So, what Bible should you read? With over 900 different English Bibles to choose from, it could be difficult to know which “is best”. But choosing what is best is subjective and individualized. Are you looking for the best word for word translation? Is it readability you’re looking for? Or is it paraphrasing what you’re seeking?
Just within our own household we have four different versions, one Fire Bible for Kids, a few devotionals and a chronological Bible. Don’t forget about the Bible app that is on every device as well.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
For most of us in the Meixsell household, we always seem to gravitate towards the NIV- New International Version. We like how it isn’t old English, so the kids can understand it, but we also like how it isn’t paraphrased. Matt likes the CSB- Christian Standard Bible. He likes the way the words flow and how easy the translation is to understand. The CSB is known to be about as accurate as the NIV, it’s just a matter of preference.
If you need a Bible, I would recommend downloading The Bible App on any device and reading scripture in the different versions. We have the Bible app and will reference it during our family Bible studies if we want to read verses through the New King James Version (NKJV). The NKJV is usually referenced to be one of the versions closest to the original Bible text in translation.
Unfortunately there will never be a word for word translation of the original Bible texts as there aren’t always English words that translate from Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic. Scholars try to get as close as possible, but there are different versions of Bibles that will translate entire passages differently.
Is reading the Bible important?
Reading the Bible is important in order to hold firm in our faith. But it is also important to do more than just read the Bible, we need to study it as well. Reading the Bible in different translations, knowing the context of who is writing the book and verses we are reading, and the setting in history are all equally important in understanding the Bible as a whole.
There are times I read through a book of the Bible and see it in a whole new way. Depending on my mindset when opening the Bible that day, a verse could have an entirely different meaning to me. There was one day when I was listening to one of the only podcasts I listen to. The guest referenced something in Genesis. Now how many times have we read through Genesis? Being the first book of the Bible, I have read through it a lot. This guest said something that made me stop mid laundry and run for my Bible. I opened it up and right there was a verse I have read one too many times and now, I have a whole new meaning and understanding to it.
Some may try to read through the Bible cover to cover and feel accomplished. I feel more accomplished knowing that I am taking my time to fully understand each book of the Bible. Now I might have to read through it five or sixty times before gaining that full knowledge and understanding. But at least I can now stand behind what I believe in one hundred percent, with full understanding.
What about devotionals and other Bible guides?
I think devotionals are great, if it is going to get you started on your day in scripture. Devotionals, though, should never replace your time with an actual Bible and reading God’s word. I know I mentioned reading the Bible cover to cover isn’t a big accomplishment to me, but I do have The One Year Chronological Bible (NIV). It is the entire text of NIV in 365 daily readings in the order the events actually occurred. In a past season when I had more time, I would read through a daily reading from that and then dive into a specific book of my Bible.
The other nice thing about the Bible app is that it can notify you of the verse of the day. So every morning your phone will automatically have you reading a verse from the Bible. There are also devotionals and many Bible reading plans for different areas, stages, and holidays of life.
Just know whichever Bible version you pick (or however many you pick) God will be happy to have that time with you diving into His living word.
If you want to hear more on Faith, check out this post.