I'd really like some input on when to get a new bible

Micah - posted on 05/13/2012 ( 17 moms have responded )

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The last year or so I seem to have a real issue with when to get a new Bible. About a year and a half-two years ago, I had a bad reaction to a medication to treat a migraine at the local (at the time, where we lived) E.R. It brought back a LOT of old anxiety/panic issues and I've really struggled with fear and the like since then. Around that time, the only Bible in good condition that I had was an Amplified Version (Joyce Meyer). I had just started taking some Bible courses in my online college, so I wanted a different translation and given the fears I was experiencing I chose the NIV Case for Christ Study Bible. It was great! But over the last 8 months-year, I've bought a LOT of Bibles. Some I've recently given away to others who needed them. For a while I went through this weird identity type crisis where I was just obsessed with finding that one "right" Bible translation, and in my research was SO confused! Some say KJV is the only "real" Bible translation and believe that if you're not using it, you're not really reading the Word of God. But I had trouble understanding it, and have always loved the NIV, so I always came back to it. Even after trying NLT (which is what my Church typically reads from during services), HCSB (Homan Christian Standard Bible), and even the Max Lucado Grace for the MOment Bible, which is in a different translation (not sure which one). Eventually, since I was taking a LOT of Bible courses in college, I bought ANOTHER new Bible, a Life Application Bible. But I still come back to that Case for Christ Bible. It's almost like an emotional attachment I have to it. But I feel like I have no idea how to know when the time is right to REALLY need to use a newer Bible. My Case for Christ Bible has a slight stain on the cover (it's leather), and all my markings over the last few years. I thought I'd see if anyone else had any feedback or any experience. I know it sounds silly, but I figured I'd ask. Thanks!

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DD - posted on 05/16/2012

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My husband of 20 years has been a Minister for a bit longer than we've been married. Years ago he'd studied all week on a section of scripture that he was using for his sermon. He'd read several translations, researched through many commentaries, prayed and poured over the small section of scripture all week. Then on Sunday morning he stood before our congregation and read the scripture from the KJV as he did every week. Suddenly the thought ran through his mind, "What in the world did that scripture just say!!!?" He realized that if after all the study and preparation he'd done HE couldn't understand the KJV of the scripture then the people in his congregation surely hadn't caught anything either! Since then he has used a more modern translation (usually NIV although NRSV is one he likes too). Unfortunately many people don't understand where our scriptures come from. Early in our ministry there was a discussion about whether there should be a "rule" about what translation/version could be used in the pulpit for denominational meetings. One of the young ministers had been asked to speak and he'd used a modern translation and some of the older ministers got upset. One elderly man stood up in front of the entire group and proclaimed, "If King James English was good enough for Moses, Jesus and His disciples, it ought to be good enough for me -- I'll NEVER read from anything but a good old KJV Bible!!" ----- It might seem laughable at first, but to realize that he was entirely sincere and was actually LEADING his congregations into his ignorance is very sobering. The King James Version was simply a translation authorized and funded by King James decades after the original writings occurred. The most knowledgeable scholars of his day were given the task of translating the original Greek and Hebrew texts into the language understood by the people of their day and choosing what ought to be included in the Word. Ms. Allmon grasps the concept very well in her post so I will not repost the information she's given. I will say that you need to be careful to understand that a TRANSLATION or VERSION has actually been translated from the oldest copies of scripture available at the time....a paraphrase simply means that somebody(s) sat down with a translation (version of their choice) and wrote their OPINION of what they thought God was trying to get across.....so it is very subjective to their particular opinion (so if my elderly minister from the story above was writing his paraphrase, he might even insert KJV into the scripture where it tells us to hide the word in our hearts!! LOL) ----------- There are some pretty good paraphases out there, but if you are reading one and something seems a bit off, realize that you probably ought to break out a TRANSLATION and see what it says....Studying with a couple different books at your fingertips is always a good idea!! Remember to filter what a commentary/paraphrase/Bible Study says through what you already know of God's guidance in your life ... if it seems to go crosswise of what you've always learned, don't swallow it hook, line and sinker until you've compared some reliable TRANSLATIONS and prayerfully studied...if it still seems strange to you, go talk to your minister! Hopefully he/she will be open-minded and learned enough to study it with you and find answers to your questions! The really neat thing is that as older scriptures are discovered (for example the "Dead Sea Scrolls" discovered several years back) and new translations are done, we are discovering that God's message has been reliably passed along through the ages! To think that centuries ago when the monks sat in groups laboriously copying the word as it was read aloud to them (no copy machines or printing presses back then!), the scripture still survived intact! It has to be a miracle of God! This is especially wondrous when you think that in the Greek and Hebrew language a simple dot or pen stroke could change the entire meaning of a word or sentence! God's saving message has been passed down through all of this with enough power to touch souls over 2,000 years later!

Andrea - posted on 05/14/2012

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It is good to read other versions to get better understanding of what the original word was. All those we have in English are TRANSLATIONS, including the KJV. The Bible was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. So if you want to look for a new version to make your everyday Bible it is good to understand who the translators were and how they went about translating. Whatever version you use in going to have a slight bent to the translators point of view simply because that is the nature of translating. The NIV is thought for thought translations meaning they read the original and tried to get the Idea across without changing the words too much. Translations like the New American Standard and English Standard Bibles are word for word translations meaning they studied each word and tried to use the English word that best fits the original meaning - this way of translating has the least amount of interpretation involved and depends more upon word study. The Living Bible and the Message are paraphrases which can be useful for gaining insight into what others think about certain scriptures but are more open to the translators interpretation than thought for thought or word for word translations.
When choosing a Bible you want to make sure you are getting a translation done by many people who are scholars and have the ability to hold each other accountable. Translations by one person are the most likely to contain human ideas or slants and stray from the original meaning of the texts.

That being said you do not have to switch Bibles (unless of course your's has fallen apart or is marked to the point you can't read it). While it is good to consult different versions when studying the best version for you is the one that you can understand the most. My mother has had a Thompson's chain reference Bible for over 30 years now. She was raised to respect the Bible and part of that meant never writing in it so she uses notebooks and such and is careful with her Bible. My Father is rougher on his so he buys a new one when the binding falls off his old one (about every 15 yrs - he also does not write in his Bibles). He uses the New American Standard for personal study but teaches out of the NIV because it is the version his church teaches from and it was written at a 6th grade reading level so most people can understand it. My husband is in seminary and has only been a Christian for 10 years - he started out with the NIV but quickly moved to using the New American Standard and has in the last year begun using the English Standard Version as he feels it has the best translations (meaning when he translates from Greek or Hebrew it matches up most often). He preaches mostly from the ESV and since he writes and highlights his for preaching he has to buy a new bible every year or so. I grew up reading the NIV so it is most familiar but I own 4 (word for word or thought for thought) translations and read from whichever version is closest to me at the time. If I have difficulty understand a verse or passage I find another version to see how it is translated there. I still have the Bible I got while in high school but don't really use it anymore as I know mainly use those that simply have the scripture with no commentary.

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Carla - posted on 05/29/2012

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Thanks, Angela. Her oldest daughter (21) is grieving so over her death, as well as how she was treated in life. She is experiencing, first hand, the damage our family has done to who it 'loves'. Pray for her, would you please? My heart aches for her.

God bless, hon

Angela - posted on 05/29/2012

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@Carla, I'm sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. I hope your Bible holds out for you and you can find some comfort in there for your loss.

Heather - posted on 05/27/2012

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I would use a Bible you can curl up with to read. The others can be set aside for times when you want to study and get a different set of eyes through another translation. But the idea of having a Bible is to sit down and read it and meet with God. Use the Bible that is most comfortable to hold and that you can ready easily. If the Bible is too big, bulky, or heavy, or takes too much concentration to understand easily, it will inhibit your quiet times. Save those heftier ones for other purposes.

Pat - posted on 05/17/2012

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my church uses nkjv so im very comfortable with that, but i also like the ESV.english standard version, very similar to nkjv but a tiny bit more accurate on translation. my study bible is pretty marked up, but i dont want to get new one cuz i have a sticker on there from when my 14 yr old was about 6 and put it on, and my other 2 little ones have highlighted scribbles in a few different places, so as much as i want to start over with a 'system' to my highlighting..the sentimental part of me isnt ready yet...

Carla - posted on 05/16/2012

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@Sharon--my dear little sister-in-law always loved the way I marked in my Bible, and she begged me to leave it to her (she is my daughter's age) when I died, thinking surely I'd make it to Heaven before her. She committed suicide this February. It pains me when I look in the front of my Bible where I wrote 'when I die, give this to Misty'. I, too, hope that one of my family will take my precious Bible and read their names next to a particular Scripture, and know I was praying for them. My Bible is more intimate than most peoples' diaries--I just hope it holds out until I do die--I can't stand the thought of breaking in a new one. I hope whoever gets your father's Bibles, they treasure them. His blood, sweat and tears are written on the pages.

God bless, dear

[deleted account]

For me a Bible is a personal thing. I do like the NIV but also the Message has clarification to it with difficult passages.

I too mark up my bibles, that way I can go back to see where I was at the time and where I have moved to.

My dad marked in his bible, using the margins and even the empty pages front and back to write memory work from 60 yrs ago. Dad know has Parkinsons and dementia but still love the Bible being read to him from whatever translation but we, the children are trying to decide who gets his bibles. This is more important to our family than who gets the money/stuff.

Because the Bible is personal for me, I like to have the translation that matches where I am at, today but also on any given day so we have several different translations in the house and I use most of them for studying.

When to buy a new Bible? When the current one is too marked up to read, when the one you are using is not meeting your needs, or when the one you are using is falling apart.

For me it falls in the same category as buying new shoes (not a shoe person) when the ones I have a broken down and I NEED a new pair. Not because I bought a red outfit, the black ones will do.

Hope this helps give you ideas where other people are on this.

Carla - posted on 05/16/2012

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I find it terribly sad that we throw onto the proverbial trash bin a translation that has withstood hundreds of years, just because we find it a little difficult to understand. When I was first learning to read a Bible, the Amplified was the only other version out there (at least to my knowledge). At that time, I hadn't been through enough schooling to have read Shakespeare, but I knew reading was important, so I read, and read, and read--even dissecting sentence by sentence. If I can, with my 9th grade education, read and understand this version anyone ought to be able to!



I absolutely love reading the beauty of the Psalms in KJV. I laugh when I read about dung hills--in other versions they don't call this what is it--poop hill!



We are told to study to show ourselves approved. Part of showing ourselves approved is studying the sometimes hard-to-understand and praying for wisdom and Holy Spirit guidance as well as good old-fashioned digging.



I know this is off-topic--again, but I love my Thompsons Chain Reference KJV, but, unlike your mother's, Angela, mine is so covered writings, prayers, praise, underscores, etc, that no one else can decipher it but me--kinda like my own secret treasure ;)



I believe the KJV was Holy Spirit inspired, and, as such, it speaks to me of God's love for us, His sacrifice and plan, therefore, it's version is valid.



God bless, all



ps: Were my paragraphs okay, Angela? ;)

Angela - posted on 05/16/2012

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Some great answers on here but posts are easier to read when they're paragraphed!

Cyndel - posted on 05/14/2012

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I have an ESV, NIV, NKJV, KJV, NAS, and the Message. Each has a purpose.
I use the ESV most often. I have a gigantic study bible that stays home and I use for deep study, I have a smaller travel friendly version that goes with me to church and bible studies etc. Fits in the diaper bag.
NIV is use next most often.
The Message, Third and
NKJV, last
The other two I haven't used in years.
I want the amplified bible.

I like using so many versions in my studies at home, when I study at home I use all three, because it is incredibly difficult to translate from one language to another and get all the meanings. In fact it is nearly impossible. Which is why I use different translations, each one gives a slightly different picture into the full meaning of the original text and all together widens and gives more clarity to that picture.

As for buying new bibles, I'm constantly buying used bibles in good condition to give away. For myself I have yet to find and amplified I can afford (we are struggling financially right now), but I want one, when I have one I'll be done for a while. If they come out with another one that is accurate I'll consider adding it to my collection.

Carla - posted on 05/14/2012

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Hi, hon, I have my beloved KJV my husband bought me about 30 years ago. It has writing all over it, the binding is coming loose, the dog ate the pages (and I had to tape them back) out of Galatians (guess he w as obeying God and 'eating' the Word ;)). I couldn't EVER part with this Bible! I can go through and see where I had written prayer requests in the margin, and, with joy, be able to write beside it, answered, and the date. It's like my back-and-forth conversation with God ;)

My mother had an amplified version and we were reading about casting out demons. Her version left out 'with fasting'. So the verse read 'these come out not but by prayer. Fasting is an incredibly powerful part of spiritual warfare, so to take out half the equation, well, it just doesn't work! So, we use the KJV to study, but also bought Quickverse software for the computer. The version we use a LOT is the Message. We read in KJ, but Message when we need clarification. Also with Quickverse, you have about 10 versions, so you can, at the click of your mouse, read what they all say.

God doesn't care what your Bible looks like--in fact, I think He LOVES to see it covered in coffee stains, markings and wear. It shows Him you are reading and hearing what He has to say!

God bless, darling, keep digging into the Word!

Angela - posted on 05/14/2012

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We have a King James, an NIV and a Good News Bible in our house. Plus 2 or 3 pocket versions of the NIV New Testament.

I mostly read online Bibles as I'm never away from my computer and there are lots of translations to choose from. I have a Kindle (electronic book reader) and there are Bibles freely available that load onto e-Book readers as well which is very convenient as my eyesight demands "large print" for easier reading and my Kindle blows the print up to any size I wish!

I'm often away on holiday (my husband and I go twice a year) but also I work with disabled people so I go away supporting them on their holidays quite regularly. All hotel rooms have Gideons Bibles in - so in any circumstances, God's Word is never far away!

A few years ago, before I was married, a former boyfriend of mine used to collect Bibles. He'd get old, second-hand Bibles from Charity shops (I think you call them Thrift shops in the US?). He got some beautiful Bibles, often very old, leather-bound with gold-edged pages and inscriptions inside the front cover in fountain pen if they'd been given as a gift to someone. He usually got them for just a few pence (often far less than the price of a bar of chocolate!) and we've had some that were more than 100 years old! He used to pick up old prayer books and hymnals as well. Frequently he gave them away to Christian friends as gifts. He also picked up modern Bibles when they were available in Charity shops and appropriately priced. He's had some real bargains! It's an interesting hobby to have.

I recommend you get a good concordance to go with your Bible and maybe a daily devotions guide? Of course these are all freely available online.

So ..... loads of choice there for you - I haven't really helped much, have I? Sorry!!

Victoria - posted on 05/13/2012

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I use an NIV regularly, but use, other translations when studying for a message, KJV, Amplified, Message, New Living translation amongst other. The NIV is my preferred for every day, but in order to get a broader understanding of what God is saying, it is important to have the freedom to uses other versions. I also use the online bible & a concordance to be able to exegete Hebrew & Greek words.

I get a new NIV about every 2-3 years & by then there is some much stuff underlined, highlighted and noted on that it becomes hard to read it any more.

I hope this helps you in some way.
Pastor Victoria MacPherson.

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