By   •   April 20, 2005   •   Topics:


Why are there so many different translations of the Bible today? I went into a bookstore to buy a new Bible (because my old one was falling apart), and finally I just gave up because I didn't know which one to get.


I’m thankful that you have used your Bible so much that it’s falling apart! Far too many people simply put their Bible on a shelf and never look at it again—and they miss God’s blessing as a result.

Yes, the different Bible translations can be confusing—but I hope you won’t give up. The Bible was originally written in the ancient languages of Hebrew and Greek, and I’m grateful for the dedicated translators who have made it available to us in modern English. Our language has changed over the years, and that’s one reason for new translations. God wants us to understand His Word, and a good translation can help us do that. God told His prophet to “write down the revelation and make it plain” (Habakkuk 2:2).

A good translation should be both accurate and easy to understand; take time to sample some of them by reading the same passage in several different versions. Your pastor or Christian bookstore should be able to help you choose the right one for you. In this column I usually quote from the New International Version, which is the most widely used modern translation.

No matter which translation you use, however, the most important thing is your attitude. Do you see the Bible as God’s Word, and are you listening to it with an obedient spirit? The Bible says, “Do not merely listen to the word. … Do what it says” (James 1:22).