Read different versions

There are so many versions of the Bible out there. It actually get confusing. has 20 different English Bibles. So which one should you use?

Here’s what I did this morning I read in Romans 12 in the ESV. This is one of my favorite sections of scripture. Here’s what it says in verse two.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I love this first part of the verse about not being conformed, but transformed. It is exciting to think of what God can and will do through each of us. The second part of the verse is what I’ve kind of skipped over. What does it mean to by, “testing?” Even when I read it through in the NIV it didn’t make sense.

When I saw it this morning in the NLT it came much more clearer.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

The NLT uses the phrase, “Then you will learn.” That makes way more sense to me. As I am transformed and become more like Christ I will live like him and then learn how good God’s will is for me.

This is the reason for reason several different versions. So which should you read? Try out a number of them at As I read I usually use three versions. I normally start with my old NIV. If I need a little clarification, like today, I use the NLT. Sometimes it smooths out the English in a way that’s more understandable for us today. If I want to get a little closer to the word for word translation from the ancient languages I pick up the ESV.

Which are you favorite versions?

One Response to “Read different versions”
  1. Tim Rich says:

    Call me old-fashioned, I’ve had my KJV and NIV Bibles for many years and can’t part with all the notes I’ve written in the margins. I still have my Strong’s Concordance that does a nice job of translating the old English from the KJV.

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