KJV vs NIV vs NKJV

I have never bought a bible in my life and I am shopping for one right now. Also for my future reference just in case if non Christian asked me, I would like to know which bible do you all at RZIM uses? The KJV, NIV, or NKJV? I read that verses are missing from one or the others and it is almost impossible to determine what’s the true full version of a bible.

According to your knowledge, which bible that true and full without leaving any detail and easy to understand in plain English? Is it the NKJV? Secondly, which one that you all use?

Thanks

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You have come to the right place. I remember many years ago asking the same question for the same reasons. Back then there was only a choice between printed version and my preacher recommended the NKJ as a personal reading Bible and the NIV for a more up to date translation. Keep in mind that was 35 yrs ago. I am going to attach a link that I think will give you a number of things to think about (maybe to much) but for your immediate needs pay attention to the chart form the Gordan Fee book, I wish that I would have such a resource when I realized that the word was alive and powerful. God bless your studies.

https://connect.rzim.org/t/how-we-got-our-bible/6785?u=jimmy_sellers

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@Andrew1 Great question :slight_smile: I highly recommend that you read “How to Read Your Bible for All Its Worth” by Gordon Fee and “The Canon of Scripture” by F. F. Bruce. Those two books will really help you get a good grasp on how to approach the Scriptures.

Different translations use different philosophies when they translate the Bible - some are more word for word (ESV, NASB, HCSB), others are more thought-for-thought (NIV), and others go are really paraphrases (more like the author’s interpretation). For a daily reading Bible, I think you pick the Bible closest to word-for-word you can that is still readable for you - for me, I like the HCSB.

If you really want to dig into the original languages, something like the NET Bible is a good place to go. It has notes from textual scholars at Dallas Theological Seminary. Feel free to ask additional questions and Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

https://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Bible-All-Worth/dp/0310517826/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532357287&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+read+the+Bible+for+all+its+worth

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Thank you for the references and I will review them.

To summarize your suggestions, is it fair to say all versions are good and true God’s words and more than sufficient for day to day readings?

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@Andrew1 Not exactly. Some translations are more accurate than others, and some are written specifically to support the false teachings of certain sects by modifying a phrase here or there…

However, if I was going to short list a few that are safe overall, I would say: NASB, ESV, HCSB, NIV. The NKJV is fine mostly too - I grew up on it and like the rhythm of the language - but it does not necessarily keep up with the latest manuscript evidence and the language is a bit harder to understand for some readers.

Paraphrases can be a good way to help you rethink or feel the impact of certain passages. For example, I really like some of the Psalms in The Message. However, they are not translations as much as they are interpretations, so I would not use one for daily reading.

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