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Which Bible Version Do You Prefer?

A few weeks ago, I purchased a copy of the new Spurgeon Study Bible published by Holman Bible Publishers. This Bible uses the text of the Christian Standard Bible, a recent update of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, produced by the same publisher. My thoughts so far on this particular version is that it is an excellent English rendering of the Scriptures that seeks to blend the accuracy of a strict word-for-word translation with a clearer thought-for-thought wording where the original meaning might not be as readily understood by the 21st Century English speaker. They have labeled this approach “Optimal Equivalency” and it seems like a very good translation strategy, particularly for younger readers or new Christians.

Personally, I really enjoy reading a lot of the newer Bible versions that have hit the shelves in the past decade or two, although I do concur with the thoughts of many that we might be getting a little excessive with just how many new versions and constant updates of these versions are continuing to flood the market. And every time I see a new translation or update, I am reminded of just how passionate people can be about which Bible versions are superior to others. Some go so far as to be very dogmatic and rigid about which versions are indeed valid at all and which ones are corrupt, heretical, or outright perversions intentionally designed to lead people away from God. While most of us would never be so adamant about defending one translation over another, I believe that a lot of Christians have a particular version or versions that they certainly feel more comfortable with and maybe trust a little bit more because it is a version with which they are more familiar.

Having experimented with using several different versions on this website for Scripture quotations, going forward I would like to reference primarily one translation in order to remain consistent and avoid confusion (especially my own confusion!). I praise God that this website has gained quite a few regular readers recently and I really want to proceed carefully and prayerfully in deciding which version to choose for this. In articles that I have read in my own research, some have commented that they will not even read a blog or listen to a preacher that doesn’t use, for instance, the King James Version while others feel just as strongly opposed to those who do. It would be truly sad to alienate readers by using a version that they do not trust. In my opinion, there are several very good translations that would work nicely for the purpose of this website, but I would be very interested to know how those of you who take the time to read these posts feel before deciding. Below you will find a poll asking which, if any, Bible version you prefer and would most like to see quoted and referred to in these Bible studies.

Even if you are not a regular visitor, I would greatly appreciate your opinion. Please feel free to share any detailed thoughts in the comments section if you would like. Lord willing, in the coming weeks we will conclude the reposting of our Genesis study and will move over into a new study in the Gospel of Matthew. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the new posts as they come out. As always, may the Lord richly bless you in the study of His Word and thanks for reading!

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

 

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9 responses

  1. Hi Loren! Great to hear from you ! And great question! Though I voted and chose what I was used to, I really am okay with whatever you use! :). I just have the one bible and so don’t know all the other good translations out there! :). Blessings and joy!

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  2. Awesome, Deb, thanks! Blessings to you also. I’ve really been enjoying reading your posts/poems 😀

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  3. I prefer The King James but when I study I have several like NIV AND MESSAGE BIBLE.

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  4. Thanks Desiray!

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  5. Greetings Loren
    There are several very good translations – for example the ESV (English Standard Version) – however, I find it so amazing that publishers, etc. appear to be too “lazy” (I don’t know another word that fits) to capitalize personal pronouns. How much effort does it take to press the shift key and capitalize “He – Him – You – Your – Yours, etc.?”
    As I have experienced this is sometimes confusing to new or immature believers.
    I’ll stick with NASB or NKJ.
    BTW, thank you for what you do/provide. You are appreciated!
    John

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  6. Thanks John.

    I, too, like the translations that capitalize pronouns referring to God. I capitalize them in my own writings and personally feel that it’s the right thing to do.

    I read a statement by the ESV publishers (Crossway) that stated their reasons for not capitalizing pronouns referring to Deity. One reason they gave was that this is a fairly recent practice (mostly 20th Century). Another reason was that capitalizing calls for interpretation in some of the Old Testament passages as to whether they are Messianic and refer to Jesus or not. I understand their point, but I still like capitalizing.

    Thanks again, John, for sharing your thoughts and words of encouragement!

    Loren

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  7. Loren,
    Thank you for your response to my opinion.

    Re: Crossway “….a fairly recent practice….” Really! How does this justify a lack of reverence for His Holy name, in so far as not capitalizing the personal pronoun referring to our LORD? IMHO a very poor response to the question.
    Re: “…capitalizing calls for interpretation in some of the O. T. passages as to whether they are Messianic and refer to Jesus or not.” Again, IMHO a very poor response to the question. What this says to me is that rather than digging/mining the scriptures i.e. culture, language, dialects, etc. etc. just go with the easy route…. I’m so very thankful that early Bible scholars didn’t take that approach to interpreting scripture.

    It seems today there are believers who seem to forget who they are talking about or to or who they are referring to. GOD – YAHWEH – YHWH – the Great I AM. He and He alone is due immeasurable reverence, and the least anyone can do is to acknowledge this by giving Him, even the smallest measure of respect (reverence), by simply pressing the shift key and capitalize His name and any and all proper references to Him.

    I suppose to some this may seem a trifle, simple, small thing – perhaps they have a point. As for me, I stand in awesome wonder at even the thought of how majestically, wonderful, inconceivable, incomprehensible, marvelous, precious GOD is! I can’t begin to fathom His great mercies and love for even the likes of me – a sinner – to the extreme of offering up His only Son – Jesus – upon His altar – a cross so that all who call upon His holy name will spend eternity with Him.

    GOD is due my every fiber of respect, reverence, awe, praise, thanksgiving, worship, and devotion. Even to the most simple recognition of Him by capitalizing His holy name.

    I pray that GOD will continue to give you wisdom and discernment as you serve Him.

    Until All have heard the Good News

    John

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  8. Hi Loren,

    I agree with you and John……. All references to the LORD our God should be capitalized……. My “earthy” reasoning is that there are some OT passages that are not clear as to who is being spoken of……. All readers of God’s word ( especially new readers ) need to be aware of who is speaking — or being spoken of…….

    And most importantly, I also know that we all owe our LORD, Creator, and Redeemer a deep reverence that cannot be afforded to anyone else.

    Thank you for continuing to post.

    Margaret

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  9. Well put, Margaret.

    I have read that some Bible publishers feel there’s a danger of interpreting Scripture rather than just translating it when they capitalize pronouns in the Old Testament, especially the Psalms referring to Christ. But when we consider that most of the Old Testament is really about the coming of Jesus anyway, it seems better to go ahead and capitalize in order to reverence the Lord. Of course, my thought is that the Word of God points to the Lord Jesus from cover to cover so I might be biased!

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