In truth, most of us would never be able to discern these extremely subtle, nuance differences between the modern language versions of the Bible. It makes sense to simply read through these popular translations and decide for yourself which one seems to be the easiest for you to read and understand.
Because of the debate over which is best, we've decided to simply allow the Chaplains to choose which version they want us to send them and that's what we do! We want our participation in their ministries to be seamless.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
–Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
Most theologians consider the King James version to be the bedrock of translations of the Bible from the original Greek. Its translation dates back to 1611. As modern language has evolved from this era, this translation can be somewhat difficult to read, especially for those first experiencing the Bible. This has prompted Bible scholars to create newer versions using more modern language.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid".
–John 14:27 KJV
Another highly acclaimed version of the Bible is the New American Standard. There are a number of Theologians that believe this translation is the closest to the Greek. More evidence of the ongoing debate mentioned before. As you can see in the comparison using our Ministry's key Bible verse, the differences in these translations are really subtle.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful".
–John 14:27 NASV
Statistically, this version is the best selling translation of the Bible in the world today. Purists would say that this version is a little less accurate, in terms of translation from the Greek, but is the favorite among many because of its readability.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid".
-John 14:27 NIV
One version considered to be among the closest to the King James is the New King James.
In fact, some Linguistic Theologians believe that, because of new things learned about the Greek language since the 1600s, the NKJ version is actually more translationally accurate.
Naturally, there is plenty of debate among these scholars along these lines.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be
troubled nor let it be afraid".
–John 14:27 NKJV
The English Standard Version of the Bible, built on the best scholarship of the last 100 years, was first published in 2001. The ESV sounds like the Bible with the poetry of the King James Version, but reads with clear English meaning.
It was translated in consultation with over 100 scholars to retain the original meaning while using modern English grammar and syntax to improve its readability.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid"
–John 14:27 ESV
In 1979, The International Bible Society (now Biblica®) decided to produce a New Testament in Spanish following the NIV translation principles, which they worked on with several people and committees for over ten years. The translation process sought to preserve the original language while taking into account the target language as well. Many original, well-known phrases were kept, but others were introduced to communicate concepts "that are not so clear in other versions." The NVI present on the Bible Gateway matches Biblica's 1999 printing.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Not your heart betroubled, neither let it be afraid."
–John 14:27 NVI