Every week I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian walk of faith and any miscellaneous topics! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions and become bold in your faith. We love you, PI readers!
This week, a PI Girl needs help navigating the Bible:
“Hi everyone. I’m new to reading the Bible and I got the app because I thought it would be better access than the physical book. I’m just very confused because I don’t know which version to read, how to read it and where to start. Can anyone help?”
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First of all, this is a very good question, especially since there are many people out there reading this post about the new Bible apps you can now download for free with thousands of versions of the scriptures. Which one should you read? Where do you start as a new believer? These are normal and important questions in the life of a believer, especially in our generation.
Let’s answer the first question about the version of the Bible that you should read. There isn’t a dogmatic answer to this, but I do think sticking to the King James, New King James and NIV is important. Some churches read the amplified version of the Word, which expounds the language and words. (Basically, it will explain the verse so there is more to read if you want to study further or dig deeper.) There are different Bibles you can purchase and download, but the King James is closest to the English translation that we have from Hebrew in the Old Testament and the Greek in the New Testament. Remember these translations have been revised many times, so the real version is in Hebrew or Greek, to be exact.
It’s not wrong to read from different versions such as the Message Bible, but don’t make that your primary version (possibly just an additional study tool), as the original is much different from the MSG. The original King’s English version of the Word of God can be difficult for people to read with all the proper English “thee” and “thou,” but the New King James is easier to understand. (Basically it is the King James, but no “thous” and other Shakespearean-era words.)
Next, the New International Version is the closest to the New King James if you want to stick to the version closest to the original. The translations are basically interpretations, so it is wise to stick to the genuine text. While all of these concerns are valid, we also don’t want to miss out on God’s truth and don’t want to worry and get caught up in fear, so ask God what He wants you to read.
Billy Graham says it best on his website: “Do not get caught up into a divisive and fruitless controversy over which of many good translations is best. Instead, consider using a number of them in your study and reading, and join in prayer that all peoples in all countries of the world might soon have the Word of God in their own language.”
I love God’s Word and know that once you start reading it, you will, too! God sees your heart and He can surely speak to you regardless of what version you read, but make sure it is the Holy Bible with all 66 books and not additional false doctrines added on to God’s Word.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)
We must be careful to not get caught up in false teachings or misleadings from the Word. Reading from your phone is a luxury and a nice convenience, and is great if that’s the only way you can get your spiritual food for the day, but I encourage you to purchase a physical, hard copy of a Bible because it’s so different to hold it and write, underline or highlight in the Word. You really can make it your own personal journal and road map with God when you have an actual Bible. In other countries, it is illegal to own a Bible, so we should really be appreciative and thankful we have the freedom and ability to have one in person.
I think reading different versions can help you study and understand the Word, but I always feel led to go back to the King James or New King James version. Pray and ask God, your pastor and/or youth pastor and parents.
Any questions or comments? What do you think, PI Girls?