Which Bible version do I prefer?

January 22nd, 2014

One question I have been asked a number of times is which version of the Bible to I like the best. Over the years I have gone back and forward between the New International Version or NIV and the New Living Translation or the NLT.

One reason I used the NIV so much is because we were given a free one in the 1990’s at the Bible college I attended. Apparently for several years in the 1990’s every Bible college student in Australia received a free NIV. This is what they said when we received our copy.

As a result many colleges around Australia adopted this as their main resource. Students had to use that in their assignments, readings in chapel and had to use it for their memory verses. As the students graduated they took it with them to their churches and this slowly became the norm in the congregations.

For many years I used the NIV in my studies, web writings and sermon preparation. All of my Bible resources were based on it and it just seemed natural to return back to it.

As the years progressed though, I found myself reading the NLT version in my private devotions. Also if I didn’t quite get the meaning of the NIV passage I would turn to the NLT and its use of slightly different words or phrases. It was easier for me to understand in many cases.

More recently I have been using the Life Application Study Bible in the NLT. I really like the simplicity of the text and the notes for each verse. It gives background information and asks how you are applying it to your life. It has helped me to become more of a doer rather than just a hearer of the Word.

So if I had to answer which Bible do I prefer. The answer would be NLT. But in saying that when preparing a message I use the NIV, NLT and the NKJV to get a fuller picture and to be aware of what the congregation might be using themselves.

As with all things related to the Bible, we all have to find which resources and Bible we prefer the best. Ultimately it is about reading it, understanding it and applying it to your life.

God Bless,