Which PocketBible Bible is Right For You?

Posted on: March 17th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 12 Comments

There are many reasons to choose a specific translation of the Bible. People often use what their pastor or church recommends. For many people, the Bible and King James Version (KJV) are synonymous. In fact, Christianity Today reported last year that the KJV is still the most popular and fastest growing Bible translation.

While we provide the King James Version for free with PocketBible, there are many other translation options available. One of the major features of PocketBible is the ability to compare translations or create your own parallel Bible. Thus, you don’t have to be limited to one translation as you are with a printed book. This makes it easy to look at how a verse is worded in multiple translations to gain insight into its meaning.

Which Translation is Best?

Bible translations are usually categorized as to whether they provide a “word for word” translation from the original manuscripts (most accurate) or more of a “thought for thought” translation (easier to read). While the “best” translation will always be somewhat subjective, you can still find the one that is “best” for you. In addition to comparing translations for insight, you may find that you like one translation for your Bible reading and prefer another for study purposes.

Thought for Thought Bible Translations

“Thought for thought” translations, also known as Dynamic Equivalence, usually describe themselves as easy to understand or easy to read. This does not mean that they are not accurate in their translation from the original manuscripts but rather they strive to make the text flow for and choose words that are more recognizable to the modern reader. If you were to look at a translation comparison chart (see link below), you would find the reading grade level for these translations in the 5th to 8th grade range. The following PocketBible Bibles fall into this category:

Also “easy to understand” and read are paraphrases such as The Message.

Word for Word Bible Translations

“Word for word” translations, also known as Verbal Equivalence, strive to keep the word order as close as possible to the original texts and make word choices that lean towards accuracy rather than something that is easy to understand for today’s reader. The reading grade level for these are generally 11th or 12th grade. The following PocketBible translations fall into this category:

Balanced Bible Translations

These translations are focused on balancing the readability of the thought-for-thought translation with the accuracy of the word-for-word translation. The reading grade level for these translations is generally from 8th to 10th grades. The following PocketBible translations fall into this category:

Additional Resources

For a summary of these differences, you can review Cokesbury’s Guide to Bible Translations (links to PDF) or the more visual English Bible Translation Comparison (notjustanotherbook.com).

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12 Responses

  1. James says:

    Sure would be great to have both the Old and New Testament of the 1599 Geneva Bible.

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      James, thanks for letting us know you’d be interested in having that.


  2. RH says:

    I agree, one of the biggest power uses for Pocket Bible is the ability to compare multiple versions. I frequently use this to dig into different verses to get a better understanding of what the verse says. Comparing the different styles of transitions has helped me significantly in better understanding certain verses.
    I want to second what James said above. If you offered The Living Bible (TLB), I would buy it immediately. It was the version that the NLT and NLTse came from and is very useful for studying. Since it is a paraphrase like The Message, it says things in ways that other translations dont.

  3. Jim Goddard says:

    Do you have plans to publish the Common English Bible (CEB) for Pocket Bible?

  4. Lana says:

    Would like to see Geneva 1560 as well as Wycliffe from around 1300

  5. Joe Tynes says:

    I would like to see the new Modern English Version. I think it is based on the same documents used by the translators of the King James. The other translations into modern English use different source documents for the Greek New Testament.

  6. George Sullivan says:

    I sure would like to see Pocket Bible provide a Catholic version of the RSV, i.e, the deuterocanonical books in he body of the text.

  7. Tim Bridges says:

    Since people are chiming in with desired versions; would love to see J.B. Phillips’, New Testament in Modern English.

  8. Donald Stidwell says:

    I’m still surprised that Laridian offers the NVI, LBA and NBLH but still doesn’t offer the supremely popular RVR60 (Reina-Valera 1960) which is considered the KJV of the Spanish speaking world. I hope it’s being considered.

  9. I like the Revised English Bible because of its rendering of the Bible’s poetry.

  10. Alan says:

    I noticed that the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) is not listed, even though it is available from Laridian. This 1998 translation by David Stern is my personal favorite, and whenever I have two versions displayed side-by-side, one of them is typically the CJB. The commentary for this version is also excellent, but unfortunately it only covers the New Testament.

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