One of the most frequently asked of me is, "What kind of Bible should I get?" When you go to a bookstore, there are so many options. So, here are a few of my thoughts on this.
- Get a Bible you can understand. I like the beauty of the King James English, but let's be honest: nobody speaks King James English today. Not in England. Not in the United States. It's almost like a foreign language, making a King James Bible pretty hard to understand. I have one and I use it if I want the poetic beauty of that language in a wedding or a funeral, but I never study from it for the same reason I wouldn't study from a Bible written in Russian. I don't fluently speak either language. There are several good choices, and I suggest that you read through a few of them and find the one that speaks most clearly to you.
- That said, I usually use the NIV on Sundays. It is the most popular modern English translation. I also study out of the NIV most of the time.
- I also recommend that you have a 'Study Bible'. This kind of Bible will have a commentary in it (which helps you to understand what's going on), a concordance (which lets you look up words and locate them in the Bible) and other helps, like maps, introduction to the books of the Bible, etc.
- The Message is a paraphrase of the Bible that I also keep handy for parts of the Bible that are particularly hard to understand. The Message is written in particularly easy to read language, but it is NOT a translation.
So, if you are looking for a recommendation, I suggest the Life Application Study Bible in the NIV translation AND The Message. I would get them both.
Hope this helps.