Commonly used translations (not in any particular order):
- New International Version (NIV)
- New King James Version (NKJV)
- King James Version (KJV)
- Modern English Version (MEV)
- New American Standard Bible (NASB)
- American Standard Version of 1901 (ASV)
- Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
- Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
- The Amplified Bible 2015 Revision (AMP)
- The Amplified Bible pre-2015 (AMPC)
- The New Living Translation (NLT)
- The Living Bible (TLB)
- The New English Translation (NET)
- English Standard Version (ESV)
The Great Bible Debate
In the evangelical Christian community, the topic of which Bible translation/version one should use frequently comes up. Often an emotional debate erupts as the conversation progresses. Those who are KJV enthusiasts insist that the King James Version is the only inspired one– and, further, that our LORD intends for the world to learn English in order to mine all of the gems of knowledge from its hallowed pages.
Does the King James Version contain gems of knowledge? You bet it does. So does the NIV, HCSB, NLT, and NKJV—every modern version I have looked at has some gems contained within it. Often one version will do a superior job over another in regard to a verse or chapter. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Each contains God’s message to us. Sometimes, even a version heavily paraphrased like the Message will give a clear (sometimes newly discovered) meaning to passages.
With thoughtful prayer before opening its pages, anybody can get the message that God intends for them to receive by the power of the Holy Spirit. Of that, there is no doubt. The Bible is the final authority. I personally accept that as a fact in its entirety without exception of any kind. If something is within its pages, I must be aware of it and obedient to its words. If it is not there, then whatever assertion is made comes from the mind of man and must be tested against the Word.
I have a hard time providing an answer when asked what my favorite translation or version is. I myself have no problem asking others what their choice is. I tend to lean toward the English Standard Version lately, combining its use with that of the Amplified Bible when doing some serious studying. I prefer more literal translations.