How to choose a bible for someone?

I'm going to start off first by being apologetic, but religion is something I know very little about. As I grew older, and started meeting new individuals, I've become more into my religion, Christianity. I started attending services with some college friends, and now I'm interested in reading the bible. How do I choose a translation that will be easy for me to understand?

16 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The first thing to do is talk to your college friends and take a look at the Bibles they are using. I recommend this because as you study they may be the people you turn to for answers to your questions. If you have the same or similar Bibles it make Bible study easier.

    Once you become more familiar with the Bible you can explore the other translations and pick one you feel comfortable with and can enjoy;

    Source(s): That is how I ended up with The New American Bible Saint Joseph Edition.
  • 1 decade ago

    As I can't read Hebrew or Greek, I go with the KJV. It is written in old English (think Shakespeare English), so it can be difficult to follow. All Bibles have translation errors in them, ie: the original Hebrew/Greek doesn't necessarily mean what the particular Bible says. Though, some are closer than others.

    Take some verses, books or psalms that you are already familiar with and check them out on This site has many of the various bibles online. You can look at the items you've picked in the bibles the other posters are suggesting and see which Bible you feel is easiest for you to understand.

  • 1 decade ago

    In the last 25 years in American the best selling translation in the USA is the NIV.

    There are many reasons for that.

    1. Its easy to read if you live in the USA, Canada or any English speaking country today.

    2. Its accurate to the original languages.

    3. If you don't understand a particular word you can use just about any dictionary to help you.

    I've been preaching from the NIV for over 20 years.

    ESV and NASB are also good, but NIV is easier to read for the person who has not been reading the Bible regularly.

    For you, NIV is your best choice.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is hard to choose among all the versions. There are a lot of them. However, now that you are attending services with friends, that relationship should give you a clue about a version to choose as your all-purpose translation. Wherever you attend services, there is probably one version that most of the people use. NIV is very popular among groups such as Baptists who focus on a fundamental and evangelistic interpretation. NRSV is more mainline, and probably a bit more conservative scholastically. Most seminaries will recommend either of these for most users. You probably want to read the version used in the services you attend.

    If you want a translation which tries to bring the Bible to life in a way that harks back to the fundamental power of the Hebrew and Greek languages, you might enjoy "The Message." It feels quite conversational. I like its primitive power. I like to read this translation to give perspective on others.

    For pure readabilty, you can't beat The Living Bible. It is translated in a style that makes it feel almost like conversation. It is good for daily reading, but not so good for deep study.

    For simplicity and lots of information to help you understand how the translator made word choices, you might enjoy the NET Bible. Many seminary professors applaud it for its accuracy, even though it does not read so smoothly. They like the focus on precision in translation rather than on readability for new Christians. You can download it at no charge from to see if you like it.

    Whatever translation you choose, be faithful in reading it. I read the Bible every day using a two-year plan from to read the whole Bible in two years of six-day weeks. Every Sunday that plan takes a break to allow time for reading the lectionary text for the day. Choose your own plan to read, but read every day and let God speak to you.

    May you receive the blessings of increased faith and fulfillment in discovering what work God created you to do.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No King James! NIV (New International Version) is pretty good, and what I started reading when I was 12. I understood it okay. But there are New Living Translation Bibles that are even easier to understand. Just don't get too fixed in one translation later on, and you'll be fine. But you should check and see what your study group is reading.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Get the new living translation (NLT). It's very easy to read.

    Whatever you do DO NOT get the message bible.

    Alternatively if you are quite bright you should get yourself the Macarthur New King James (NKJV) Study Bible. The language is harder because it's a very formal translation, but the study notes will help you.

    Good luck!

  • Esther
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    There is a great bible in NIV called The Quest Study bible. I've used it for 12 years in my studies. It has questions and answers about the text you are reading in the margins.

    And don't worry when people get hysterical about King James only..that's silly! The NIV is merely more modern English, and easier to understand.

  • 1 decade ago

    One of my favorite translation is the Amplified bible because it's written in layman's terms.

    Easier to read, study and understand then my other bibles.

    Source(s): Faith In God
  • Dust
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Start with a modern English translation, such as the NRSV.

    Avoid paraphrase Bibles (The Message, Amplified, etc).

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    to make sure it is the real bible with all the books in it; open up to front few pages and down on the corner should be a greek or roman sign and if it has that mark, get it and it is the real thing.

    Source(s): studied about the bible.
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