Bible Insights

What Bible Version or Translation Should I Use?

Question: What Version or Translation of the Bible Should I Use?

Answer: 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 Common English Version (CEB), New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) or New American Bible (NAB).

[See more Bible FAQs for answers to other frequently asked questions.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Bogged Down Reading the Bible?

10 Essential Bible Reading Tips, from Peter DeHaan

Get the Bible Reading Tip Sheet: “10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight.”

​Enter your info and receive the free Bible Reading Tip Sheet and be added to Peter’s email list.