Apostate Café

By joshua


Posted in: articles

English Bible Versions

English Bible Versions
  • [Introduction][]
  • [Canon][]
  • - [What is canon?][] - [Why do we need a canon?][] - [Differences in canon][]
  • [Development of the canon][]
  • - [Development of the Old Testament][] - [The Apocrypha][] - [Development of the New Testament][]
  • [Different Translations][]
    • [Principles of translation][]
    • - [Formal Equivalence][] - [Dynamic Equivalence][] - [Paraphrase][]
    • [Source Texts][]
    • [Which translation should I read?][]
  • [Listing of English Translations][]
  • - [American Standard Version (ASV)][] - [Amplified Bible (AMP)][] - [Analytical-Literal Translation (ALT)][] - [Authorized Version (AV)][] - [Contemporary English Version (CEV)][] - [Cotton-Patch Version (CPV)][] - [Darby Translation][] - [Douay-Rheims (DRV)][] - [God’s Word][] - [Good News Bible (GNB)][] - [Jerusalem Bible (JB)][] - [King James Version (KJV)][] - [Literal Translation of the Bible (LITV)][] - [Living Bible][] - [The Message][] - [New American Bible (NAB)][] - [New American Standard Version (NASB)][] - [New English Bible (NEB)][] - [New English Translation (NET)][] - [New International Version (NIV)][] - [New International Readers Version (NIrV)][] - [New King James (NKJV)][] - [New Living Translation (NLT)][] - [New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)][] - [New World Translation (NWT)][] - [Revised English Bible (REB)][] - [Revised Standard Version (RSV)][] - [Revised Version (RV)][] - [Today’s English Version (TEV)][] - [Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)][]
  • [Listing of Bible Types][]
  • [Footnotes][]
Introduction ============ One subject that has come up many times is the issue of Bible history and Bible versions. Who decided which books should be in the Bible? What is the difference between the NIV and King James? Which version is the best? Why does the Catholic Bible have more books? This can be a very confusing issue to some people. My hope in this page is to provide a little bit of background on the Bible: where it came from, and why we have the books we have. In addition, there is a *very brief* introduction to textual criticism, and a run-down on various English Bible translations and types. Somewhere in the middle, I have my own personal preferences on Bible versions listed. Canon ===== What is canon? ———————————————————————————————- The Bible, also known as The Holy scriptures, is a type of canon. The word “canon” comes from the Greek word *kanon*, which means *a rod used to measure*. When refering to the Bible, *canon* refers to *the list of books considered authoritative* as Scripture. Why do we need a canon? ————————————————————————————————————————————— For the Jews living during the Old Testament times there was no need for a canon — they had the prophets alive and in their presence. Likewise, for the early church, they had Jesus Christ and the apostles. Once the prophets and apostles were dead, however, it became necessary to gather their writings and preserve them. This process of preservation and establishment of canon served serveral purposes. It sought to: define what was inspired, and what was not; prevent a corruption of the inspired words of God; ensure the inspired words of God not be lost; and preclude the possibility of additions to inspired works. Differences in canon ————————————————————————————————————————- There is still ongoing debate among churches regarding the canon. For the Old Testament, Protestant Christians from the Reformation onward, accept the shorter canon (39 books) from the Hebrew Palestinian Canon. Jews now use the same canon as the Protestant Old Testament, but the order and division of some of the books is different, giving them a total of 24 books. Catholic Christians accept the longer Old Testament canon (46 books) from the Greek Septuagint translation of the Alexandrian Canon. This adds Tobit, Judith, Greek additions to Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, 3 Greek additions to Daniel, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, and 1 and 2 Maccabees to the Protestant OT canon. The Greek Orthodox church adds 1 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151, and 3 Maccabees for their canon. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church adds Jubilees, 1 Enoch, and Josippon’s History of the Jews. For the New Testament, Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Greek Orthodox Christians view the same 27 books as canonical. The Syrian church recognizes only 22 books (excluding 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude and Revelation). The Ethiopian Orthodox Church includes 8 additional books (four sections from Sinodos, two sections from the Ethiopic Books of Covenant, Ethiopic Clement, and Ethiopic Didascalia). Development of the canon ======================== The canon did not just happen overnight, neither for the Old Testament, nor the New Testament. The canon is the result of development through time. The canon of the Old Testament was mainly fixed (with a few books still in dispute) by the about the year 400 B.C. The canon of the the New Testament was mainly fixed at the council at Carthage in 387 A.D. I say “mainly” fixed, because there are still differences between churches. Development of the Old Testament ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- The formation of the Old Testament was spread over many centuries. The first holy books of the Hebrews were Moses’ books of law, which were placed in the Ark of the Covenent.^[[1]][]^ When Solomon built the temple, he added books of history and prophecy from Joshua’s to David’s time, as well as writings of his own.^[[2]][]^ About fifty years after the temple was rebuilt, Ezra made a collection of the sacred writings, which now included Jonah, Amos, Isaiah, Hosea, Joel, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, and Habakkuk. ^[[3]][]^ To this was added the books of Nehemiah, Malachi, and Ezra. In addition, Nehemiah gathered the “Acts of the Kings and the Prophets, and those of David,” when founding a library for the second temple, c.432 B.C.^[[4]][]^ The first significant canon of the Old Testament in the form we now have it, was the work of Ezra and the Great Synagogue, composed of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. However, there were still disputes. By the first century BC, the Hebrew speaking Jews in Palestine were known to generally use the Palestinian canon. This consisted of 24 books divided in three Sections: the Law (5 books of Moses or Pentateuch); the Prophets (4 former and 4 latter prophets) and the Writings (11 books). The Sadducees most likely did not accept Daniel because it 2 supports resurrection of the body, which they did not believe in. Others, like Samaritans, accepted only the Pentateuch as Scripture. The Jewish historian Josephus wrote (c. 90 AD) that Jews recognized 22 books. The Essenes (around the time of Jesus) did not accept Esther. Greek speaking (Hellenistic) Jews used the Septuagint, a translation put together around the third century B.C. by elders of Israel at Alexandria, Egypt (see [The Apocrypha][] below). After the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 AD, the Jamniaa (Javneh) council, led by Yohanan ben Zakkai, decided at to adopt the Palestinian Canon as canon. The Apocrypha ============= Many people ask why the Bible used by the Roman Catholic church has more books in it than the typical Protestant Bible. These “apocryphal” or “deuterocanonical” books are Baruch, Ecclesiasticus (also known as Sirach), Judith, I and II Maccabees, Tobit, Wisdom of Solomon, and additional chapters of Daniel and Esther. The most religiously important of the books are Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon, while the most historically important is 1st Maccabees. These books appear in the Bible as used by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Armenian and Ethiopian Oriental Orthodox churches. There are also a few other books (I & II Esdras, The Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, and Prayer of Manasseh) which are frequently lumped in with the apocrypha. The early church was founded by Hellenistic Jews; naturally, they used the Septuagint. There are passages in the gospels and epistles where Jesus and Paul quote from the Septuagint: 300 of 350 quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament are from the Septuagint. So while the Jews may have settled on the Palestinian canon by the early first century, the Christian church did not. Justin Martyr (c 160) regarded the Septuagint as canon, as did Iranaeus and Tertullian. Tertullian also considered the book of Enoch (not part of Septuagint) inspired. Melito, bishop of Sardis (c 170) recognized the Palestinian canon minus Esther. Origen’s (c 185-254) list of Old Testament books comprises of the Palestinian canon plus the Letter of Jeremiah from the Septuagint. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria in 367 gave the same list as Origen but included Baruch and omitted Esther. The list of Old Testament books given at Council of Laodicea (c 363) follows that of Athanasius with Esther. Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem from 348 to 386 follows Origen’s list but included Baruch while Gregory of Nazianzus (c 330 - 390) followed that of Athanasius. Jerome (346 - 420) gave us the well known Latin Vulgate. He had doubts about the Septuagint canonical status, but included the extra books in his Latin translation and referred them as *apocrypha*. Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430) followed the Septuagint. In 382 Pope Damasus approved the Septuagint at the Council of Rome. It was then declared at the Church Council in Hippo in 393 and subsequently reaffirmed at third Council of Carthage in 397. The fourth council of Carthage in 419 again confirmed the same list of Old Testament. At the time of the protestant reformation, the reformers sought a return to the original sources (*ad fontes*). They adopted the Palestine canon for the Old Testament, pointing to several issues with the apocypha: they are never quoted by Jesus or the apostles; the last inspired prophet closes by saying no other messenger is to be expected until the second Elijah;^[[5]][]^ divine authority is not claimed by any of the writers, and by some it is disowned^[[6]][]^; and the books contradict other, canonical, scriptures.^[[7]][]^ Since the reformation, the exact role of the apocrypha in the Christian canon has been disputed. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches see these books as authoritative Scripture. The Jews, who also use the Palestine canon, do not recognize them as inspired books, but regard them as having high authority as a valuable history of their nation; though carefully distinguished from canonical scripture, they are quoted in Talmudic writings. Protestants have seen these books as suitable for edification, but not as authoritative Scripture. The Church of England (Anglican / Episcopal) recommends them “for example of life and instruction of manners, but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine.” Development of the New Testament ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

During the formative period of the New Testament canon, decisions had to be made regarding what principle(s) marked New Testament writings as divine and inspired. The general requirements became apostolic authorship, consistency, and non-contradiction with the Old Testament. ————————————————————————————————————————- Which Scripture was known to Jesus, His followers and the first Christians? The answer is they knew both Palestinian Canon and Septuagint. Greek speaking Jews also lived in Palestine and known as Hellenists (Acts 6:1). However all New Testament writers mostly used Septuagint whenever they quoted from Old Testament. It is not a matter of convenience (both used Greek), because at few places they still quoted from Palestinian canon (translated into Greek). As mentioned above, Septuagint has textual difference compared to Palestinian canon. A good example is the famous prophecy about Jesus virgin birth in Isaiah 7:14 quoted in Matthew 1:23. The Palestinian canon does not say “virgin” but “young woman” while the Septuagint does say “virgin” (note that both Hebrew and Greek have different words for virgin and young woman). ————————————————————————————————————————- Some books considered sacred by the early church were eventually left out of the New Testament canon. These include the Apocalypse of Peter and the Acts of Paul, the Gospel of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Didache. By the early 4th century, twenty out of the twenty-seven books were readily and universally accepted: the four Gospels, Acts, the Pauline epistles, and the first epistles of John and Peter. Hebrews, 2 and 3 John, 2 Peter, Jude, James, Revelation were disputed for a time: Hebrews bore no name of its author and differed in style from the Pauline epistles; 2 Peter differed in style from 1 Peter; James and Jude styled themselves “servants,” and not “apostles”; the writer of 2 and 3 John called himself an “elder” not an “apostle”; and Jude recorded apocryphal stories. By the end of the 4th century the 27-book New Testament canon was almost universally accepted. The most notable addition in some manuscripts is the Epistle to the Laodiceans, which was rejected by the Council of Florence (1439-43). Different Translations ====================== Until fairly recently (the last hundred years or so) the *King James*, or *Authorized* version was the de facto English translation. In the past hundred-or-so years, numerous English translations of the Bible have been issued by various people and groups; each new translation seeks to improve on previous translations in some way. With all these competing translations, it can be difficult to know which is the right one to use. My initial comment is, “don’t worry about it too much.” Your main focus should be having a Bible and reading it. If you are reading the Bible, even one of the mediocre translations, you are moving in the right direction. With a few exceptions, most of the English translations listed below are pretty good Bibles. I cannot tell you which Bible is the right one for you. Choosing the “wrong” translation will at most, annoy you and cost you up to a hundred dollars. But I can offer some insight into the differences between translations, which may help you in the decision-making process. All English Bibles are translations. The original texts were written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. Despite the claims of some people, Jesus *did not* speak King James-style English. The differences in Bibles boils down to a difference in translation. English Bible translations are classified by two factors: the principles of translation, and source texts utilized. Principles of translation ========================= There are three main principles of translation: **formal equivalence** (word for word), **dynamic equivalence** (thought for thought), and **paraphrase**. Formal Equivalence —————————————————————————————————————- When translators seek **formal equivalence**, the original language is translated word for word, as closely as possible. All the words in the source text are translated, and any words added for clarity are generally italicized. This approach has the advantage of being very accurate and true to the text with few interpretive assumptions, allowing the reader full liberty in textual interpretation. The disadvantage of formal equivalence is that idioms or slang phrases can mislead or confuse the reader. These phrases, when literally translated into another language, can take on new meanings. Imagine how someone, who does not speak English, would interpret phrases such as “bury the hatchet” or “piece of cake” or “under the weather.” The same thing can occur with the Bible, which was written by a different culture, in a different time. Dynamic Equivalence ——————————————————————————————————————— When translators seek **dynamic equivalence**, the original language is translated in a thought for thought method, in an attempt to express the meaning of the original text. The primary criticism of dynamic equivalence is that words which do not appear in the source text are added and words deemed unimportant are omitted. In general, these added or omitted words are never italicized or in any way distinguished from the words of the source text. In addition, the grammatical forms of words and phrases are sometimes changed (pronouns changed into nouns, nouns into verbs, two different terms or phrases combined into one, and similar changes). The advantage of dynamic equivalence is that idioms or slang phrases are translated or expanded into equivalent modern phrases, and grammatical corrections are made to phrase the text in an easy-to-understand manner. This makes the text easier to read and understand. Paraphrase —————————————————————————- Paraphrase translations are produced to make the text as easy to read and understand as possible. A paraphrase translation takes a “big picture” approach, trying to explain the general idea of a passage or story. Source Texts ============ The discussion of source texts can be a complicated, and often contentious one. There are no known original manuscripts for any of the books in the Bible, and the ancient manuscripts differ from each other to various degrees. This may raise a red flag for some people, but allow me to put in perspective. The New Testament has more ancient manuscript support than any other body of ancient literature. There are over five thousand Greek and eight thousand Latin manuscripts and fragments which date before the fifth century. In comparison, the *Iliad* by Homer is second with only 643 ancient manuscripts that still survive. Three main bodies of text have developed: the **Majority Text**, the **Textus Receptus**, and the **Critical Text**. Each of these has been developed by people seeking to find what was originally written. The methods of determining what was originally written varies from group to group, however. The **Majority Text** is so-named because it is developed with the assumption that the original text is whatever appears in the *majority* of the ancient manuscripts. The **Textus Receptus** is the Greek Text compiled by Erasmus in 1516. This was considered the classic text for the New Testament, until the discovery of numerous older texts in the last hundred or so years. It is the text that Tyndale’s English translation, the Bishop’s Bible, and in turn, the King James version is based on. The **Critical Text** has been developed by textual critics, based on the idea that the text of the Bible should be approached like any other ancient manuscript. For a long time, the Greek used in the New Testament (Koine Greek) confused scholars somewhat, because the New Testament was the only known document written in that particular Greek dialect. However, the discoveries of numerous papyri in the last hundred years have shown that the New Testament was written in the language of everyday people: the same language used in writing wills, private letters, receipts, shopping lists, etc.^[[8]][]^ Instead of tradition, or a raw count of manuscripts, choices in the Critical Text are made based on likelihood of authenticity, and manuscript age. The main Critical Texts of today are the *Greek New Testament* (4th Edition) published by the United Bible Societies, and *Novum Testamentum Graece* (27th Edition) published by Nestle and Aland. Which translation should I read? ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- That is for you to decide, and it is not a simple question. To quote from *The Complete Guide to Bible Versions*, > “… for what? for reading? for studying? for memorizing? And best for > whom? > for young people? for adults? for Protestants? for Catholics? for > Jews?” My > responses are not intended to be complicated; rather, they reflect > the > complexity of the true situation. Whereas for some language > populations > there is only one translation of the Bible, English-speaking people > have > hundreds of translations. Therefore, one cannot say there is *one* > single *best* translation that is *the most* accurate. > ^[[9]][]^ For serious study, I prefer a Bible which strives for formal equivalence, and, as such, I use the New King James (NKJV). It is a fairly literal translation, and though it is based on the *Textus Receptus*, it includes notes for every textual difference between it, the Majority Text and the Critical Text. For day-to-day reading, I really enjoy *The New Living Translation* (NLT). No other English translation of the Bible has the same level of approachability and immediacy. I wouldn’t develop a hard-core doctrinal stand based on the wording of the NLT, but it does a superb job of rendering the text in modern English, and provides footnotes for verses with significant textual variance.

Listing of English Translations ===============================

The following graphic was borrowed from the [Zondervan Bibles][] website. I thought it provided a nice visual spread of which translations are more literal, vs. paraphrased. They have a vested interest in the NIV, hence its presence in the center of the graphic.


American Standard Version (ASV) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1901) Formal equivalence, long regarded as the most literal translation of the Bible, which makes the ASV very popular for careful Bible study, but not for ease of reading. Amplified Bible (AMP) —————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1964) Formal equivilence, Critial Text. The Amplified Bible seeks to bring out *nuances* of the original languages. The text is expanded with sets of brackets and parenthesis to bring out the hidden meanings and concepts of Greek and Hebrew words. Revised in 1987. Analytical-Literal Translation (ALT) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- ​(2000) Formal equivilence, Majority Text. Extrememly literal translation produced by Gary Zeolla, includes extensive notes and aids. One of only two current versions based on the Majority Greek Text. Currently New Testament only. See . Authorized Version (AV) ————————————————————————————————————————————— Another name for the [King James Version][King James Version (KJV)]. Contemporary English Version (CEV) —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- ​(1995) Dynamic Equivilence, Critical Text. Written at an elementary-school reading level in simple English. Cotton-Patch Version (CPV) —————————————————————————————————————————————————- ​(1960) Extreme dynamic equivalence, to the point of absurdity. Translated by Clarence Jordan. Replaced items and places of ancient culture with items of modern ones. Palestine became transformed into the modern American South; Jerusalem turned into Atlanta; Matthew the tax collector worked for the Internal Revenue Service; and Jesus became a roughshod inhabitant of Valdosta, Georgia. Darby Translation ———————————————————————————————————— ​(1890) First published in 1890 by John Nelson Darby, an Anglo-Irish Bible teacher associated with the early years of the Plymouth Brethren. Darby also published translations of the Bible in French and German. Douay-Rheims (DRV) —————————————————————————————————————- ​(1609) Catholic translation based on Jerome’s Vulgate. The standard English translation for Catholics for several hundred years. Revised in 1752 by Bishop Challoner. God’s Word —————————————————————————- ​(1995) Dynamic equivilence, designed to be an accurate, readable translation, using modern English language idioms to convey the meaning of the original texts. Produced by a denominationally diverse, 75-member team of translators, linguists, English experts, and independent biblical-language scholars. Good News Bible (GNB) —————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1974) Dynamic equivalence, written at a 6th-grade reading level in contemporary English. Revised in 1993. Also known as *Today’s English Version*. Jerusalem Bible (JB) ————————————————————————————————————————- ​(1966) Dynamic equivalence, translated from the French *La Sainte Bible*. The French version was praised as being “one of the greatest achievements of renascent Catholic biblical scholarship” because of the abundance of footnotes and introductions. The English version, included the notes and added text. Revised and re-released as New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) in 1966 King James Version (KJV) ——————————————————————————————————————————————- ​(1611) Formal equivalence, Textus Receptus. In 1604, King James I of England decreed a new translation of the Bible into English be started, “to deliver God’s book unto God’s people in a tongue which they can understand.” With the hard work of 54 translators, it was finished in 1611, just 85 years after the first translation of the New Testament into English appeared (Tyndale, 1526). The Authorized Version, or King James Version, quickly became the standard for English-speaking Protestants. While technically easy to read because of shorter words and smaller vocabulary, the 17th-century English makes it difficult for many people to understand. Literal Translation of the Bible (LITV) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1995) 3rd Edition; Formal equivalence, based on 1894 Scrivener Textus Receptus. Translation by Jay P. Green, it grew out of his work on the Interlinear Greek-Hebrew Bible. The Interlinear Hebrew-Greek-English Bible is listed in parallel, with the original words, Strong’s numbers and the English meanings beneath; all words added by the translator are in italic type. Living Bible ————————————————————————————- ​(1971) Paraphrase of the Bible produced by Kenneth Taylor, it is written in contemporary English, based on the ASV. It was written in an attempt ot help his children better understand the Bible. The Message ——————————————————————————— (199?) Paraphrase produced by Eugene Peterson, designed to be an easy-to-read, modern language Bible. Uses the tone of modern American English, while maintaining the meaning (and idioms) of the original languages. New American Bible (NAB) ——————————————————————————————————————————————- ​(1970) Formal equivilence, Textus Recepticus. Catholic translation published under the the direction of Pope Pius XII, developed by the Catholic Bible Association of America. Written at a 6th-grade reading level, strives to be a clear translation written in basic American English. New American Standard Version (NASB) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- ​(1971) Formal equivalence, sought to render grammar and terminology in contemporary English, while preserving the literal accuracy of the 1901 ASV. Special attention given to the rendering of verb tenses to give the English reader a rendering as close as possible to the sense of the original Greek and Hebrew texts. Updated in 1995. New English Bible (NEB) ————————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1970) Dynamic equivalence, translated into contemporary *British* English; the first British Bible translated from the original languages since the KJV. New English Translation (NET) —————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1996) Formal equivalence, Critical Text. A completely new translation of the Bible “from the best currently available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.” Includes over 60,000 text-critical, lexical, and exegetical notes. As of 1999, the New Testament was complete. New International Version (NIV) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1973) Dynamic equivalence, Critical Text: produced by 115 translators, attempt at “an accurate translation, suitable for public and private reading, teaching, preaching,memorizing, and liturgical use.” Approximately 7th-grade reading level. New International Readers Version (NIrV) ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- (198?) Dynamic equivalence, Critical Text, based on NIV, with 40 additional translators, stylists, and simplifiers. At a 3rd-grade reading level, it uses simple, short words and sentences for a version that is easy to read and understand. According to Zondervan, is was “designed to help young children and new readers understand the Bible for themselves and create an easy stepping-stone from a children’s Bible to an adult Bible.” New King James (NKJV) —————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1982) Formal equivalence, Textus Receptus. Written at a 7th-grade reading level in contemporary English, but retains the poetic style of the original King James. It was produced as a revision of the KJV, intended to make it easier to read. New Living Translation (NLT) ————————————————————————————————————————————————————- ​(1996) Dynamic equivalence, Critical Text. 90 Bible scholars and English stylists worked seven years on an update of [*The Living Bible*][Living Bible]. It was completed in 1996. Based on original sources, the goal of the NLT is to produce the closest natural equivilent, using the vocabulary and language structures of modern English. The publisher states it is, “a general-purpose translation that is accurate, easy to read, and excellent for study.” ^[[10]][]^ New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1989) Formal equivalence, written in contemporary English, seen as a revision to the RSV with gender-inclusive language. New World Translation (NWT) ——————————————————————————————————————————————————— Translation used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. The NWT is purposely mistranslated to support Jehovah’s Witness doctrine. Revised English Bible (REB) ——————————————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1989) Dynamic equivalence, a revision of the New English Bible (NEB). Revised Standard Version (RSV) ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————- ​(1946) Formal equivalence, one of the most widely read English translations, it is a revision of the AV (Authorized Version of 1611, otherwise known as the King James Version) and the ASV (American Standard Version of 1901), utilizing the best texts available at the time. Revised Version (RV) ————————————————————————————————————————- ​(1881) Formal equivalence, Textus Receptus, update to the King James version. Today’s English Version (TEV) —————————————————————————————————————————————————————— See [Good News Bible][Good News Bible (GNB)]. Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ​(1898) Formal Equivalence, translation by Robert Young who also compiled Young’s Analytical Concordance. Extremely literal translation that attempts to preserve the tense and word usage as found in the original Greek and Hebrew writings. Listing of Bible Types ====================== Interlinear ——————————————————————————— Interlinear Bibles (there are many types) typically show at least one English translation alongside the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic text, with notes on word usage, and translations of the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic words. Some interlinear Bibles include the *Interlinear KJV - NIV Parallel New Testament* and JP Green’s *Interlinear Hebrew - Greek - English Bible*. Life Application Bible ———————————————————————————————————————————- Published by Tyndale in 1987, revised in 1993. Developed by *Youth for Christ* to help apply the Bible to everyday life, includes personality profiles of Biblical characters. Strong emphasis on application. Has much explanatory and historical information in its introductions, charts, maps. Available in KJV, LB, NIV, NKJV, NRSV. MacArthur Study Bible —————————————————————————————————————————— Developed by John MacArthur, a result of 30 years of study and teaching. Includes 20,000 study notes, book introductions and outlines, outline of Systematic Theology, 200-page topical index, charts, calendars, and maps. Available in NKJV. Nelson Study Bible —————————————————————————————————————- 350 word studies, 32 pages of full-color charts. Available in NKJV. NIV Study Bible ————————————————————————————————— Extensive textual notes including comparative interpretations. Includes study notes, concordance, introductions to each book, and maps. NIV only. New Open Bible ———————————————————————————————- Includes concordance, maps, charts, various essays on specific words and concepts, text-critical notes, extensive “Topical Index to the Bible”, and *fantastic* book introductions and outlines. Strives for doctrinal objectivity. Available in KJV, NKJV, NASB. This is my primary study bible. Ryrie Study Bible ———————————————————————————————————— Dispensational, but not as emphatic as Scofield. Developed by former Dallas Theological Seminary professor Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie. First published in 1986, with an “Expanded Edition” released in 1995. Contains outlines, book introductions, extensive notes, 22-page “Synopsis of Bible Doctrine” section. Definately a theological study Bible, as opposed to a “practical living” one. Doctrinally oriented. Available in KJV, NASB, NIV. Scofield Study Bible ————————————————————————————————————————- Strong dispensational, fundamentalist outlook. First published in 1909, revised in 1917 for KJV. 1967 update (called the New Scofield Study Bible) for other versions. Excellent cross-reference system, notes in center column and as footnotes. Includes maps, “Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names.” Doctrinally oriented. Available in KJV, NASB, NIV, NKJV. Spirit-Filled Life Bible ——————————————————————————————————————————————- Pentecostal / Charismatic bias, has special sections on applying Bible to everyday life. Needs-oriented. Has book introductions and textual notes. Special “Kingdom Dynamics” sections discuss topics such as evangelism, seed faith, prosperity, spiritual gifts, and healing. Contains some charismatic theology and more extreme “word-of-faith” elements. Available in KJV and NKJV. Thompson Chain Reference ——————————————————————————————————————————————- Released in 1908 by Frank Charles Thompson, includes references in margins to link Scriptures on 4000+ subjects. Includes archeological notes and topical studies. Unfortunately, the word chains are based on English words, not on the original Greek and Hebrew, and are therefore very limited in usefulness for serious study. Attempts to be doctrinally objective. 5th Improved Edition released in 1988. Available in KJV, NIV, NASB, NKJV. Other Sites =========== The following web sites offer additional information on Bible versions, translations, etc. I do not endorse any particular view expressed on these sites. These links are provided only as a convenience. [Online Bible][] — Free Bible software. Download and use numerous Bible translations, commentaries, dictionaries. [Zondervan Bibles][1] [Darkness to Light - Bible Version Controversy][] [Jay Forrest’s Bible Search Engine][] — Over 20 versions, English, Greek, Hebrew, French, German, Spanish. [JP Green’s Literal Translation (LITV)][] in an on-line, browsable format. [Paul Bessel’s Bible Versions Page][]. Footnotes ========= **[1]**:  Deuteronomy 31:9,26; 2 Kings 22:8; Joshua 24:26; 1 Samuel 10:25. **[2]**:  2 Kings 22:8; Isaiah 29:18, 34:16; Daniel 9:2. **[3]**:  Nehemiah 8:2,3,14. **[4]**:  2 Maccabees 2:13. **[5]**:  Malachi 4:4-6. **[6]**:  2 Maccabees 2:23; 15:38. **[7]**:  Baruch 1:2 compared with Jeremiah 43:6,7. **[8]**:  Basics of Biblical Greek, William D. Mounce, 1993, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI. **[9]**:  The Complete Guide to Bible Versions, Philip W. Comfort, Ph.D. c1996. Wheaton: Living Books - Tyndale House. **[10]**:  Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997, c1996. Wheaton: Tyndale House.

[[1]]: #footnote_1 [[2]]: #footnote_2 [[3]]: #footnote_3 [[4]]: #footnote_4 [[5]]: #footnote_5 [[6]]: #footnote_6 [[7]]: #footnote_7 [[8]]: #footnote_8 [[9]]: #footnote_9 [Zondervan Bibles]: http://www.zondervanbibles.com/ []: transchart.gif [[10]]: #footnote_10 [Online Bible]: http://www.onlinebible.org/ [1]: http://www.zondervan-bibles.com [Darkness to Light -
Bible Version Controversy]: http://www.dtl.org/versions/index.html [Jay Forrest’s Bible Search
Engine]: http://www.jayforrest.org/bsr.htm [JP Green’s Literal
Translation (LITV)]: http://www.cet.com/voice/litv/litv.htm [Paul Bessel’s Bible Versions
Page]: http://www.bessel.org/bibles.htm