Friday, December 23, 2011

Bible translations.

Okay, so one more post before my little weekend break. :) I need some feedback from you guys, even though this might seem a bit random.

I decided a couple of weeks ago that, after Christmas, I'm going to buy a new Bible. The Bible I'm using now is this one, a NCV teen girls' devotional Bible. I bought it four years ago in January. My sixteen-year-old self mostly picked out that Bible because the cover was pretty {just being honest here :) } and because I had been to several Revolve conferences.

I really enjoyed it when I was younger, but now not so much. I don't even read the little devotional things, because they don't really apply to me anymore. And the NCV translation seems lacking and written too simply. Which makes sense, considering I recently learned that an earlier edition of the NCV was called the International Children's Bible.

I'm ready for a more grown-up Bible, I suppose. :) I want a study Bible that gives me more information about the cultural and historical aspects of the world at the time the words were written. I want a translation that is easier to read than the KJV (though I do also have a copy of that, of course) but that's also very accurate to the original languages.

After a lot of research, I've sort of narrowed things down to two translations and two particular Bibles:

-NIV Archaeological Study Bible
My first real Bible, the one I had before the NCV one, was the NIV teen study Bible. I loved that one to pieces and used it until it fell apart at the spine. I've always liked the NIV translation. But now that I've done some reading, I seem to be hearing that the NIV is not nearly as literal and much more interpretive than other translations.

I think I would love all of the historical information in this particular Bible. That's the sort of thing that really appeals to me (though in some reviews, people have said that it's a little too busy).

-ESV Study Bible
I had never really heard about the ESV translation until I started reading up on different ones. It sounds really interesting- more of a literal translation, similar to the KJV but more readable. I've read samples, and it is word for word the same with the NIV in a lot of parts, but in others, it has more of an old-fashioned KJV feel.

Some people seem to love this translation and others say that it reads awkwardly and that the commentary and such is sometimes biased.

Both of these particular Bibles are 50% off at the Family Christian Bookstore for a couple of weeks after Christmas, so I have until then to make up my mind. :)

But I want to know what you guys think. I've read a lot of completely contradictory reviews online about translations, because a lot of people feel strongly about Bible translations. I know that nobody can say which translation is perfect and right for everyone, but I would like some opinions...

What translation do you use? What do you like or dislike about it? Is there a translation you definitely won't use? Do you use a study Bible? Any other comments?

I appreciate it. :)

Until next time,


  1. I would suggest that you get the NIV Bible (of those two). I have a family member that has the Archaeological Bible and she loves it. The study parts give you background on what was happening during that time period, and information about artifacts they have found. The information they give makes it really hard to doubt anything in the Bible! It is very good, and the NIV is much more literal than the ESV.

    Apparently the New American Standard Version is the closest to the original language that you can get.

    If you are going to go for an "alternative" version, I would suggest the Holman Christian Standard Bible. That is what I personally use. It is very similar to the NIV, but it is easier to understand. HCSB is the third version I have used in my life. First I started out with the NIrV (the New International Readers Version) which is the NIV written in language that little kids can understand. I loved that Bible. Then, from there I went to the NIV. Coming from the NIrV, the NIV was hard to understand. So, I switched to HCSB and now I actually understand what I am reading!

    If I were you, I would go to and read selections from the different versions. There is a parallel reading option where you can read the same passage side by side with different versions.

    Hope this helps and doesn't just confuse you more!

  2. I would agree with Katrina. I've almost always had an NIV, and it's not too hard to understand, yet it's not too easy, so it's not a children's version :)

  3. Well, I love archaeology in general, so personally I'd get the first one. If you're wanting to know more about the places & stuff like that while you're reading, go with the first one. Two in one!!


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