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The Best Bible Translation

Updated: May 10, 2021

Which translation do you use? What is the point of this question? Is it genuine? Or, does it come with some agenda seeking to prove why choosing certain translations over others is holier? Both. I have found the question comes from a genuine place when someone is moving from a kids bible to their own bible or are buying a bible for the first time. Suddenly buying a bible gets a lot more complex than picking up any other book. I have also seen this as an arrogant and trivial opportunity for some to puff their chest out with some scholarly reference to why what they read is best. Really? Maybe we are approaching this wrong.

Which translation should I use? My answer has been the same for a long long time. The translation that you will read. That is the point. Right? If the perfect bible beautifully bound sits on your shelf, what good is it?

Bible translation is an important subject with brilliant minds engaged in balancing the art and science of taking an ancient book written many years ago and translating it into a myriad of languages today. I won’t attempt to summarize the field, but rather want to make the point you don’t need to understand it all in order to have confidence in your bible in your language today.


The bible is supposed to be read as a library of writings that are both human and divine. They together tell a unified story that leads to Jesus. They are a story that invites us to read ourselves into it. The Holy Spirit meets us in our time reading to impress application upon our hearts, to learn from our ancestors in the faith, to drive us to confession of sin and to spur our behavior in ways that show God’s love to the world around us.

When we get distracted with NIV, ESV, NASB, NLT, NEB or others we get bogged down from doing what actually matters. Read the bible.

Read for transformation not just information. If you find yourself discussing bible translations more than Jesus who the bible speaks of. Slow down. Pick up the bible closest to you and read. Don’t have a bible? Go buy an NIV and get started!

Q. Do you have a bible that you can understand and read? If not, what is stopping you from buying one you will read?

Q. What are you reading in the Bible right now? Not sure where to start, then go to YouVersion and pick up a plan and set the daily reminders to get started.


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