King James Version
The King James Version (KJV) of the Bible gets its name from King James I of England. Back in 1605 he commissioned a new translation of the Bible into English so that the Word of God could be brought to the common man. After its commission in 1605, the translation was completed in 1611, and it became standard reading for Protestants in English-speaking countries.
Not only was the KJV a major move forward in the Protestant movement, but it has had a deep impact on language and literature for over 300 years. While it is considered beautiful and traditional, it contains a lot of obsolete language. Many churches opt now for the New King James Version (NKJV) or other translations that put the Word into language that is easy to read and understand.
I personally would like to use a Bible that I can easily understand so that I can grasp the meaning of the Word.
New King James Version
The New King James Version (NKJV) became a Bible translation that used modern words while keeping the style and purity of the original version. It continues to remain faithful to the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts while also using the new research in archaeology, linguistics, and religious text studies.
The change of language over time made it difficult for readers of the KJV to understand the concepts being put forth. Therefore, Thomas Nelson Publishers commissioned a new King James Version to be written in 1975.
The Nelson Study Bible is the best study Bible for the NKJV. It has a vocabulary and commentaries on practically each verse stated in its Bible. There is also many CD versions of the NKJV Bible.
Contemporary English Version
The Contemporary English Version of the Bible is known for the simplicity of the language used. The contemporary language is often mistaken as paraphrasing, but it is a faithful translation of original manuscripts.
This translation of the Bible was written after doing many interviews with children and people unfamiliar with the Bible. The reason for the interviews was so that the translation would be written in the way people speak.
Work on the CEV began in 1984 with the goal being to put an accurate Bible translation in everyday language. Early drafts were sent for review to Bible experts, theologians, and educators spanning a variety of denominations.
The simple, everyday language used in the CEV is what sets this Bible apart from all others. It is written so that even those reading only at a grade school level or second language learners could understand scripture. It is written at a 4th grade reading level. Even though my education is much higher than the 4th grade, I use this Bible when I have difficulty in understanding the King James Version.
Amplified Bible (AB)
The first Bible project of The Lockman Foundation was the Amplified Bible. This Bible combines meaning and context in its translation of the Bible. This combination means that the Bible contains alternative translations and amplified terms so that the reader can understand the meaning of scripture more clearly.
Frances Siewert (1881-1967) was determined to create a translation that included the nuanced differences in Hebrew and Greek language, culture, and archaeological findings. The Lockman Foundation financed her project. Zondervan then published the Amplified Bible.
The Amplified Bible allows readers to gain an understanding of the different ways certain Greek and Hebrew words can be translated. This allows for a deeper understanding of the scripture.
P. S. There are many other contemporary Bible versions as good as the ones mentioned above. Choose one you feel comfortable with and rely on God's Spirit for it to become alive to you.
The New King James Version of the Bible was intended to provide a modern translation of Scripture that would retain the purity of the original King James Version. The NKJV is a revision of the KJV and is still based on the original Greek and Hebrew texts. No changes to the original text have been made as in some other revisions of the Bible.
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