Bible, Mailbag

The Mailbag: Which Bible Do You Recommend?

mailbag

 

I was saved out of Mormonism but, as a new Christian, spent some time in the Word of Faith movement. I want a Bible that hasn’t been tampered with by a false religion, but I’m not sure which one I can trust. Which Bible do you recommend?

What a blessing it is to even be able to ask this question! You would not ask this question if God had not graciously saved you, and you could not ask this question if there weren’t a ton of different Bibles available in English, nor if you lived in a country where it is illegal to own a copy of God’s word. It’s a dilemma, but it’s a good dilemma to have.

The good news is that there are many fantastic Bibles out there- far more good ones than bad, and far more than I could recommend in this brief article. So, please don’t take this as an exhaustive list or think that because I’ve left a certain Bible out that it isn’t any good.

The first thing you want to look for is a good translation, not a paraphrase. You want to know what God said through Paul, not what somebody 2000 years later thinks about what God said through Paul. You’re looking to get as close to the original wording as is possible.

There are several great English translations on the market. I started using the English Standard Version (ESV) about four years ago, and I love it. Prior to that I used the New American Standard Bible (NASB) for about 20 years. It is also an excellent translation. If you’re familiar with various Bible translations, ESV is, in my opinion, like a more accurate, more linguistically sophisticated 1984 New International Version (NIV). NASB is like a cross between the King James Version (KJV) and the 1984 NIV, but more accurate. In my opinion, ESV and NASB are the two best translations out there today.

There are, however, several other solid translations such as the New King James Version (NKJV), the Lexham English Bible (LEB), the Christian Standard Bible (CSB– This is a newly revised version of the Holman Christian Standard Bible {HCSB}, and they’re dropping the “Holman”. So HCSB and CSB – whichever one you happen to see – are the same thing.), and the “old” or “1984” NIV (You want to stay away from the TNIV {Today’s New International Version}, now out of print, and any 2011 or later NIV, as those both contain gender neutral/inclusive language. The 1984 edition is also out of print, but you may be able to acquire one from a second hand store.)

The KJV is a good translation and the language is beautiful, but if you have trouble with 1611 English, it’s not the only game in town anymore. Some of our modern translations are actually more accurate than the KJV because thousands more biblical manuscripts have been discovered since it was first published, allowing translators to be more precise.

Below is a helpful chart from Brent MacDonald of Not Just Another Book comparing a number of different translations and paraphrases. (On this chart, it’s good to be a “leftist”).

bibletranslationcomparisonsmall

You can try most of these translations out for free at Bible GatewayThere’s even a great feature that allows you to compare several versions side by side:

biblegateway-compare-translations

Just as there are a number of good Bible versions I would recommend, there are a few I’m familiar with which I would strongly recommend againstThe Message, The Voice, The Passion Translation, and The Amplified Bible.

peterson-shackMore than a few articles have voiced concerns over The Message’s – a paraphrase – often misleading texts. (I would add that Eugene Peterson {author of The Message} frequently shows poor discernment. One recent example is his front cover endorsement of the heresy-laden book – and movie – The Shack.)

The Voice is not only a paraphrase, its contributors include female “pastors” and false teachers such as Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, Chris Seay, and Leonard Sweet.

The Passion Translation is a New Apostolic Reformation version of the Bible which actually changes the wording of many verses in order to fit the NAR agenda. Click here for a Bible translation scholar’s review of Passion’s version of Psalms.

The Amplified Bible falls prey to an improper translation technique called illegitimate totality transfer.

If you’re looking for a good study Bible (or want to avoid a bad one), I’ve discussed that a bit here (#4). I frequently use and highly recommend both the ESV MacArthur Study Bible and the Faithlife Study Bible (which is FREE!). When shopping for a study Bible, do you homework and vet the contributors. Avoid any study Bibles whose contributors are false teachers, theologians from apostate churches, female “pastors,” etc.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Social Media, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ My Favorite Christian Apps

Originally published October 30, 2015

fave-apps

 

A friend of mine messaged me the other day. She was looking at a list of recommended Christian apps someone had posted and was curious to know which apps I use and recommend. There are a lot of great apps out there, but here are the ones I have on my phone (iPhone 4- I know, practically an antique!), use regularly, and highly recommend. And, as far as I know, they are all still FREE! These apps (or very similar ones) are also available for Android unless otherwise noted.

b gBible Gateway This app has the whole Bible in many different translations. Several of the translations are also available in audio format so you can listen to the Bible as you drive or do other activities. There are Bible reading plans (you can even set daily reminders) and other helpful resources such as devotionals, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and study Bibles. If you only get one Bible app, get this one.

 

unnamedFaithlife Study Bible A wonderful study Bible with copious notes, charts, articles, maps, photos, and even videos. It comes with several free translations (the Lexham English Bible is their default translation, and a good one), an audio feature, daily devotions, and community groups you can join.

 

 

icon175x175ESV Bible This is a great, simple ESV Bible app. The downloadable Global Study Bible provides helpful notes, background information, and character sketches of people in the Bible. The best feature of this app is that it contains 16 different Bible reading plans – including a Scripture memory plan – of varying length.

 

 

olivetree_app_Icon-retinaOlive Tree Bible Study The interface can be a bit tedious, but the library of resources, the best feature of this app, more than makes up for it. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of commentaries, Bible dictionaries, maps, theological books, and even biographies you can download absolutely free. The Bible portion of the app is ESV default, though there are other downloadable versions. Bible reading plans and study notes are also standard.

 

logosLogos Bible Software Logos is the parent company to Faithlife, so you’ll find some similarities between the two apps. Logos, however has far more available free resources including numerous translations, commentaries, handbooks, several Bible studies, study Bibles, and theological books. A great feature of Logos is that many of its resources are available in languages other than English.

 

imagen-grace-to-you-bible-app-0bigGrace to You Bible Study A streamlined Bible app from Pastor John MacArthur. Most of the resources, including sermons, articles, Q & A, and study Bible notes, are available only for New Testament passages. Not available for Android.

 

 

gtyGrace to You Sermons Dr. John MacArthur has been preaching for over forty years, and I think this app has just about all of his sermons! Available in both audio, and in many cases, video format, you can search sermons alphabetically, chronologically, or by Bible passage. This app also contains a daily Bible reading plan, daily devotionals, and GTY blog articles.

 

mzl.ohffnsoj.175x175-75WretchedWretched is a daily Christian issues radio program hosted by Todd Friel. On the app, you can listen to the show, view YouTube videos from the Wretched TV program, visit the WretchedRadio web site, and check out evangelism resources. Not available for Android.

 

 

F4FfacebookFighting for the Faith This is not a stand alone app, but an excellent Christian radio show I upload to my podcast app. Hosted by Chris Rosebrough, Fighting for the Faith centers around sound Bible study and preaching, current issues in evangelicalism, and discernment. It can also be accessed at the Fighting For the Faith web site. I can’t recommend this one enough.

 


this article was originally published at satisfaction through christ.
Bible, Social Media

My Favorite Christian Apps

This article was originally published at
Satisfaction Through Christ.

fave apps

A friend of mine messaged me the other day. She was looking at a list of recommended Christian apps someone had posted and was curious to know which apps I use and recommend. There are a lot of great apps out there, but here are the ones I have on my phone (iPhone 4- I know, practically an antique!), use regularly, and highly recommend. And, as far as I know, they are all still FREE! These apps (or very similar ones) are also available for Android unless otherwise noted.

b gBible Gateway This app has the whole Bible in many different translations. Several of the translations are also available in audio format so you can listen to the Bible as you drive or do other activities. There are Bible reading plans (you can even set daily reminders) and other helpful resources such as devotionals, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and study Bibles. If you only get one Bible app, get this one.

 

unnamedFaithlife Study Bible A wonderful study Bible with copious notes, charts, articles, maps, photos, and even videos. It comes with several free translations (the Lexham English Bible is their default translation, and a good one), an audio feature, daily devotions, and community groups you can join.

 

 

icon175x175ESV Bible This is a great, simple ESV Bible app. The downloadable Global Study Bible provides helpful notes, background information, and character sketches of people in the Bible. The best feature of this app is that it contains 16 different Bible reading plans – including a Scripture memory plan – of varying length.

 

 

olivetree_app_Icon-retinaOlive Tree Bible Study The interface can be a bit tedious, but the library of resources, the best feature of this app, more than makes up for it. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of commentaries, Bible dictionaries, maps, theological books, and even biographies you can download absolutely free. The Bible portion of the app is ESV default, though there are other downloadable versions. Bible reading plans and study notes are also standard.

 

logosLogos Bible Software Logos is the parent company to Faithlife, so you’ll find some similarities between the two apps. Logos, however has far more available free resources including numerous translations, commentaries, handbooks, several Bible studies, study Bibles, and theological books. A great feature of Logos is that many of its resources are available in languages other than English.

 

imagen-grace-to-you-bible-app-0bigGrace to You Bible Study A streamlined Bible app from Pastor John MacArthur. Most of the resources, including sermons, articles, Q & A, and study Bible notes, are available only for New Testament passages. Not available for Android.

 

 

gtyGrace to You Sermons Dr. John MacArthur has been preaching for over forty years, and I think this app has just about all of his sermons! Available in both audio, and in many cases, video format, you can search sermons alphabetically, chronologically, or by Bible passage. This app also contains a daily Bible reading plan, daily devotionals, and GTY blog articles.

 

mzl.ohffnsoj.175x175-75WretchedWretched is a daily Christian issues radio program hosted by Todd Friel. On the app, you can listen to the show, view YouTube videos from the Wretched TV program, visit the WretchedRadio web site, and check out evangelism resources. Not available for Android.

 

 

F4FfacebookFighting for the Faith This is not a stand alone app, but an excellent Christian radio show I upload to my podcast app. Hosted by Chris Rosebrough, Fighting for the Faith centers around sound Bible study and preaching, current issues in evangelicalism, and discernment. It can also be accessed at the Fighting For the Faith web site. I can’t recommend this one enough.