What Your Favorite Bible Translation Says About You

A comprehensive guide

BY SHANE PRUITT GOD November 18, 2016

Let’s be honest, when someone tells you what their favorite Bible translation is, you fairly or unfairly make certain immediate assumptions about that person; caricatures will pop into your mind.

And when it comes to our favorite Bible translations, we can get pretty defensive.

Bible translations can often be hot-button topics for believers that can cause arguments, debates and division. But it’s time for a definitive list on what your favorite Bible translations really has to say about you:

New International Version (NIV)
3 Things You Can’t Live Without: Button-downs and flannels because suits are for squares, Jesus Calling devotional book, Instagram
Most Likely To Be Spotted At: The only vegetarian restaurant in town
You Have The Uncanny Ability To: Find the perfect verse for every situation even if no one wants to hear it right now

English Standard Version (ESV)
3 Things You Can’t Live Without: Skinny jeans and cardigans, iWhatever (pad? pod? phone? watch?), black-rimmed glasses (you might not actually need them but you’ll never tell)
Most Likely To Be Spotted: Running from church to SoulCycle
You Have The Uncanny Ability To: Read the newest Timothy Keller book before anyone else has had a chance to

King James Version (KJV)
3 Things You Can’t Live Without: Your favorite pew spot, the Left Behind series, McDonald’s coffee
Most Likely To Be Spotted At: The local Cracker Barrel before 5 p.m.
You Have The Uncanny Ability To: Use the King’s English while praying.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 Things You Can’t Live Without: Alternative transportation, a backpack, your blog (though it hasn’t been updated since 2009)
Most Likely To Be Spotted At: A conference that’s largely attended but no one sees you at the break-out sessions
You Have The Uncanny Ability To: Inform anyone, even a complete stranger, that you know a tad bit of Greek.

New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Things You Can’t Live Without: The Jesus fish on your car, The Prayer of Jabez starter-kit, zip-up Bible cover that not only holds your Bible, but also all of your church bulletins
Most Likely To Be Spotted At: dc Talk’s Jesus Freak Reunion Tour
You Have The Uncanny Ability To: Sneak out of church at noon whether the pastor is done preaching or not.

New Living Translation (NLT)
3 Things You Can’t Live Without: Essential oils, your journal, cold brew coffee
Most Likely To Be Spotted At: Wherever the Spirit takes you.
You Have The Uncanny Ability To: Show up late every single time no matter where you go. But you always have a really creative excuse.

The Message Bible
3 Things You Can’t Live Without: The Shack, a hemp necklace, the saying: “Don’t give me theology, just give me Jesus.”
Most Likely To Be Spotted At: Anywhere but church.
You Have The Uncanny Ability To: Believe that you’re actually reading a real Bible translation.

Shane Pruitt

SHANE PRUITT

Husband, Father, Director of Missions for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, Writer & Communicator. www.shanepruitt.com Instagram and Twitter: @shane_pruitt78

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