No Condemnation: Freed From the Penalty of Sin

Question: “What are the different English Bible versions?”

What are the different English Bible versions?

Question: “What are the different English Bible versions?”

Answer: Depending on how one distinguishes a different Bible version from a revision of an existing Bible version, there are as many as 50 different English versions of the Bible. The question then arises: Is there really a need for so many different English versions of the Bible? The answer is, of course, no, there is no need for 50 different English versions of the Bible. This is especially true considering that there are hundreds of languages into which the entire Bible has not yet been translated. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with there being multiple versions of the Bible in a language. In fact, multiple versions of the Bible can actually be an aid in understanding the message of the Bible.

There are two primary reasons for the different English Bible versions. (1) Over time, the English language changes/develops, making updates to an English version necessary. If a modern reader were to pick up a 1611 King James Version of the Bible, he would find it to be virtually unreadable. Everything from the spelling, to syntax, to grammar, to phraseology is very different. Linguists state that the English language has changed more in the past 400 years than the Greek language has changed in the past 2,000 years. Several times in church history, believers have gotten “used” to a particular Bible version and become fiercely loyal to it, resisting any attempts to update/revise it. This occurred with the Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, and more recently, the King James Version. Fierce loyalty to a particular version of the Bible is illogical and counterproductive. When the Bible was written, it was written in the common language of the people at that time. When the Bible is translated, it should be translated into how a people/language group speaks/reads at that time, not how it spoke hundreds of years ago.

(2) There are different translation methodologies for how to best render the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into English. Some Bible versions translate as literally (word-for-word) as possible, commonly known as formal equivalence. Some Bible versions translate less literally, in more of a thought-for-thought method, commonly known as dynamic equivalence. All of the different English Bible versions are at different points of the formal equivalence vs. dynamic equivalence spectrum. The New American Standard Bible and the King James Version would be to the far end of the formal equivalence side, while paraphrases such as The Living Bible and The Message would be to the far end of the dynamic equivalence side.

The advantage of formal equivalence is that it minimizes the translator inserting his/her own interpretations into the passages. The disadvantage of formal equivalence is that it often produces a translation so woodenly literal that it is not easily readable/understandable. The advantage of dynamic equivalence is that it usually produces a more readable/understandable Bible version. The disadvantage of dynamic equivalence is that it sometimes results in “this is what I think it means” instead of “this is what it says.” Neither method is right or wrong. The best Bible version is likely produced through a balance of the two methodologies.

Listed below are the most common English versions of the Bible. In choosing which Bible version(s) you are going to use/study, do research, discuss with Christians you respect, read the Bibles for yourself, and ultimately, ask God for wisdom regarding which Bible version He desires you to use.

King James Version (KJV)
New International Version (NIV)
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
New King James Version (NKJV)
English Standard Version (ESV)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Century Version (NCV)
New English Bible (NEB)
American Standard Version (ASV)
Good News Bible (GNB) / Today’s English Version (TEV)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Today’s New International Version (TNIV)
New English Translation (NET)
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
God’s Word Translation (GW)
Common English Bible (CEB)
New International Readers Version (NIrV)
Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Bible in Basic English (BBE)
21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
What is the Modern King James Version (MKJV)?
What is the Modern English Version (MEV)?
World English Bible (WEB)
Revised English Bible (REB)
Jerusalem Bible (JB)
New American Bible (NAB)
The Living Bible (TLB)
The Message (MSG)
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
The Bishops’ Bible
Douay-Rheims Version (DRV)
Tyndale Bible
Geneva Bible

Recommended Resources: How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth: A Guide to Understanding and Using Bible Versions by Gordon D. Fee & Mark L. Strauss and Logos Bible Software.

(Article reproduced from by permission from (

Article © 2014,

The Book of Genesis – Bible Summary

snakeThe book of Genesis is all about beginnings and the origins of space and time. It is the first book of the Pentateuch and is ascribed to Moses. Genesis is a book of records. It tells us about the earliest moments of the heavens and the earth, of plants, animals and certainly human life. It establishes the role of humanity and sets the tone for the rest of the Judeo-Christian experience. It is broken into five parts: the creation of all things, the fall and redemption of mankind, the seeds of early man from Cain to the flood times, and finally a period of time from the flood to the Tower of Babel.


There are undeniable similarities with Assyrian, Babylonian and Egyptian mythology about the beginnings of time and certain events that predate written history. Certainly these stories predate the Mosaic account. The creation of the earth and the Great Flood of Noah’s generation are glaring examples of this correlation as variations of these stories are found on monuments and tablets all over the ancient world. Some might think these similarities serve to invalidate Genesis. Yet in actuality, the prevalence of these myths only add credibility to the book of Genesis, offering comparison texts and points of reference from outside the biblical account. As told in Genesis, these traditional tales take on a more historical tone and read more like reference than mythology. The book of Genesis, its characters and events are authenticated by history, time and time again. The more we uncover about our past, the more we realize the truth, clarity and importance of the Bible’s first book.


Genesis covers a time span of more than two thousand years. Its linear timeline has been the subject of some debate, but to quibble over dates would be to ignore the true purpose and importance of the text itself. There are several main themes introduced in this book. God as a singular deity is introduced in Genesis. The first words of the Bible state, “In the beginning God” and recognizes the self-realization of God. It shines a bright light onto the character of God, how He sees Himself as well as humanity.


In Genesis, God makes several agreements or covenants with mankind, four in this book. In the beginning, we are introduced to two iconic individuals Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Eden and Adam covenants are most certainly related. In the Eden covenant, Adam is charged with dominion over the Earth and all its creatures, setting up a relationship that endures to this day. After Adam eats the forbidden fruit of knowledge, the second covenant, the Adam covenant is formed, by which grand punishments are handed down upon mankind. The third covenant in Genesis is the Noah covenant, whereby God promises to never wipe out the creatures of Earth again with a catastrophic flood, revealing the first true accounts of God’s grace and mercy. The final covenant of Genesis is the covenant with Abraham, arguably one of the most important in history. Abraham becomes the father of a great nation, known as Israel and God promises to bless Abraham’s seed for all time. He grants the seed of Abraham specific lands to rule over and promises to bring redemption and blessings upon them. These covenants are of profound importance to the rest of the Bible and establish the framework by which God’s will is to be interpreted going forth for all eternity.


Whereby the beginning of Genesis is quite glorious and divine, the latter portions of the book deal with earthly, flawed individuals that possess qualities we can all identify with: suffering, heartache, pride and defeat. There are characters that would rival any modern day soap star’s rise and fall from grace, such as Isaac, Jacob, Esau, and Rachel. The book of Genesis ends with the death of Joseph, an important figure for Israel, whose familial hardships set up the dramatic experiences to take place during the Israelites’ time in the land of Egypt.

Article © 2014 Christian Faith-Based Community, Inc. All Rights reserved.

How should I read the bible?

How Should I Read the Bible?

How should I read the bible?When Johannes Gutenberg selected the Bible as the first major book to be printed on his new printing press, he could have scarcely imagined just how appropriate that choice would be. Five centuries later, the Bible is now the best-selling book of all time. No other book even comes close.


Parts of the Bible have been translated into 2479 different languages or dialects,[1] accounting for more than 90 per cent of the world’s population.[2] Including all these translations, there have been over 2.5 billion copies of the Bible distributed.[3] Some estimates reach as high as 6 billion copies, with an additional 168,000 distributed every day.[4] By comparison, no other book has surpassed one billion copies.[5]


Yet for all its popularity, many people are intimidated by the thought of reading the Bible. They are unsure of where to begin, how to proceed, and if they will even understand what they are reading. So with that in mind, here are five suggestions to help you get started.


1. Choose a version you can understand. The most popular translation of the Bible is the King James Version. Using beautifully elegant language, the King James Version is reminiscent of Shakespeare. Which is fitting, since Shakespeare was alive when it was first published in 1611. And for some people, the language of the King James Version is captivating and inspiring.


Others, though, find it difficult to understand. And they quickly become frustrated and give up. So if you are going to read the Bible, you may want to choose a newer translation such as the New International Version, the Contemporary English Version, or the New Living Translation. You could also consider a paraphrase such as The Message by Eugene H. Peterson.


To compare the available translations, visit your local Christian bookstore and ask for assistance. Or do the research yourself online.


2. Start with a section you can understand. Though often treated as a single book, the Bible is actually a collection of 66 different books compiled into one volume. These books were written by 40 different authors, each with their own purpose and style. The books include narratives, histories, poetry, prophecy, proverbs, biographies, and letters. As such, the Bible is not a traditional book that you read from cover to cover.


You will find some of the books are more readable than others. For example, you may find the biographies of Jesus to be intriguing but have a difficult time wading through the genealogies of the Old Testament. For most people, the Gospel of Mark is a good place to begin. It is a fast-paced book about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.


3. Read for application, not just information. Do not become satisfied with using the Bible simply as reading material; it has the power to change lives. So ask yourself what the author is really saying, what the passage means for you personally, and how you can apply it to your life today.


As you read, you may find it helpful to use a pen to underline selected verses. Or record any new insights, questions or feelings in a journal. This will help you internalize what you are learning, making it easier to apply to your life.


4. Go slow. You do not need to get through it in record time. It is more important that you understand and apply what you are reading. Consider reading through the Bible in the span of one year. (There are several one year reading plans available online.) But if that is too aggressive, then feel free to go at a slower pace. It is better to make slow progress than to become discouraged and give up completely.


5. Before you read, pray. After all, you are reading the “Word of God.” So you may as well invite Him into the process. Ask Him to help you understand what you are reading. Pray that He will show you ways to put His Word into practice. Invite Him to reveal Himself to you as you read.


If prayer is new for you, then keep it simple and use your own words. God is not going to judge you on your eloquence.


These suggestions will help you as you begin to discover the richness of the Bible. As you progress, you may want to supplement your reading with other resources. By taking advantage of the vast array of Bible commentaries, study guides, timelines, charts, maps, and Bible handbooks you will discover how the Bible can widen and deepen with every passing year.


[1] Source: New Zealand Bible Society,

[2] Source: United Bible Societies,

[3] Source:

[4] Source:

[5] The Qur’an and Quotations from Chairman Mao each have between 800,000 and 900,000 copies

(Article by Greg Hanson)

Article © 2014 Christian Faith-Based Community, Inc. All Rights reserved.