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What is the best study Bible and translation to use?

There are many views from Greek and Hebrews scholars on which Bible translation is the most accurate. Although no single version can do justice to all the Greek and Hebrew nuances or is completely free of translation error, we will list four versions that we believe are the most accurate. 

These English Bible translations are:
Rotherham, RV (Revised Version, 1881-1885),
the ARV (American Edition of the Revised Version),
the ASV (American Standard Version, 1901 edition) and
the NASB (New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition).

The latter three deliberately adhere to the most familiar wording of the AV (Authorized Version, or King James Version, 1611), except where accuracy or archaism requires a change.  Our podcast generally quotes from the NASB 1995 edition unless we otherwise indicated.

What is the best study Bible? There are dozens of study Bibles available today. Almost all feature commentary, maps, charts and detailed book introductions. The best study Bibles will be essentially literal translations with notes by a variety of scholars, which will allow the reader to get a diversity of perspectives on Bible texts. 

A unique study Bible is the Thompson Chain Reference Bible (NASB). It has a system that allows the reader to follow any subject, person, place or idea from the beginning of the Bible to the end. However, we would urge you to examine several study Bibles either online or at the bookstore in order to determine which one best fits your particular level of study, interest or needs. Other helpful tools regarding translations from the Greek and Hebrew are a Bible dictionary and either an Exhaustive Strong’s or Young’s Concordance. 

For more on how the Bible is put together, check out our special 5-part series “Has the Bible Been Mistranslated and Misunderstood?” starting with Part I.

For both adults and kids, watch our short, animated video, “How is the Bible Organized? (How to Find a Bible Verse)”