The Bible, one of the most widely read and studied books in the world, has been translated into numerous languages and versions. Among these, there are five exceptionally popular Bible translations that have stood the test of time and continue to be cherished by believers and scholars alike.

If you’re new to reading the Bible, here’s a list of some of the most popular translations available for you.

  • The King James Version (KJV) is perhaps the most iconic and enduring Bible translation in the English-speaking world. It was first published in 1611, making it over four centuries old. The KJV is known for its poetic language. What sets the KJV apart is its historical significance and its significant influence on the development of the English language. The KJV remains a beloved choice for those who appreciate its timeless prose and historical significance.
  • The New International Version (NIV) emerged in the 1970s and quickly gained popularity for its contemporary and easily understandable language. The translators of the NIV sought to maintain accuracy while making the text more accessible to a modern audience. The result is a Bible that retains the integrity of the original text while using clear and approachable language.
  • The English Standard Version (ESV) was first published in 2001. It is designed to combine the accuracy of word-for-word translations with the readability of thought-for-thought translations, striking a balance that appeals to a wide range of readers. One of the defining features of the ESV is its clarity and precision. It is often preferred for in-depth Bible study and is widely used in academic and seminary settings.
  • The New Living Translation (NLT) was first published in 1996 with the aim of providing a more modern and conversational approach to translating the Bible. The NLT is known for its readability and accessibility, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a Bible that is easy to understand. It strikes a balance between accuracy and contemporary language, making it a popular choice for both personal devotion and group study.

So, what version am I using?

All of the above!

Comparing translations is a really easy way to gather understanding when you are reading the Bible. Because we live in a beautiful country that allows me the opporunity to study God’s Word openly and have multiple copies of the Bible avaiilable! Man, God is good.

I usually carry around a NKJV because I have one that is the size of a travelers notebook/checkbook and it fits in my hand, backpack, purse, back pocket pretty easily.

I study out of the ESV because my husband bought me this beautiful Illuminated ESV journaling Bible. I write my notes, prayers, and Bible study outlines.


If you’ve read my other posts, you know that I am embarking on a journey this year to study the Tanakh in a deep and intentionally Jewish way. So, I bought a new Bible that I hope will help me understand the things that go without being said for a Jewish reader or listener.

  • The Complete Jewish Study Bible (CJSB) is a unique translation and study Bible that caters specifically to readers interested in understanding the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. It combines the Jewish Tanakh (Old Testament) with the New Testament to provide a comprehensive perspective on the scriptures. The CJSB includes commentary, study notes, and articles that delve into the cultural and historical context of the Bible, as well as its connections to Judaism. It is an excellent resource for those seeking a deeper understanding of the Bible's Jewish heritage and how it influenced the development of Christianity.

So, this is the translation I will be reading out of this year. I have often opened up my NKJV often because I’ll read something that makes me question my understanding so I just want to reread the chapter in a translation I am familiar with. I am also listening to the Hebrew Bible translated by Robert Atler on Audible on my commute.

What Bible translation are you using? What questions do you have about the CJSB? (Because I know you have them! Hah!) Let me know in the comments below!