OK, you have decided to become a follower of Christ and your fist step is to pick up the Bible and start reading it. The problem is, you have no idea where to start. Scripture is extremely overwhelming when you have no idea what is in it. At first glance, you see a collection of stories, many different books placed together to make the Bible as a whole, and many many many many words you can not pronounce. The good thing is…you are not alone!
There are so many others who are in the same boat you are in. You have that desire to learn more and grow in Christ, but you have no idea where to begin. Then, once you start to read Scripture, you don’t understand what you are reading. And the fact that there are so many different Bibles and translations, that just makes it even more challenging. Which one is best? Are they all truth? How do you know which translation is right for you?
I was one of those people. I had the eagerness to grow and learn more, but I had no idea where to begin; plus, I HATE reading! For me to pick up a book and read it – THAT would be a miracle in itself. So whatever translation I began with had to be written in lamens (yes, I know I probably spelled it wrong) terms. If the first few sentences were over my head, I would not get past the first paragraph. So, I started asking around to see what everyone else had and what was suggested the most. This is what you have to do as well. You need to just get out there and see what is most widely used. Now, I am not saying that just cause everyone else is using a certain translation, that is the one you should use. Maybe you will find a totally different translation that best fits your needs. But, by asking around, you will get ideas and pointers as to what works for others. It will help point you in the right direction.
I have found that I need to stay away from any of the King James Versions. Anything with “Thee” “Tho” or what-nots in it; way over my head and not for me. I need it plain and to the point. I really enjoy the NIV translation. I started out with that one and I still use it today. I would also suggest that you get a study Bible to start off with. It is one that has a commentary with it and may also have suggested readings that go along with the verses you are reading. These are readings that are related to the verse and may help give you a better understanding of the section you are reading. The commentary offers another point of view as to what the verses mean. These are not always right, but they do help you stay focused and get an understanding of what is going on. I still use the NIV Study Bible but I also like using the Amplified Bible or the Living Translation Bible. They are both written in terms that are easy to understand. The Amplified often adds some extra wording to give you some other thoughts on the Scripture.
No matter what translation you choose, make sure it is one that you are comfortable with and understand. It will be YOUR Bible that you read daily, so you must be able to understand it. If you want to venture into it – try the Hebrew and Greek Versions! As long as you are trying to learn, grow, and become closer to God seeking His guidance; God will be with you through it all!
(These are my opinions – not fact; just trying to shed some insight and help)