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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Versions Of The Bible

According to the American Bible Society, there are about 900 English Bible translations, some of them regarded as incomplete, depending on the religion of the readers. With such a wide variety of translations available, most people may possess more than one version, or they may prefer one over another. I was brought up on the King James Version (KJV), and it remains my favorite to this day.

When the New International Version (NIV)  came out, I found the modern language helpful in understanding some parts of the Bible more clearly. I have since acquired a Devotional Study Bible for Women (NIV) which contains devotionals written by women. Each devotional is placed in the book dealing with the scripture on which it is based. Some of the devotionals have been a source of encouragement and inspiration to me and I go back to them from time to time. I also  came across another version of the NIV called the Student Bible. Each book is preceded by a modern application of  the book along with cross references to similar scriptures and study questions.

Another Bible translation I have in my possession is the New Inductive Study Bible. The language is closer to the New King James Version, however, the layout of this Bible is for the person who wants to do a really in-depth Bible study. From maps, pictures, timelines and insightful passages, this Bible will make you feel like a seminary student. The study method of this Bible is observation, interpretation and application. In observation, the reader is instructed to find out the who, what, why and when. Interpretation deals with grasping the meaning of the scripture and application has to do with what the scripture means to me personally. I have learned a lot from studying the Bible this way and from what I've seen so far, there are no inaccuracies as in the NIV.

So which is my favorite Bible translation? It is still the KJV. Mine is the Scofield reference Bible which provides a lot of wonderful background information on the scriptures.  It has helped me to see that Jesus is not just referred to in the New Testament, as I heard someone say recently, but the WHOLE Bible points to Jesus, from Genesis right on to Revelation. It was also an invaluable resource to me in writing my book Women For All Seasons. But when I simply want to read the Bible without studying, just reading for the pleasure of reading God's word, to feel as if He is right there with me, I take up my KJV. For sheer poetry and imagery it cannot be beat.
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