Popular Versions of the Bible

How is Each Bible Translation Different?

How is each Bible translation different, and which are the most popular versions of the Bible? Walking in a store to buy a Bible can be overwhelming. Even the smallest store has a number of different bibles – all in different translations. BibleGateway.com alone lists 21 English Versions of the Bible. Each translation was designed to give the reader an accurate understanding of the Bible, but each is written in a way that appeals to a different audience.

 It's up to you to decide which version works, and it can be anything from wanting to remain traditional like in the King James version to wanting a version in conversational english like the Contemporary English version.

The easiest way to compare translations is to look at how one scripture verse is written in each translation. Let’s take a look at how each of the most popular versions of the Bible compare by using Philippians 4:8.

King James Version (KJV)

This bible translation was commissioned by King James I of England back in 1605 so that the Word of God could be brought to the common man.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." – Philippians 4:8.

New King James Version

This bible translation is a reflection of how language has changed over time.

The publishers decided to create a new translation that remained faithful to the KJV, but could be easily read and understood by people today.

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." – Philippians 4:8

New International Version

The NIV was created through serious review so that a version of the Bible could be created that was clear, readable, and easily used in church service.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." – Philippians 4:8

New Living Translation

The NLT was written in a modern translation designed to have the same impact the original Greek and Hebrew texts had on their readers and listeners.

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." – Philippians 4:8

New American Standard Bible

This version of the bible was a revision of the 1901 American Standard Version. It sought to give the terminology of the ASV a modern feel.

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." – Philippians 4:8

Contemporary English Version

The CEV was written with simplicity in mind. The language used is geared toward children and English as a Second Language learners.

"Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise." – Philippians 4:8