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Which versions of the Bible work well today?

The following English translations of the Bible are our top picks:

NIV – The New International Version (2011, 1984) does a good job conveying the meaning of the text in everyday English. It’s trans-denominational and the most popular English translation for the past 20 years.

NASB – The New American Standard Bible is the closest word-for-word translation in this list which makes it great for studying but clunky to read.

ESV – The English Standard Version is a word-for-word translation that also strives to be readable. Its study notes reflect a Reformed theological tradition.

The Message is a meditative approach to Scripture by Eugene Peterson who has a pastor’s perspective. It aims to convey the meaning in everyday language, but it is less literal and more interpretive.

KJV – The King James Version is not recommended because the Greek text used in several places is inferior to that used by the NIV, NASB, and ESV. More

The Study Bible versions of the NIV and ESV include helpful background information and interpretations of difficult passages.

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