top of page

Why We Need Different Bible Translations

Why We Need Different Bible Translations.jpg

Modern Bible versions greatly improve the comprehension of God's teachings.

A single Bible translation cannot cater to everyone's needs. The world requires a diverse range of English translations as more than 1.5 billion people speak and write in English A thought-for-thought translation is preferred by most readers as it is easier to understand.

Primary Translation Approaches

The main challenge for translators is to convert the original Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) texts of the Bible into modern English that is easy to understand. In the past, the primary method of translation was to interpret the text word for word, which can be difficult to comprehend for some readers, particularly when it comes to outdated idioms that are no longer used in modern language.

Word for word examples:

AMP – Amplified Bible

KJV – King James Version

NASB – New American Standard Bible

In modern times, translation teams introduced a new system called thought for thought. This seeks to express the meaning of each sentence or paragraph from the original language in simple up-to-date English without being tied to translating every word.

Thought for thought examples:

CEV – Contemporary English Version

NIV – New International Version
​​​​​​​NLT – New Living Translation

 

A third translation methodology is paraphrase. The primary goal to convey the Bible in a simple, easy-to-understand English.

Paraphrase examples:

TLB – The Living Bible
MSG – The Message

Instead of endorsing a specific translation, I advise comparing different translations while reading the Scripture. If a particular translation's word usage seems unclear, try switching to another version until you find one that resonates with you. 

The translations that I reference interchangeably on a regular basis:

 

The Amplified Bible

New American Standard Bible

New Living Translation

 

Find the Bible translations that you comprehend the most. When studying or reading the Scripture, refer to these versions. Utilizing an online Bible website is the most efficient way to switch between Bible translations.

The aim of each translation is to convey the message of God's revelation to English readers in a language that is easily understandable. The key objective is to achieve what the King James Version did in its time, but for the present era.

The more popular translations involve periodic revisions every 5-15 years to update the language used in Scripture. This is done when new information about the original meaning of Hebrew or Greek words is discovered through archaeological findings or when the meaning of English words used in Scripture has evolved differently over time. 

 

Example: Genesis 23:4 – “I am an ALIEN and stranger among you…” (NIV 1978)​. In 2011, the NIV translators revisited this verse as the word alien expanded in meaning. They updated the verse by saying “I am a FOREIGNER and stranger among you…” (NIV 2011)​.

bottom of page