I started to buy a new Bible the other day (because my old one is about worn out), but I ended up too confused to make a decision. Between all the different translations and then the various study Bibles, there were just too many choices. How can I find the right one?
Congratulations on wearing out your Bible! Far too many Bibles, I’m afraid, get put on the shelf almost as soon as they are bought. But the Bible wasn’t meant to be a decoration! Paul told us to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17)—and a sword is meant to be used.
Yes, we are blessed with many new translations and editions of the Bible (something very few languages have today). Thank God for them—and then ask Him to help you choose one that will be helpful to you. Your pastor may have some suggestions, and your local Christian bookstore or other seller should be able to guide you to the more popular editions. Study Bibles include some historical background or explain a passage’s meaning.
Although I value the old King James Version, I also encourage people to use an accurate modern translation so that the Bible’s meaning is clear. Be sure you can read the type; I have sometimes said that small type is one of the devil’s favorite tricks!
Most of all, ask God to help you apply the Bible’s truth to your life every day. The Bible says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).