5 Types of Bible Translations To Avoid (FAQs)

Types of Bible Translations To Avoid

The Bible is a complex and ancient text translated into many different languages over the centuries.

Knowing which one to choose can be challenging with so many versions available. 

However, it’s important to remember that all translations of the Bible are rooted in the exact source text, and each translation offers unique insights into God’s word.

So, rather than focusing on which translations to avoid, let’s look at some translations that might only fit some people.

How To Choose A Bible Translation Fit For You

Some translations are more faithful to the original Hebrew and Greek texts, while others may take more liberties in their interpretation or adaptation. 

When selecting a Bible translation, it’s essential to consider your personal preferences and needs.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when selecting a Bible translation:

1. What is the purpose of my study?

Are you looking to read the Bible for personal inspiration, academic research, or spiritual guidance?

Different translations may be better suited for different purposes.

2. What is my familiarity with biblical language and culture?

Some translations may use more archaic language or assume a certain familiarity with biblical culture and history.

If you are new to reading the Bible, you may want to start with a more accessible translation.

3. What is the translation philosophy?

Each translation has its philosophy or approach to translation.

Some translations aim for a more literal translation of the original text, while others may prioritize readability or accessibility.

Understanding the translation philosophy is essential to know what to expect from the text.

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4. What translation do my peers and community use?

If you are part of a religious community or studying with a group, use a commonly used translation within that community.

This can help facilitate discussion and understanding.

Types Of Bible Translations

1. Word-for-word (formal equivalence) translation

This type of translation aims to render each word of the original text as literally and accurately as possible in the target language.

Examples include the King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and English Standard Version (ESV).

2. Thought-for-thought (dynamic equivalence) translation

This type of translation seeks to convey the original meaning and intent of the text in a more readable and understandable way in the target language.

Examples include the New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), and Good News Translation (GNT).

3. Paraphrase translation

This type of translation takes greater liberties with the original text and seeks to convey its meaning more interpretively and readable.

Examples include The Message Bible, The Living Bible, and The Amplified Bible.

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4. Interlinear translation

This type of translation presents the original text and a word-for-word translation of each word or phrase below or beside it, allowing readers to compare the two languages directly.

5. Idiomatic translation

This type of translation aims to capture the idioms and expressions of the original language naturally and familiarly to target language readers.

Examples include the Contemporary English Version (CEV) and the New Century Version (NCV).

Why You Should Study The Bible

There are numerous benefits to studying the Bible, including the following:

1. Spiritual growth

The Bible is considered a spiritual guidebook and can help individuals grow in their faith and relationship with God.

2. Moral guidance

The Bible guides living a moral and ethical life, teaching values such as love, kindness, forgiveness, and humility.

3. Historical context

The Bible is a historical document that provides insights into ancient civilizations’ beliefs, culture, and practices.

4. Literary value

The Bible contains some of the most significant literature in human history, including poetry, prophecy, and wisdom literature.

5. Personal reflection

Studying the Bible can help individuals reflect on their beliefs, values, and worldviews.

6. Community building

Studying the Bible can unite people, fostering community and shared values.

7. Intellectual development

Studying the Bible can improve critical thinking skills and deepen understanding of complex philosophical and theological concepts.

8. Emotional support

The Bible can provide comfort, hope, and encouragement during difficult times.

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What Happens When We Don’t Read The Bible

When we don’t read the Bible, we may miss the benefits of studying and reflecting on its teachings.

Here are some potential consequences of not reading the Bible:

1. Spiritual stagnation

Without the guidance and wisdom in the Bible, our spiritual growth may become stagnant or regress.

2. Moral confusion

Without the moral guidance the Bible provides, we may struggle to make ethical decisions or discern right from wrong.

3. Lack of historical context

Without understanding the historical context of the Bible, we may miss out on essential insights into the culture, practices, and beliefs of ancient civilizations.

4. Limited literary exposure

Without reading the Bible, we may miss out on some of the most significant literature in human history.

5. Personal disconnect

Without reflecting on the teachings of the Bible, we may feel disconnected from our beliefs, values, and worldview.

6. Social isolation

If we don’t study the Bible, we may miss opportunities to connect with others who share our faith and values.

7. Intellectual stagnation

We may miss intellectual growth and development opportunities without engaging with the Bible.

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Qualities Of A Good Bible

Here are some qualities to look for in a good Bible:

1. Accuracy

A good Bible should accurately translate the biblical texts’ original languages without significant errors or biases.

2. Clarity

A good Bible should be easy to read and understand, with clear language and helpful study aids.

3. Completeness

A good Bible should contain all the books of the Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments, as well as any relevant apocryphal or deuterocanonical books.

4. Durability

A good Bible should be made from durable long-lasting, high-quality materials.

5. Appropriate size

A good Bible should be a size that is comfortable to read and carry without being too bulky or heavy.

6. Helpful features

A good Bible should have helpful features such as maps, concordances, cross-references, footnotes, and study notes to aid understanding and interpretation.

7. Translation Philosophy

A good Bible should have a clear and transparent philosophy explaining how the text was translated and what principles were used.

8. Personal preference

Ultimately, what makes a good Bible will depend on personal preferences and needs, such as the preferred translation, format, and features.

Choosing a Bible that speaks to you and meets your needs is essential.

Different Bible Translations And What To Learn From Them

Many different Bible translations are available, each with unique features and strengths. 

Here are a few examples of different Bible translations and what you can learn from them:

1. King James Version (KJV)

The KJV is one of the most well-known and influential English translations of the Bible.

It is known for its formal, poetic language and has been used in worship services and literary works for centuries.

Reading the KJV can provide insight into the history and literary influence of the Bible in English-speaking cultures.

2. New International Version (NIV) 

The NIV is a popular modern translation that balances accuracy with readability.

It is widely used in Protestant churches and is known for its clear and accessible language.

Reading the NIV can provide a contemporary understanding of the Bible’s teachings.

3. New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The NRSV is a highly respected, scholarly translation that balances accuracy with literary quality.

It is widely used in academic and religious settings and is known for its gender-inclusive language.

Reading the NRSV can provide a deeper understanding of the biblical text and its historical context.

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4. Amplified Bible (AMP)

The AMP translation seeks to provide additional clarity and depth to the biblical text by including alternative meanings and nuances of the original languages.

It can provide a more detailed understanding of the Bible’s teachings and can be helpful for those who want to study the text in greater detail.

5. The Message (MSG)

The Message is a contemporary translation that seeks to convey the Bible’s Message in everyday language.

It is known for its conversational style and accessibility, making it a good choice for those who may find other translations too formal or challenging to understand.

Reading The Message can provide a fresh and relatable perspective on the Bible’s teachings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On Bible Translations

What is the most contentious version of the Bible? 

There is no single most controversial translation of the Bible. However, scholars and religious groups have debated and criticized some translations.

What is the most authentic version of the Bible globally? 

There is no one “most accurate” translation of the Bible in the world. Each translation has its strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of translation often depends on the purpose for which it will be used.

Which Bible translation is most commonly used by scholars? 

The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is one of the scholars’ most commonly used translations due to its focus on accuracy and inclusive language.

Does it matter which Bible translation you use? 

Yes, the choice of Bible translation can matter depending on the purpose for which it will be used. Some translations may be more suitable for personal devotional reading, while others may be more suitable for academic study or theological research. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to choose the best translation for them.


Christians should remember that the Bible is not just a book of words but a reflection of God’s divine and inspired Message. 

Through the Bible, God reveals His nature, character, and plan for humanity; we should approach it with reverence and respect.

However, it is essential to exercise discernment when choosing a Bible translation, particularly when considering translations that are not widely recognized or are associated with fringe or controversial religious groups.

Researching the translation and its history and consulting trusted sources and authorities are always good.

Let us focus on the Message of the Bible itself and seek to engage with it meaningfully and creatively. Whether we choose to read a more traditional or modern translation, let us always remember that the true power of the Bible lies in its divine and inspired Message.

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