How can I decide which Bible to buy? I don't know anything about the Bible, but I recently gave my life to Jesus and I want to begin reading it. However, I went to a bookstore the other day and just got confused because there seem to be so many kinds. Why is that?
The Bible was written many centuries ago in two of the major languages of the time – Hebrew (for the Old Testament) and Greek (for the New Testament).
Over the centuries, the Bible has been translated into hundreds of other languages – including English. (Even in Jesus’ day, the Old Testament had already been translated into other languages.) And because the Bible’s language is so rich and profound, various translations have been made into English to try to bring out its full meaning – including the many translations you saw in your bookstore.
Which one is best? The “best” Bible translation for you is the one that makes the Bible’s meaning clear to you. It also should be accurate and faithful to the original languages. For the purposes of this column, I usually use the New International Version – but I probably have 20 or 30 other versions in my library. Your pastor may have a recommendation; you might also take a passage (like John 3) and read it in several translations.
The most important thing, however, is to make the Bible part of your life every day. Remember: It is God’s Word, given to us “so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). May this happen in your life.