5 Tips to Choose a Bible Translation Right for You

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different versions of the Bible? How are they different? And how can you choose the right one for you?

Below, you’ll find some information so you can make an informed decision when choosing the right translation for you.

Enjoy learning how Bible translations are different! And some easy tips on how to select a Bible translation that will help you dive into the Bible even deeper than before.

What Are the Differences in Bible Translations? 

There are different methods of translating the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts of the Bible. Three primary methods of translation (and a fourth approach) have evolved): 

Word-for-Word 

No translation is actually “word-for-word,” but the intent is to come as close as possible. Each word is translated based on the word usage at the time of the writing. 

Thought-for-Thought 

The meaning of each thought is translated. The goal is to translate the sense or meaning of a sentence or thought, so that they are easily understood by modern English speakers. 

 Balance 

This method seeks to find a balance between the word-for-word and thought-for-thought approaches. 

 Paraphrase 

This method of translation restates scripture in modern terms and language. It is often expanded for clarity.


5 Tips for Choosing a Translation: 

With so many different Bible translations we want to help you find the right one for you. Here are 6 tips for choosing a translation: 

1. Keep in mind that there’s not a “best translation.. 

2. Make sure the translation is easy to read for you. 

3. Choose one translation as your main Bible version. 

4. For Bible study, compare multiple translations. 

5. If you’re not sure, ask a pastor or ministry leader. 


7 Important Bible Translations (Plus 2 Bible Translations for Kids!) 

We have a wide variety of products in different translations. Below, you’ll find our bestselling Bibles organized by translation. We hope you’ll find one that’s right for your daily Bible reading! 

KJV – King James Version 

The most widely printed and distributed version of the Bible. Used for devotional reading and Bible study by adults who prefer the English found in older versions. 

Matthew Henry Study Bible 

The Matthew Henry Study Bible blends inspiring notes from Matthew Henry himself with the full King James Bible translation. For over 300 years people have turned to Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible for help in understanding Scripture. 

Study features include: 

  • Words of Christ in red 

  • Book introductions, footnotes, and in-text quotations from Matthew Henry’s writings 

  • Side-column references 

  • Biography of Matthew Henry 

  • Concordance 

  • 8-page full color map section 

  • And more! 

Matthew Henry Study BibleMatthew Henry Study Bible








NKJV – New King James Version 

Indicates where other Greek and Hebrew manuscripts differ. Used for devotional reading and Bible study by adults who prefer the English found in older versions. 

NKJV Amplified Parallel Bible 

The NKJV Parallel Bible allows readers to compare both the NKJV and the Amplified Bible translations side by side. These complementary translations encourage in depth study of the Scriptures. The NKJV translation remains faithful to the accuracy and beauty of the KJV while using contemporary, readable language. The AMP translation displays additional words that communicate shades of meaning in the original text.

NKJV Parallel BibleNKJV Parallel Bible








CJB – Complete Jewish Bible 

The standard for all Bible texts that restore the original and essential “Jewishness” to God’s Word. 

Complete Jewish Study Bible 

The Complete Jewish Study Bible takes reading the CJB translation to the next level by including detailed notes and comprehensive study. This Bible is filled with topical articles, book introductions, original Hebrew names, and more! It's a great study Bible that will help both Jewish and Christian readers connect with the roots of their faith. 

Special features include:  

  • Over 100 articles on topics such as Jewish Customs, Messianic Prophecy, the Names of God and more 

  • Articles and excerpts written by over 30 contributors 

  • New Bible book introductions written from a Jewish perspective 

  • Scripture readings for Sabbaths, Festivals, Feasts, and Fasts 

  • And more! 

Complete Jewish Study BibleComplete Jewish Study Bible








ESV – English Standard Version 

Theologically conservative. Inclusive language was typically avoided. The ESV is an “essential literal” translation that aims to capture the precise wording of the original text and style of each Bible writer.

Fire Bible 

The KJV Fire Bible is a reference library all in one volume! In addition to Scripture, this Fire Bible includes extensive notes, background articles on key issues, and authoritative commentary, and more.

Special features include: 

  • Themefinders point readers to 12 major themes of the Pentecostal tradition 

  • More then 70 articles explain historical and theological aspects of major topics 

  • Book introductions 

  • In-text maps and charts 

  • And more! 

KJV Fire BibleKJV Fire Bible








NLT – New Living Translation 

A translation in the style of the Living Bible. Removes theological terms, such as justification, using the definition instead for clarity. Used by teenagers and adults for personal devotions, worship, and Bible study. 

Everyday Matters Bible for Women 

The Everyday Matters Bible for Women was created in partnership with Christianity Today’s women’s magazine. This Bible was designed with the busy Christian woman in mind. Specifically, to help women develop spiritual practices that will enrich their lives, not make them harder. 

Special features include: 

  • Book introductions 

  • Color-coded icons that identify the Spiritual Discipline being addressed in contributors’ material 

  • Article, “How to Use This Bible in a Small Group Study” 

  • Resources for further reading 

  • And more! 

Everyday Matters Bible for WomenEveryday Matters Bible for Women







NRSV – New Revised Standard Version 

This NRSV Bible includes textual data from the Dead Sea Scrolls, modern English idioms, and the use of gender-sensitive language. But, it still maintains masculine references to God. Accepted by Episcopal, Presbyterian and U.S. and Canadian Catholic Bishops. 

 NRSV Updated Edition with Apocrypha (Coming Soon) 

The new NRSV Updated Edition with Apocrypha is the most extensively updated English-language Bible translation available. This edition is intended to be as literal as possible to keep the meaning of scripture as clear as possible. 

 NRSV Holy Bible with Apocrypha


KIDS 

We have have several Kids Bibles specifically designed for kids. Below, you’ll find our bestselling Kids Bibles in a few different translations. We hope you’ll find one that’s right for your child!

KJV – King James Version 

KJV Kids Study Bible 

The KJV Kids Study Bible is intended for kids aged 8 to 12. In addition to the Old and New Testament scriptures extra features suitable for this age group are included. 

Special features include: 

  • Words of Christ in red letters 

  • 16 full color charts and illustrations 

  • Book introductions 

  • “Hide It in Your Heart” in-text memory verses 

  • “Bible People You Should Know” in-text cameos of important personalities 

  • And more! 

Available in 3 formats: HardcoverGenuine Leather (Green/Blue)Genuine Leather (Green/Purple) 

KJV Kids Study BibleKJV Study Bible for Kids






NRSV – New Revised Standard Version 

NRSV Children’s Bible 

The NRSV Children’s Bible specifically created for children ages 7-12. In addition to the NRSV translation this Bible includes carefully designed features to help children understand God’s Word. 

Special features include: 

  • ‘Presented By’ page creates a special touch as a gift or student award. 

  • 24 pages of realistic illustrations to draw young readers into the text 

  • Clear black letter typed for easier reading 

NRSV Children's BibleNRSV Children's Bible


Bible Translations Comparison PamphletInformation on the different translations of the Bible was taken from the ‘Bible Translations Comparison’ pamphlet. This resource compares 20 popular versions of the Bible. This Rose pamphlet describes the translation method, year of completion, translators, purpose, interesting facts and more on 20 different Bible translations. 


Bible Translations Made EasyAdditional information was also taken from ‘Bible Translations Made Easy,’. Part of the Rose Made Easy Series, this pocket-sized book is an informative and practical resource for understanding Bible versions. 

 


Interested in learning more about our Bible resources? Sign up to receive 15 FREE downloadable Bible eCharts here!