Home > Blog > Transitioning from One Bible Translation to Another

April 13, 2017

Transitioning from One Bible Translation to Another

By Daniel Im

*Plus Members can listen to this entire Behind-The-Scenes interview by logging in and clicking here.


Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe: Choosing a Bible Translation

Growing up I remember implementing the “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe” decision-making method for various things—whether it was picking an ice-cream flavor or a player for my pick-up basketball game. Obviously, there wasn’t much thought into such decisions.

Today, when people go to Christian bookstores like LifeWay or search online retailers for Bibles, there’s a myriad of choices. Walking into such stores in search of a Bible can be overwhelming. There’s the KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV, NLT, CEV, and now the CSB. Sure, for many, implementing the “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe” decision-making method might be the simplest way to choose a Bible translation. But what if one had more of an understanding of Bible translations? Maybe they might not be so apt to randomly choose a translation or pick up the one that their favorite preacher used.

Recently, I chatted with Trevin Wax, Reference and Bible Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and General Editor of the CSB (Christian Standard Bible), about Bible translations. During our conversation Trevin talked about the CSB, how to choose a translation that is right for you, and how to transition a church from one translation to another.

In the Bible translation world, there are two main types of translations: literal translations and dynamic equivalence translations. NKJV (New King James Version), NASB (New American Standard Version), and ESV (English Standard Version) are examples of literal translations, which offer more of a word-for-word translation from the original languages. Dynamic equivalence translations, which include versions such as the NIV (New International Version) and NLT (New Living Translation), offer a more thought-for-thought translation.

Trevin explained how the CSB translation team, which consisted of more than a hundred scholars from 17 different denominations, sought to create an “Optimal Equivalence” translation—one that embodied the accuracy of a literal translation and the readability of a dynamic equivalent translation.

During our time, I asked Trevin, “How do you choose a Bible translation?” Of course, you would have expected him, as I did, to say the “CSB.” But he didn’t. Don’t get me wrong. He did tout the wonderful features of the CSB and what makes it a very effective translation. Yet, he began by valuing, appreciating, and celebrating the many translations we do have. According to Trevin, we live in a blessed culture where we’ve had so many godly and scholarly men and women who have worked hard to create translations that are accurate, trustworthy, and easy to understand. Thus, it would be a mistake to criticize one translation in an effort to bolster another. Doing so would undercut the trustworthiness of translations, which could negatively affect one’s perception of Scripture.

To read the remainder of this article and learn how a pastor can effectively transition his preaching from one translation to another, and to listen to the entire Behind-the-Scenes segment with Trevin Wax, click here for the full video and post.

This video is part of Plus Membership. To get full access to it, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.


  • How do you choose a Bible translation that’s right for you?
  • It is a mistake to criticize one Bible translation in order to bolster another.
  • Regardless of the Bible translation you choose, the more important thing is to study the Scriptures to rightly handle the word of truth.
  • Bible translations are like churches; while there are many to choose from, they have similarities and differences.
  • We shouldn’t see the various Bible translations as a curse but as a blessing; not as competitors but as kingdom partners.

Additional Resources:


Daniel Im

Daniel Im (@danielsangi) is the Senior Associate Pastor of Beulah Alliance Church, a multiplying multisite church focused on reaching 1% of Edmonton for Christ. His latest book is You Are What You Do: And Six Other Lies about Work, Life, and Love. He is also the author of No Silver Bullets and co-author of Planting Missional Churches. He co-hosts the New Churches Q&A Podcast, as well as the IMbetween Podcast. He has an M.A. in Global Leadership and has served and pastored in church plants and multisite churches ranging from 100 people to 50,000 people in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Korea, Edmonton, and Nashville. Because of their love for the local church, after pioneering and leading the church multiplication initiative for LifeWay, Daniel and his wife, Christina, moved back to Canada with their three children. For more information, visit danielim.com and follow him on social media @danielsangi.


view all
How to Determine Your Audience [Training Video]
Determining Your Audience

Exclusive Content

Build a Great Guest Services Team

Exclusive Content

Business Leadership and the Church

Exclusive Content

Succeeding in Church Planting

Exclusive Content

Should I Plant a House Church?

Exclusive Content