The Bible was originally written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, and has been translated into English over the course of the past 1600 years. Today, there are multiple translations or “versions” of the Bible available in the English language. Since the biblical languages are mechanically very different from English, translation teams tend to emphasize one of the two primary translation goals: to make the translation easy to read, and to make it as accurate to the original text as possible.
Translations such as the King James Version (KJV) and the New American Standard Version (NAS) give a priority to accuracy over readability. Translations such as the New International Version (NIV) and the New Living Translation (NLT) take the opposite approach and focus more on readability. In the middle are the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New King James Version (NKJ).
There is no one “perfect” translation, and depending on its intended audience, one translation may be better than another. It is often helpful to consult multiple translations when engaged in Bible study, as different translations may provide insight into the passage you are studying. Because it is a readable and essentially literal translation, for regular reading of the Bible and personal study, Faith Baptist Church uses and recommends The English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL.: Crossway Books, 2001).