Apologies if there is a duplicate. I searched in the Meta, but nothing I found could answer this question for me.

When answering questions, I typically use the KJV, NASB, or occasionally the ESV. Answers can sometimes vary depending on the differing degree of a translated word (let's take "homosexuals" and "abusers of man" being interchanged in translations, for example).

Now, because of this, if a person asking a question cites a particular translation, and that particular citation is different across versions, what would you use? Would you go ahead and use the version you are more comfortable with, or would you use the version the asker originally cited?

  • My initial feeling: if they explicitly request a particular version, yes. Otherwise, no...unless the wording is crucial. In which case, that would require more thought. But in general, I wouldn't require the same version to be cited in both question and answer. Jul 24, 2014 at 15:54
  • I'd emphasize there the unless the wording is crucial; especially because the NABRE (my go-to translation especially when asking questions) often has significantly different wording than the other three translations cited. Jul 24, 2014 at 15:59
  • Also, sometimes I've found that the question arises from using a specific translation - using a different translation provides new insight. See this recent example. Jul 24, 2014 at 20:05

3 Answers 3


I always use the versions I prefer unless they specifically ask for a certain version.

In the case where the two versions seem to be saying different things, I update my answer to include the discrepancy, rather than hide it by using only one translation or the other. If I know enough about the translations, I weigh in on which I think is more true to the original text, but I usually don't, so I often point them to BH to gain some clarity on the issue.


Remember the translations used by the OP and oneself are both just that - translations. (I know, if the King James english was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for me...)

In most cases, the translation will still get the point across, regardless of the one used.

Indeed, it is actually very rare for a translation to actually make a difference in anything except the most subtle of nuances. Often, if someone is feeling the need to make a deal out of the translation used, it is at most because a single word may have a unique semantic range that, when one goes back to the original source, adds clarity.

But that is just a word. In 99% of the cases, it won't really matter, either to the answerer or the OP. In the 1% where it does, it will be obvious.


In general, no. Unless the question is about something specific to the translation the asker used, I don't think there's much reason to use it in answers.

This is especially the case with the KJV, which is used in so many questions, but which unfortunately no one understands as well as they think they do.

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