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Choosing The Right Bible

One of the most frequently asked questions at Heavenly Blessings and Gifts is “What type of bible is right for me?” We’ve created this bible guide to help you select the right bible for your needs.


There are many different translations available of the Bible. On paper, the main difference between these translations is the wording/phrasing, but depending on what denomination you follow, some denominations choose a certain translation.

Below are the 8 most commonly requested translations by our Northshore-area customers, with a brief history and an example of the translation.

New American Bible (NAB)

**Most commonly purchased by Catholic shoppers**

The New American Bible was originally released in 1970, but the New Testament was later revised in 1986, and the Psalms were revised in 1991. This version was created per Pope Pius XII’s request for a more clear translation by the Catholic Biblical Association of America. It is now widely used by Roman Catholics of all ages for daily devotional reading and Bible study.

“He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19

New King James Version (NKJV)

**Most commonly purchased by non-denominational shoppers**

The New King James Version was released in 1982. This version was produced for a modern language translation that would maintain the structure and splendor of the KJV. It is used for devotional reading and Bible study by adults who prefer the English found in older versions.

“Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19 

King James Version (KJV)

The King James Version is the most widely printed and distributed version of the Bible. It was originally released in 1611 by order of King James I of England (a Protestant), and then later revised in 1769. It was the first completed bible to be released. The purpose of this version was for devotional reading use and Bible studies for adults who prefer the English found in older versions of the Bible.

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” –Matthew 4:19

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

The Revised Standard Version was released in 1952. The purpose of this translation was to preserve the best of the English Bible versions that preceded it.

“And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19

New International Version (NIV)

The New International Version was released in 1978, and then later revised in both 1984 and 2011. Its purpose was to provide a modern translation satisfactory to many denominations. The New International Version is currently the best-selling Bible.

“Come, follow me, “Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” – Matthew 4:19


New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The New Revised Standard Version was released in 1989. It was created to revise the Revised Standard Version, using information gathered from newly discovered Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. This version was officially accepted by Episcopal, Presbyterian and United States and Canadian Catholic Bishops.

“And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” – Matthew 4:19

New Living Translation (NLT)

The New Living Translation was released in 1996, and later revised in 2004. Its purpose was to provide an easy-to-read modern version. It is used by teenagers and adults for personal devotions, worship, and Bible Study.
“Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!’” – Matthew 4:19

English Standard Version (ESV)

The English Standard Version was released in 2001. It was produced so that there was a contemporary, readable, and accurate translation in the tradition of the Tyndale Version and King James Version. This Bible is typically used by teenagers and adults for serious Bible study.

“And he said to them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19


Beyond just translation type, you will find that there are a number of aesthetic choices available:

Print Size: Most Bibles are printed with a standard font size (between 10 and 12 point, some as small as 8 point). For older readers, large print and giant print options are available in all respective translations.

Binding Style: Leather bound and leather-look Bibles are suitable for gifting, allow imprinting if desired, and are more durable than soft cover/paperback. For customers looking for leather binding, our vendors offer genuine and imitation leather options. We suggest leather-look or imitation leather binding as it is more affordable than genuine leather binding. Should you wish to order genuine leather binding, our vendors offer an excellent selection of high quality options.

Cover Color: Should you choose a leather bound Bible, whether real leather or imitation, there are numerous cover color options. The most common colors are brown, black, blue, red and white.

Study Bibles: Include footnotes and space for your own notes. There are several different types of study bibles, including Teen Study Bibles and Life Application Study Bibles.

Chronological/One Year Bibles: As opposed to the traditional setup of most Bibles, chronological or one-year Bibles offer a timeline-organized look at the events that transpired. We carry several different options.

Catholic/Sacramental Versions: We carry the St. Joseph and St. Paul Editions of the New American Bible, as well as First Communion and Wedding Bibles.

If you still have questions about which translation or style of Bible is right for you, please give us a call at 985-206-9721 or stop by the store. Janet would be happy to recommend the best choice for your needs, or place a special order (2 weeks ship time).