Bible Question:

I really desire to study the Word of God using the King James Version. I've noticed that you use many different versions. How do you decide which version to use, and why switch from one to the next?

Bible Answer:

Each and every Bible has its advantages and disadvantages. Currently there is a wide variety of Bibles for sale. Most of the new Bibles seek to help Christians in their spiritual walk such as: “KJV Share Jesus without Fear New Testament,” ” HCSB Experiencing the Word Gospel of John”, “Celebrate Jesus 2000 New Testament,” “NKJV Serenity New Testament, Psalms & Proverbs,” “The Woman’s Study Bible,” “The Full Life Study Bible,” “NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible,” or the NIV Prophecy Marked Reference Study Bible.” The list goes on.

Serious Study

The serious student who wants to study the Bible, the best choice is one that provides the best word-for-word translation of the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. Therefore, the English Standard Version Bible (ESV), the New American Standard Bible (NASB) or the New King James Version (NKJV) are recommended because they try to match one English word to one Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek word. These Bibles are much more accurate and among the best Bibles a Christian can use in Bible study.

The New International Version (NIV) is an example of a Bible that takes the opposite approach. The NIV is called a dynamic-equivalence translation because it attempts to give you the meaning or the sense of the passage. Unfortunately, words have been inserted that do not appear in the original language and words have been left out. The New Living Translation (NLT) and Amplified Bible are examples of Bibles that are more like commentaries on the Bible. That is, they take liberty with the original text and tend to give opinion rather than being textually accurate.

Older Bibles

The older Bibles are preferred by many Christians for various reasons. The Revised Standard Version (RSV) and King James Versions (KJV) are usually the choice. The RSV seriously departs from the original language at times. The KJV is a very good translation. For many years it was the best. However, it was completed in 1769 and in the years since it was translated, the meanings of many of the English words used in the KJV have change. The goal of the NKJV translation was simply to correct the translation where today’s meaning of certain KJV wording now gives an incorrect understanding of the Greek or Hebrew words. If we ask, “How accurate are the KJV, ESV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, and NIV Bibles to the original languages?” The answer now is the ESV is first, the NASB is second, NKJV is third, the KJV Bible is fourth and then the others follow: RSV and NIV. The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) is a great choice as well. Multiple translations should be used in Bible study since one Bible does not always give the most accurate translation of the entire Bible.

Conclusion:

The ESV Bible is highly recommended. The NKJV Bible is very close to the KJV. Some of the wording has been improved in the NKJV. Also, the NKJV has removed some portions of the KJV that should never have been included such as 1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” There is no serious Greek manuscript support for this passage.

Reference Links:

Is The King James Bible The Best Bible?
What Bible would you recommend?
How do you decide which Bible to use?
Are any of the English Bible translations 100% accurate?
How Accurate Is The Bible?
How should we respond to the King James only teaching?
How accurate is the New World Translation?