Bible Version ---?

For English readers, so many Bible ‘versions’ available – which is best? I may not answer that, but I will say you may increase your understanding by reading the same passage in more than just one version. For 'new' readers I suggest trying 'Good News Bible', or 'Contemporary English Version', or 'New Living Translation'. (None of those is my own main preference but I do think they are helpful.)

For English speaking people the most important Bible historically was that produced under James of Scotland, king of Great Britain, 1603-1625. The story of how that 'King James Version' (KJV) Bible became unexpectedly dominant for centuries after 1660 need not delay me here.

In the 1800s it was a point of contention in the Colony of NSW (ie, the eastern part of the continent) that children must be taught that ‘Bible’ in Government schools. As recently as the 1950s it is hard to imagine any English speaking background Australian household not having its ‘Bible’, a cultural artefact of the day. I would say the book was an item with an unquestionable established place; it could be used to ‘swear’ on in court. It could press flowers. It could contain the family history (births, deaths, marriages). Not to say the pages were read all that much. Our KJV Bibles were many, and the Bible’s notional cultural status a given. I think it fair to say the KJV had become an annex to English as a language. Those days are past.

The 1611 ‘King James Version’ (KJV) is still readily available in print and on the internet and is treasured by very many I am sure. (The KJV is also available in a proprietary mildly revised version.) By 1881 however, in view of advances in textual studies and the changes in common language, many scholars were behind the publication of a thoroughly revised translation. Since then many English versions have followed, with American publishers taking the lead formerly held in Great Britain.

Revise the BIBLE? Some people did not, and many do not, agree!
Separately, I posted copyright details of the versions I am hoping to use. The list indicates my current preferences. Some are more conservative; some more contemporary. The date of publication may give a hint!

It is possible to simultaneously sample the same chapter in more than one version. This can be done by putting text in parallel; for one example, in BibleGateway on-line. It looks like this (in this example I include the publishers' footnotes - that is not my usual practice):

Above image is blurred - much better appearance in original
Bible text courtesy