Bible versions

So which version of the Bible do you use or have or were raised with? Kind of a question of curiousity for me as I’ve been reading on the history of Christianity a bit lately. Options which are vaguely related in style of translation (literal vs idiomatic) are on the same line separated by slashes, roughly according to Zondervan’s classification.

King James all the way. The poetry is better, and it’s the version that’s most fundamental to the cultural history of the English-speaking world.

Interesting that you should post this. I just started a book called Lost Christianities by Bart Ehrman. The book promises to give me some idea, in addition to elucidating the different flavors of Christianity that were stamped out early on, of why the books chosen for the New Testament wound up being the books in the New Testament, and why those books not chosen (Gospels, letters, apocalypses [apocalypsi? apocalypso?]) were tossed by the wayside, and in some instances destroyed.

I chose Shit Bonerz! because I was raised with so many versions. The school I went to insisted upon the King James Version, but the one I had for personal/family/church use was the NIV (Thompson Chain Reference). I think The Living Bible was the funniest, but I remember one I can’t find reference to now, called “The Way” or something. It was very touchy-feely. Kind of goofy.

Believe in the Bible, do ya Karl?


For pure reading pleasure, the King James. But the New Revised Standard keeps a lot of the poetry and is a better translation.


KJ, as the southern baptists hadn’t moved over quite yet to the latest homo-hating rewrite.

If you aren’t reading it in Hebrew, you aren’t reading the Bible.

I remember how as a child in my children’s study bible the Book of Revelations had a preface explaining the allegorical context of the book - how it was meant for the writer’s contemporaries, how it refered to Rome, ect, and was not to be taken literally.

Those were the days when reason had not been entirely divorced from faith…

I was an English major, so King James is the Bible.

Latin Vulgata, Greek NT, Martin Luther 1545 reprint, and the Neue Jerusalemer (modern annotated edition).

Bibel 2000, though of course I grew up with the 1917 version, and I actually have one Gustav Vasa bible in the bookshelf (the typography gives me nightmares, though).

The Oxford Annotated Bible is the one I use.

Ha! As if godless commies use a Bible! Don’t even try it. :)

He didn’t say what he uses it for!


Like the fogeys in my pappy’s old Baptist church used to say, “If the King James was good enough for the Apostle Paul, well by gum, it should be good enough for you and me!”

I prefer the original Aramaic version, myself.

I wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls in an earlier incarnation. They were kind of a blog.

I had a dual major in Lit! Can I still be in the Godless Commie Club, PLEEEEEEEASE


I think you mean apocrypha. :) Although I’m pretty sure there are other apocalypses, so maybe you didn’t mean apocrypha. I think Catholics are much better about not dissing the Apocrypha than Protestants, who never quite seemed to get the point.

At any rate, the challenge with reading the Bible isn’t so much knowing which version to read, but which parts to read. I feel sorry for well-intentioned folks why try to start at the beginning to get through the whole thing. Not a good idea.

The Gospels are a great place to start, but I’d steer clear of the King James version if it’s new to you. John is really a great bit of literature that stands out from the others. And for Pete’s sake, don’t bother with the Epistles unless you’re into the polemics of the early church.

There’s some truly awesome poetry among some of the prophets, but it requires a lot of digging, and if you don’t know Hebrew, it really helps if you’re willing to wade through footnotes.

For some great short stories, you can find some cool stuff in Judges. The tragedy of Saul doesn’t get the props it deserves; I was always disappointed once David took over. There are some really great bits from Israel and Judah’s darker days. I’ve always had a soft spot for the earlier stuff with Jacob.