I would like to introduce you to what I consider to be the most excellent translation-paraphrase of the New Testament Epistles. It is by J. B. Phillips and was his attempt at making these letters more readable than the King James Version, which remains the most beautiful translation. He translated it in 1947, but as C. S. Lewis said in his introduction, we need to continue to make new translations that will make the New Testament readable in today’s language.
Today we have many paraphrases of the New Testament that stray too much from the original text. They make for smooth reading, but they are not always true to the original Greek text. The result is that many Christians are confused concerning the true meaning of what Paul, Peter, James, or John are saying.
I would like to recommend that you try to find a copy of J. B. Phillips’ translation-paraphrase. It is a paraphrase in that he is attempting to express the original meaning in different words to achieve greater clarity. The book may be difficult to find, but you can find one through the internet.
I think you will enjoy it. And it will give you a good “standard” to evaluate the various modern paraphrases and find one that seems good for you. Be sure to use your standard translation – it may be NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, NRSV, or another translation – as your basic study Bible.
Above all, let the Word of God dwell in you richly. When God speaks to you, a new beginning is happening in your life.