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8 Easy Ways to Learn English with the Bible

Have you ever tried to read an English Bible?

Did you end up wondering whether you were actually reading English?

As I child, I often wondered why the Bible had all of these strange English words that nobody used in everyday life.

Words like “ye,” “thy,” “thine” and “hath.”

I thought it was strange that we have these words that we know from reading the Bible, but that nobody uses these words when they do things like order pizza or talk with their doctor.

This made the Bible’s language very confusing for me. And because of that, I didn’t understand the stories as much as I should have. Reading the Bible gave me a headache.

For people who speak English as a second language, the older style of English in the popular King James Version Bible might as well not be English at all. It certainly doesn’t look like the English you learn in the classroom. This unusual style of writing makes it hard for anyone except highly advanced students to read and understand the English Bible.

Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one who didn’t like “Bible English.”

People have started making Bibles that use modern language that’s easier to understand.

As a result, the Bible has now become a great tool for learning English, just as useful as your favorite novels.
 


 
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Why Learn English with the Bible?

Learning English with the Bible is a great way to brush up on your reading and vocabulary skills. If you’ve already read the Bible in your first language, then you probably have a good idea of what each story is about. This could make it easier for you to understand the same stories in English, which can aid you in learning new vocabulary more quickly.

The Bible is also a great authentic resource that you can use along with other authentic resources, like the videos on FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos—like movie trailers, news, music videos and more—and turns them into personalized language lessons that help you speak real English. Because many of the stories in the Bible are well-known in the English-speaking world, it can also help you understand vocabulary used in pop culture and English conversations.

You might also want to learn English with the Bible for religious reasons. Maybe you want to study at an English-speaking seminary or join a missionary group with mostly English speakers. Whatever your reasons for reading the Bible in English, we have a number of resources to help you better understand Bible verses while you also improve your English skills.

8 Bible Resources for English Learners

The Bible and English

Suitable for Students of All Skill Levels

The Bible and English is an excellent resource for beginners who want to improve their English while learning more about the Bible. Most Bible resources created for English language learners are designed to help make Bible verses easier to understand. The Bible and English, on the other hand, is unique in that it turns the Bible into a way of learning English.

The Bible and English offers a variety of free and paid content to help you practice English while studying the Bible. The website offers listening and pronunciation exercises, as well as the following “premium” activities:

Since The Bible and English acts as curriculum (a learning plan), the lessons come with grammar exercises as well as activities to practice reading and build vocabulary.

Jesus Film Project

Suitable for Students of All Skill Levels

The Jesus Film Project website includes a full-length feature film on the life of Jesus. The movie is perfect for students who want to practice their English listening skills while learning more about the story and teachings of Jesus Christ. And since it comes with English subtitles, the movie is a great learning tool for low-level learners, as well as intermediate and advanced students.

Along with the movie, the Jesus Film Project website also has an active blog where you can read more about Jesus and stories from the Bible. You can also download their app for your iOS or Android device to learn more about Jesus and other Biblical figures in English.

“EasyEnglish Bible”

Suitable for Beginner and Intermediate Students

The “EasyEnglish Bible” is a free online Bible designed to give the international community easy access to the Bible in English. Created specifically for people who speak English as their second language, the “EasyEnglish Bible” uses simplified English that doesn’t require an advanced vocabulary to fully understand.

The “EasyEnglish Bible” is great for anyone looking to build their English vocabulary while reading Bible verses. It comes with all of the books of the Bible, as well as a number of other useful resources to help make studying the Bible easier. Some of these extra features include audio clips from the Book of Ruth and John’s Gospel and a quick summary of each book in the Bible.

And if you’re still learning English at the beginner level, you should take a look at their popular Bible stories section. Here, you can read about people like Noah, Moses and Jesus in English that’s simple and easier to understand.

BTstories

Suitable for Beginner to Upper-intermediate Students

BTstories lets you read Bible stories in simple, easy-to-understand English. Here, you can read about everything from the creation story all the way up to Jesus and his disciples. All of the stories are written in a way that’s easy for English language learners to follow. Also, most stories come with extra resources—like pictures, background information and videos—that will help improve your understanding of each tale.

For example, the story of Abraham comes with two videos, a map of the area and even additional resources where you can read further. Also, if you click the “Hear the Story Told” button under each story on the right-hand side, you can listen to the story being read by a native English speaker.

This makes BTstories a good resource to use for reading and listening practice.

TalkEnglish

Suitable for Beginner to Upper-intermediate Students

TalkEnglish is a language learning website that helps students learn English through worksheets and stories based on the Bible.

Here, students can work with an instructor who’s able to help them practice…

  • Pronunciation.
  • Grammar.
  • Vocabulary.
  • Writing and conversational skills.

TalkEnglish offers two different English study programs, known as Level 1 and Level 2. The first level focuses mostly on learning the basics of English through Bible stories, while Level 2 is better suited to intermediate students who wish to improve their reading, writing and conversational skills.

To learn more about what’s included, take a look at the Level 1 and Level 2 sample lessons.

What’s really awesome about TalkEnglish is that you’re able to participate in actual English lessons for free. While TalkEnglish does accept donations, they don’t charge a fee to enroll in (sign up for) their language learning courses.

To register, all you need to do is click the “Practice English” button on the left-hand side and then select the “Student Registration” button.

“The Bible in Basic English”

Suitable for Upper-intermediate and Advanced Students

If you’re looking for a way to better understand Bible verses without having to look up outdated Bible terms like “thou shalt,” then “The Bible in Basic English” is the perfect resource for you.

“The Bible in Basic English” is perfect for any English language learner who’s interested in learning the history and context of each Bible story. The online Bible has all of the verses from the Old and New Testaments, and is written in present-day English, making it easier to understand.

In addition to Bible verses, “The Bible in Basic English” also comes with summaries, background information and educational videos on various books of the Bible. This makes it great for anyone looking to study the Bible as part of their education.

“The Modern Language Bible” by Hendrickson Publishers

Suitable for Upper-Intermediate and Advanced Students

“The Modern Language Bible” was designed for English speakers who don’t feel like looking up definitions of old words and phrases that don’t exist in present-day English.

Reading “The Modern Language Bible” feels less like reading a traditional Bible and more like reading a regular novel. The Bible presents stories in a modern context, while avoiding outdated grammar and expressions. For this reason, “The Modern Language Bible” is perfect for any upper-intermediate or more advanced English language learner who wants to improve their reading and vocabulary while studying Bible verses.

Southern Ontario Cooperative of ESL Ministries

Suitable for Upper-intermediate and Advanced Students

The Southern Ontario Cooperative of ESL Ministries website is a resource list for ESL teachers who use the Bible to teach English. While some of the content on the site is best suited to teachers, they have a bunch of helpful material for English language learners as well.

Some of their helpful learning resources include:

 

Now that Bibles using modern-day English are becoming more popular than the traditional King James Version, there are a number of Bible-related resources online that are perfect for English language learners.

This makes the scripture a useful English learning tool.

It’s a great way for anyone to build vocabulary, brush up on their reading skills and improve their level of English.
 

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