Which Version Of The Bible Should I Read

Which Version Of The Bible Should I Read?

With so many competing versions of the Bible, it can be difficult to choose which one to read. Reading the Bible is a powerful way to encounter the living Word of God and a great source of encouragement in times of struggle. Therefore, it is important to select the version of Bible that best fits your individual needs and preferences.

When it comes to the Bible, there are three main types: original manuscripts, translations from these manuscripts, and paraphrases of these translations. Original manuscripts were written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Translations of these manuscripts seek to render the original languages into English. Paraphrases offer more colloquial renderings of the original text.

When faced with a selection of translation types, it can be helpful to begin with a version whose language is most familiar to you. For instance, more traditional translations may use language reminiscent of the King James Version (KJV). On the other hand, newer translations, such as the English Standard Version (ESV), may give a more modern feel. Additionally, some translations, such as the New American Standard Bible (NASB), may offer a more literal interpretation of the original texts.

When it comes to readability, the decision often comes down to personal preference. Some readers may find the more traditional language of older translations to be more comforting or easier to understand. Others may prefer the readability of newer translations or of paraphrases. Examples of translations that seek to convey the original text at a more understandable level include the New Living Translation (NLT) and The Message (MSG).

Furthermore, there may be limitations to the selections available. If a version is out of print, hard to find, or not yet released in digital formats, these may be factors to consider. Ultimately, before selecting the Bible version to use, it is important to read sample passages of the version first to give an idea of its readability and accuracy.

For readers seeking to further understand the text, study Bibles may be a helpful resource. These Bibles contain additional notes and commentary alongside the text of Scripture and may offer insights into its poetic and narrative structures as well as the original intent of its authors. The ESV Study Bible, The Catholic Study Bible, and the Life Application Study Bible are three examples of study Bibles.

Audio Bible Versions

In addition to print Bibles, audio recordings of many versions, such as the KJV, are widely available. Listening to the Bible can be a great way to explore its text in a different format and is a beneficial way to study the scriptures. Audio recordings of the Bible can provide a helpful accompaniment for long periods of bedrest or travel.

Children’s Bibles

For younger readers, illustrations often accompany the text to help tell the story in an engaging way. While adults may prefer to use more formal language, special editions often exist with age appropriate language. The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Bible App for Kids are two examples of Bibles designed to appeal to children’s interests.

Additional Translations

Other Bible translations exist that attempt to bring a cultural, spiritual, or specific perspective to the text. These translations seek to uncover nuances of meaning that exist in the original languages but may not be captured in more formal renderings. Among these, The Lexham English Bible (LEB) is a popular choice that brings a more exact interpretation of the original language into English.

Approach With Care

It is important to be aware that no single Bible is the absolute authority in matters of faith. Therefore, when selecting a version of the Bible, it should be approached with humility and respect for its authority as the living Word of God. When using study Bibles, it is important to not make judgments on a person’s faith or spirituality, but rather to seek to gain a deeper understanding of the text.

Language Support

Many versions of the Bible continue to be translated into various languages to make the texts accessible to more readers. Translations in Spanish, French, and African languages are among those available. For readers needing special accommodations, there are also Bibles that come with audio recordings (or just audio recordings) of the text and special typefaces to accommodate those with low vision.


Different Bible versions come with a variety of price tags. Many of the newer versions, such as the NLT or ESV, may come with a higher cost. In addition, used Bibles may be available from online retailers or church bookstores for those on a budget. Whichever version is chosen, it is important to ensure that the reader is comfortable with their choice and can use the Bible for personal edification.


Selecting the right version of the Bible can help readers understand the scriptures in a more meaningful way. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to which version to read, as each person’s preference and situation will be different. Ultimately, the Bible offers many versions that can help bring readers closer to its timeless message of hope and redemption.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

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