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What’s The Best Bible Translation

What Is The Most Accurate Translator

Which Is The Best Bible Translation?

The 5 most reliable online translators

  • Wordreference. This is the most popular online dictionary for more than 16 languages.
  • Google Translate. Some users prefer this site due to its simplicity and speed and because it can be easily inserted in several browsers.
  • Bing Translator.
  • of 14. One Bible Study Faith Daily. Free.

Accurate Bible Translations Compared


Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses.

Bible scholars have to study the original languages for a long period of time in order to develop a high proficiency in the original language.

And these same scholars must be top experts in the target language as well.

Anybody who has learned a foreign language knows there are certain idioms in each language.

These idioms do not always translate accurately from a source language to the target language, so translators must be very careful to make sure the meaning is accurately transmitted.

And the translators do a very good job of it. We can tell, because after hundreds of years of Bible translating, all the major translations are in agreement about the major meanings they are conveying in English.

They differ very slightly in the exact expression of the meanings and the translators take great care to make sure the core meanings are conserved.

This makes the translations very useful in side-by-side comparisons.

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?

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The King James Version Is Corrupt

The source New Testament Greek texts used to produce the KJV were mainly dependent on manuscripts of the late Byzantine text-type. With the later identification of much earlier manuscripts, most modern textual scholars value the evidence of manuscripts which belong to the Alexandrian family as better witnesses to the original text of the biblical authors, without giving it automatic preference. The 16th Century Greek text compiled by Desiderius Erasmus, later known as the Textus Receptus, was a major influence over the King James Version. Erasmus was a Catholic priest, who remained a member of the Catholic Church all his life. He also enjoyed the nickname Prince of the Humanists. His third edition of 1522 was based on less than a dozen Greek manuscripts dating from the 12th to 16th centuries yet served as the source text of the KJV translation. The later manuscripts of the Textus Receptus exhibited the cumulative effect of scribal changes over at least a millennium and vary widely with the earliest manuscripts dated within the first five centuries after Christ.

What Kind Of Translation Do You Need

What is the Best English Bible Translation?

This chart puts some of the popular translations on a continuum so that you can see how they each uniquely approach interoperation of the original text. This is not an exact chart, rather an overview to see which translations are more literal and which ones focus on the main ideas.

If you are like me you might assume that the more literal, word for word, translations are better. But it comes down to what you are reading it for. A more literal translation can be useful when doing an in-depth study of a passage. Whereas most prefer an easier to read, thought for thought, translation when just reading more devotionally.

How you are going to read the Bible will dictate what translation will best suite you. Most people arent going to be doing any in-depth studies so an easy to read or translation more in the middle will be best suited.

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The History Of Bible Translation

Bible translations arent new. Theyve been around since before Christ. In fact, in the fifth century BC, after the priest Hilkiah rediscovered the book of the law of Moses in the temple , the Levites stood before Gods people and read the Scriptures aloud. Nehemiah 8:8 says:

They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

The New International Version says the priests clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, and the Holman Christian Standard Bible says they read the book of the law of God translating and giving the meaning. Thus, they were explaining the first five books of the Bible for the people in a way they could comprehend.

They were translating.

In the third century BC, Jews produced whats known as the , a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament for the Greek-speaking Jews living in Alexandria, Egypt. Ron Rhodes writes that this translation solved a big problem because many of the Jews who grew up in these cities could no longer speak Hebrew, but only Greek.3

Bible translation took off in the first century, Rhodes writes, as early followers of Jesus obeyed his words to make disciples of all nations:

And from there? Fast forward to modern-day, where Bible readers can choose among about 10 major English translation options.

The Best Bible Translation

Dun dun dun. Weve come to the question of all questionsbut which translation is the best Bible translation?

For some of you, you might already be thinking, Well thats easy! I want the most accurate Bible translation, so Im going to choose one from the left side of chart .

However, remember what I said happens as you move to the left of the Bible translation spectrum? As accuracy increase, readability .

This means the translation might very well be the most accurate to the original text, but youll most likely struggle making sense of what youre reading.

So, although I applaud you for wanting to read the most accurate Bible translation, that might not actually be the best translation for you if you are going to struggle reading it on a regular basis.

However, saying this makes it sound like a word-for-word translation of the Bible is superior to a thought-for-thought translation of the Bible, and I have to say I dont agree.

The thought-for-thought translations of the Bible are translated by highly educated Bible scholars whose job is to intensely study the original language of the text in order to develop a high proficiency in the language.

Because of this, these scholars are able to not only understand and correctly translate the original text into English, but also translate the meaning behind the authors intent within the writings.

Read More: Who Wrote the Bible?

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More Bible Study Resources

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Bible Translations To Avoid

The New World Translation is published by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society . The five translators had virtually no Hebrew or Greek training. Because Jehovahs Witnesses believe Jesus is not equal with God, they translated John 1:1 as the Word was agod. John 8:58 translates Jesus as saying, before Abraham came into existence, I have been . In Exodus 3, God gave His name to Moses as I am, but because Jehovahs Witnesses dont believe Jesus is part of the Godhead or eternal, they changed the correct translation.

Although many Christians love The Message, an extremely loose paraphrase by Eugene Peterson, its so loose that it significantly changes the meaning of many verses and can be misleading.

The Passion Translation by Brian Simmons is his attempt to include the love language of God, but he significantly adds to and takes away words and phrases in Bible verses, which alters the meaning of the verses.

Holy Bible From The Ancient Eastern Text Of The Aramaic Peshitta

What’s the Best Bible Translation?

Harper One

Amazon Link:

Online Lamsa Bible:

The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts was published by George M. Lamsa in 1933. It was derived from the Syriac Peshitta, the Bible used by the Assyrian Church of the East and other Syriac Christian traditions. Lamsa, following the tradition of his church, claimed that the Aramaic New Testament was written before the Greek version. This contrasts with the academic consensus that the language of the New Testament was Greek. While Lamsas claims of Aramaic primacy are rejected by the academic community, his translation remains the best known of Aramaic to English translations of the New Testament and is a valuable reference for comparison of the Aramaic tradition to translations from other soruces. The Lamsa Bible is especially useful as a witness of the Aramaic Old Testament tradation. The Lamsa Old Testament is based on Codex Ambrosianus which has been identifed as fifth century AD and predates any existing OT text in Hebrew by about 500 years.

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Research Before You Buy

One of the best ways to research is to talk to people about their favorite Bibles. Ask them to explain which features they like most and why. For example, a site-reader, Jo, offered this advice: “The Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation rather than New International Version , is the best Bible I’ve ever owned. Even my ministers have liked the translation. I think the NLT is easier to understand than the New International Version, and it costs considerably less.”

Ask Christians teachers, leaders, and believers you admire and respect about which Bibles they use. Get input from different points of view while carefully keeping in mind what’s most important to you. When you take time to research, you’ll gain the confidence and knowledge needed to make an informed decision.

What Are The 5 Most Accurate Bible Translations

There are other versions that are worthy of attention, but these five are universally considered great for several reasons. First, they are all translated by respected and diverse groups of theologians. Second, they all stay fairly close to one another in attempting to give the best meaning to what the Scripture has to tell us today.

My top 5 are:

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Pick A Bible Translation

The goal is to find a Bible in a language you can understand and get excited to read every day. To get a sense of the different types, you can read different Bible translations for free using the YouVersion Bible app. Read a passage first in a familiar translation and then in a couple different versions to get a sense for the differences in style.

I Want To Get A Sense Of The Complexities Of The Passage And What Translators Have Wrestled With To Create Their Translations

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and ...

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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What Does Accuracy Mean

  • The Critical Edition of the New Testament is the text in the original Koine Greek of the New Testament based on textural criticism and modern scholarship.
  • The Critical Text is known as Novum Testamentum Graece, Wikipedia Link:
  • There are two identical versions Nestle-Aland, Currently 28th Edition and United Bible Societies, Currently 5th edition
  • This text forms the bases of most modern Bible translations
  • However, modern bible translations deviate from the critical text to one degree or another
  • They choose to use variants of the critical text based on considerations including better alignment with orthodox theology and in maintaining the textural English tradition
  • Accuracy is a measured by of how consistent a translation is to the critical edition.
  • Accuracy, as measured above, pertains to the choice between variant texts that is selected to be translated rather than how literal the translation is.
  • The procedure for calculating accuracy as used by COM is as follows:
  • Translate textural differences in ancient manuscripts into English
  • Compare the base text in each translation to the variants and determine which variation is closer to the translation.
  • Divide the total number of times each translation is mapped to a variant by the total number of verses with varients, and subtract the result from 100%.
  • Bible Translations Into English

    Partial Bible translations into languages of the English people can be traced back to the late 7th century, including translations into Old and Middle English. More than 100 complete translations into English have been written.

    In the United States, 55% of survey respondents who read the Bible reported using the King James Version in 2014, followed by 19% for the New International Version, with other versions used by fewer than 10%.

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    Is The King James Bible The Most Accurate Translation

    The translators of the venerable King James Version went out of their way to insist that their work was not a special work of the Spirit. They asked ,

    Apart from things done by apostles, made infallible by an extraordinary measure of Gods Spirit, what man-made thing exists under the sun that is truly perfect?

    Their answer was a decided nothing. God hasnt promised us perfect Bible translations, or even accurate ones. There are languages out there that have no Bible translations, and I have certainly heard that some languages are stuck with poor or archaic translations. But in English, at least, we should be grateful that we do have multiple accurate, useful, sound English Bible translations done by competent Christian scholars.

    Bible Translation Guide For 2021

    Is the King James Version of the Bible the Most Accurate Translation?

    Check out my updated guide on Bible translations: Best Bible Translations

    It wasnt so long ago that you only had one option for an English Bible, the King James Version. Fast-forward 150 years or so and now there are as many Bible translations as there are options in the toothpaste aisle. With so many options now choosing the right Bible translation big task.

    To complicate matters further, not all translations are equal or even done in the same manner. Some focus on a literal, word for word, translation. While others focus on translating the original meaning, thought for thought, of each passage.

    Im not going to go into all the technical details there are people much smarter that have much better resources than I do. Rather I want to give a brief overview for the average person to make a better choice in choosing a translation.

    For more on reading your Bible: The 5 Best Tips To Increase Your Bible Study

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    The One God The Father One Man Messiah Nt Translation

    Restoration Fellowship, 2015 & 2020

    Amazon link:

    The OGF New Testament translation of Sir Anthony Buzzard is not a literal word for word translation but rather a highly explanatory translation from a Biblical Unitarian perspective, as quoted in the introduction, We offer this version of the New Testament with a view to restoring the truth that God is one Person, that Jesus is the Messiah, Son of God by miracle and that the saving Gospel is about the Kingdom of God, as Jesus preached it, and about all that Jesus said and did to instruct in the way that leads to indestructible life in the future Kingdom of God. The unique value of this translation is in the contextual analysis provided in the introduction and extensive footnotes throughout. It is designed to correct widespread misunderstandings caused by post-biblical unexamined tradition.

    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.

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    How Do I Choose A Bible Translation

    How do you choose a Bible? Im not kidding: the last time someone asked me that questionwhich, as I write, happens to have been yesterdayI said, Flip a coin. I wasnt being flippant . I was trying to make a point: unless the Lord translates the Bible, they labor in vain who search for the best Bible translation .

    Id like to add some more initially-inane-sounding advice to those wanting to know which Bible translation is best: chill out calm down its ok! Its difficult to go wrong!

    The English Bible translations I know well are the 1) major 2) modern 3) evangelical ones. I can speak with confidence, then, of the NKJV, CSB, ESV, NASB, NIV, NET, and NLT. Theyre all good. Choose one. Roll a dice instead of flipping a coin if you have to. Of each one of them I can say what the KJV translators said :

    Even the worst English Bible translations available containno, they arethe word of God. When the king speaks, the speech he delivers is still his speech even after it gets translated into French, Dutch, and Italianand even if certain translators are not as graceful as others. We judge something by its predominant character, not by its exceptions. A handsome man is not considered to have lost his good looks simply because he has a few warts on his hand.


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