THE BIBLE: Which Translation Is Best?

Something that personally grieves me is the way I am seeing family in Christ who are dividing over this non-issue. And so we look at a very important question:

Some use the NIV as an accurate thought-for-thought translation, while others use the NASB a very accurate word-for word translation. Of course the KJV is highly regarded by many other Christians, and then the NKJV is also being used by many others; but which translation of the Bible is the best?

There is so much confusion that surrounds this issue of Bible translations, and we also know that God is not the Author of confusion. As many of you have come to see I primarily use the NIV. My current preference for it is twofold actually. The day I was so graciously saved by Christ Jesus I was given my first Bible by the assistant pastor of the church and it just happened to be an NIV. Since this dear brother who handed it to me with the words, “this is yours,” a Nigerian man named Dr. Chiburu Mbugebu, would immediately take me under his wing to thoroughly disciple me this translation has always had a special place in my heart. And after much personal study for the better part of 18 years on the origin of the Bible itself, textual criticism, and Bible translations, it is my view that the NIV is a version which makes for a nice “smooth” reading in English as it comes over from the original languages.

The Lord has been kind enough to bless our library so far with the original Hebrew and Greek versions of His Word in a variety manuscripts–including both the textus receptus (which underlies the KJV and the NKJV) and with the Nestle-Aland text (which underlies the NIV and NASB). I also have as many as 27 different translations at my disposal as well for comparison. Since my ministry encompasses counter-cult work I have also had the privilege of personally investigating the “King James-Only” aberration, and the course of my writing against the apostate Church of Rome has brought me in contact with valued friends like Dr. Bill Jackson and Richard Bennett who are brothers who happen to use only the KJV but are not of the other persuasion.

Obviously when we do serious exposition from God’s infallible, inerrant Word we must only do so with fear and trembling on our knees and from the original languages. Tragically this type of reverent awe for the LORD God Almighty, a Being in whose dreadful presence we would literally disintegrate, is foreign in much of the irreverent pop culture postmodern Church today. This is actually quite easy to spot with the proliferation of watered down paraphrase versions in recent years and their increasing use by prominent evangelical spokesmen like Rick Warren.

With my position clearly stated, in my considered opinion I would only recommend the following translations(in no particular order) the KJV, the NASB, the NIV and the NJKV. Despite protests from the fringe, there is just not enough of a difference in the textus receptus and the so-called modern text to warrant being dogmatic in saying the KJV is superior to these other three versions that I have mentioned.

If one prefers the beauty and familiarity of the KJV then by all means they should use it, but the NASB for example, benefits from archaeological finds of manuscripts dating back well before those which were put together to form the textus receptus bringing us much closer to the autographas (originals) themselves. The arguments that the KJV is “preserved” by God and that the three other translations I recommend are somehow inferior or theologically biased just do not hold up to the actual facts.

Those of you who have followed this ministry will have probably noticed that I often quote from each these four versions of the Bible. And if you carefully compare–as I personally have–you will see that there is really no doctrinal differences, for if there were you can believe me that I will be the very first to tell you. I pray that this answer will be used by our Lord to bring balance to this issue so that Satan will not be able to cause the remnant to turn on each other as the darkness of this apostasy continues to grow.