Different Bible versions serve different audiences and purposes. It is helpful to use a variety of Bible versions. Some are better for detailed word studies, while others are better for grasping overall themes. Here are my current picks for top Bible versions for different categories that I can think of. (You can find Bible version abbreviations on our blog Versions page. When I list more than one version for a category my preferences go from left to right, starting with my highest current choice.):
1. most accurate exegetically: several qualify here, including NET,
TNIV NIV2011, NRSV
2. most natural English: CEV, TEV, BLB
3. most stimulating: Phillips, The Message
4. best liturgical: NRSV,
5. best children’s Bible: CEV, NCV
6. best pulpit/pew Bible: NLT,
7. best study version: NET,
TNIV NIV2011, NRSV, (added: HCSB)
8. best multipurpose version: NLT,
9. most elegant/eloquent: REB (HT: Carl Conrad, Dan Wallace)
10. most genre sensitive: none
What are your top favorites for one or more of these categories?
What other categories useful for Bible versions can you think of?