Q. Our son, who is 7, reads a New International Version (NIV) Bible. It was necessary at the beginning of his study because of his reading ability at the time. Now he is testing at a 4th grade reading level and can manage most any of the versions. Would you have any thoughts on this subject? What is the BEST BIBLE for children to read?
(Submitted by: Robin)
A. If I were able to use only one translation of the Bible, it would be the King James Version for two reasons:
It has a few errors in translation but they are minor and they are well known.
The beautiful, poetic language of the King James Version has proven easy to memorize for me and even with the strange (to me) use of all the verbs ending in "eth" and "est", I find myself able to remember it better than the more easily understood translations like the New King James Version, or New International Version etc.
I find it remarkable that many of the top scholars of 100 years ago learned to read using the King James Version and hundreds of thousands of "ordinary" people did so following its translation ordered by the Queen of England, Elizabeth I.
The only difficulty is with the use of archaic words and grammar - words which may have changed meaning in the last 200 years.
There is, however, a simple solution available to us today which was not available 100 years ago. This solution is the availability of relatively inexpensive Parallel Bible translations. My particular favorite is the KJV / Amplified Parallel Bible by Zondervan Bible Publishers which puts the King James Version Bible and the Amplified line for line in parallel columns on the same page. This volume allows one to read a passage in the King James Version and then to see how the more easily understood translations have stated it. With the King James Version as a baseline, one can see the flaws in the new translations yet better understand the King James Version. Zondervan also publishes a New International Version, New Living Translation, King James Version and New American Standard Bible Version Parallel Bible called Today's Parallel Bible. They also produce a New International Version / KJV Parallel Bible as well.