What Bible Version or Translation Should I Use?

Q: What version or translation of the Bible should I use?

A: Although some people are adamant that a specific version of the Bible is the only one to use, this is a limited perspective that only discourages people from reading and studying the Bible.

You should select a version that is meaningful to you and easy to understand. Some versions are paraphrases, putting the Bible into modern-day language that is readily understandable. If you are new to the Bible (or need to take a fresh look at it), The Message is recommended.

Other versions of the Bible are translations, either a word-for-word translation or a phrase-for-phrase translation.

Popular versions include the New International Version (NIV), the Amplified Bible (AMP), and the New Living Translation (NLT).

The King James Version (KJV) is the choice for many long-time Bible readers (complete with traditional Old English wording), though some now opt for the New King James Version (NKJV).

To read a version that includes the Apocrypha books, consider The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) or New American Bible (NAB).

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at

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