C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe : Bible Choices

If you walk into any Christian bookstore today, you will come across a wide variety of selections labeled “Holy Bible”. There is the KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, NASV, and the list seems almost limitless if one took the time to list them all. Then there are the topical, reference, parallel, and study editions of each. The market is flooded with bibles, yet ignorance of what is contained within seems on the rise.

Without getting too technical, I would like to get your opinion as to what version you choose and why. I may return to this topic with a small discussion of texts, but for the present, please give input to what you personally like most about your choice of version, style (reference, etc.) and why.

Oh, me personally: I enjoy reading the King James Bible. I purchased one from http://www.lewisbibles.com/ a good while back. It was the wide margin, cow hide leather, edition which they don’t sell anymore. It contained no study notes or references, except for a concordance in the back. I also have used the Old Scofield wide-margin edition, but it was like carrying an encyclopedia (ha!). I now have the Scofield III, which was given to me by the church at my ordination as deacon. I do like wide margins for note taking.

Looking forward to your comments, which may actually open our eyes to things we haven’t personally thought of.


Anonymous said...

I read the NKJV because I prefer the TR over the Critical Text, but I like the updated english over the KJV english.

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Have you ever reviewed the 21st century KJV?

"The 21st Century King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJ21®) is an accurate updating of the King James Version (KJV) of A.D. 1611. While easier to read and understand, it preserves the traditional Biblical language and sacred message of its historic predecessor. The KJ21® is the solution for Bible readers who love beautiful, reverent language yet want accuracy, clarity of meaning, and reading ease."

Sista Cala said...

For general purposes, I read the KJV. That is the one I cut my teeth on as a child. I prefer my KJV/NIV parallel when teaching, it gives me a ready reference to expound on the old English words. For recreational reading, like in a waiting room or on a plane, I enjoy the Good News Bible, which is a paraphrase I believe.

RC said...

I enjoy the KJV the most, but use the ESV for study.

Anonymous said...

I like any version in which the translator has tried to stay true to the original meaning and spirit.
I still think of the NASB (& update) as being the most reliable. However, I am currently reading the HCSB. I have enjoyed the ESV as well. I have the NIV but am not sold on dynamic equivalence so I don't refer to it often. I have also enjoyed reading some of the other translations as they tend to open the eyes/mind to better understanding of the text. When I preach or teach in a public setting, I still tend to use the KJV as the text, both from habit (I like the way it reads) and from the fact that most of the people that I speak to tend to be most familiar with it.


Bobby Cohoon said...

Tim, I like the KJV best. But, I use several...of them I htink I am more partial to the NIV

Stephen said...

I've never read the KJV21. have you?

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...


I have glanced through it.

It can be viewed at:

They now have the Third Millennium edition:


Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

A little more info on the 21st Century KJV.


Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

The KJV to me is something I read for historical interest. I think the NRSV is the best all around English translation and use it as my personal Bible. It is accurate, uses the best contemporary scholarship linguistically and textually. It also has standard English. But my NRSV has something in common with the KJV ... it has the apocrypha.

Bobby Valentine

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

That's funny Bobby Valentine. My KJV doesn't have the Apocrypha. Was I short changed? :)


Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

Tim, the original KJV contained the Apocrypha. The NT and the OT also contained cross references to the Apocrypha.

Short changed? Well the King's translators certainly put a lot of effort into rendering that material into the vulgar of the day.

Bobby Valentine

Writer, Splinters of Silver.com said...

Bobby V. I knew where you were going with the Apocrypha. I was just joking since the KJV has not contained it or the marginal notes in quite some time.


John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.