Which translation do you use?

Scot McKnight has posted the first part of a blog-series addressing the question, ‘Which Bible translation is the best?’ The answer, as you’ll find out if you go and have a look, is ‘depends on what you’re using it for.’

There’s some good advice in there, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

My favourites are the New Revised Standard Version and the New Jerusalem Bible. I especially like the NJB’s translation of the Psalms—they come across as poetry, and the imagery seems so much more alive. The NRSV is the one I use most for study, although it’s great for when you want to sit down and just read long passages at a time.

I preach from the NIV, because that’s what we have in the pews in our hall. It’s not that bad, although I think it’s become a victim of its own marketing.

What’s your favourite translation? Which is your least favourite? Do you use different translations for different purposes? What do you look for when buying a Bible?

Please, leave your thoughts in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Which translation do you use?

  1. You preach from the NIV because it’s “not that bad?” School cafeteria pizza is not that bad, but given a choice…

    My favorite translation is the English Standard Version (ESV). I’ve read the NRSV in it’s entirety. Both it and the ESV are essentially literal translations, and attempt to maintain the readability of the King James. The KJV was written with being read outloud in mind. The New American Standard is very popular among conservatives looking for a strict translation, but every time a pastor tries to read from it in the pulpit, it sounds to me like he’s trying to spit bricks out of his mouth. In October the ESV Study Bible was released, and I’m still drooling over mine. If you visit my blog I have an ESV page.

  2. Heh, good point.

    When I say ‘not that bad’ I mean it’s not what I would choose, but I’ve got nothing against it, either. It certainly isn’t bad enough to warrant replacing a church hall full of them.

    I don’t think I’ve really looked at the ESV, although the picture on your blog looks familiar—I reckon I may have given one as a present to a new member of our church once. I might check it out. I might stay away from the Study Bible though—I like my Bibles to have as little as possible in them, apart from the text. If I want a commentary or cross reference I’ll look up a specialist one.

  3. fgross:

    That site looks great! I really like the artwork. Assuming the license is as free as my initial reading says it is, I’m going to be using that.


    I’m not familiar with the NLT, although I think I have one in a box in the shed somewhere. What makes it your favourite?

  4. That would be great – but if you use the artwork anywhere – I would really appreciate it if you gave credit to http://www.freewarebible.com. You should really consider purchasing the book genesis rejuvenated at http://freewarebible.com/buy.html – it features all of the artwork (more than on the site) as well as the true meaning behinf the original ancient scripture.
    Thanks for taking the time to check it out John!

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