I am quite new to this site, so welcome everybody!

As I do not live in any English-speaking countries, and English is not my mother language, could anybody please help me what Bible translation should I use for this site? Up to now I used KJV, but this is obviously an archaic language.

I wouldn't like to violate any copyright laws. It would be great if this translation would be available on-line for free, so I could support my questions and answers with citations. Maybe there is commonly (by the Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox) accepted translation?

If this question has already been asked, please forgive me, I will remove it. I couldn't find.

  • 3
    I prefer biblegateway for quotes. You can choose from many translations and if you like to it in your posts people can quickly and easily see different translations for the same verses.
    – user3961
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 19:25

4 Answers 4


Straight up? We don't care

Just make sure to tell us which one it is.

That said, there are specific translations that are appropriate to specific situations. Some denominations only use the KJV (or only use some other translation). This is case where knowing what you are answering is important. If you give a response about a KJV only tradition using an NIV translation, you've not done your research.

But, it sounds like you want some recommendations. Typically KJV, ESV and NIV are the easiest to find. KJV is classic, NIV is common, and ESV is the new hip kid on the block (and in my experience quite readable). I suggest steering clear of paraphrase copies such as the Message unless you are specifically in need of it.

Lastly, most Bibles are protected under rather open copy protections, because scripture is meant to be quoted and studied and used in both religious and academic contexts. Also, most use on this site would constitute fair use of the work anyways.

  • 2
    It's also good to link to the text, if at all possible, then you can either see it in context or see other translations. Any idea if they're working on that inline linking?
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 18:59
  • @PeterTurner it's been mentioned, but I'm not sure what the current status is. I know the J.SE folks had something cooking at one point.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 19:19
  • @waxeagle, HodofHod from Mi Yodeya wrote our own reference-link-generator. Obviously we only care about Tanakh, not Christian books, and we include some sutff you probably don't care about (like talmud), but if it helps you, please feel free to give it a spin! Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 21:40
  • World English Bible is free online.
    – TRiG
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 9:05
  • When you say, "just make sure to tell us", I don't think you have to if you provide a link, right? Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 20:56

As far as popularity is concerned, the NIV is by far the most common translation cited here on C.SE (at least from those I searched for), and here are the runner-ups in order of how frequently they are cited:

Frequency of Translations Used

This query was run on July 19, 2013 using the most recent data available. Here is the query for your own use (you can easily add additional translations to the list to search for if you'd like).

But, as wax eagle said, we don't care. Use whichever you prefer. If the translation is problematic to any users, they'll probably tell you why.

  • 2
    +1 for data and visualization. :-) Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 21:33
  • 1
    Great data. Here is an updated query with a few more translations including HCSB and NAB which are used a bit.
    – Caleb
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 9:29
  • I'm very surprised that AMP is used more than the NIV here. I wasn't sure at first if it was false hits (many words begin with AMP), but after excluding hits with trailing letters of the alphabet I determined only about 40 were possibly false hits, which is a relatively small amount.
    – Dan
    Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 18:12
  • If I restrict it to only those enclosed in parentheses the numbers go down drastically: data.stackexchange.com/christianity%20stack%20exchange/revision/…
    – Dan
    Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 18:25

I've been using the site for a while and citing the New American Bible pretty exclusively (haven't gotten a cease and desist letter from the Bishops yet), although from time to time it's more prudent to cite biblegateway.

There's even a userscript for it.


You can use any bible translation here. Usually when I give answers here, I will sometimes use Biblestudytools.com because they have some very good comparison tools. The link takes you to that site and compares John 3:16 with quite a few bible translations. The king James is among them :).

I myself personally use the New World Translation that just came out a few months back. It is clear and easy to read with footnotes that expound on certain words and scriptures. It is also available at no cost as well as all the books you find in the online library.

Also you don't need to worry about copyrights as long as you properly cite the source.

Welcome to the community and I look forward to your questions and answers!

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