The books of the Bible were originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. In order for us to be able to read it for ourselves, there are many translations of the Bible into English. Some of them are popular, while others are less well known. While the King James (Authorized) Version of 1611 is one of the oldest English translations (preceded by Wycliffe’s in 1383, Tyndale’s in the early 1500s, and the Bishops’ Bible in 1568), there are some who feel that the language is also antiquated and prefer a more modern version of the text.
Other options that set one Bible apart from another include binding and cover, reference notes, concordance, print size, and whether or not it has the words of Christ in red. The books below are arranged in alphabetical order by translation.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
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The Amplified Bible is called that because it expands on the text. Because the original languages have more nuance than English in many cases, the Amplified Bible adds in words that round out the meaning more fully than the single English words that were used in other translations.
This imitation leather bound study Bible has theological notes and applications throughout, as well as introductions that give background information about each book. It also includes a topical index. The font size is 10.5 point.
Sometimes a hardcover is a better option for durability. The 12-point font is large and easy to read.
This compact edition has a 7.1pt font size for a smaller overall volume. Study notes, a glossary, a comprehensive concordance, and full color maps are also included in this edition.
This Bible’s burgundy-colored bonded leather cover surrounds the cross-referenced text. This edition does not have Christ’s words in red.
This edition is for the Kindle and has the notes from the bottom of the pages of the print editions included in the text. They are at the end of each chapter for easy reference.
Bible in Basic English (BBE)
The Bible in Basic English is written using only 1000 words, of which 850 are Basic English, 100 are added for poetic understanding, and 50 Bible-specific words. This is meant to make it more accessible for the average person.
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Contemporary English Version is translated to be easy to understand, using modern language designed to be easily read aloud and easily understood.
This study Bible is designed for discipling new converts. Using the experiences and notes of Don Wilkerson (Teen Challenge co-founder), categorized notes and quotes are included throughout.
This leather-bound compact Bible is small enough to take along anywhere, and includes maps, outlines, and other helps in the back. Gilded-edged pages and red ribbon marker make this an elegant gift Bible.
This clothbound hardcover Bible contains bright white pages and justified text in two columns for ease in reading. This edition includes aids for the reader and supplemental material.
Over 2000 verses that pertain to poverty and justice are highlighted in this edition of the Bible. Also included is a 56-page study guide to foster discussion, and practical suggestions for making a difference.
5. Youth Bible
This Global Edition uses more common phrasing rather than the primarily American idioms that are often found within the text. Chapter introductions and a miniature dictionary join other reader helps to make this a functional book for younger readers.
Douay-Rheims Version (DRV) (Catholic)
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The Douay-Rheims Version was the only Catholic accepted translation for most of recent history. Originally translated in the late sixteenth century and revised in the late eighteenth century, it is considered the most accurate translation by many. It is the translation used in most Catholic churches even today.
This red-letter edition also contains full color maps as well as pictures depicting Christ’s life on earth. Its black genuine leather cover, gilt edges, and ribbon marker make it a beautiful choice. The font is a standard size.
This bonded leather cover encloses an English and Latin side by side edition. Whether Mass is being held in Latin or English, the participant with this Bible will be able to follow along.
3. Pocket Size
This pocket size Bible has 6pt text, but fits neatly in a pocket and contains color maps and a beautiful flexible black cover.
This edition contains notes by Bishop Challoner and letters from Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XII along with the text of the Bible.
English Revised Version (ERV)
This is a family of versions, all based on the same first attempt to officially update the King James Version of 1769. Some of the included versions are American Standard Version (ASV), Revised Standard Version (RSV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and English Standard Version (ESV).
Translated by a team of 30 scholars from American and Britain, the ASV was completed in 1901. It was a word-for-word translation, and is used in many seminaries.
This Kindle edition of the English Revised Version, first published in 1885, is the version officially recognized in Britain.
Adapted from the ESV Study Bible, this book is ideal for students who want to learn more about God’s word and how to apply it to their lives. It includes notes, character profiles, articles, a glossary, a concordance, maps, illustrations, and more.
This hardcover study Bible has study notes, charts, maps, cross-references, and a variety of other things to help aid your study of the Bible.
This book identifies the key original-language words throughout this red-letter edition of the 1977 NASB.
This affordable Bible has clear, readable type and quality paper. It is ideal as a pew Bible or sturdy enough to use the lay-flat bound book every day.
This premium gift Bible has 8pt type, gilded edges, a ribbon bookmark, a section of Bible helps, including a dictionary/concordance, full color maps, index of subjects, and more. Available in black or burgundy.
God’s Word (GW)
The God’s Word translation has plain English translated directly from the original texts. The readability makes it excellent for both daily reading and deeper study, for memorizing and for worship.
1. Large Print
This text is in a large 12pt font and has a hardcover binding. It also has an index of Jesus’ teachings in the back.
Good News Bible (GNB)/Today’s English Version (TEV)
This large print TEV by American Bible Society is bound in imitation leather.
This edition of the Good News Bible contains the Deuterocanonical books and the Apocrypha. It also contains illustrations and hymns.
King James Version (KJV)
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There are a variety of updates to the original 1611 Authorized Version, of which the most common reason is to bring it out of Olde English and archaic language into the standardized spellings, grammar, and phrasing of the current day. These include the New King James Version (NKJV) and the Modern English Version (MEV).
This dramatized audio Bible helps to bring the Bible to life. It is an excellent way to fit more time with God’s word in your day.
This red-letter edition Bible has 500 verses illustrated in full color beside the single-column text with wide margins and high quality paper.
This wide margin Bible has room for journaling and creativity. The pages have line art drawings scattered throughout as well as spaces for personal journaling or note-taking.
The leathersoft cover of this edition is a beautiful blue with a debossed design and it has gilded page edges. Inside, the red letter Bible has the text along with maps, dictionary/concordance, and a ribbon place marker.
This Modern English Version Bible has a large 12pt font for easy reading, and the gilded page edges have inset tabs to make it easy to find the book for which you are looking.
This giant print leatherbound volume has a two-tone faux leather cover. The print is 14pt, making it very easy to read.
The Precious Moments illustrations in this Bible will encourage young children to be interested in the Bible stories contained within.
This journaling Bible is double-columned but wide margins specially made for crafters who enjoy art journaling and coloring. There are illustrations scattered throughout the book.
With an 8pt font, this Bible has the Scripture in two columns, and a topic index and one year reading plan inside. This thinline edition has imitation leather with a debossed, gilded design on the front and spine.
This personal size reference Bible has a brown imitation leather cover, with 11.5pt text for easy reading. The size makes it easy to carry and convenient for use in any location.
New American Bible (NAB) (Catholic)
This hardcover Catholic translation is one of the latest translations. This edition includes several additional texts, a dictionary, maps, and more.
The St. Joseph edition contains notes at the end of each book, a full color map, a presentation page and family record, and the Vatican II Constitution on Divine Revelation.
New Century Version (NCV)
This Bible includes daily Bible readings along with sections of Max Lucado’s writings. This Bible will lead you through the entire Book in a year.
2. Pink Revolve
This imitation pink leather bound Bible is ideal for teen girls, with a floral design on the pink cover. It also includes daily devotionals and quizzes to help readers remember, and more.
New International Version (NIV)
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Arguably the most popular translation in the twenty-first century, this version also has an option meant for younger readers or those for whom English is a second language – the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV).
This Bible is full of spiritual challenges and thought-provoking readings to encourage men into a better relationship with God.
This study Bible has a cross reference, study notes, a concordance, and full color maps in an imitation leather binding.
This Bible’s 16.5pt print is super easy to read. It also has references, a dictioinary/concordance, and red words for Christ’s words.
Easy to read, easy to carry, this Bible is less than an inch thick. The 9.4pt text size in a double column format has the words of Jesus in red.
This Bible is meant to encourage excitement about the Bible for children who are early readers. It introduces them to the people of the Bible and life in Bible times. It highlights good memory verses, and has a dictionary/concordance to help with new words. This one has a solid purple cover, but there is also a Full Color Adventure Bible for Early Readers – NirV
New Living Translation (NLT)
This Bible is set up with devotionals for daily reading and study. It covers some serious life questions and shows the thread of Jesus throughout every book of the Bible.
The study notes and charts in this Bible contains sound advice from great men and profiles of men in the Bible. Many topics important to men are contained in its pages.
This large print Bible has the nearly 10,000 Life Application study notes included, plus maps, profiles of Bible people, charts, dictionary/concordance, and more.
This Premium Value Bible is excellent quality, but affordable price. The imitation leather cover contains the full text of the Bible, plus a One Year Reading Plan and maps, with gilt edges, a sewn binding, and a ribbon marker.
The Living Bible (TLB)
The Living Bible is a paraphrase rather than a translation, but it definitely makes the text easily readable and accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.
This Bible is arranged into daily readings from different sections of the Bible. This digital book is searchable and has links at the beginning of each month and day to make it easier for the reader to find each day’s reading.
Some may feel a bit of nostalgia when seeing this edition, which uses the same green hardcover binding that was used decades ago. This red-letter edition also contains maps, diagrams, a reading plan, and concordance.
This hardcover Life Application Bible for kids has features to encourage children to enjoy the Scriptures. It points out Heroes and Villains, notes facts and situations to pay attention to, and explains concepts and answers questions.
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
This literal translation is a word for word translation of the complete Old and New Testaments.
This paperback Bible with page references is a complete translation of the entire Bible.
This Kindle edition of the YLT also contains Strong’s exhaustive concordance with links from the definitions to the verses.
Parallel Bibles (Multiple Translations in One Volume)
This large print Bible has a bonded leather cover and a lay-flat binding. The font size is 10pt. The text of the King James Version and the Amplified Version are side by side in this volume.
2. KJV / MEV
The Modern English Version was based on the KJV, but in updated language. This parallel Bible allows readers to see both versions side by side for clarification and readability in one volume.
3. KJV / TLB
The People’s Parallel Edition contains the King James Version and The Living Bible side by side for easy comparison.
This Bible has four columns on each side of the page, each with a different translation. Translations included are: The Living Bible, King James Version, Phillips’ Modern English, Revised Standard Version, Today’s English Version, New International Version, The Jerusalem Bible, and The New English Bible.
Whichever translation you prefer, it is a wise plan to choose one to read regularly!