica. It was arranged by more than one hundred scholars working from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. Its readability is easy, however, it is a thought for thought translation meaning its more concerned with capturing the essence of the words rather than a more literal translation.
New Living Translation
The translators of the New Living Translation kept the concerns of both formal and dynamic in mind, looking to balance both. Their goal was to be both faithful to the texts and readable. I, personally, enjoy using the NLT as a secondary translation, often turning to it when Id like to see a verse communicated with more vibrance.
Christian Standard Bible
My current Bible is a Christian Standard Bible as its the version She Reads Truth uses for their Bibles. Released in 2004 by Holman Bible Publishers, the translators wanted a modern translation grounded in theology without regard to liberal cultural trends. In places where a literal rendering might be unclear, a more dynamic translation is given.
The Passion Translation
Recommended Reading: Bible Verses On Solitude
Find Comfort In Your Faith
Let your faith comfort you and all who attend your loved ones mass. These Bible verses for funerals serve as a reminder that their spirit lives on in an eternal home where they wait for you.
We understand the importance of this goodbye for now. Please contact us to help with all of your funeral planning needs.
Which Bible Translation Is Closest To The Original
Based on what we now know of how difficult translation is, this is also a difficult question to answer, and it leads to comparing two different translation philosophies. The first is formal equivalence, also called literal or word-for-word equivalence. Formal equivalence strives to stay as close as possible to the actual wording of the original language, striving to translate each Greek or Hebrew word to the closest possible word in English. Think of this reading Shakespeare as Shakespeare wrote it.
The second is dynamic equivalence, or thought-for-thought equivalence. This approach attempts to stay as close to the thought the original writer was trying to convey. Think of this as Shakespeare rendered as an easier-to-understand language for modern English speakers.
Each approach has strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately most translations are a true combination of the two. The versions below are generally considered to be very close to the original.
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The Most Popular Bible Verse In 2020
Looking back to 2020 I think we can clearly say that this prophecy has become closer to its complete fulfillment than ever before! Did you know that the YouVersion Bible App saw its highest levels of global Bible engagement in app history?! That is incredible!
And can you guess what Bible verse was the most popular?
Fear not, for I am with you Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
If you are on Gods side, you do not need to fear, for He will surely be with you, and take you through whatever trials you are facing. Also, He has great plans for you, He longs to transform you into His image, to prepare you for His return.
Some of you are struggling, perhaps you are wandering back and forth between the light and the darkness. I have a Word to you from the Lord. Read carefully with me:
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
God has great plans even for you! He loves you, and He wants you to take the necessary steps toward Him. Do not wait! Forsake evil, and embrace the truth.
Bringing The Bible Directly To The People
Printing had already been invented, and made copies relatively cheap compared to hand-done copies, says Carol Meyers, a professor of religious studies at Duke University. The translation into English, the language of the land, made it accessible to all those people who could read English, and who could afford a printed Bible.
Whereas before, the Bible had been the sole property of the Church, now more and more people could read it themselves. Not only that, but the language they read in the King James Bible was an English unlike anything they had read before. With its poetic cadences and vivid imagery, the KJV sounded to many like the voice of God himself.
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Most Popular Chapters In The Bible
When you commit to reading the Bible on a regular basis, no doubt you will come across stories and accounts that you have heard before. These are those things that people talk about and teach about and so they become very popular. When I sat down to think about it, these are the ten most popular chapters in the Bible that come to my mind. I have listed them in book order and therefore they are not necessarily in chronological order. See how they line up with what you have read or been taught yourself.
John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Popular Psalm Verses About Faith
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4
Which Bible Version Is Best For You
We could have a very long conversation about the many different translations and all the technical reasons to read one or another version of the Bible.
And different people may have different reasons for selecting the version they read every day.
There are many good translations. And many people have theirpreferences.
Here are some things to think about and questions to askyourself when deciding which translation to get:
Will I enjoy the translation?
Will it be easy to read?
Will I understand it?
Will I be motivated to read it?
For many folks, just one translation will never do. If you are like me, you will have multiple translations around the house, on your computer and all your electronic devices.
Its a wonderful blessing that we have so many options for enjoying the Word of the Living God.
Acts 9 The Conversion Of Saul
Of all the chapters and verses in this Bible, this is the one that builds my faith every time I read it. It is the account of one of the cruelest and most ruthless men of all time. His name was Saul of Tarsus and he was a ring leader in the cause to imprison and kill Christians. He hated those that loved Jesus.
Saul was on his way to Damascus to capture Christians and bring them back to Jerusalem when he and the men that were with him witnessed a great light from heaven and heard a voice. This was the voice of Jesus that said
Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
When Saul asked who the voice was, He identified Himself as Jesus whom thou persecutes. Saul was very frightened and during his conversation with the Lord he was trembling and astonished. From then Saul was struck blind and he fasted for three days until Ananias went to Saul to announce the Lords plan for him.
My favorite verse is what the Bible says was Sauls response to this life changing event, take a look:
And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
Of course Saul is also known as Paul and is attributed with writing about 1/3 of the New Testament. God changed him and used him to take the Gospel to the Gentiles because the Jews rejected the truth that Jesus is the promised Messiah .
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Exodus 20 The Ten Commandments
I think this is the second most popular chapter in the Bible. It tells of how Moses stood before the Lord on the mountain and received the 10 most important commands from God. He then took it to the people that he was leading to the Promised Land.
When the people heard the thunder, lightning, smoke and noise they were afraid. Then Moses said to them:
Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
The #1 Read Bible Vs The Bestselling Bible
When it comes to Bible translations, Im apparently out-of-sync with the majority according to The Barna Group and the ECPA . My #1 preferred Bible translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. I expected to change to the updated version of it, see my review of the Christian Standard Bible, when it came out in 2017, but I didnt. The gender neutrality language was a big factor, but, more importantly, my two daughters gave me the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible as a Christmas present in 2012. So, it tugs at my heartstrings and it has my name nicely engraved in gold on the front leather cover. The HCSB has some shortcomings, but, by-and-large, I find it to be the most accurate and readable.
The New American Standard 2020update is in the works. The previous link will take you to my ongoing review of it. I had great expectations for this update. So far, however, Im not thrilled by the 2020s passages that the Lockman Foundation has been releasing. Its a plus/minus kind of the thing. Theyve improved the translation of some passages, but theyve also downgraded the translation of others by making them annoyingly wordy. To date, the negatives slightly outnumber the positives.
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Dr. Rob Oberto is the award-winning author of Intimacy With Godavailable from Amazon. ©2019. All Rights Reserved.
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Fear Among The Most Popular Bible Search
Its interesting to look at the statistics of the Bible searches according to when different events happened in the world. In March for example. We all know that COVID-19 was spreading fast. The number one search term during this time was fear.. As the pandemic continued, the fastest growing search terms were words like peace, hope, and faith.