I have decided that I would like to read the Christian Bible, starting with the Old Testament and then New. I admit I know very little about different versions of the bible...the very helpful lady at Coles bookstore recommended the King James version, so this is the one I purchased.

Does anyone know if this is the best choice? Any recommendations?

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Great! I hope my phone can read CD-ROMs! :)

None any more. I read it for 28 years. I'm done. 

But more to your point, I read the KJV, NIV, New Living Translation, The Complete Jewish Bible (a messianic jewish translation of both testaments) and I have and interlinear bible along with my strong's concordance, bible dictionary and other study aides.

Yeah, I was that serious.

I agree with most of those who replied earlier with regard to accuracy and readability, but one reason to read the KJV is the fact that most fundies were raised reading (or having it read to them by the pastor, minister, or whatever) that version. The point is that many of them consider the KJV as THE Bible, so in 'discussions' with them as to what's in the Bible, they (the ones I run in to) are even more defensive than usual if you quote the RSV or NRSV. Minor point, but it could save your life... ;>} In any case, your decision to read both NRSV and KJV is a good one - making you bilingual in case you have a discussion with mainstream Methodists, for example...

Finding the fundie who refers to the KJF as the inspired word of god is always fun, because so few have read it that they are unaware of the multiple appearances the unicorn makes. It's fun to see their expressions after they say something like "of course, there's no such thing as a unicorn," and you confront them with their infallible text.

You don't need to buy it , they will send it to you for free !! I live in Morocco and some USA association ( sorry , I cannot remember the name ) mailed me one ... just do some browsing on the net and you will  find it ... save the money for something else .

Speaking as an academic with a bit of background in religious studies as a non-theistic endeavor (studying it as history & literature, not as doctrine) I recommend  New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). It's one of the only ones that was completely re-translated from the oldest available 'original texts.' Therefore, in terms of getting as close as possible to the original text, it's your best bet. 'Study Bibles,' if they are published for the academic market have a lot of useful footnotes, introductions, etc. I highly recommend the Oxford Study Bible or the Harper Collins Study Bible.

The KJV is pretty well known to be a very poor translation; about what you'd expect from 16th C authors working from eleventy-bajillion-hand copies.... Forget the Living Bible, and the New International, ad their ilk - they have been purposefully 'paraphrased' (to varying degrees) to make them more palatable to the masses.

If you want a plain language, sum up the boring, get to the point version, there is mine (satire warning): http://skywiseunlimited.com

i agree on all the critiques of the KJV... BUT and this is a big one..  If you are in the Bible Belt and are talking to a fundy you want to be familiar with the King James Version or at least the Revised King James version....otherwise you aren't reading the real BIBLE... just like GOD WROTE IT.  LOL

Seriously, you need to read it eventually...But for a good one to start with I'd do the NRSV Oxford Cambridge annotated Bible with the Apocrypha.  There's enough background material and notes to help you through most of it.  Its one my dad gave me back in the day.

All this Bible talk makes me want to dig my dusty copy out and check the version. LOL.. I did find a website a while back where you can compare verses in all the current versions out there. See what works best for you... It's the site I go to to double check verses when people post them. Great for a quick look-up.. 


Btw, did you know there was Haitian Creole version..? Yea, mon.. :) 

The one that was always my favorite, and the one that I later found out what my husband's favorite too (he also has a degree in Biblical studies, so he's a good source for this kind of thing), is the English Standard Version, or ESV.  It's easy to read, but still has some of the beautiful language, but is also a very good translation.  Some of them out there (NIV for example) are popular, but are horrid translations.  I really suggest ESV for you, or for anyone.

I prefer New American Standard. I think the clearest and most accurate. Although most translations have had a theological component.


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