More than 60 English-language versions of the Bible are available today. We can divide them into three broad types:

  1. Word-for-word most accurately follow the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. The King James Version (or Authorised Version) and its modern counterpart, the New King James Version, are both word-for-word translations.
  2. Meaning-to-meaning (also called thought-to-thought) They can be valuable in putting the Scriptures into more understandable wording. The New International Version explains the point more clearly for most readers today
  3. Paraphrased. Bibles, such as The Living Bible or The Message Bible, also can be useful. Their goal is to make the Bible even easier to read in modern language. However, be very cautious in working with these kind of translations. Often the authors exercised considerable “poetic license” in interpreting biblical terms and passages according to their own personal religious ideas.

Usually the introductory pages of a Bible will explain which of these approaches was used in its preparation.

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