How do I choose the right Bible translation for me?

How do I choose the right Bible translation for me?
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Question
How do I choose the right Bible translation for me?
Answer

A listing of well known English translations and how they are understood to fall on the continuum of translation is available below. It is important to have a basic understanding of where translations fall and what the differences are, in order to choose the right translation for you.

The first thing to understand is the difference between an “amplified” bible translation and a “paraphrase” translation. An amplified translation will provide more accuracy, however, less clarity. A paraphrase translation will provide more clarity, however, less accuracy.

The translation continuum spans from a Word for Word translation to a Thought for Thought translation. Thought for Thought translations use the rhythms and ton of contemporary English to communicate to the modern reader. The closer to the top of the list (Word for Word) the more accuracy in translation and the closer to the bottom of the list (Thought for Thought) the more clarity in the translation’s message.

Word for Word

-Interlinear

-New American Standard (NASB)

– Amplified Bible (AMP)

-English Standard Version (ESV)

-King James Version (KJV)

-New King James Version (NKJV)

At this point on the continuum translations become increasingly more thought for thought.

-Revised Standard Version (RSV)

-New Revised Standard (NRSV)

-New American Bible (NAB)

-New International Version (NIV)

-New International reader’s Version (NIrV)

-The Voice

-Good News Translation (GNT)

-Contemporary English (CEV)

-New Living Translation (NLT)

At this point on the continuum translations become increasingly more paraphrased.

-Living Bible (LB)

-The Message (TM)

Thought for Thought

Additional Information