What is the best Bible translation?

I am new to the Bible of course, so I thought I’d ask which Bible translation is the best quality, and is the best translated from Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic?

Here is a blog that is interesting as background:


I heard that the Jerusalem Bible is one of the best.

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“Best translation” for what purpose? There is no objectively “best” translation, just translations that meet their translation goals to more or less degree.


You shouldn’t use just one translation. There are a number of excellent ones out there and they’re available online at no cost. Biblegateway.com

And I’d recommend getting at least one good study bible that includes the Apocryphal books.


Multiple translations also available at http://www.biblehub.com/

I don’t know if the selection of Bibles overlaps.

I’ve been reading the New King James dating back to the early 80’s. Following the realization that my eyes are getting as weak as my age is old, I began reading a smart phone bible, called- MySword. The first version was on my windows phone. I’ve since moved to Android, and use the MySword for Android.
I’ve since been introduced to the World English Bible, aka, WEB.
I will say, if you want a paper copy, and you’re new to the bible-- focus with the basics. Don’t try to bite off more than you can handle, and I say this from experience.
I like the smart phone version, for a few reasons.
1- I can change the font to be as large as my eyes needed to not strain.
2- MySword has at least 70 translations, including, Greek, Hebrew, as well as inter-linear.
3- it’s free.
4- It also has a lot of study tools, maps, commentaries, etc…
5- all free.
oh… of course this all comes back to your phone, if you use android or not. I’m not impressed with the IOS version. But that’s probably because I’m not as familiar with the iphone/ipad, even though I do have an Ipad, and use Mac OSX.

Going back to a paper copy, stick with NKJV to start. Unless you’re well-studied in the ancient languages, no others will help you right now.

There was some research done, I can’t remember where, but it was written up in CT, that said that people who read the Bible in multiple versions of the language(s) they speak best actually have a better grasp on the meanings and concepts than those who read and study the texts in the original languages.

I read the NLT and NIV for meaning. I enjoy the VOICE for a change, especially for the prophets and wisdom books. And I look at the NRSV if I’m working with the Greek text.

The KJV (and the derivative NKJV) uses the textus receptus, which is not considered the best source text anymore, because of advances in modern textual criticism. Modern translators use the NA28 or the UBS5 (which is the same base text as NA28).

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I use the CSB and the NRSV. The CSB because I like it and because its a new and advanced, reliable translation. The NRSV is the translation used by most scholars. I think (the most recent) edition of the NIV is also pretty good. No translation is perfect, of course, and constant advances in theology and knowledge of the original Greek causes changes and progress to occur in the translations all the time. Though don’t use the KJV. KJV-onlyism is a huge problem today.

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The KJV is too old and outdated, it’s (mis)translations can often come off as goofy and funny:

His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow. Job 21:24

On the other hand it perhaps has it’s value as a work of literature.

My problem with the NRSV is it’s dishonesty, in some verses, such as Psalam 82:1, which translates ‘elohim’ as ‘rulers’ without warrant.*

I personally use the ESV, it seems to be one of the more honest translations.

*I confused the NRSV with the NASB, nevermind.

I found the opposite. It purposefully pursues “elevated language” where there is no reason to be. I stopped reading the ESV at Genesis 18:27:

“Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.”

Uh…what century was this translated in?

But behold, I have undertaken to bring to your attention a previously unmentioned translation:

God’s Word Translation.

Very difficult to find in print now.

Benefits: it doesn’t seem to bow to reformation-based presuppositions; it’s exceptionally accessible (to read, not to buy).

Flaws: there are some pretty bad translational choices at a few points; is necessarily the case, in the pursuit of readability, some things are missed. In this case, it would be “on par” with New Living Translation, but I prefer GWT for that “non-Reformation bias” thing.

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Another dishonest translation which insists on reading the Bible as though it were a modern book (not always however, Psalm 82 and Deut 32 are surprisingly accurate)

I personally don’t trust any translation which isn’t acquainted with archaeology related to the ANE.

Why, because it uses modern American English idioms?

Look at the translation of Job 37:18 to know what I mean. I personally have nothing against simplifying ancient language in modern terms, or rephrasing it as long as the meaning remains the same.

As a work of literature, the KJV might be the most important document in the English language.

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Probably true. That doesn’t necessarily make it a “good translation of Scripture.”

To be honest, it’s not my favourite. But for readability it’s right there.

I know that.

I find the ESV very biased, actually. Especially where gender issues are concerned. It translates that Junia was “well known to the apostles”, but that reading is just not possible. Why does it make that “choice”? Because women can’t be church leaders, obviously. (shakes head)

Nothing like undermining the truth of the gospel because you’ve got a prior theological commitment. Now, that applies to every translation, to a lesser or greater degree - which is why one should use several, not just one - but the ESV is egregious in this regard, in my opinion.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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