Why Do Bibles Read Differently?

Question: Why does my Bible read one way, but my friend's Bible reads differently?

Answer: The reason is because you have different versions of the Bible. The translations we have today essentially come from the same manuscripts, but are just translated in a slightly different fashion.

Many people today read the King James Version, which was translated in 1611. Many of the English words that were used in the 1600's don't make sense to us today because the English language has significantly changed over the centuries. We don't use the words "Thee" "Thou" "ye" "goest" "whither" "verily" "hath" "cometh" "saith" and many other words. For this reason, scholars have translated newer versions of the Bible that are easier for us to understand today.

The Old Testament in the Bible was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek. Our Bibles today are translations from these Hebrew and Greek texts. The Bible translators try to make these words understandable to us in English. The different versions will often arrange words in a different sequence, like the two sentences below:

On Tuesday, people bought bread at the store.
Bread was bought by people at the store on Tuesday.
Both the above sentences say the same thing but are worded differently. The same is true with various translations of the Bible-it's the same message but worded in a different way. Each translation has its own merits, but some may be easier to understand than others.

If you are looking for a recommendation of which Bible to purchase, the New American Standard Version and the Holman Christian Standard Bible are both very accurate and easy to read versions of the Bible.

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