Explore new horizons of a living faith

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

Copyright © 2012 by Derek Leaf . Not to be copied for commercial purposes.  Permission is granted to copy the unaltered, attributed page for non commercial purposes. beingrecreated.org

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Which Bible is right for me? Choices can be so daunting that it can put one off even trying. There are all sorts of translations of the Bible, especially in English.  So there is the opportunity to choose one that suits your circumstances and needs.  But don’t worry there is help at hand, including a web site to let you try out versions, and they have a shop to sell you one.

Help Zone

Why all the Versions?

The Bible was written in Greek (the New Testament), and Hebrew and Aramaic (the Old Testament).  Any English Bible is a translation from these ancient languages.  When a Bible is called a version, it is merely a different translation.  The versions are not different Bibles, they all basically say the same thing, with a different style of translation.

The Range of Translations

Why are there so many Bibles? When translating between languages there is a tension between getting across the precise wording and getting across the heart.  There is no correct place to sit on this range, rather the best place depends on you and what purpose you have in reading.

  1. A literal translation for reading analytically focusing on specific words.
  1. A ‘rigorous translation’ allows for accurate English grammar, while largely translating each original word with an English word.  
  1. A dynamic equivalent takes a sentence or two and gets across the meaning.
  1. A paraphrase takes the underlying meaning and writes it in ones own words.  This can have a contemporary feel to it getting across the passion of the text.


Many of the versions have a three or four word title - E.G. English Standard Version.  These are commonly abbreviated to their initial letters - ESV.  Here are some examples


Try reading passages from different Bibles using www.biblegateway.com. If you are wondering where you can get a Bible, then this site will also sell you a Bible on line.

Try comparing these passages in various versions:

My Personal Choices

Most of the time I use the NIV. I like the way it gets close to the original language but is still written in good English.  For the majority of the site I have used the simpler NLT, this helps me because it goes an extra stage of translation so I don’t need to explain complicated words.  I like the Message for a contemporary sound and I trust the person who translated it to hold the heart of the passage.  I use the NASB and ESV as reference if I am concerned about precise wording.

Church Use

It is a good idea if your church uses a specific Bible to use that one, at least in the church context for keeping things simple. It can be confusing reading one translation in your hand while someone else is reading a different translation out loud. There are also some churches who have a very strong feeling about which translation to use. Sometimes going in community impacts our personal choices.

Page appears in Bible Explorer titled -Choose Bible