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The Right Bible

Which Bible is the right Bible? There is no shortage of English translations available today! You can pick either the NIV, ESV, KJV, HCSB, NKJV, ASV, NASV, RSV, NRSV, MSG, NLT, or others. Each of these Bibles is available in hard cover, soft cover, leather, or bonded leather. You can add gilded edges and/or the words of Christ in red. You can then decide if you want chain references, devotionals, study notes, an index and maps, or no "extra features." So, with all these choices which is the right Bible? The right Bible is whatever Bible you will read and read daily. All of these Bible contain the inspired words of God, living, active, and useful. (2 Timothy 3:16) What makes a Bible right for you is if you use it!

I frequently get asked about which Bible I prefer since many people in the church want to have the same version I do so they can follow along during the sermon. The NRSV is my choice and I prefer it for several reasons. The NRSV is right for me because...
  • It's the Bible I studied from in seminary. Academia prefers this translation because the word order follows the original language a little more closely.
  • I like the language that is used in the NRSV, it's a bit more complex but I just like the English it uses. 
  • The NRSV uses gender inclusive language for portions of scripture where it's appropriate. In Greek, as in many other languages, the dominant gender of pronouns (they, we, you, etc.) is masculine. Therefore when translating these words into English most translations use "brothers," "man," etc. The NRSV however uses gender inclusive words like "brothers and sisters," "humanity," "people," "believers," etc. when appropriate. If the translation needs a specific gender in a passage such as addressing husbands or elders the NRSV uses the masculine or feminine form as indicated in the original language.
  • It's just a little different and gives a new perspective on scripture because of the way it turns phrases. I've read the NIV through and have read the NIV since childhood. Reading the NRSV has given me a new perspective on some passages, the unique phrasing catches me off guard sometimes and helps me to see something in the Bible I've overlooked.
This is why I like the NRSV, and why it's right for me. That said, the NRSV is hard to find because our local Christian bookstore doesn't stock it. I know because last year I searched all over to get Jenny a new Bible for her birthday and finally found The NRSV Daily Bible online. It has great devotional thoughts and an approachable reading plan you can start any day of the year. Jenny and I both enjoy these readings and devotionals. We would recommend this Bible to anyone looking for a good Bible in the NRSV translation. It has ended up being the "right Bible" for her and it might be right for you.


hockeyboy5 said…
Whew! I was worried you were going to say the New World Translation.