My question concerns the different versions of the Bible used by electronic concordances and databases such as the ones linked to I thought that the NIV was an accurate, scholarly, respected version of the Bible. Why is it not referenced by these study helps? I don't know how important this question is, but I'd like to know if you have any comments about the situation. -- Karen Roth (San Antonio)

Perhaps it is assumed that the reader already has an NIV! This would make sense, since the NIV has been the fastest selling English version of the Bible for many years now. In terms of the NIV's accuracy, for a dynamic equivalence Bible it is certainly solid. For stricter accuracy, though, I prefer the NASB or the ESV. To do even better, I recommend the Greek and Hebrew -- but that involves a heavy price! For perfection, you would need the original manuscripts. (Yet alas, though they survive in copies, the inspired originals seem to be lost to us.)

All in all, I will continue to recommend the NIV or (better) the HCSB to those starting out on their spiritual journey, though I encourage English-speaking Christians to experiment with some of the other translations available once they have completed the entire Bible a couple of times. Some of the English versions I have read in recent years: NLT (less accurate than NIV), HCSB (more accurate), NET (more accurate), ESV (much more accurate), and NASB (more accurate though stiffer, too).

This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only.