I am often asked about what do I think about certain Bible translations. I usually respond by saying “My main interest for people is that they read a translation, any translation.” It is valuable to know there is a huge difference between a translation of the Bible and a paraphrased version of the Bible. A translation is the idea of substituting the meaning of the original word from one language to another. A paraphrased Bible is when the translator reads from the original manuscripts then in his own words interprets the meaning. A Bible translation, any translation, is far better than a paraphrased translation. It can be helpful to compare multiple translations in your study of the Bible.
Today there are many good English translations of the Bible. Translating scriptures from the ancient manuscripts to English is difficult even for the sincere and scholarly translators. The discoveries of more recent manuscripts, like the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1948, continue to assist the translators. While English versions differ in translating specific statements, all the translations present the basic duties toward God and how we can be saved from sin. I like the statement Jack P. Lewis made some years ago, “The religious problems of the world are not caused by people reading different translations; the most serious problem is that many read no translation.” I recommend Neil Lightfoot’s Third Edition of his book called “How We Got the Bible.” This can assist anyone wanting to have a better understanding of the translation process.