I’ve been reading the bible for most of my life. When you’ve read the bible for so long, it can easily get stale. I personally avoid this by keeping a fresh perspective. Owning multiple translations has helped me enjoy the bible with fresh eyes. Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite translations. May you enjoy the bible again!
1. J.B. Phillips
The J.B. Phillips bible is one of my favorite “easy-to-read” translations. If you like the Message Bible, you’ll like this translation. It is similar in style, and easy to comprehend. It’s simple, but remains faithful to the original text. Here’s an example:
What happens to human pride and achievement? There is no more room for it. Why, because failure to keep the Law has killed it? Not at all, but because the whole matter is now on a difference plane – believing instead of achieving. 1
2. Kenneth Wuest
The Kenneth Wuest translation is similar to the NASB in its aim for accuracy. I enjoy the Kenneth Wuest because I know I can trust it. Kenneth Wuest uniquely seeks to translate not only the words, but the emphasis of each writer. Rather then cramming the Greek into English, Kenneth Wuest makes English fit within the Greek style of writing. This translation is my go-to translation for accuracy. Here’s an example:
For the Love which Christ has for me presses on me from all sides, holding me to one end, and prohibiting me from consider any other, wrapping itself around me in tenderness, giving me an impelling motive, having brought me to this conclusion, namely, that One died on behalf of all, therefore, all died. 2
3. New English Bible
The New English Bible is similar to the ESV. Whenever I want to compare translations of a certain verse, the NEB is one of the first I go to. The NEB never disappoints in bringing a fresh perspective. One of my favorite things about it is the consistent translation of Paul’s favorite phrase “in Christ” as “in union with Christ.” This is by far a more accurate translation, bringing out the full meaning of what Paul is saying. Here’s an example:
When anyone is united to Christ, there is a new world; the old order has gone, and a new order has already begun. 3
4. St. Paul from the Trenches
I recommend this bible primarily because of its fascinating history. The translator Gerald Cornish fought in WWI, writing this while in the trenches of war. Tragically he died before he could finish, but what’s left shows great promise. This translation includes 1st and 2nd Corinthians, along with Ephesians 1-4. It is no doubt a unique and profound translation with lots of great insights. Here’s an example:
No matter what happens and (we) know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. 4
5. The Mirror Bible
The Mirror Bible is an in-process paraphrase of the New Testament. It is not been completed yet, but there’s enough written to sink your teeth into this unique bible. The translator sought to give fresh insights into the scriptures. Through the use of creative phrasing, and helpful footnotes, this bible stands apart from the rest. It is a helpful translation, and offers an interesting perspective. Here’s an example:
Thus, our joyful boasting in God continues; Jesus Christ has made reconciliation a reality. 5
So there you have it. Five translations to jump start your bible reading.
What translations do you regularly read? I want to know! Leave me a comment.
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