Friday, March 2, 2012

What Bible Version Is Best?

I love books and I love browsing in bookstores and libraries.  I've gone to bookstores and have browsed so long that I make the bookstore staff suspicious of me!  I imagine they're thinking, "who is this weirdo?" I can easily browse for hours at a time.  In the past, my favorite sections have been the self help and spiritual sections but these days the religion section is my favorite.  Since I've become a Christian I have coveted the bible in all its versions, as well as Christian books of all kinds. 

I have found a Christian bookstore in my neighborhood called Tammy's Bible Bookstore here in Oakland California and have lingered there for hours making comparisons of Bible versions and prices.  The sales lady is kind, curteous and helpful, yet I wonder what she thinks when I sit on the floor looking at the books?  She's always careful to smile and let me know that I'm not crazy for doing it.  It looks like I'm a mess, but I'm trying to insure that I'm buying books by people who are real about their testimony!   I feel a little self conscious when sitting on the floor, but what can I say? I'm only blessed by truth tellers!

Over the years, I've amassed a little cache of spiritual weaponry.  My little bookstand overflows with  my bible versions and testimonials and teaching books.  But I especially love my bibles, and can barely read one version at a time.  I usually read two at a time and keep a third to check certain verses that I need translated.  I love the King James Version for it's poetic flow.  I also like the New King James for eliminating the thees and thys and other old words while keeping the beautiful poetic flow.  The New Standard Revised edition reads in an interesting way because it reworks sentence structures of the verses. I like the Message for its modern American idiomatic style - it reads like poetry as well.  I dislike The Message for the same reason.  The New Living Translation version of the Life Application Bible was valuable to me in the beginning of my studies because it teaches from the perspective of the proper heart attitude that we should have as Christians.  I also enjoyed the breakdowns of the historical, political and social settings in the different time periods; and because it gives a synopsis of the personalities of the Bible. But my favorite is the Amplified because it expands on Greek and Hebrew definitions of certain words within the verse itself.  I don't have to look up words in concordances.  My flow is not disrupted as I read, and that helps my understanding of the original meaning of the Scripture.

So there it is, my chaotic little Bible study! I'm doing my best to understand as much as I can, as God gives it to me day by day.

What version of the Bible to you love?

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