The Bible

The Bible comprises 66 documents written by approximately 35 - 40 people compiled into one Holy book. These documents were written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit; therefore, they are not manmade but God-authored. Although the Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic for the Old Testament and Greek for the New Testament, we have over 3000 translations of the Scriptures today.

There are four major categories of Scripture translations. We recommend you use one Bible translation from each of the first three categories when you are doing your study of Scripture. As a starting point we would recommend the English Standard Version (ESV),   the Christian Standard Bible (CSB), and the Good News Translation (GNT).   

You can use the fourth category, but we implore you to make sure the theology matches what you read from the first three categories. And always study the Bible in its proper context.

Known as word-for-word translations, they attempt to keep the form and meaning of the original language in words, grammar, and structure as close as possible to the author’s original intent. When someone takes the original language of the Bible and places it into their language, things may not always read as smoothly. However, a word-for-word version is the closest translation of how the sentences were shaped from the first manuscripts.

English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), and New American Standard Bible (NASB) are examples of formal translations.

Moderate translations try to find an optimal blend of formal and functional translation choices.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB) and the New International Version (NIV) are examples of moderate translations.

Sometimes referred to as “meaning-for-meaning translations” or “functionally equivalent” versions, functional translations prioritize readability. They attempt to discover a text's meaning from its form and then translate it to impact modern readers like the ancient text would have affected original readers.

Three popular functional translations are the New English Translation (NET), New Living Translation (NLT), and Good News Translation (GNT).

Some translations are not true but rather paraphrases intended to make language easier to understand than functional Bibles. These translations replace ancient metaphors and literary structures with concepts and terminology familiar today. This means they “put Scripture in highly interpretive and contemporary language.

Examples of paraphrased Bibles include The Message and J.B. Phillips New Testament.

Parallel Bible

A Parallel Study Bible allows you to study verses using more than one translation and version. This study tool can help you see how different translators have interpreted the original language.

Study Bibles & Commentaries

Bible commentaries contain observations and interpretations surrounding a biblical text, typically organized according to the text’s sequential flow. A commentary may explain the language used in a section of text. Or it may discuss the historical background. Almost all commentaries attempt to explain the passage in terms of some system of theology. In other words, the commentary explains how the Bible fits together and what it means. 

Since a Bible commentary is written by human authors, it will reflect the beliefs and perspectives of those writers. We must remember that these authors are not infallible, and a commentary is a tool for always seeking the Holy Spirit on what is true from Scripture.

Interlinear Bible


Many people think that a faithful translation of the Bible means a word-for-word translation. If the verse in Hebrew contains ten words, then ten English words should be used to translate the verse. If the Greek text contains eight words, then only eight English words are necessary to translate it. To faithfully translate the original text, each Hebrew and Greek word should have a corresponding English word. Yet, this is not the way translation works.

The idea of corresponding English word, or words, which matches with the original text of Scripture, is not found in translations, but rather in interlinear Bibles. We must appreciate the fact that an interlinear Bible is different from a translation. It is a tool that helps identify Greek and Hebrew words with their English translation.

Bible ConCordance

A Bible concordance is an alphabetical listings of words and phrases found in the Bible and shows where the terms occur throughout all books of Scripture. With cross-references for verses, concordances make it easy to understand the meaning of terms and the context in which those words are used.


Bible lexicons provide definitions and meaning of Biblical words found in the original New Testament Greek and Old Testament Hebrew languages of the Holy Bible. This study resource helps in understanding the origins and root meaning of the ancient language. Additional, lexicons give the context and cultural meaning intended by the authors.