What Bible version is the best? Which do you use and why?

I am looking into getting a New Bible.

Debating between the ESV vs NASB 77.

I enjoyed reading the Lamsa Bible… The translation of George Lamsa as he was Aramaean … and a lot of the verses seem to make more sense to me.:slight_smile:

NIV for general reading. NRSV for study.

I typically use the ESV, though the NIV and KJV tend to read a bit easier to my ears. When talking with my Catholic friends, I try my best to use the D-R, but sometimes the meanings have been neutered a bit, and I find others more useful.

I use the Douay-Rheims solely for study. For reading and personal devotion I will sometimes use the ESV but thats on rare occasions or when I’m doing Scripture study with my Protestant brothers and sisters.

For devotion: Please consider KJV, surprisingly still much of our understanding comes in the form of common Biblical phrases quoted directly from this beautiful old text.

For study or communication with others: ESV is rising quickly and will gain influence and commonality since the Gideons have recently switched to this version. Soon most Bibles in hotel nightstands will be ESV.

For serious in depth study: consider using Greek or Greek/English interlinear New Testaments. Nestle-Aland (UBS) is based on the oldest manuscripts available (Sinaiticus and Vatanicus) and is the basis for most modern translations. Also use the Received Text Greek/English interlinear to understand what was preferred in source text for most of Christendom before the 19th century.

There is also value for really serious study to use a Latin Bible, if for no other reason than to gain a perspective on difficult texts. Also Latin as a language has existed longer than the Church age.

Finally, since we are computer comfortable to various degrees there is a fine online Bible called Bible Gateway that allows you to examine scripture in any language and translation, and you can easily switch back and forth between versions of your selected text. The link biblegateway.com/versions/King-James-Version-KJV-Bible/#books (did I mention that it is free;)?

I like the Douay Rheims, the Confraternity Bible, and the Revised Standard Version (Second Catholic Edition).

I’m currently reading the Knox Bible through, just because I liked his handling of “The Imitation” and his detective stories. :wink: I’m enjoying his translation very much. The way he handles place names is very helpful for symbolic purposes (ie, “the Sheep-Tower” vs. “Migdal Eder”) although he doesn’t always spell familiar names the way I expect to see them (ie, “Josue” vs “Joshua”).

I use the Knox Bible. The language is beautiful and reverent.

Just make sure your Bible has all 72 books; you don’t want to get short changed :thumbsup:

I was raised in a KJV-only household, so that’s been a hard habit to break. Four years in the Episcopal church, however, have made me more or less comfortable with the NRSV because I hear it so often. For my own private reading I like to return to the KJV, though, just for the effect of the language. I plan on buying a Douay-Rheims to compare the two. I like my NRSV, though, because of all of the historical annotations.

Surely you mean 74? :wink: :smiley:

the precious moments bible . It is for children and everything is translated in English.Check Isaiah 62. Hezekiah should be unhappily married and Beulah should be happily married Then you have the right one. Get the Catholic edition.

I had liked the Jerusalem Bible but it was said there was something wrong w it and they pulled it. I hope it is out again. It was very good. Catholic version is the only one out.

When you are very spiritually mature, I like Jack Hayfords HolySpirits Bible. It is a Protestant Bible but he has his foot notes in it and he is a very good teacher.

in Christ’s love

A few years ago I found a really nice pamphlet at a bookstore that compares most of the available English translations. It is called “Bible Translations Comparison by Rose Publishing”, it is still available online and at many bookstores for ~$4.

It is organized in in a chart/worksheet format, compares 20 translations, the type (though t for thought or word for word, reading level, when translated, who translated, publisher, source text, main reasons for translation, salient comments, compares 2 sample verses Matt 4:19 & John 3:16-17.

It contains a glossary of translation terms and has a chart comparing attributes of the Greek texts for: Received text, Wescott-Hort, and Nestle-Aland.

Alas, it does not include any Catholic translations still it has been a valuable aid to my studies. Perhaps there exists a similar Catholic publication.

I like the ESV, including the DC’s and apocrypha books.

While interacting on CAF, I like referring to the Douay Rheims online.


Please stay with me to the final text, thank you.

From my own advice to you all I went to a Catholic bookstore for resources. While I did not find a precise application (lots of good stuff in any case) my search inspired me to report a useful application of scripture translation, even if it is not all that well regarded.

Well fellow confessors of Jesus let us look at our presuppositions.
Jesus was born of a virgin, yes?
How so if anyone claims it after the fact? Did anyone expect a messiah of Mary?

Yes of course they did it was part of prophesy in Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

There are many enormous proclamations in that prophesy but one that stands out as humanly unimaginable is the phrase “a virgin shall conceive”.

So much for our modern English understanding, forget our pathetic perspective.
Much has been made of the word ‘virgin’ in context of Isaiahs’ prophesy. In Hebrew the word used for ‘virgin’ could just a easily been meant to describe a ‘young woman’ i.e. unmarried but not necessarily chaste.

This understanding of the Hebrew text hinges on translation of “virgin”. HOWEVER the Hebrew word was ambiguous and could describe a real virgin or merely a young woman.

Much hinges on Jewish understanding (they are not to blame, just they conveyors of the history of Jesus).

Before Jesus was born there was a Jewish anticipation of a virgin born messiah.

After Jesus was born the secularists began their century long denial of the 'Virgin Birth"


While the word ‘virgin’ is ambiguous in Hebrew it is very clear in Greek!

While the Septuagint (Jewish Hebrew to Greek translation) was being done ~250 years before Jesus; they translated the ambiguous Hebrew word ‘virgin’ into the unambiguous word ‘virgin’.


Historical revisionism is understood in our culture. The spin began after the resurrection of Jesus. Before any of those items were contested, Mary (a virgin) was foretold, her son was anticipated and our simple minds were unable to comprehend the enormous impact.

Even as a Calvinist I must accord to

“Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”

I like the language of the Douay-Rheims. There are also parts of the KJV I like very much, particularly in Psalms.

There is forever something gracious in how our Lord has presented Himself in His holy word of our particular language and understanding. God knows it simply doesn’t end there.

The RSV-CE,. this is a revise authorized Standard Version (King James) with the original 7 Old Testament books that were removed sometime in the 16th century. I like this because it is a reasonably literal, error checked, translation.It is used in many Protestant seminaries and bible colleges so it provides a stable common ground for discussions with Protestants.

It is also the version used by Dr. David Anders in his Biblical discussions, so I can readily refer to them. Here is a collection of his discussions:

There was a document written by the mid wife who delivered Jesus that witnessed that Mary was an anatomical virgin when she examined her at the beginning of her labor.
May God provide the truth and evidence and may our eyes and spirits be open to His truth.
in Christ’s love

Well NABRE is the newest Catholic Bible. Not many are aware, but Catholic bibles have 73 books and additions to books which are not found in Protestants 66 book Canon. Eastern Orthodox normally have 76 books, but one tradition in Ethiopia has an 81 book Canon!

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