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Which Translations Are Best?

The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. The New Testament was originally written in Greek. Those of us who cannot read those languages must therefore trust translations of The Holy Bible for our study. But of the many versions now available, which are best?

Bible For many English-speakers, the answer is definitely The King James version of the Holy Bible - a true classic among the many English-language Bible translations that have become available. The Authorized Version, as it is sometimes called, was prepared and written by a committee of scholars and churchmen led by Lancelot Andrewes in the time of King James I of England, Scotland and Ireland (reigned 1603-1625). Originally commissioned at the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, it was not completed until 1610/1611. It has served many generations of Christians for nearly 400 years, and continues to be a strong and reliable favorite.

Even with the many excellent new translations available that are written in easier to understand modern English (the King James was also written in modern English - as spoken by the translators of 1610), a great many people prefer to use this traditional favorite, at least in part. And for good reason - its classic old English sometimes paints a picture that other translations do not match.

What are some other English-language versions? Here are a few, listed alphabetical order -

  • American Standard Version
  • Darby Translation
  • Jerusalem Bible
  • New American Bible
  • New American Standard Version
  • New International Version
  • New English Bible
  • New King James Version / Revised Authorized Version
  • New Revised Standard Version
  • Revised Standard Version
  • Today's English Version
  • Young's Literal Translation

Which translation is used for Daily Bible Study? Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations in this web site are from the Revised Standard Version (RSV), although the King James Version is also often used for research - looking up the same verses in different versions will sometimes convey the intended meaning from the original languages much more clearly.

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