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Pastor Bea, what Bible Translations do you recommend?

Pastor's Message | Comments Off on Pastor Bea, what Bible Translations do you recommend?

Pastor Bea, what Bible Translations do you recommend? People frequently ask me this question, so I want to give you a brief overview of some Bible translations and how you might use them.

First of all, it depends where and how the Bible is read and for what purpose. There is public reading of the Bible that occurs during the worship service. Here we read the Bible not only for ourselves, but for the public proclamation of the Word of God. Therefore, care should be given to use a translation that is suitable for the community and has  a suitable context in which the Bible is read. The worshiping community of St. Francis Lutheran Church is currently using The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation by Priests for Equality. You can read more about this translation at

Then there is the devotional reading of the Bible. This is when you read the Bible for inspiration, spiritual uplifting, and devotion. Select a Bible that you love in all ways that a Bible can be loved: the way it looks, the way it feels to hold, and the way the language sings to you. This is often a very personal choice. You may have to try a number of translations and formats before you settle on the one that appeals to you.

Some people like the King James Version because for its poetic language. Some people like modern language translations because of their clarity and simplicity. A good start to get an overview of the many translations are websites like Bible Gateway where you will find more than 50 different translations in English alone, plus translations in other languages.

Then there is good old-fashioned study Bible, where you grapple with a text as a historical and literary document, and for that I recommend a study Bible that comes with lots of commentary and footnotes. My most favorite study Bible is the Lutheran Study Bible in the New Revised Standard Version published by Augsburg Fortress. More information of this study Bible is at It contains a wealth of information and study tools, including a helpful introduction which explains how the Bible came to be, with charts, maps, time lines and a special section on the unique way in which Lutherans read the Bible.

I have many more recommendations and I am always glad to assist you with any questions you might have. If you are interested to learn more about Bible study or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Pastor Bea Chun