Bible Translation Christian Life

Which Bible should I use?

I gave a talk on which English Bible translation is the best one to use at Learning to Serve yesterday. If you are interested, my PowerPoint presentation (complete with typos) is available here. However, even if you don’t want to download the full presentation (and I wouldn’t blame you) I would like to give you the definitive statement on which is the best English translation of the Bible to use…

The best English translation is: The one you are most likely to read and profit from!

Questions of translation philosophy, choice of manuscript and use of English are all important, but the most important thing is that we are reading God’s word and growing through it. Far better to be reading a less highly regarded translation than to be having the latest and greatest version sitting gathering dust on the shelf.

This post is more than a year old. It is quite possible that any links to other websites, pictures or media content will no longer be valid. Things change on the web and it is impossible for us to keep up to date with everything.

5 replies on “Which Bible should I use?”


I enjoyed looking through your recent posts today and seeing your adventures on your travels. I’m glad you didn’t lose the life jacket. Sue needs you around to take that dog out for a walk!

Something in me revolts at the bold statement you’ve made above. Perhaps because it is “me-centric” and without reference to translation quality or accuracy. But I have to concede that you are right. And of course if I was able to download the power point I’d probably “get the point.”

In general, I’d say our faith takes place in some sort of community context so I’d rather recommend that people use whatever their pastor, church, family, etc. is using even while being open to the insights other translations can provide.

Have a great weekend.

Thanks for the comment, David. I’d agree wholeheartedly with you on this one. In my thinking the things that would push you to read and profit from a particular translation would, to a great extent, be community based.

BTW – Your comment was picked up as spam for some reason. I’m not sure why, it doesn’t fit any of the normal criteria.

Thanks, Eddie, for making this available. It will certainly come in handy for me later when teaching on the subject. Did you know, by chance, you left out material under the ‘History’ slide in the PP?

Thanks for your comment, Jeremy. I’m sorry for the missing bit in the Powerpoint. I didn’t have time to include it when I did my original presentation and since then I’ve just not got round to it. If anyone else wants to add a timeline/family history of the English Bible to the Powerpoint, please feel free – I’d be grateful for a copy. I’ll probably not get round to it till I next have to speak on this.

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