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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Which Translation Should Be Used in Bible Study?

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Don Stewart
The best way to learn the Bible is to take time and learn the original languages in which it was written. Since most people do not have the time to do that, they must use a translation. For the English-speaking world, there are a number of good English translations that a person can use for Bible study. The following are recommended.

New King James Version

The New King James Version is an excellent Bible to read and study. It updates the King James Version of 1611 into the language of our day. It also takes advantage of the discoveries in languages that help us better understand certain words and phrases that were not clearly understood at the time of the King James Version.

New American Standard Bible

The New American Standard is a highly literal translation of the Bible. This means the translators went out of their way to give a literal rendering the text. This makes it an excellent study Bible. However, because it is so literal, sometimes it does not read that well in English.

New International Version

This is a very readable translation of the Bible, more so than the New American Standard or the New King James. The downside with it is that it can be too much of a paraphrase rather than a direct translation. This means that the translators, in an attempt to convey the meaning of the original, sometimes went beyond the literal translation of the text and interpreted it for the reader. Still it is an excellent tool to use in Bible study.

Other Translations

There are many other English translations available that can be helpful to the reader (for more information on various translations see our course The Bible, Course 2).

Read Them Together

The best thing to do is to have several of these translations that have been mentioned and read them together. You will immediately notice that the wording and meaning is very similar.

The important thing to remember is to read and study the Bible!

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Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.