What English Translations Do You Use?

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This is not just for people in ministry – if you are reading this I would love your input. I am interested in combinations of translations that you have found helpful for a particular application (for example I like to use the NIV and NRSV when studying a passage to get a more rounded view of the text).
What translation do you use for the following:

1) Study
2) To preach from (if you preach)
3) To teach from (if you teach)
4) Daily/devotional reading
5) Other

0 Responses

  1. I really like the NLT and have considered seriously switching to it for preaching. I currrently preach out of the NIV. I was a Bible language major in my graduate studies so I tend to bounce around a bit using those translations that best seem to get the point across. That’s also one of the great things about PowerPoint and LIve Worship–being able to display at a click.


  2. I’ve used the NIV for a long time for personal devotion, preaching, and teaching. I’ve used a variety of translations for study. The main reason I use the NIV is because it is incredibly popular and so it is easy for others to work out of the same translation.

    I’m working on moving to the TNIV right now. I think that it will really catch on soon.

  3. Matt,
    I start with a Word document and create a table of 2 rows and four columns. In the top row I put the abbreviation of a translation starting with the NASB, adding the NIV, NRSV, and whatever else tickles my fancy. Then I go to Biblegateway.com and search for my text and copy the text into the next row. Then I create another table underneath that one, also with 2 rows and four columns. Usually I do the King James group (KJV, NKJV, 21st KJV, and the ASV). I might create another table and do four more translations. Then I print up the results and use those for my study during the week. I enjoy seeing how the different translations see the text. Sometimes the differences inspire the direction for my sermon that week. I love Biblegateway.com and being able to search for any text I want. It also has several foreign language Bibles as well. The Unbound Bible has several English translations, foreign translations, Greek texts, LXX texts, and Hebrew texts. The Internet has become a great place for study!

  4. 1.) NIV & NASB. If I’m digging into a pericope, I’ll also look at The Message, NLT, KJV, NKJV, & NRSV.

    2.) NIV

    3.) NASB — Most literal. I use this most often in bible class settings.

    4.) NIV

    Matthew, what do you like about the NRSV? What makes it special to you?

  5. Matt,
    Great post.
    I use the NIV to teach and preach. Personal study or to prepare for sermons I use the NIV and New American Standard.

  6. NIV, TNIV, NASB, and occasionally Tyndale’s original pre-KJV text. I use it mostly out of repsect for Tyndale, kind of silly maybe but it somehow blesses me to spend some time there.

  7. Jack P. Lewis has an excellent book on translations called The NIV to the KJV. It normally runs $20 or so and is a must have resource for anyone even remotely interested in translations. He also has an interesting book called Questions You’ve Asked about the KJV. Three other books I have found helpful are Origins of the Bible – Philip Comfort/F.F. Bruce, The KJV debate by D.A. Carson, and the Making of the NRSV Translation by Metzger. This includes a lot of good information on gender neutral language and what went into the translation of the NRSV.

    Thanks to those who have participated in this mini survey so far. Keep them coming!

  8. I have used the NRSV with Apocrypha for several years now. I believe it is the best English translation available.

    I tend to preach from the NIV because that is what is in the pews.

    I really like the TNIV and think it is, in many places, an advance on the NIV … which I have always liked too.

    I am currently reading through the NT in the REB for a change of pace.

    Bobby Valentine

  9. Philip,

    In regard to your question, I like the NRSV-NIV (or TNIV) combination because I see it as offering balance. You could make the argument that NIV/NASB would do the same thing and you would be in the ballpark. I do like the NRSV better than the NASB and think the NRSV is a superior translation in most instances.

    Here is why I like the specific pair NIV/NSRV. The NIV is a “dynamic equivalence” or “thought for thought” translation and the NRSV is a “Formal-equivalence” or “word for word” translation. Using these in tandum allows me to get the idea (NIV) of what is being said and to get the more “verbatim” (NRSV) view of the text. Although in a sense the NIV is more a balance between the two than most/not a hardline dynamic equivalence version.

    I started to work through a specific verse showing how the pair of these works well but I just don’t have the time right at this moment and may do that soon.

    Looks like Bobby will back me up on the NRSV.

  10. the Bible I use most for preachign and teaching class is a NIV/NASU parallel. That way I get the more common, and the more literal side by side.

    I lean on NIV for preaching and both for teaching a class.

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