Choosing the Right Bible Translation

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between all the different translations of the Bible? According to the BibleProject, “Every translation balances two goals: faithfulness to the wording of the original language and readability in everyday English. Those two priorities have led to translations that lean more toward one or the other—or fall somewhere in the middle.”

Some translations work hard to tell you exactly what the text of the Bible says, word-for-word, with as much precision as possible. These versions sometimes end up with a translation that is harder to follow since words and phrases in one language don’t always come across in an easily understandable way in another.

Other translations work hard to capture the right idea of what the Bible is communicating, even if it means rearranging parts of the sentence or choosing slightly different words to capture what the original authors meant in their day.

So how do you know which translation is right for you? This blog post from Logos offers an excellent overview of the different translations and offers some great advice on how to choose a great translation that helps you grow closer to God. A good approach might be to read a few different versions of the Bible. If you need to know exactly what one word says, choose a more literal translation like the NASB or Young’s Literal Translation. If you want to have a readable version of the Bible that conveys the right ideas, choose the NLT or NIV.