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How to Choose the Right Bible

Updated on September 18, 2017
revmjm profile image

Rev. Margaret Minnicks, an ordained minister of Christian education, holds an M.A in Christian education and an M.Div. in Divinity.

Many Versions of the Bible Available

With so many versions of the Bible available, there is no wonder some people are confused about which Bible to choose. Reading the Bible can be a pleasant experience when people read and study from a Bible they can understand.

With so many Bibles on the market, use these two tests to help you decide.

  • Look at familiar passages such as the 23rd Psalm or The Lord's Prayer to see if you can understand them.
  • Check to see if there are marginal notes to help you understand the verses.

The King James Version (KJV)

If you are like me, you grew up learning scriptures from the only Bible that was available at the time. Stores carried limited versions of the Bible, but one could always purchase the King James Version (KJV). However, today there are hundreds of versions and styles to choose from.

Older people and some pastors still favor the King James Version mainly because of this inscription on the very first page: Authorized Bible. King James had nothing to do with the writing of the Bible or the inspired words of God. He was king at the time of the first printing in 1611, and he authorized the printing.

My Bible of Choice

Even though I grew up on learning scriptures from the King James Version of the Bible, today my Bible of choice is the New International Version (NIV). The NIV comes in several different editions; however, the Quest Study Bible is the one I favor. It is easy to read and understand with a brief commentary next to the scripture. The commentary might explain a key word or a custom that the reader would not otherwise know.

Admittedly, the King James Version of the Bible has a beautiful language, but for serious studying, the New International Version has my vote. Spend a considerable amount of time in a Bible bookstore and choose a Bible you can understand.

Whatever Bible you choose, remember to read it daily.

True Story

When I was a child, my mother instructed all ten of her children to read something from the Bible every day. She said she didn't care what we read as long as we read something.

I was living in Brooklyn, New York after I graduated from high school. I worked at Macy's Department Store on 34th Street in Manhattan. One morning I had walked seven of the ten blocks to the subway when I remembered the instructions my mother had given me. I turned around, walked the seven blocks back home, read a scripture and headed out again.

Needless to say, I was late to work. I had heard my mother's voice in my ear and I didn't want to go to work without reading something from the Bible.

The interesting part is that the Macy's where I worked in Herald Square had over 20 floors, and the entire fifth floor had nothing but books. I could have gone to that floor on my lunch hour and read something from the Bible. However, the instruction from my mother was "Don't leave home without reading something from the Bible."

I am 72 years old now and I still remember what she said.

My mother passed away in 1998. I don't want to meet her in heaven and have to explain to her why I didn't read something from the Bible each day.

The Bible is the only book you can read and the author is present. The Bible is God's diary. It lets us know what's on God's mind and what's in His heart.

Which version of the Bible do you read?

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    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks Dee aka Nonna. I am glad we are following each other as we follow Christ. I have been on hubpages only for a short time but I enjoy sharing with others.

      I am originally from Sussex County, VA.

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 6 years ago

      I too have a great many Bibles...all the versions you have in your list above and some others. I also have a collector edition of the Bible that was used in schools way back when it was a textbook---I love it. So happy I ran across you in one of the question/answer sections. Looking forward to reading more. By the way, I live part of the year in Prince George County, VA

    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      I have about 38 Bibles in different versions. When I was in seminary the progfessors used different Bibles in different courses I took so I had to buy the Bible they were using. Now that I am a Bible teacher I default to the NIV even though like you I read the others for the beauty of the writing. I introduced the NIV to my church and now that is the official Bible we use there.

    • Dian'swords4u profile image

      Dian'swords4u 6 years ago from North Carolina

      I was also reaised with the King James Version. I learned most of my scriptures when I was youg with this version. use several versions because I teach 5th and 6th grade children in Sunday school. I fine NIV is better for them. I have numerous versions and I find each of them are good and some I just read because they are beautifully written. Most of mine are used for study and teaching. Thanks again for another good hub