A Comfortable Bible

Back in high school I participated in competitions called “Bible Bowl.” I’m not even sure if they still do this or not. We studied and memorized a book or several books of the Bible for about 9 months. We met together once a month, in addition to tournaments around the state, and around the country. They were quiz competitions. The top teams will have memorized, word-for-word, flawlessly, in the Kings James Version. While I may not have always been at the top, I did memorize quite a bit from my KJV Bible.

The KJV was translated over 400 years ago now. Our English language has evolved and changed since then. For me, reading through the KJV is both awkward and annoying.

When I went off to college, Lincoln Christian College, the Bible that the college used in all their classes was the Harper Study Bible, which was the Revised Standard Version. It was certainly better than the KJV, but it was still a bit clumsy. My junior year they switched to the New International Version Study Bible.

I still have that Bible. I have had to tape it back together several different times. Two years ago Traci had it rebound for me as a Christmas present. It has all my notes, underlinings, and feels comfortable.

About 8 years ago I bought a New Living Translastion. It was much easier to read, and felt more natural. I really enjoyed it and it gave me a new perspective on many different scriptures I had learned in the NIV.

But, after a couple of years, I found myself going back to the NIV Study Bible. I just liked studying it better.

Then, last week in church, our pastor introduced me to a new Translation, the Holman Christian Standard Bible. I downloaded the free app to my Android phone and began reading through it. I like it… a lot!!


It seems to be a modernization of the NIV translation. The NIV was translated in the 1970’s. Since that time, there have been many new archaelogical discoveries, new manuscripts, Dead Sea Scrolls, and other evidense that can make for a better, more accurate translation.

I’ve included a video below that explains things better.

The HCSB translation was done in 2010. The HCSB Study Bible is probably the best I’ve seen from a Study Bible. It is very, very impressive.

Here’s my suggestion, for whatever that is worth, regarding translations:

  1. For a new Christian, and especially a younger Christian (college age and younger), I would recommend the New Living Translation.  There is an NLT Study Bible that is also very good. I think the translation just makes things easier to understand in a language that younger believers can understand.
  2. For growing Christians and those in their late-20’s on up to their 120’s, I recommend the HCSB Study Bible. I believe the accuracy of the translation, the study notes, charts, time lines, maps, articles, cross-references, etc. are second to none, and can really help deepen one’s walk and relationship with Christ.

Furthermore, if you have an iPad, you have to get the HCSB Study Bible app. It’s about $10 and is THE BEST thing I’ve ever seen. I would buy an iPad just so I could use this app. 🙂


I’m looking forward to getting into this… and… give me another 20 years and I’m sure it will feel comfortable.

Leave a Comment