The World's Best Bible Translation


Which is the best Bible translation of all time? Is it the KJV? The NIV? The ESV? The NRSV? The CEV? The HCSB? The NAB? The MSG? The NLT? Or is it my lunchtime favorite, the BLT?

Well, you'll be happy to know I've figured out which Bible translation is the best. I’m not talking about my personal preference; I'm talking about the absolute, undisputed best Bible translation in the world. And I'm going to tell you what it is.

But before I do, I want to ask another question: why do we need so many Bibles? With research showing a steady decline in Bible reading across America, shouldn’t the Church unite to address that issue? For starters, what if Christians agreed not to buy another Bible until they read through one of the many they already have?

And another question: why do Christians judge each other over which translation they favor? Are you a liberal if you read the NRSV? Are you a conservative if you use the KJV? Are you an Evangelical if you feel comfortable with the NIV? Are you a true believer if you’ve switched to the ESV? How tragic if Christians fought a battle for Bible translation among themselves, while losing the war for Bible engagement in society.

OK, back to my original question: which is the best Bible translation of all time? That's easy. It's the one you read and apply every day, and that’s the only one Scripture Union endorses. You can't argue with that, now, can you?

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20 comments: to “ The World's Best Bible Translation

  • March 30, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

    I was suspecting this! We've been with Wycliffe Bible Translators for almost 30 years, and every time we go to a church, it seems someone asks us that. You can almost see the lines drawn within a congregation! And that is exactly the answer my husband gives. :-)

  • March 30, 2010 at 6:34 PM  

    The best "translation" is the one I read, understand under the guidance of the Author and apply to my life through the power of his undwelling Holy Spirit.
    The best translation for the people around me is my living and loving like Jesus day by day - as Paul said - 2Cor. 3:2 "You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. "

  • March 31, 2010 at 3:16 AM  

    I agree that any translation you can understand is as good as any other. It is advisable, however, to have at least 2 versions so you can compare where you do not have a good understanding. May recommend NLT and NKJV. OUR CHRISTIAN DAILY LIVING IS THE BEST VERSION OTHERS CAN READ.
    Bade. NIGERIA

  • March 31, 2010 at 11:27 AM  

    Other than the "Jehovah Witness" translations every other version I have read is basically agreeable on the central message of origin, the fall (or entrance of sin), atonement, redemption (including new birth, sanctification and holy living), and restoration of God's creation. Actually, I often grab my "Parallel Bible" of four translations - KJV, NIV, NLT, and NASB - and also "The Amplified" so that way I try to get it straight. But I wish we didn't have to deal with this distraction. If we live by the one we read, the world will be full of "Light"!
    Chinedu, Washington DC.

  • March 31, 2010 at 4:44 PM  

    God bless you for stating the obvious. The Best Bible is the one you read and apply. Keep up the good fight for the faith once given to the saints.

  • April 24, 2010 at 9:41 AM  

    "...which is the best Bible translation of all time? That's easy. It's the one you read and apply every day, and that’s the only one Scripture Union endorses. You can't argue with that, now, can you?"

    Yes I can argue with that as it is an illogical statement. Is the New World Translation approved by SU? According to your statement, it would be as long as a believer is reading it! Are Catholic versions (Jersualem & NAB), others, that move the text all around based on liberal textual transmission theories and not on any extant texts, ok? According to your statement they would be.

    There are a number of good, solid and accurate translations out there. But statements like the one you made above are foolish. You made a straw man argument in paragraph four that you then answered instead of dealing with the real question: are there GOOD translations and are there BAD translations? The answer is YES, there are bad translations, done by liberals and cultists, that born-again believers should not be using as God's authoritative truth.

  • May 1, 2010 at 4:43 PM  

    Thanks for your positive, open-minded and embracing point of view about the best Bible version to be used.

    Just as Jesus embraced and loved people from all walks of life and saw them from the inside out, we too as believers and Bible readers cannot judge others based on their Bible version preference.
    What about our illiterate brothers and sisters in Christ or those yearning to know?
    Do we easily offer an auditory version in many different languages? Something to ponder...

  • May 4, 2010 at 9:21 PM  


  • May 7, 2010 at 8:20 PM  

    Thanks for the good article! Greetings!

  • July 6, 2010 at 7:44 PM  

    I agree with an above statement... the RNAB is probably the best translation...

  • July 20, 2010 at 10:24 AM  

    yup... this is true... choosing a bible translation is personal and no one is better than the other translations. I have tried reading the KJV but that only makes it much more difficult for me to understand and interpret...

    great site by the way :D

  • July 22, 2010 at 12:25 PM  

    your article is very interesting and thoughtful. intra-grudges and judging others always are very pathetic in the christian world. thanks for noting that.

  • September 7, 2010 at 6:47 AM  

    I couldn't agree with your more. The best Bible translation that you have is the one that you are going to use everyday. Should some translations be avoided because they pervert scripture? Yes, there are some, but I don't think that is the intent of this post.

  • September 29, 2010 at 12:04 PM  

    Wow! Finally some truth in Bible engagement or as you mentioned in another article God engagement. God will speak to anyone who goes to His Word (of any translation) sincerely seeking His presence and His Truth.

  • November 9, 2010 at 8:59 PM  

    I like NKJV and NIV. but i like more the NIV

  • July 23, 2011 at 7:16 AM  

    I own a revised standard "Bible". In John chap 7, this Bible records Jesus telling His family that He will not attend a certain feast, and then immediately describes how Jesus attends this feast secretly.In the rsv Jesus tells a blatant lie.This will only occur in a Bible translated from the corrupt Westcott/Hort, Nestle/Aland or UBS Text.A Bible translated from the textus receptus records Jesus telling His family that he will not "yet" go up to this feast. Based on this instance alone one must reject the rsv Bible and its variants.There are numerous more examples that can be given but I encourage everyone to do their own research.There are four Bibles currently in print translated from the textus receptus. They are KJV, NKJV, The Geneva Bible, and The Tyndale New Testament. These Bibles and their underlying text match 95% of all extant Greek MSS. The modern text of the modern versions is largely based off of only three early mss that disagree with the majority texts and even disagree with each other. In these last days of deception we should not trust that everything marketed as "christian" is truly God honoring.

  • June 28, 2012 at 2:17 PM  

    Maybe good idea translated, but loose truth in The Bible and loose story. here a link to <a href="http://

  • October 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM  

    There are thirty-four and counting Bible passages that Baptists and evangelicals believe were mistranslated in our English Bibles, and therefore cannot be believed, in their plain, simple interpretation. They refer to these passages as "Problem Verses".

    Why don't (orthodox/conservative) Lutherans have this problem with the Bible, God's Holy Word?

    If you believe that there is a passage of the Bible that orthodox Lutherans do not believe in its plain, simple interpretation; that requires that the passage be explained and re-worded in order for it to fit with our Lutheran doctrine, please post it in the comment section below.

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