Thoughts On Choosing the Best Bible Version

There are many different versions, or translations, of the Bible. How do you know which Bible version is best for you?

bible versions

Different Bible Versions

The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic so it had to be translated into English. Not all words in different languages carry over the same way in English and some words in different languages simply don’t exist in others. This is why we have so many different versions of the Bible. Also, some translations are easier to read than others based on the words used.

The most common Bible versions are English Standard Version, Christian Standard Bible, New American Standard Bible, New International Version, New King James Version, and the New Living Translation. However, there are over 60 different Bible versions available.

So, how do you find out which one is best for you? You read the Bible. Choose a long passage and read it in different versions so you can see the differences. The one that is that makes the most sense to you is the best Bible version for you.

Let’s take James 1:5-8 for example. Below is the same verse in different Bible versions:

English Standard Version (ESV)

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord, being double-minded and unstable in all his ways.”

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that person ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

New International Version (NIV)

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

New King James Version (NKJV)

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

New Living Translation (NLT)

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”

Which one is easiest for you to read and understand? Start your Bible study with that version. If you’re still unsure, use BibleGateway.com to start your study so you can read all different Bible versions until you’ve decided.