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bibletranslationcompv6.1024A while ago I was teaching in a classroom setting on translation and how we have ended up with so many different versions of the Bible. One of the concepts that was shared was the idea that some Bibles are translated in a “thought for thought” manner, while others are done in a “word for word manner”.

The inevitable question came out, “What version is the best to read?” It is a question I always want to answer with, “The one you actually read!” … but I did not, I tried to explain how actually a few different versions, from both sides of the spectrum can actually help you to discern Scripture well.

In a given week as I prepare for preaching I will look at the following version with some degree of regularity: ESV, NRSV, NLT, NIV, NKJV, and even on occasion The Message (just to see how Eugene Peterson expresses ideas and thoughts). By spanning a bit on the spectrum, I believe it is sometimes easier to see and understand details, and the multitude of thoughts that can actually be found in a single passage or even verse.

I hope this helps you to consider reading outside of your normal expression, to help your depth of understanding of Scripture. Oh, and before you run out and buy a bunch of Bibles … the whole spectrum and then some can be found at http://www.biblegateway.com for free!