5 Tips for Picking the Best Bible Translation

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

There are dozens of Bible translations.  The King James, the New King James, the English Standard Version, the New International Version, the New American Standard, the 21st Century King James Version, the New Living Translation, and many others.  Which is the best Bible translation for you to read?  Which is closer to the original text?  What translations use the original Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew?  Is there one single version of the Bible that theologians, pastors, or churches prefer?

The Languages of the Bible

Bible Translation

There are dozens of Bible translations

First of all, the Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. Much of the Old Testament Hebrew was trans- lated into the Greek called the Septuagint.  I received a wonderful gift once.  It was a Bible that had four different translations in one edition.  This is an exceptional Bible study tool that allows the reader to look at each different translation to extract meaning out of each and every verse you read.  I recommend that you own or buy more than one Bible translation and do not depend upon any one single version because different Bibles bring out different areas that can differ in interpretation.  I also prefer the Bibles with margins and footnotes where the original Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic is given.

Which is the Best Bible Translation?

There is no simple answer to this.  Some of this has to do with which part of the Bible you want to read.  The Bible is the Word of God, God-breathed and God inspired (2 Tim 3:16).  It is described as living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword since it can penetrate human thoughts and motives (Heb 4:12).  The Word is the very power of God (Isaiah 55:11).  Which translation is best?  I will answer this question but first, there are five tips that I would recommend before you pick the “best”.

Tip Number One:  Popular Doesn’t Mean Accurate

The most popular translations are not always the best translation.  For example the Living Bible, the Message, or the Amplified Bible are very popular today but they tend to paraphrase a bit too much.  This leaves too much room for personal interpretation and the Bible is not for private interpretation (2 Pet. 1:20).  When authors try to translate the Bible into the modern day vernacular, they take too much license in the wording and as has been said:  Take text out of context and it makes it a pretext.  This is exactly what modern day translations like the Amplified Bible or the Message do.  They take the verses and put them into a story form.  These translations paraphrase too much and this makes extracting the meaning even more difficult or gives a meaning that can be misleading.  They may be the most popular, but that does not mean they are the most accurate.

Tip Number Two:  Modern Translations Can Become Mistranslations

An example of this can be found in Matthew (28:20) when Jesus was departing this world and the disciples for heaven and giving them instructions regarding the Great Commission.  Read how these different translations differ in only one verse.

The Common English Bible, “teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”

The New Century Version, “Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.”

The Message, “Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

The New International Version (NIV) is the best rendering with the original meaning, “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The NIV is better than The Message because where The Message version says to “Go out and train everyone you meet…” but the NIV simply says “teaching them to obey everything I have command you.”  This is a big difference.  It would be hard to go out and “train everyone you meet” (The Message) when it specifically means to teach only those that you “make disciples” (v. 19 of Matthew 28).  Plus The Message uses 78 words in translating one verse while the NIV uses only 24 words in the same verse (v. 20 Matthew 28).

Also The Message puts quotations around Jesus inferred meaning. That is dangerous theological ground when you are quoting Jesus and He didn’t exactly say those specific words.  The margin of error skyrockets when the author adds several words.  You can be sure that there were not that many words in the original Greek text so the meaning is effectually changed.

Tip Number Three:  Buy a Study Bible 

If you are going to spend good money on buying a Bible, you might as well invest in a good one.  Whatever Bible translation you use, get a Study Bible or one that has footnotes and side margins.  These Bibles will tell you when some manuscripts were added and not in the original text while noting that other manuscripts are omitted and not in the original texts.  A good example is what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:19-13.  It reads, “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  The New International Version correctly states that some late manuscripts read, “for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”  I am always cautious when I read “some later manuscripts read” because these were added by non-apostles.  In this case, this verse was added by the Catholic Church at a much later date than the original manuscripts were written.  These should be red flags for the readers that they are not inspired by the original author and thus are not considered scriptural.  Also, some Bibles use italics and this is for an important reason.  Anytime you see italics used in scripture, customarily these means that the words or sentences were not in the original text and have been inserted by a later, non-apostolic or non-original author.  It can also mean that they were not found in the original manuscripts or that they were found in some later manuscripts. .

Incidentally, the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 is not in actuality the “Lord’s Prayer”.  It is an example or arch-type of how to pray that Jesus Himself gave.  The key is where He said, “This, then, is how you should pray” (v 9).  The actual Lord’s Prayer is really found in John 17:1-26 and it is called the “High Priestly Prayer” because it is where Jesus actually prays.  He is not just giving an example on how to pray as in Matthew chapter six.  A good Study Bible will point this important difference out.

Tip Number Four:  Research Your Bible Translation

Even before you buy a Bible, research the translation.  Do your homework. Just because the Bible translation is more reflective of modern day, liberal thought, does not necessarily make it better.  I would also not buy a Bible translation just because it was written in a more poetic nature.  Perhaps you could also ask a pastor, a Sunday school teacher, or an elder or deacon or a trusted Christian friend about which translation that they use or one that they like.  What translation does your church use?  This doesn’t ensure it is the best one.  This was a decision that the church made as a whole and was not taken lightly, but it was also one that may have been decided upon many years ago before they knew about some issues in that particular translation. You can rest assured that the church counseled together long before making a decision on buying these Bibles for the church but  they are only human and can make mistakes.  Even though this was likely not a snap decision it does not mean it is the best translation available.  Much forethought must have gone into the process of purchasing them but you may have discovered one that is a more accurate one.  Just because the church chose it doesn’t mean it’s the best translation.

Tip Number Five:  The Best Translation

The “best” is subjective.  There is no one single translation of the Bible that stands head and shoulders above the rest.  There is one version of the Bible that is used by more seminaries, more churches, and quoted more often by Christian websites.  If you Google verses of the Bible, the chances are high that it will return a Bible Gateway link (http://www.biblegateway.com/) and that translation will be the New International Version (2011).  The NIV as it is called, is the most often used but  many do not consider it the most reliable and even though it might be the most often quoted of any of the major translations that are used today doesn’t mean it is the best.  What is popular is not always right just as what is right is not always popular.

If I were to personally recommend a Bible translation, I would select the King James Version, the New King James or the English Standard Version (ESV).  The ESV Study Bible is the one that I use and with the margins and footnotes, I can easily reference the original work in Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew.  The New King James (NKJ) Study Bible is also a fine translation.  As I said before, I have several translations and I use more than one.  But a Study Bible always gives you more and better information on the scriptures and it gives you associated scriptural references from elsewhere in the Bible that have to do with the same subject, topic, or person.  An example is in my ESV Study Bible, John 19:25 the Roman soldier’s caste lots for Jesus seamless tunic which fulfilled the prophecy of Him in Psalm 22:18.

Only you can decide which translation is best.  I have only given you the three that I think are the most accurate and the best for Bible study.  You ultimately will have to make your own decision.  I have more than one translation myself.  Whichever one you choose, a good Study Bible will never disappoint and the English Standard Version, the New International Version or the New King James Study Bibles will be something that you will get years and years of satisfaction from.  There is so much enjoyment in studying the Word of God.  And if you have all three Study Bibles, then you’ve won the Triple Crown.  And then you can teach me a thing or two about the Bible I am sure.

What Is Your Favorite Bible Translation? Let us Know in the Comments.


Hot Issue Topic The subject of Bible translation is one that could be considered a hot topic. Here are some more “hot issue topic” articles that you might want to check out:

Interracial dating and marriage Jack Wellman examines the question of whether or not the Bible addresses this issue.

Politics and the Christian Jeff Telling shares a conversation that he had with a friend on the topic of controversial politics and how a Christian should examine issues before they cast a vote or endorse any one in government.

Is there really a place called Hell? Jack shares some study notes on the existence of Hell which may be a subject argued between believers and non-believers.


Image: Surachai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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andrew peterson August 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Pastor Wellman
I think you are right, I just sent it back. How about the hscb bible? The oldest bible in the United States. Don’t forget futil.
Bro Pete

Jack Wellman August 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Thanks again Mr. Peterson. I hear good things about the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). The original text of the Bible does not always follow the standard rules of English grammar, especially in the agreement of subject and verb or agreement of person and number. In order to conform to standard usage, the HCSB has often made these kinds of grammatical constructions agree in English and has not noted them using footnotes or lower corner brackets.

In addition, the Greek or Hebrew texts sometimes seem redundant or ambiguous by repeating nouns when we would substitute pronouns or by repeating pronouns when we would supply nouns for clarity and good style. The HCSB sometimes changes a pronoun to its corresponding noun or a noun to its corresponding pronoun in the interests of clarity and good English style without noting this change with a footnote or lower corner brackets.

I have several Bibles and use many of them in my study of the word or preparation for messages for the church I am under-shepherd of and I would not mind using the HCSB. I also like the King James of course and the Revised King James Version and even the ESV. I think you’ll like it. I prefer good study Bibles over just plain Bibles. My favorite is my old King James because in the margins it gives the Greek and Hebrew for many words when its important to know the original words used and also it puts in italicized words which tells me that these were inserted by the translators either to make it easier to read or to agree with their beliefs. Many times when I read it in church, I simply skip the italicized words and I believe this helps much more in clarifying the exact meaning. Make sense?

andrew peterson August 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Pastor Wellman
Thanks I agree, what about futil, cannot find it in the thesarus or Strongs bible dictionary. It has me bugged.

Bro Pete

Jack Wellman August 7, 2013 at 10:26 am

I guess I missed something here. Do you need the meaning of the word futil or that it is not in your Bible? I know that the word means useless or hopeless or empty depending upon the context of the sentence. I am getting ready to go to work (being a bi-vocational pastor) and so I may not be able to respond till tomorrow or Friday.

andrew peterson August 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Pastor Jack
The word is in the bible, I think it was in revelatios.I am not sure.
Bro Pete (Sutil)

Jack Wellman August 8, 2013 at 10:54 am

Mr. Peterson, I know that “sutil” is nothing I am familiar with. Does it mean “subtle?” This means like being sort of cloaked or doing something sneaky like. I am not sure.

andrew peterson August 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Pastor Jack
Subtil is in Genius 3:

Bro Pete

Jack Wellman August 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I am so slow at times. Thanks Mr. Peterson. Yes, subtil is the Enemy and cleaver, sneaky, and deceiving.

peter coppola August 17, 2013 at 11:55 am

Have you heard of the KJ3 Literal translation? If so, what are your thoughts, if you don’t mind me asking.

Jack Wellman August 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Thank you Mr. Coppola. I don’t know much about it. What I do understand when comparing is that this is not “an exact word-for-word translation” as they have stated. For example, in Romans chapter 6, most of the time the word “sin” is preceded by the definite article “the”, so the exact word for word would be “the sin”.

On man who bought it said, “This was supposed to be the bees-knees of literal translations. The Christian world was said to have been raving about it. I feel quite robbed actually! At least it’ll look purrdy sitting on my shelf 😆 Mmmm… leather bound book.”

One other reader noted “Of course, since it is italicised in the KJV, and KJ3 we know for certain that “the” is a word added that was not present in the Hebrew, which literally translates “In beginning” – sure, it is there to ensure grammatical and readable flow in English…but it defeats their hypocritical point. From Genesis 1:1 onward, the KJ3 must surely be a most deceptive bible indeed… It also translates firstfruits, chief” which is wrong.

The fact is he has mislead some people saying that he ws the best living translator alive at the time but I believe he passed away in 2008 but from what I understand, others actually did his translations for him. He was only the copyright holder.

My conclusion is that the jury is out and I would wait for Bible scholars to chime in on this and more readers to see what it is really like or if it lives up to its billing as the best, literal translation ever. Thanks.

genesis August 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm

i use the New Living Translation Teen Life Application Study Bible, have you heard of this one? and what do you think of it?

Jack Wellman August 19, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Thank you Genesis for your comment and question. I did not know much about this translation and so I had to do some research. From the vast majority of readers who have read and owned this Bible, they seem to be very happy with it. Some of the extra teachings are biblically sound and have good applications for the daily life of a teen. Without having to read one personally, I can not give you an educated answer and so I will leave this up to other readers if they know. I did review some verses and the translation is close to the original but puts it in the modern language of today and even with the risk of slight mistranslations, I could find no critical errors after reading some of the vital verses relating to the gospel, i.e. Romans 10:9-13, 2 Cor 5:21, Acts 4:12, etc.

gary August 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Can you really trust your English Bible to be God’s true Word?

Have you ever had an evangelical or Reformed Christian say this to you:

“THAT passage of the Bible, in the original Greek, does NOT mean what the simple, plain reading of the passage seems to say in English.”

It happens to me all the time in my conversations with Baptists, evangelicals, and fundamentalists on this blog. They state: “Repent and be baptized…for the forgiveness of sins” was mistranslated. “This is my body…this is my blood” is a metaphorical expression, “Baptism does now save us” is figurative speech for what happens to us spiritually when we ask Christ into our hearts.

What they are basically saying is that unless you speak ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek…you can’t read and really understand the Bible without the help of an educated Churchman!

This morning I came across an excellent article on this subject, written by Jordan Cooper, a Lutheran pastor. I am going to give the link to his article below. I have copied a couple of his statements here:

“So here is a question that we all need to ask ourselves when doing this (refusing to accept the simple, plain, English translation of a passage of Scripture): If a verse seems to disprove your theological beliefs, and you translate it in some way that doesn’t fit with any of the dozens of major English translations of the Bible, and that unique translation just happens to fit your own theological biases, could it be that it is in fact you who are in the wrong? Could you be reading your own preconceived theological convictions back into the text?”

” I know it can be frustrating when you are constantly told that Scripture can’t be understood unless you learn (an ancient) language or read ancient documents that you don’t have either the time or the energy to study. Honestly, if you have a few good English translations at your side, and you take the time to compare them to one another, you have all the tools you need to understand the meaning of the Bible.

Link to Pastor Cooper’s original article:


Ron August 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Good posting! For me, Ive been a bit burned out lately on the divisions, interpretations and opinions of people of many religions and denominations. I just cant take it anymore. But I must say this, the one thing I feel peace of mind and no division or confusion is when I read or listen to the King James Bible exclusively. That’s just me. I was surprised also how remarkably clear it is when read by Alexander Scourby.

Jack Wellman August 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Thank you so much Ron for your encouraging remarks. I too trust the KJV and today gave a message out of it from the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 and my Bible has margins for Scriptural cross-reference and also the original Greek words for some particular words. I am hooked on the KJV. Mine also have some words in italics showing what words were inserted and not in the original manuscripts. That is something, as a pastor/teacher I want to know. See what I mean Ron? Thank you sir for your comment.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy... August 26, 2013 at 8:15 am

Thanks for the great article. It’s definitely hard to choose. I like so many for different reasons.

Ron August 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Me too, just be careful about some of them, I read some versions where in John 7:8 Jesus says He’s not going to the festival, then later He goes, which turns Jesus into a liar/sinner. Other versions are correct with Jesus saying “Im not going YET.” I look for this in all versions. If “yet” is missing, I wont read it. Our Lord is not a liar/sinner. Im just amazed that translators allow this in the versions they work on. I often wonder if its a mistake by the translators or the work of the devil

James Doughty II September 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Yes! You have a very good point. Another thing that makes me wonder is when the translators replaced the divine name of the Almighty with a title like LORD. YHWH also the tetragrammaton or “the 4 letters” is commonly known as Jehovah or Yahweh in Hebrew. This is very important to understanding certain scriptures like Acts 2:21 “Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” in verse 16 it shows it is a quote from the book of Joel. Many tranlations render the occurances as LORD.

Jack Wellman September 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Professor Edmond Gruss, author of a standard historical and theological work, Apostles of Denial, writes: “A sound interpretation of any passage requires a careful grammatical exegesis. Watchtower publications repeatedly present doctrines and interpretations of the Scriptures which completely misunderstand or ignore grammar. Before the Society entered into the field of translation, there were many verses which gave them trouble because of their direct contradiction of the Witnesses’ doctrines. With the appearance of the New World Translation the difficult passages in many cases were weakened or eliminated by a translation that violated or ignored the rules of grammar.” [1]

The truth is that YHWH can be translated different ways since the insertion of vowels is arbitrary. YHWH could have been Jehovah or JiHiViH or JaHiVeH, etc. In other words, the translation of kurios and theos as JEHOVAH in the New World Translation (237 times) is a completely unjustified translation. We simply do not know the “true” name of God. Metzger observes: “The introduction of the word ‘Jehovah’ into the New Testament text, in spite of much ingenuity in an argument filled with a considerable amount of irrelevant material (p. 10-25), is a plain piece of special pleading.”[2]

There is another obvious reason for using “Jehovah” in place of “Lord”; it thereby denies the deity of Christ where the term “Lord” (applied to Jesus) connotes the meaning of Jehovah in the Old Testament. Often, when the New Testament refers to Christ as “Lord,” it is associating Him with Jehovah in the Old Testament. The Watchtower Society has even had to be inconsistent in its translation, translating kurios variously as “Jehovah” or “Lord” to suit their own theology. For example, if we look at The Kingdom Interlinear (p. 723) for Romans 10:11, kurios is translated Lord, but in verse 13 the same word, kurios (which here clearly refers to Jesus), is now translated “Jehovah” rather than “Lord” or “Jesus.” In both places the term Lord refers to Jesus and connotes His deity but the New World Translation hides this by the translation of “Lord” in verse 11 and “Jehovah” in verse 13 implying the entire section refers to Jehovah—but not to Jesus. Likewise, Philippians 2:10-11 clearly refers to Jesus and is based on Isaiah 45:22-25, referring to Jehovah (see Rom. 14:9-11). Yet if kurios were translated Jehovah in Philippians 2 it would mean Jesus is identified with Jehovah, and the Watchtower Society could not permit such a translation. Hence, kurios is here translated “Lord.” Thus, it is only where kurios can be translated Jesus and not simultaneously imply His deity, that it is so translated. If a person calls on Jesus and they don’t use YHWH, Jehovah or Yahweh, they will still be saved my friend. I thought you should know these considerably problematic areas of the NWT.

1. Edmond Gruss, Apostles of Denial (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1976), pp. 236-37.
2. Hoekema, Anthony, The Four Major Cults (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1960).

timothy vukomanovic August 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Ron you obviously did not agree with my explanation that it is not necessary to repeat the word yet as it is already included at the end of the sentence. In no way does the absence of the repetition of the word “yet” insinuate that Yeshua was a liar.
I find it remarkable that you are back at it again questioning if some bibles are written under the influence of the devil, when the translator is simply doing what translators should do. A translator should translate what the text says, they are not meant to change the text to fit anyone’s idea of God. What would you prefer Ron, that the translator added and subtracted bits to suit his understanding of each verse?

Timothy Vukomanovic September 6, 2013 at 1:48 am

You are therefore asked. to read this book. with good will and attention and to show indulgence. in those places where, notwithstanding our efforts at interpretation, we may seem. to have failed to give an adequate rendering of this or that expression;. the fact is that there is no equivalent for things originally written in Hebrew when it is a question of translating them into another language; what is more,. the Law itself, the Prophets. and the other books. differ considerably in translation from what appears in the original text. Si (Ecclesiasticus translator’s foreword 15-26)

Just came across this statement. This is the ancient translator’s foreword to the book of Ecclesiasticus a deuterocanonical book, who performed the original translation from Hebrew to Greek, while the forward is not considered canonical in any way, it is worthwhile to consider what this ancient translator is saying. Don’t be a knit picker of the exact word because the translation all vary. Now if an ancient translator who was daily familiar with both old Greek and Old Hebrew was happy to admit that there were difficulties and variations then how absurd are we in this this day to argue over the exact wording.

Good will and attention and show indulgence. Very good advice when reading the scriptures.

PS to all those who run at a million miles an hour from deuterocanonical books, Ecclesiasticus is frequently quoted in the New Testament, the Epistle of James borrows many expression from it, the Gospel of Matthew also refers to it a number of times.

James Doughty II September 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I read your article and have to say it is well written. I wonder though, have you ever compared the New World Translation to the others you mentioned? I found your blog through a search engine and when I did the same search on Google “What is the most accurate bible translation into English?” I found an answer on Yahoo Answers UK that was quite satisfactory. It was basically a collection of quotes of classical greek proffessors and a Rabbi that said the NWT and the KINGDOM INTALINEAR are the most accurate translations. I did the search after watching teen Jeopardy and the question was “What is the New World Translation?” The answer was: “It is the most accurate bible translation into English.”

Jack Wellman September 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Apparently Jeopardy is wrong and by the way, they have been wrong many times too! As hard as it is for me to say this, the NWT is a dangerous translation. It is not recommended as a study Bible. There are many blantantly wrong translations in the NWT. Perhaps the worst one is their mistranslation of John 1:1. In the American Standard Version (as in all standard versions), the passage says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This verse clearly teaches that before He was born into this world, Jesus existed as “the Word.” He is One of the Godhead along with the Father and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; Acts 17:29; 2 Corinthians 13:14). As the Word, He was present at creation and brought all things into being (Colossians 1:15-17). The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus was the Creator of all things. They teach He was simply a created being. Therefore, they wrongly translate John 1:1 in order to rob Jesus of His place with the Father and the Spirit in the Godhead.

The NWT mistranslates John 1:1 as, “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” From this it appears the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in two Gods—a big God and a little god. The Bible teaches there is only one God (James 2:19). The ignorance of the translators of the NWT is shown by their claim that, since there is no definite article in Greek before God, the translation should be “a god.” Did you know that according to a standard grammar of the Greek language, which I am still learning, this is wrong: “Certain nouns, referring to persons or things which instead of being only one of a class are quite unique, are treated as proper nouns, the article being either inserted or omitted. So θεός or ὁ θεός, God; πνεῦμα or τὸ πνεῦμα, the Spirit; κόσμος or ὁ κόσμος, the world; νόμος or ὁ νόμος, the law” (J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners, p. 141).

The NWT also adds the word “other” four times to Colossians 1:15-17. This implies that Jesus was first created and then He created other things. There is no word in the Greek text for “other.” The NWT translators added it in order to put their false doctrine into the text. It is a serious thing to add to the Word of God (Revelation 22:18-19). Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that the anonymity is in place so that the credit for the work will go to God. Of course, this has the added benefit of keeping the translators from any accountability for their errors and prevents real scholars from checking their academic credentials.

The New World Translation is unique in one thing – it is the first intentional, systematic effort at producing a complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific purpose of agreeing with a group’s doctrine. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society realized that their beliefs contradicted Scripture. The New World Translation renders the Greek term word staurós (“cross”) as “torture stake” because Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus was crucified on a cross. The New World Translation does not translate the Greek words sheol, hades, gehenna, and tartarus as “hell” because Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in hell. The NWT gives the translation “presence” instead of “coming” for the Greek word parousia because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Christ has already returned in the early 1900s. In Colossians 1:16, the NWT inserts the word “other” despite its being completely absent from the original Greek text. It does this to give the view that “all other things” were created by Christ, instead of what the text says, “all things were created by Christ.” This is to go along with their belief that Christ is a created being, which they believe because they deny the Trinity.

I could go on for another 1,000 words but you, and I pray other JW’s get the point. What amazes me is that JW will not accept or read other Bible versions but their own NWT. The Watchtower Society must have been utterly embarrassed when the names of the translators of the New World translation were made known to the public. The reason for concern was the translation committee was completely unqualified for the task. Four of the five men in the committee had no Hebrew or Greek training whatsoever (they had only a high school education)[1]. The Fifth, Fred W. Franz, claimed to know Hebrew and Greek, but upon examination under oath in a court of law in Edinburg Scotland he failed a simple Hebrew test.

In court Franz was asked if he knew Hebrew and he said yes. He said he had a command of various languages including Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, German, and French. When asked if he speaks Hebrew, he said no. He was then asked if he could translate the fourth verse of Genesis into Hebrew. His answer was NO! The fact was Franz, like the others on the committee, did not have the knowledge to translate Hebrew or Greek. The truth is Franz dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after his sophomore year and even while there, he had not studied anything related to theological issues[2]. When it comes to this translation we find it almost universally rejected by noted scholars in the field of Biblical translations. So actually the NWT is the most inaccurate Bible translation into English or any other language for that matter.

[1] Rhodes, Ron, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah Witnesses, Harvest House Publ. , 1993, p. 97

[2] Ibid, p. 97

Salt Formation September 10, 2013 at 10:28 am

I believe the best bible translations are both the NIV and The NASB. I use the NASB for memorization and the NIV for study.

“I am always cautious when I read “some later manuscripts read” because these were added by non-apostles. In this case, this verse was added by the Catholic Church at a much later date than the original manuscripts were written.”

This is a good nugget of info right here! I had not thought of it these kind of terms. Great Post

Bill Hope September 10, 2013 at 10:50 am

I would have to agree with you. I’ve always loved the NASB and it’s my primary translation. I know alot of people like the NIV and it’s a good translation but I never warmed up to it. I also am beginning to like the ESV alot because it’s a good middle ground between the NASB and the NIV. It reads smoother than the NASB in places but it’s more literal than the NIV.

Salt Formation October 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I use the NIV for problem text mostly.

Renee November 6, 2013 at 10:44 am

I hope that you do some diligent research on the NIV. It is not a sutible translation and some even say should be used for kindling (myself included). Take a look at Acts 8:37 and Romans 16:24 compared to the KJV for instance and tell me what you find. There are 40 verses and 60,000 words deleted from the NIV; some pivitol and extremly important which change the context- completly being omitted. I would suggest using the King James version and depending on the Holy Spirit for help with interpretation. All the best to you.

gary September 17, 2013 at 12:35 am

Baptists: Please throw your Greek lexicons in the trash!

Why do Baptist always want to go to the Greek to understand the Bible? It is as if Baptists do not trust their English Bibles: “Sorry, hold on a minute, I need to check the original Greek before we can believe that God really loves the whole world as your English Bible seems to say in John 3:16…we can only know for sure if we understand and read ancient Greek.”

When God promised to preserve his Word…did he really mean that he would only preserve it on 2,000 year old parchment and papyrus in ancient forms of Greek and Aramaic?? Did God really intend that the only people who could REALLY know what he had to say to mankind…would be ancient Greek-educated Baptist Churchmen?? Is the non-ancient-Greek- speaking layperson sitting in the pew supposed to just shut his English language Bible and sit at the feet of these Baptist Greek scholars to learn what God couldn’t explain himself in plain, simple ENGLISH??

Do you REALLY believe that God intended for only Baptist, Greek-speaking Churchmen to understand the Gospel? Because that is really what Baptists are saying, because the Greek scholars of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church, and the Methodist Church think that Baptist Greek scholars are all WET on their positions that the Bible does not support infant baptism and that baptism MUST be by immersion!

Is it really possible that ONLY Baptist Greek scholars truly understand ancient Greek, and that the rest of the world’s Greek scholars completely bungle the translation of the New Testament? How is that possible? It defies common sense. And if I hear another Baptist start talking about how the Greek genitive case proves that the Baptist position is correct, I swear I’m going to puke! Seriously, every time I get into a discussion about Biblical translation with a Baptist he starts in with the genitive case nonsense. If you want to understand the genitive case in a Greek document…I suggest you confer…not with a Baptist…but with a GREEK!

Instead of all this ancient Greek nonsense, which Baptists seem to have a fixation on, I suggest that every Christian layperson do this:

1. Obtain a copy of four different English language translations of the Bible. Read each one of these “problem passages”, as Baptists and evangelicals refer to them, in each of these English translations.
2. God’s true meaning of the passage will be plainly understandable after comparing these four English translations.

You do NOT need to read the ancient Greek text unless you want to delve into the study of ancient Greek sentence structure or some other nuance. God promised he would preserve his Word, and the English-speaking people of the world have had the Word of God IN ENGLISH since at least William Tyndale (1300″s??). Dear Baptists…PLEASE stop insisting on using the ancient texts to confuse Christian laypeople of God’s simple, plain message of the Gospel!

Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals
an orthodox Lutheran blog

phishing4men September 17, 2013 at 11:26 am

You did a much better job of convincing me of you strong dislike and disgust with “Baptists” than you did in convincing me it was totally useless to study the original language for insight.
“Is it really possible that ONLY Baptist Greek scholars truly understand ancient Greek, and that the rest of the world’s Greek scholars completely bungle the translation of the New Testament? How is that possible? It defies common sense. And if I hear another Baptist start talking about how the Greek genitive case proves that the Baptist position is correct, I swear I’m going to puke!”
What in the world…..did a Baptist get your parking place at Walmart recently, I can’t think of another reason to garner such ire.

Bill Hope September 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

phishing4men I was thinking the EXACT same thing.

Now Gary I know that some Baptists and evangelicals get a bad rap but this seems like a personal issue not an issue with their theology. I think that we can have differences in opinion but we ultimately have to be Christians first and whatever our denominations are a distant second. I think you have alot of praying to do my friend.

Jack Wellman September 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Gary I have to agree with the other’s on this. When we say “all, always, or never” we get in trouble. You don’t know all Baptist churches and to say that “Baptists always…(fill in the blank)” or anything like that is going to be wrong.

One exception is that we can use these words for God:

God is “all” we need, God “never lies” and God “always speaks the truth” but otherwise applying these words to humans is not even possible for who can know “all” Baptists or Presbyterians or…etc.

By the way, there is nothing wrong with a Greek lexicon.

Bill Hope September 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Now I was raised in the Baptist tradition but I ended up leaving that particular church not because of what they taught but the emphasis on being Baptist first, Christian second and not working with Christians of all denominations.

I’m now a member of a Grace Brethren Church because I love the traditions of the church but also because we’re very much of the Christian first and our tradition a far distant second. We work along side Christians of all denominations to further the Kingdom. Also when I visit my fiance and her family I will attend services with her father at his Baptist church because they’re close to what I’m used to in a church service and I find it a lot like my church.

I don’t judge anyone by the denomination or tradition they are in as long as it’s Bible teaching and has the orthodox essentials of the Christian faith and will fellowship with them.

Nelson September 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I prefer the RSV

Jack Wellman September 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Thank you Nelson for contributing. I am glad you came sir to add to the discussion. I did like your “vlog” too! Good stuff.

HECTOR DELAROSA September 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Thanks Pastor Jack

great article on picking/choosing the right bible.

Jack Wellman September 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words Mr. Delarosa. I appreciate them sir.

Jack Wellman September 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words Mr. Delarosa. I appreciate them sir.

doug sowter September 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I have the KJ new KJ NASB and NIV they are all very good, btw, the NIV is 1984 not 2011….

ez September 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I have heard very bad things about the NIV

What do the Bible(S) say about Homosexuality?

Since so many pastors are Homosexuals i would be afraid to get their opinion on a Bible as their opinion would be a Bible that supports that filthy lifestyle.

Does anyone even live by what Gods words says?
or are people just making merchandise of it?
Selling bibles is big business and so is Church.

Jack Wellman September 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Thank you ez for your comment. I do not use the NIV and prefer the King James, the New King James and the ESV but use several Bibles when preparing a message. As for churches using homosexual pastors, it is clear that this is sin and that these men (and some women I would venture to say) are under the judgment of God and are disqualified.

At the bottom of this article you will find two articles that clearly reveal that homosexuality is sin. Why were there no homosexual pastors for the 1st 2,000 years? Everyone clearly understood that this was sin and to have a pastor be a homosexual is like having a sinner sinning without repentance and then being the church’s pastor. Paul clarified that sex outside of marriage is wrong but indirectly said that sex should be between men and women. He wrote that, “each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband” (1 Cor 7:2). There is no clearer definition of marriage in the New Testament than in I Corinthians chapter 7 and it is always between a man and a woman.

To be a pastor or a church official, one of the first qualifications was that he should be the husband of one wife, not another man, and so if someone is called into the ministry, they are literally not qualified if they have a marriage partner of the same sex or if they have more than one wife. This is made clear in 1 Timothy. A pastor has to be “a husband of one wife” (1 Tim 3:2). This is repeated in Titus 1:6 and elsewhere. Paul was very familiar with homosexuality in the culture that he lived in since he wrote two corrective letters to the Corinthians about this. He could have made the exception to a man having another man or a man having more than one wife but he did not. We see that Paul’s writings on this subject are no different from that taught in the Old Testament.

Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God“ (1 Cor 6:9-10). He continued in the Book of Romans, writing, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Rom 1:26-27).

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders” (1 Cor 6:9).

How clear that is in ANY Bible version, the NIV included! The last opinion that would matter is that of a homosexual pastor but God’s Word, the Bible is clear and without error. Yes, there are some pastors that still live by God’s Word and I try to myself as an ordained minister and if I did any of the sins mentioned in Romans 1, 1 Cor 6 and 7 then I would step down immediately and seek repentance or better yet, my church would fire me….at least I would hope they would have the courage to do that and I know them…they would! For more on this subject, please read the following too articles on this obvious sin. Thank you ez.



ez September 30, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Thank you for your reply.

Church’s today are very scary places for the serious believer
there is so much unGodly stuff going on in some churches
Things that were once hard to find out are now easy as the internet brings us news from all the U.S. states and beyond
so the things that are going on in Churches are no longer hidden from the world.
There is witchcraft and rampant Homosexuality, as well as
other anti-Christ like behaviors…….The LGBT agenda is being shoved down the throats of some church goers….
there is a lot of FILTH going on in the churches and all led by demonic pastors who have alliances with the dark side
do your research.
The same publisher who publishes the Satanic Bible is now the Publisher of the Holy Bible! (look this up)
I can go on and on…………………
So called Gospel singers are not singing about the Gospel and they also have yoked themselves with the world for profit……….
This is why I ask does anyone take the Bible seriously?
I have cautious fear of anyone who “claims” to be a Christian or a Regular Church Goer/member

OH and …..most church goers do not want to discuss scripture……or study…..they want to socialize at church…………………..to be continued.

Jack Wellman October 1, 2013 at 9:26 am

ez, I see you really must hate church or church goers. How can you say that “most church goers do not want to discuss scripture” when most Christians at this site both go to a church and are here to discuss Scripture. Yes, we tale the Bible seriously. I see you are down on Christianity overall. Jesus said “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail (stop) against it.” We are told to not forsake the assembling of ourselves. It is incorrect to say that “most church goers” do this or that and don’t want to discuss Scripture or study…..do you know all Christians? What is your source. Are you without sin?

ez September 30, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Can someone please tell me what bible scripture talks about, baptists, pentecostals, non denominationals, Methodist, presbyterian, etc, Give me Book, Chapter and Verse please
oh and do any of you know who the Bloods, the Crips, and the Latin kings are?

Jack Wellman September 30, 2013 at 9:25 pm

ez, you will not find any names of the denominations you mentioned, nor will you find the Catholic church or any other church by name. Who the Bloods, the Crips, and the Latin Kings are, I have no clue for all I rely on is what the Bible says. Where did you hear about the Crips or the Bloods and what Latin kings do you mean? From what era?

ez September 30, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Actually, the Bloods, the Crips, and the Latin Kings are Gangs !!..mostly rivel gangs, and they exist right now ( get it!)…. I used their names to make a point about all the denominations.

Ron October 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm

ez, i understand some of the things you’re saying, but also beware of the devil, he will mess with you and try to get you to be critical of Christianity overall, whether its getting you to be negative about people in churches or denominations, etc. I went through a similar dark trial just weeks ago. It was a satanic attack no doubt. I was depressed and I started almost hating people. With much prayer and perserverence the Lord brought me out of it. Your comments remind me of another person thats on youtube a lot who claims to be Holy Spirit led but calls the Bible the mark of the Beast. He goes on and on about the Godhead and how wonderful it is, then puts the Bible down the same time. I asked him if he hates the Bible then what is his basis for his “strong beliefs” in the Godhead(Father, Son, Holy Spirit/Ghost). He wont answer. He may be an atheist or agnostic posing as some sort of different sect of a Christian, when in fact satan is working through him to destroy the faith of a Christian/Believer. Not saying you’re doing what he’s doing, but just be aware that the devil will use whatever means necessary to destroy your faith, to get you to hate Christianity, hate churches to the point you stop going to any church and turn your back on Christ, and may even go so far as to become atheist, which sadly, through the internet, many people are becoming, because theyre listening to people way too much. The Lord lays on my heart quite often to be careful on the internet because people WILL lead you astray. God bless ya!

nailworx October 6, 2013 at 2:43 am

Ok, here goes EZ, the gangs you mentioned as a parallel to denominations—I get it but its no different than pasta…we have penne, spaghetti, lasagna, manicotti, all different types of pasta but in the end are PASTA made with flour water salt—-strange how these simple 3 ingredients also represent Christianity, flour is grain the base of our lives, water is also the baptism of Christ, salt–well> Leviticus 2:13, Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. —-or— Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
Don’t get hung up on denominations and churches, because for one the TRUTH must remain, regardless of titles—are you a child of ADONAI, saved by your Messiah Jesus Christ walking according to HIS laws, HIS desires, being an extension of HIS teachings? A church is wherever 2 or more are gathered in HIS name for so shall HE be present, that can be in a 10,000 sq foot mega bldg, in a house or even in a 10sq foot closet.
Remember one thing in the end won’t matter, denomination, church affiliation etc, because you and only you alone will be before your King to account for your life, and there won’t be special concessions because you were baptist, or JW, or evangelical etc etc.
Last but not least, Colossians 4:6 (from Aramaic bible) And your words should always be with grace, as if seasoned with salt, and be aware how it is appropriate for you to answer each man.
Blessings EZ

Ron October 1, 2013 at 11:39 am


Tom October 4, 2013 at 1:43 am

Jack your article is factually false. You are misleading your readers in Tip 4 in relation to the New Jerusalem Bible. I believe that you should remove this part of your article and replace with a non fictional example.

The article is wrong in the following points.
a) The New Jerusalem Bible is not a translation of a French Bible. You may be confusing the JB with the NJB. Here is the foreword of the NJB “The biblical text of the first edition was occasionally criticised for following the French translation more closely than the originals In this edition the translation the translation has been made directly from the Hebre, Greek or Aramaic.”
b) The keeping of the NJB as “primarily a study bible has been kept constantly in mind and for that reason accuracy of translation has been a prime consideration. Paraphrase has been avoided more rigorously than in the first edition; care has been taken that in paralles passages(for example in the first three gospels) the similarities and differences should be mirrored exactly in the translation”.

Reading the NJB it is apparent that poet flow has be a secondary priority and has been sacrificed for accuracy. Contrary to your article at point 4 which claims it is more poetic than prescriptive, it has sacrificed poetry to be more accurate.

I hope that you will take my comments on board to improve the accuracy of your article, as I have found the Study version of the New Jerusalem Bible by Henry Wansbrough 1985 to be one of the best if not the best study Bible going round. I would encourage those looking at a Study Bible to consider the NJB and look into for themselves as what is in your article is not correct.

Hope you will correct your article and then remove my comment.

Jack Wellman October 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Thanks Tim….did as you rightly suggested. This proves that the Bible is without error….humans are decidedly not and I am living proof of this. Thank you sir. Done!

sdonahue October 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm

The past few months, I’ve been looking heavily at different translations. I was actually reading the KJV through Acts, but, it lost me in Romans, and I needed something more understandable. The NKJV fills the bill very, very well. I love it. (BTW, the Modern English Version will be coming out in 2014 as the latest revision of the KJV, and it looks good!). I went into the NASB, and I still can’t warm to it. I did the 2011 NIV with its inclusive language and that’s out; I read the Common English Bible for awhile, ballpoint pen in hand, and practically had to rewrite 1 Timothy 3, as their translation allows the ordination of women; e.g., the ‘supervisor’ in the church must be married only once……..and it is ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ for the rest of the chapter. Had to change every ‘the Human One’ in the Gospels back to ‘Son of Man.’ The CEB is OUT. It’s translated by liberals and feminazis. The ESV does not thrill me like it seems to enchant so many others; the old RSV is much better, IMHO. I did dig up some some original Good News for Modern Man—minus the inclusive language—and this one thrills my soul. The NLT did not thrill my soul with the gender inclusive language and changing singulars to plurals, but the old Living Bible is much better than its gender-inclusive son, even though it is more paraphrastic than the NLT. Sooooooooooo…..for me right now, the NKJV, Good News, and this new Messianic translation called Tree of Life, are stellar.

Charis October 11, 2013 at 9:05 am

Thank you for writing this. I just checked out the ESV Study Bible and it looks awesome! 🙂 God bless you.

Renee October 12, 2013 at 9:13 am

Start with Philippians 2:6 and 1John 5:7 for a start to see the MAJOR flaws with this version.

Jack Wellman October 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

Thank you Charis….I know that no version is completely without error but the main and essentials of the faith are clear enough for us to know the truth. I appreciate your kind words.

courtney October 15, 2013 at 3:20 am

Hello Mr. Wellman,
I have a quick question. I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness but I have some disagreements now with the religion for various reasons, but I was curious if you were familiar with their version of the Bible and if you think it is accurate. I believe their Bible is called the New World Translation. Some feed back would be great, I’m just doing my own personal research. Thank you

Jack Wellman October 15, 2013 at 10:03 am

Thank you Courtney for your question about the NWT Bible that the J W use. There are so many errors in the NWT that it is hard to just pick a few. Here are just a few examples:

Gen. 1:1-2 – “In [the] beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of [the] watery deep; and God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters,” (New World Translation, emphasis added).

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society denies that the Holy Spirit is alive, the third person of the Trinity. Therefore, they have changed the correct translation of “…the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters,” to say “…and God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters.”

They also altered and mistranslate John 1:1 and are not adhering to the Greek as John 1:1 – They mistranslate the verse as “a god.” Again it is because they deny who Jesus is and must change the Bible to make it agree with their theology. The Jehovah’s Witness version is this: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”

Col. 1:15-17 – The word “other” is inserted 4 times. It is not in the original Greek, nor is it implied. This is a section where Jesus is described as being the creator of all things. Since the Jehovah’s Witness organization believes that Jesus is created, they have inserted the word “other” to show that Jesus was before all “other” things, implying that He is created. A.There are two Greek words for “other”: heteros, and allos. The first means another of a different kind, and the second means another of the same kind. Neither is used at all in this section of scripture. The Jehovah’s Witness have changed the Bible to make it fit their aberrant theology.

Heb. 1:6 – In this verse they translate the Greek word for worship, proskuneo, as “obeisance.” Obeisance is a word that means to honor, show respect, even bow down before someone. Since Jesus, to them, is created, then he cannot be worshiped. They have also done this in other verses concerning Jesus, i.e., Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; 28:9.

I can add dozens and dozens more but the point is that the NWT is dead wrong. No wiggle room here at all! The Bible gives clear warning to anyone who adds to or takes away from the words of this book (the Bible) but they did it anyway.

Courtney, I hope this is more than enough evidence to stay away from the JW and this corrupted Bible the NWT and to warn others who are still trapped in this church. Please try and warn them

Timothy Vukomanovic October 16, 2013 at 1:12 am

Courtney, Lets be clear about the NWT of the Bible, in essence it is not a serious translation it is a con job. It is akin to the Mormons JST Bible version which Mormons pick bits and pieces of to litter the KJV with as foot notes.

You can not take seriously any Bible translation where the translators refuse to give their names. In that respect it is worse than the Mormon translation, at least Smith was willing to give his name. Of the names of the NWT translators that have been leaked by ex employees of the Watch Tower not one of them has been an interpreter and none of them had University Degrees.

There is a reason that Churches such as the JW’s write their own non scholarly versions and that is they wish to change sections of the Bible to reflect their own particular doctrinal bent.

There are plenty of modern translations that you can be confident in the process and integrity of the translators, their names are known, there education background. These modern translations other than providing very readable text have also included the many improvements in understanding of scriptural texts, archeology and linguistics. Go get yourself a NASB, NRSV, ESV or NIV or another major modern translation. These are reliable translations all by different translators but when compared side by side give they are basically the same.

Only those who want to delude themselves would chose to read a NWT once they realize how it was translated.

Ron October 16, 2013 at 8:50 am

So true. I was a mormon, and although they dont change the version they use(KJV), they misinterpret and/or ignore much of it because it doesnt agree with “the church.” Good example is the mormon doctrine that Christ is the spirit brother of Lucifer, and God was once a man that “progressed” to become A(not THE) heavenly father. Mormonism is all about us “progressing” to eventually become heavenly father’s and mother’s with our own spirit children. None of this is Biblical, but then again that’s why there’s tons of religions, many add to or take away from the Bible to conform to the teachings of man.

Jack Wellman October 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm

So true Ron. What I see as perhaps the main difference is that Mormon’s believe that man can become god but Christians know that God became Man!

Ron October 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm

It’s crazy all the stuff man has made up, and how full blown religions are started that way. I hear mormonism is still the fastest growing religion in the U.S. I just don’t get it. The mormon church can be very appealing to people who have had bad church experiences. It’s one of satan’s greatest deceptions. He even uses the name of Christ in the title of the mormon church in order to deceive people. The real name of the mormon church is “the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.” Many people think that with a name of a church like that it has to be Christian. But it has so many teachings that aren’t Biblical that it can not be considered Biblical Christianity. Its just another “latter-day” deception in the last days.

Jack Wellman October 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm

So true Ron. It seems that those things that are popular are not right and what is right is not popular but we are such a pragmatic nation and it fits well with our pragmatism (results man! results!). We rather like what we can do than what has already been done for us (at the cross). I was told that Mormonism was the fastest growing religion in the world…but so is Islam and so by their standard, that must be true too!

Paul October 20, 2013 at 11:53 am

Hello! I was recently introduced to the New English Translation (NET). I haven’t seen it mentioned here and would appreciate your thoughts on it. Also, thank you for staying active on a two year old post.

Jack Wellman October 20, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Hello Paul and thank you for your comment and question. This relatively new translation is unlike other modern Bibles, this is not a revision of a previous translation–but new from the ground up by specialists across the world. Although similar to the NIV which has sparked much controversy, the bulk consists of various note types like the Text Critical, which gives a strict/literal rendering as alternative. Detailed notes explain the reason why each verse was translated as it was, clues you in to linguistic, scholastic, and theological issues, and lets you decide for yourself how best to understand it. It therefore functions both as an easy-reading and hard-core study Bible. Plus full color satellite maps of the Holy Land! Other than that I know very little about it and with all translations, it actually takes a few years to see if it is indeed a good one. This may be why the King James Version has been around for so long….tried, tested, and trusted.

James R Williams November 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

I like the Authorized King James Version. It is easy to read and understand. It speaks to me better than other translations.

Jack Wellman November 4, 2013 at 11:56 am

Thank you Mr. Williams. That is what I use during my messages and I’m sticking to it. If it has been good enough for over 400 years, it must be reliable. I agree. My KJV has margins where the original Greek and Hebrew (in some cases Aramaic in the New Testament) words are given and I love that!

Angie November 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Everyone is so worried about wording when it comes to translations that we are missing the message. The point of each translation is not how it is worded, but what it is saying about our Lord and Savior! The point is it is the word of Gid regardless of how it is worded!

Kayla Callender November 7, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Hello Mr. Wellman!
Thank for posting this article. It’s very informing on biblical translations. I wish there was just a one Bible that which is all accurate and unifies us as believers in Christ. I have a question. What should a Christian say when witnessing to a person who says, ” Well how do you know the Bible is true? Do you know how many translations there are? Man can add and take away.”
In Christ

Jack Wellman November 8, 2013 at 6:46 am

Hello Kayla. Great question and I get asked this a lot. Here is an article that contains historical and other information on how we know the Bible is true and that it is fully reliable and not the word of man but the Word of God at:

Maybe you can print this out and study &/or memorize it and be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within you but you should know that God the Holy Spirit is the One Who illuminates the Bible as true and reveals who Jesus is although we are still commanded to share the gospel and I am glad that you do. Thank you for that and may God richly bless you.

Ron November 8, 2013 at 9:33 am

Hi Kayla, from what ive heard there are hundreds of translations/versions, just in english alone. For 300+ years there was a version that unified Christians, the King James Bible. When someone says “how do you know the Bible is true”, tell them the main evidence(in my opinion) to know its true is PROPHECY!!! Hundreds of Old Testament prophecies foretold hundreds of years before the life, death, resurrection and events of Christ all came true down to the finest detail. The coming of Christ was so important that we have even divided the calander years either B.C. or A.D. Is the Bible true? You better believe it is! Are some versions more accurate than others. Oh yes! There’s a spirit in the text of Bible versions. I wont go into the pros and cons of many of the versions, but I feel the Holy Spirit the strongest when I read or listen to the KJV. Try listening to Alexander Scourby read it. It may not sound as “clear” as other versions, but when I hear it, my mind doesn’t question the text like I do other versions. Its such a beautiful reverent poetic-like rendering of the scriptures.

David November 8, 2013 at 10:28 am

Hey Ron, I agree that the fulfillment of the Bible’s prophecy is a testament to its validity. 🙂

Sadly, most Christians don’t understand how the main prophecy regarding Jesus, the 70th week of Daniel, was fulfilled, so they say it must be in the future.

The framework for the concepts of the pre-tribulation rapture, the 7-year tribulation period, the need for a rebuilt Jewish temple, the antichrist desecrating the temple, and the 3 1/2 years of Great Tribulation; are ALL based on the premise that the covenant in Daniel 9:27 is created by an end-times Antichrist.

Daniel 9:27: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.”

The ‘he’ is Jesus Christ, not an end-times Antichrist.

‘And He(Jesus) said to them, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28

3.5 years after His ministry started, He was crucified (in the middle of the 7 years) and the need for the temple sacrifice and the oblation ceased.

The 70 week of Daniel was fulfilled by Jesus and His disciples right on schedule from 27 – 34 A.D, so there is no need for a 1,986+ year GAP until an end-times 70th week of Daniel.

Making the 70th week of Daniel about the Antichrist, instead of Jesus Christ, is wrong theology, and it’s blasphemous.

Timothy Vukomanovic November 8, 2013 at 11:29 am

Might I proffer and opinion as to why you feel best when hearing the KJV Ron.
1 You probably grew up with this version and the first time you heard many verses they were probably in the KJV language.
2 The KJV was designed to sound beautiful and easily memorable. The language indeed I am told by those who are proficient in both languages, is often more grand and religious than that of the original Greek manuscripts used to produce it.The English Language was at its height during the time the KJV was translated. Indeed our greatest play write was alive around that time.
3 It is not only the language we heard but the language most Christmas songs are written in and great musicals works such as handles Messiah
4 It has been around for 400 years therefore it carries a sense of tradition.
These things all add up to familiarity and poetic beauty which are both calming to the soul.

Ron November 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm

WOW! You nailed it! It really is an amazing version. I can just imagine a time when Christians were united as one using their King James Bible. The body of Christ, revivals, people accepting Christ as Savior, the hymns, etc were all so wonderful back in the day im sure. I love visiting those “little ole Baptist churches” that can still be found sometimes. They still use the hymn books and have a reverence for the Lord mostly unheard of in average churches today. You can just sense the reverence of the Holy Ghost/Spirit in these old time style churches. Sadly they’re disappearing. There’s a sense that Christianity is falling apart with all the changes of the past 50 years or so. Now there’s tons of versions which causes confusion and division. Rock concert style services with fog machines, the gospel rarely preached but rather self-help teachings,etc. I believe satan has infiltrated the church in subtle ways most Christians are unaware of. But I sense a disturbing deceptive spirit in most of these services. Something just isnt right. And you cant bring it up to most people unless you dont mind losing friends and being avoided.

Kayla Callender November 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Hi Ron thanks for the response to my post. The one thing that poked out at me is when you said, “…but I feel the Holy Spirit the strongest when…” In reading scripture the Holy Spirit is never portrayed as a “feeling” or “sense”. But you are right in saying Christianity is falling apart, seemingly. The truth has become very hard to distinguish from all the lies. Many, many people calling themselves Christians yet not understanding what that means or knowing about the work of the cross too.

Kayla Callender November 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Hi Ron thanks for the response to my post. The one thing that poked out at me is when you said, “…but I feel the Holy Spirit the strongest when…” In reading scripture the Holy Spirit is never portrayed as a “feeling” or “sense”. But you are right in saying Christianity is falling apart, seemingly. The truth has become very hard to distinguish from all the lies. Many, many people calling themselves Christians yet not understanding what that means or knowing about the work of the cross too.
In Christ

Ron November 9, 2013 at 7:09 am

While reading the KJV, would you say the “calming to the soul” is from the Holy Spirit/Ghost, or just our own feeling?

Jack Wellman November 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Kayla, let me add these facts to your understanding about the veracity of the Bible. when the Bible manuscripts are compared to other ancient writings, they stand alone as the best-preserved literary works of all antiquity.

The fact is that the amount of manuscript evidence is astounding. There are over 25,000 New Testament manuscripts of which 5,000 of these date from the first century. What that translates into for Historians is what is called a primary source. A primary source is a source that comes from eye witnesses. The nearly 6,000 Dead Sea Scrolls are so close in agreement, contextually, that there is only 0.01% in differences and the main differences are only in the differentiation of vowels. In no way do these miniscule differences affect the text or the context.

Remarkably, there are thousands of existing Old Testament manuscripts and fragments copied throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean and European regions that agree phenomenally with each other. In addition, these texts substantially agree with the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, which was translated from Hebrew to Greek some time during the 3rd century BC. The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in Israel in the 1940’s and 50’s, also provide astounding evidence for the reliability of the ancient transmission of the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries BC.

Of the approximately 20,000 lines that make up the entire New Testament, only 40 lines are in question. These 40 lines represent one quarter of one percent of the entire text and do not in any way affect the teaching and doctrine of the New Testament. I again compared this with Homer’s Iliad. Of the approximately 15,600 lines that make up Homer’s classic, 764 lines are in question. These 764 lines represent over 5% of the entire text, and yet nobody seems to question the general integrity of that ancient work.

Kayla Callender November 8, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Mr. Wellman,
Thank you for your responses. The other article is very insightful on the Word of God being the Word of God. Quite awesome that God preserved His Word indeed. So true that the third person of the Trinity the Holy Spirit illuminates it as well. Prayerfully sharing the Gospel for I find that my selfishness gets in the way of things. But how the love of Christ enables us to die to the flesh. I thank God you and all who genuinely trust in Him.
In Christ

Jack Wellman November 8, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Amen…God has ensured that His Word will abide forever and the preservation of His Word against the wiles of the Devil is quite a testimony to His sovereignty to ensure it remains for us today and yes, the Holy Spirit really is the One Who opens the eyes of the blind and unstops the ears of the death (of which I was at one time!).

Jack Wellman November 8, 2013 at 10:02 pm

BTW, Kayla, you can call me Jack. Take care friend.

Ron November 9, 2013 at 7:02 am

Hi Kayla, the Holy Ghost/Spirit is called the Comforter, so I believe we do in fact “feel” His presence, especially when we’re reading scriptures, witnessing, praying, etc.

Darius November 8, 2013 at 6:10 am

I appreciate your article however I notice you although don’t feel any bible is best over another you don’t put emphasis on accuracy or accurate knowledge being important in a search for translation. Is there a difference between translation and a version?

Jack Wellman November 8, 2013 at 6:42 am

All translations are different versions so yes, there is a difference. I personally like the New King James but use the King James myself as I feel it is quite reliable. I think that there are several good translations and so I didn’t want to pick any one over another but left with a choice, I would choose the King James.

Darius November 8, 2013 at 6:25 am

I appreciate your article however I notice you although don’t feel any bible is best over another you don’t put emphasis on accuracy or accurate knowledge being important in a search for translation. Is there a difference between translation and a version? You suggest kj as good rendering this 16 century language can slow down grasping the thought God intended, as well as the many 20k mistakes found in this translation the new kj has improved some by putting God’s name back in its original places .that only fixes 6900 mistakes This is reason for my question for
accuracy .translation or version?

Jack Wellman November 8, 2013 at 6:50 am

Thank you again Darius for your question. If the King James slows you down you can try the New King James Bible because the language is more current. Please tell me where your source is that says there are “20 thousand” mistakes found in the King James Version. I have been a student and studier of the Bible for about 35 years and have never once heard that there are 20 thousand mistakes in the King James. Wow…what is your source. Can you point out a least a couple of dozen for us to examine? Thank you Darius

Darius November 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

Emphatic diaglott I think by Benjamin wilson

Timothy Vukomanovic November 8, 2013 at 10:53 am

I suppose it depends what you call a mistake Darius. There are only about 31k verses in the KJV you are claiming there is a mistake in 2 out of 3 verses on average. You must be having a very broad definition of what you call a mistake. Are you saying that if you believe a verse has been shown that it probably was added in latter manuscripts and the verse contains say 20 words, then that constitutes 20 mistakes? or are you saying that every time the word Lord is used instead of YHWH that constitutes a mistake? To simply say there is 20k mistakes I believe is overstating the accuracy issues of the KJV.

I think most people who have studied history of the English Bible would understand that the KJV is no longer the most accurate version, most would understand that it was based on a very limited and flawed manuscript base.

Having said that it is still a very beautiful version, the language is beautiful, if not always entirely accurate. In terms of ease of memorization the KJV I often find the most easy to memorize. It was in fact written with the purpose of easy memorization in mind as very few people had a Bible in the 1600’s they needed to memorize what they heard at church.

I note my 5 year old daughter finds certain passages easier to remember in the KJV rather than in some of the other considered more accurate versions such as the NASB or NRSV or NJB that I use.

Also seriously unless you are going into deep theological analysis and debate the difference between most major translations is non existent. If you were going into such analysis you would have an interlinear based on the modern critical Greek and Hebrew texts with you and a lexicon.

Bill Hope November 8, 2013 at 11:48 am

I’ve come to a middle ground on the translation issue especially between the hardcore KJV-Onlyists and the hardcore KJV-deriders–I think the KJV is a very beautiful translation and one of the best but it’s still just a translation done by imperfect men so it’s going to have problems but so do many translations. For instance I use the NASB as my default Bible translation but there’s some places I think other translations have actually rendered a translation of a verse better. That’s why I have several different translations so I can compare and understand a passage better.

I will say that the KJV is the best for memorization because it has an almost poetic rendering to it and to this day I’ll qoute a scripture and 9 times out of 10 it’s the KJV rendering or a somewhat funny mixture of translations that ends up sounding very NKJV/NASB-ish

Timothy Vukomanovic November 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I do like the NASB for the most part. Its only downside is that sometimes the Psalms don’t flow so freely.

Ron November 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm

yeah i like a few versions for different reasons. The Living Bible paraphrase is really nice in the New Testament, but some of Kenneth Taylor’s renderings are a bit too cheesy at times. The KJV is not always the easiest to understand but is the most reverent version. The NKJV capitalizes all words pertaining to the Godhead which makes it a very nice version. After several years I still use these 3 versions more than anything. I like a little variety, and you can get all of it you want from these 3 versions.

sdonahue November 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm

There is an excellent book that came out this year by Dave Brunn, a Bible translator for many years. It is called, ‘One Bible, Many Versions’, InterVarsity Press. Filled with charts and graphs, we learn that the claims of the NASB as ‘strictly literal’ and the ESV as ‘essentially literal’ are gross exaggerations; that all Bible translations use ‘dynamic equivalence’ to a great degree. The shock was to learn that the NIV is more literal than the ESV on quite a few occasions. I think I will be taking a closer look at my copies of the 1984 NIV as being worthy of use.

Darius November 9, 2013 at 10:11 am

Emphatic diaglott I think by Benjamin wilson
Examples I mentioned earlier the 6900 places that placed gods name , for instance at psalms110:1 it says lord unto my lord where originally gods name was there , ,so for the many years of kj existence its prevented the reader from knowing the creators name and perhaps developing. Proper relationship because it is a version and not a translation
This is one of man the emphatic diaglott by Benjamin Wilson helps establish an accurate translation in search according Col1:9, 10; Phil1:9; eph4:13; 1TIM2:4

Jack Wellman November 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Isn’t the Lord’s name also His name? I am confused. How can this verse in Psalms prevent one form knowing and having a “proper relationship” with God when it is God’ Who calls and the Holy Spirit Who reveals Who God is in Jesus Christ? Nothing, not even a mistranslation, can prohibit or prevent God from choosing those to Whom He wills (Eph. 1,2 John 6:44, etc.)? Despite those “many years” many have still come to repentance and trust in Christ. I don’t see enough proof to reject the KJ, sorry.

As for 2 Tim 2:4 there is no mention of the Lord or God’s name in this verse. Why did you include it? Same thing with Phil 1:9 or what it Philemon 1:9 as in this case the name is Jesus and Christ, which are both used. What is wrong with Eph 4:13 which uses “the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” in most translations I could find. What is wrong with this?

And what translation do you use?

Ron November 9, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Hi brother Jack, after reading your comment I couldnt help but feel the spirit of confusion among Believers and how I need to say something. How we all can stay confused and bewildered by all the opinions and interpretations we all have. We have to dig down deep within ourselves to just let this stuff go. All this messed me up so much I rarely listen to anyone anymore. I dont want to be deceived by other people’s opinions, beliefs, interpretations, etc. I dont want my faith damaged. The Lord has been leading me to back out of the heavy debating and commenting I was doing. I started feeling miserable so I had to back off. It got to the point that I just dont care. We Christians debating stuff over every little doctrine is now the silliest bunch of mess I ever did. There’s a heaviness that was lifted off me once I backed way off. As a former mormon I feel I have now come full circle. The Bible version issue had me questioning nearly everything I read, whether the version i was using used the best manuscripts good or bad translators, was there secret agenda’s, etc. I wanted to just get back to basic faith of a child. Children dont question a bunch of stuff and run it over and over in their heads to the point of confusion. I wanted to be like that again, so i went back to square one, I got rid of the many versions I had, I got the Action Bible which is the Bible in comic book style. I got rid of the tons of Christian books I had, etc etc. I had to make some major changes if I was going to clear my head of all the confusion I had put in it. Im about halfway there. My faith was re-ignited when I got my Evidence Bible back out. It was one of the first versions I bought when I came out of mormonism. Reading it lately has calmed my soul to the point of how it was when I first left the mormon church and came to the Biblical truth of everything.

David November 9, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Satan wants Christians to continually debate topics like this so that we stay confused and bewildered. 🙁

Otherwise, we might be like the Protestant Reformers, who when they read the books of Daniel and Revelation, they identified the Satan-empowered Roman Papal Church as the ‘Beast‘ of Revelation, the ‘Little Horn of Daniel‘, the ‘Great Whore‘, ‘Mystery Babylon‘ and the Pope as the ‘Son of Perdition‘.

Jack Wellman November 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Thanks Ron. I am sorry if I contributed to the confusion as I was “trying” to make it clearer what Darius had been saying.

On a similar note, I believe we are going to shut down the comments on this article as it is getting to negative and very many cliques are forming and too many unfair criticisms are happening. What do you think Ron?

Jack Wellman November 9, 2013 at 10:05 pm

David, as I told Ron, I believe we may shut down comments on this article and as a Protestant myself I think the thought of the Pope as being the “Son of Perdition” is the most ridiculous, unsubstantiated thing we can say about the Pope. Neither is the Pope the beast as some have said. Thanks for you comment friend.

David November 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm

John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Sir Isaac Newton, Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes, and many others identified the Papal Church as the Antichrist Beast, and the Pope as the Son of Perdition.

2 Thes. says the Son of Perdition opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple (naos in the Greek) of God, showing himself that he is God.

Whenever Paul used the word naos, he applied it to followers of Jesus, the Christian Church, and never to a physical temple!

So Paul is telling you in 2 Thes, that the Son of Perdition is seated in the ‘spiritual temple.’

The Pope is called the ‘Vicar of Christ’ which means ‘substitute for Christ.’ He proclaims to forgive sins. He proclaims that salvation is only available through the Roman Catholic Church. He preaches a message of ‘salvation by works’, instead of through the blood of Jesus.

Instead of being an infidel who doesn’t believe in God, like so many pastors teach, the Antichrist does not reign outside of the Church, but in the very bosom of the Church.

Paul places the Son of Perdition nowhere else than in the very sanctuary of God. For this is not a foreign, but a domestic enemy, who opposes Christ under the very name of Christ.

Timothy Vukomanovic November 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Darius, Your statement in relation to psalms 110:1 is FaLsE, plEAse nOtE tHe CaSe The kjv does NOT say “lord unto my lord”. It in fact says ‘The LORD said unto my Lord,’ very different in meaning to what you have written. The NASB likewise uses ‘The LORD says to my Lord’, and the NSRV uses ‘The LORD says unto my Lord’ and the NJB which uses ‘Yahweh declared to my Lord’.

Which of the above do you prefer? If you prefer the final one then go get a New Jerusalem Bible, or another version that uses Yahweh instead of LORD. But be clear the KJV does make a distinction

I note you have not said which version or translation of the Bible you prefer to use for daily use. It would be hard to believe that you would be reading the Emphatic Diaglott as an everyday bible. So which version do you like Darius?

My guess is that if you are are referencing the Emphatic Diaglot that you are a Jehovah Witness and probably read the NWT. I only say this because the Emphatic Diaglot an early interlinear Bible, while not a JW work had its copyright purchased by The Watch Tower after Wilson’s death and they distributed it from then on. Are you not willing to say which version you read because it is the NWT?

The NWT has been discussed here previously. It is a dangerously distorted translation made by anonymous JW people, who had motivation to change Biblical text in order to promote JW doctrine.

Ron November 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

There’s an additional 2 lines in Psalm 145:13 in many of the modern versions. These 2 lines are from the Dead Sea scroll manuscripts. KJV-onlyist may find this interesting

Timothy Vukomanovic November 9, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Hey there Ron, I would appreciate to get some info from you on your journey out of your previous religion, how long you were in it and what was the motivating point or points that helped you to see the light, how long it took etc. Probably to go through it here is not an appropriate place but Jack could pass my email on to you, or you could look me up on skype.

Ron November 10, 2013 at 7:56 am

Hi Timothy, love to tell you what happened. I was born into the mormon church. I was active in it as a child until about 12 years old. My mother got mad at the church about a few things so we stopped going. My grandfather has always been a hardcore mormon and stayed on me about coming back. I didnt enjoy church as a kid so i didnt care to go back. Then my grandfather started bugging my wife about joining. Like me, she didnt have deep Biblical knowledge so she believed what the mormon missionaries were teaching her. She joined the church and we became very active in it for 12 years but were becoming increasingly miserable in it. One thing led to another and I started researching the church and comparing mormonism to the Bible. It wasnt long before we realized we were in just another non-Biblical religion, so we left and joined a non-denominational church which was like the most wonderful breath of fresh air when compared to the dead services in mormonism. I had always believed Jesus Is the Son of God and died on the cross for me. Although the mormon church doesn’t regularly say or teach its members the same things as Biblical Christians, I live in the south(Bible belt as its called) and heard many Biblical teachings as I was growing up, so the truth of the Bible was already in my heart, mormonism just suppressed it so to speak. I left the mormon church easily. I never really bought into the whole joseph smith and latter-day prophet thing. We weren’t hardcore believing mormons like some of my family still is. Most of them say we’ve been deceived. We’ve shared the truth with them but they dont care. It’s so great to know the truth now, which is why it bothers me so much to see many mormons i know refuse to accept the truth. And it also bothers me to see Biblical Christians going at it over Biblical doctrine among other things. I thought mormonism has problems, but its nothing like the division I see in Christianity, not even close. Mormons dont fight, debate and argue with each other like Christians do. We better get our act and churches together if people like mormons are going to come to the truth. This is a major reason mormons wont accept the truth, they see the problems in other churches. Mormons determine truth by their feelings, not by facts. And they dont get a good feeling about other churches, sadly with good reason. Anyway, thats my story in a nutshell. God bless!

Ron November 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Hi brother Jack, shutting down the comments or at least clearing them may not be a bad idea. I do that with several things myself and there’s a feeling of a fresh start and renewal.

Rob November 10, 2013 at 11:02 am

Why settle for one translation there is a tool and an app it was once called Biblos but now Biblehub.com really has changed the way I read the Word:)

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