the HOLY BIBLE
This is your number one tool, the very Word of God!
There are a lot of versions out there.
I'm not going to pitty-pat and pretend that every
Bible is a good study Bible. There are some
I really really want you to stay away from...
at least until you've developed a reasonable
amount of spiritual discernment.
Then I can relax knowing you can look it over
without getting tripped up.
Here are my number one recommended
Bible choices for those who want to STUDY:
A FEW BIBLES THAT ARE GOOD IDEAS
(This is not a comprehensive list. This is just a starting point and is not in order of preference.)
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
The NIV translation itself is designed to fit the median reading level of the average U.S. citizen (about 7th grade), and balance accuracy with modern readability. It's not the most accurate translation you can find, but its purpose is congregational reading and personal reading. As such, it does its job very well.
Now Available: The Beautiful Word Bible uses the NIV translation.
This is a lovely updated on the illuminated manuscript. This is an outgrowth of the Bible art journaling trend, and 500 verses have been individually illustrated.
KING JAMES VERSION
The King James Version, sometimes called the authorized King James Version, is a classic. It was first translated in the 16th century and, as a result, uses an archaic form of English. Believe it or not, not only can you get use to it, you'll find it worth your while.
The translators not only aimed for accuracy, but for a certain beauty of form and flow. This makes it ideal for those who like to memorize scripture. (Every scripture I have memorized is in the KJV.)
The KJV writes to the 12th grade level which also contributes to its depth of understanding and richness of language.
#1 - FIND a TRANSLATION that does not RE-WORD GOD'S WORD
I cannot stress this enough.
You're looking for the Word of God, not the word of Joe Translator who is trying to make the Word of God cool.
Your personal coolness does not suffer from bandying about a document that has told it like it is since antiquity.
Stand your ground and look for Bibles that claim one or more of the following:
Word for Word: This type of translation tries to directly translate each word from the original language into ours as much as possible. God's got a way of putting things that drive it straight home. You don't want to lose any of this.
Literal Translation: Tries to keep the exact words and phrases of the original text. This can be difficult to read since most languages don't translate directly to other languages. But sometimes it helps to know the original wording.
Accuracy: Again, claims for accuracy are evidence that they tried not to change the wording any more than necessary when translating.
Interlinear: This is better as a second Bible than your primary one. It let's you compare your translation directly to the original words. There will be times when words really matter. If you don't plan to learn Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic, this is your best alternate plan.
Eph 6:17 refers to the word of God as "the sword of the Spirit." Because of this, Christians often refer to their Bible as their sword.
Many believers now download the Bible onto their phones to make them easily accessible. It also makes it quick and easy to locate scriptures when you are studying or listening to a sermon in church. There are several apps available which will allow you to do this.
My preference is to read hardcopy, however I do like to have the Bible downloaded onto my home computer. This allows me to have several translations available for comparison.
My newest software program download is the eSword which you can find at http://www.e-sword.net/. This is a free download that has the option for you to download additional translations besides the ones it originally comes with: the King James Versions and The Scriptures. (I haven't yet chosen my other translations to add to it yet.)
The main reason I downloaded eSword is because I wanted to download The Scriptures translation. The Scriptures is a fairly new translation courtesy of the Institute for Scripture Research. They are seeking to come ever closer to the literal meaning of the original texts.
My conclusions are pending, but it is worth a look.