Modern English Bible translations
|The Bible in English|
Many attempts have been made to translate the Bible into modern English, which is defined as the form of English in use after 1800 (different from the linguistic usage of modern English). Since the early nineteenth century, there have been several translational responses to the rapid spread of Christianity throughout the world. Various denominational and organizational goals have produced, and continue to produce, Bibles to address the needs of English speakers from all walks of life. Differing base texts, theological emphasis, style, and translation aims (e.g. readability vs. literality) are just a few of the variables that contribute to the wide range of Bibles available today.
- 1 Development of Modern English Bible versions
- 2 The Differences Between the Modern English Translations of Bible
- 3 18th and 19th century translations
- 4 20th and 21st century translations
- 4.1 King James Versions and derivatives
- 4.2 Revised Version and derivatives
- 4.3 New International Version and derivatives
- 4.4 Dynamic translations and paraphrases
- 4.5 Internet-based translations
- 4.6 Messianic translations
- 4.7 New English Bible and derivatives
- 4.8 Public domain translations
- 4.9 Catholic translations
- 4.10 Sacred Name translations
- 4.11 Masoretic Text / Jewish translations
- 4.12 Septuagint translations
- 4.13 Simplified English Bibles
- 4.14 Translations exclusively published by Jehovah's Witnesses
- 4.15 Translations exclusively published by the Latter Day Saints movement
- 4.16 Adaptive retellings
- 4.17 Other translations
- 5 Partial translations
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Development of Modern English Bible versions
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2007)|
The Authorized King James Version of 1611 was sporadically altered until 1769, but was not thoroughly updated until the creation of the Revised Version in 1885; it was not until the Revised Standard Version of 1952 (New Testament in 1948) that a rival to the KJV was composed, nearly 350 years after the KJV was first published. The RSV gained widespread adoption among the mainstream Protestant Churches in America and a Catholic Edition was released in 1962. It was updated as the New Revised Standard Version in 1989.
In the late twentieth century, Bibles increasingly appeared that were much less literal in their approach to translation. In 1946, the New English Bible was initiated in the United Kingdom, intended to enable readers to better understand the King James Bible. In 1958, J. B. Phillips (1906–1982) produced an edition of the New Testament letters in paraphrase, the Letters to Young Churches, so that members of his youth group could understand what the New Testament authors had written. In 1966, The Good News for Modern Man, a paraphrase of the New Testament was released to wide acceptance. Others followed suit. The Living Bible, released in 1971, was published by its author Kenneth N. Taylor, based on the literal American Standard Version of 1901. Taylor had begun because of the trouble his children had in understanding the literal (and sometimes archaic) text of the King James Bible. His work was at first intended for children, but was later positioned for marketing to high school and college students, as well as adults wishing to better understand the Bible. Like Phillips' version, the Living Bible was a dramatic departure from the King James version.
Despite widespread criticism, the popularity of The Living Bible, itself a paraphrase rather than a translation, created a demand for a new approach to translating the Bible into contemporary English called dynamic equivalence, which attempts to preserve the meaning of the original text in a readable way. Realizing the immense benefits of a Bible that was more easily accessible to the average reader, and responding to the criticisms of the Living Bible, the American Bible Society completed the Good News Bible (1976) with the Old Testament, a new English Bible translation in this more readable style. This translation has gone on to become one of the best selling in history. In 1996, a new revision of Taylor's Living Bible was published. This New Living Translation is a full translation from the original languages rather than a paraphrase of the Bible.
Another project aimed to create something in between the very literal translation of the King James Bible and the more informal Good News Bible. The goal of this was to create a Bible that would be scholarly yet not overly formal. The result of this project was the New International Version (1978). This version became highly popular in Evangelical Protestant circles.
The debate between the formal equivalence and dynamic (or 'functional') equivalence translation styles has increased with the introduction of inclusive language versions. Various terms are employed to defend or attack this development, such as feminist, gender neutral, or gender accurate. New editions of some previous translations have been updated to take this change in language into account, including the New Revised Standard Version (1989), the Revised English Bible (1989), and Today's New International Version (2005). Some translations have approached the issue more cautiously, such as the English Standard Version (2001).
A further process that has assisted in increasing the number of English Bible versions exponentially, is the use of the Internet in producing virtual bibles, of which a growing number are beginning to appear in print – especially given the development of "print on demand".
The Differences Between the Modern English Translations of Bible
Knowing which translation of the Bible from which you are working is essential when trying to contextualize scripture because different translations word things differently. While one translation may use a metaphor, another may use literal words. It may benefit you to look at one or more translations to get a better understanding of the context.
The English translations of the Bible were originally translated from its earlier forms, the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts (Ryken, 2004). There are three types of English translations: word-for-word translation, meaning-for-meaning translation, and a paraphrased translation. Within each type of translation, there are many versions because of the many different manuscripts that exist.
The word-for-word translation is considered the most accurate translations of the Bible from the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts (Ryken, 2004). These versions attempt to keep the exact words and phrases of the original manuscripts. They are accurate to the original text, but it can be a bit hard to understand considering how much language has changed since the manuscripts were written. Some examples of this type of translation are the King James Version, the New King James Version, the English Standard Version, and the New American Standard Version.
The meaning-for-meaning, also known as thought-for-thought, translation keeps the history and facts constant with regard to historical distance, but updates the writing style and grammar (Ryken, 2004). The New International Version and the New Living Translation are two examples of this type of translation. These versions are valuable for putting the Bible scriptures into more understandable wording. For example, the New King James Version of Hebrew 2:17 reads: “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” The New International Version of Hebrews 2:17 reads: “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.”
The last type of the English translations is the paraphrased translation. The paraphrased translation is considered to be the easiest to read of all of the Bibles (Ryken, 2004). These versions translate the ideas from the original text, but without being constrained by the original words or language. These versions eliminate the historical distance to which the meaning-for-meaning translations uphold. These versions are seen as not being as precise compared to the others. Some examples of this version are the Living Bible and The Message.
18th and 19th century translations
|Challoner's revision of the Douay-Rheims Bible||1752|
|John Wesley, Wesley's New Testament||1755|
|Gilbert Wakefield, A Translation of the New Testament ||1791|
|Alexander Campbell's The Living Oracles||1826|
|Young's Literal Translation||1862|
|Julia E. Smith Parker Translation||1876|
20th and 21st century translations
King James Versions and derivatives
The King James Version of 1611 still has an immense following, and as such there have been a number of different attempts to update or improve upon it. The Revised Version and its derivatives also stem from the King James Version.
|CKJV||Children's King James Version Jay P. Green||1960|
|KJ II||King James II Version of the Bible Jay P. Green||1971|
|KJV20||King James Version—Twentieth Century Edition Jay P. Green|
|NKJV||New King James Version||1982|
|KJ21||21st Century King James Version||1994|
|TMB||Third Millennium Bible||1998|
|MKJV||Modern King James Version||1999|
|AKJV||American King James Version||1999|
|KJV2000||King James 2000 Version||2000|
|UKJV||Updated King James Version||2000|
|KJVER||King James Version Easy Reading||2001|
|HSE||Holy Scriptures in English||2001|
|CKJV||Comfort-able King James Version||2003|
|NCPB||New Cambridge Paragraph Bible||2005|
|AV7||AV7 (New Authorized Version)||2006|
|AVU||Authorized Version Update||2006|
|KJV-CE||King James Version—Corrected Edition|
|DNKJB||Divine Name King James Bible ||2011|
|MEV||Modern English Version ||2014|
Revised Version and derivatives
The English Revised Version was the first official attempt to update the Authorized (King James) Version. This was adapted in the United States as the American Standard Version. The translations and versions that stem from them are shown in date order:
|RV||(British) Revised Version||1881–5|
|ASV||American Standard Version||1901|
|RSV||Revised Standard Version||1952, 1971|
|NASB||New American Standard Bible||1971, 1995|
|NRSV||New Revised Standard Version||1989|
|ESV||English Standard Version||2001, 2007, 2011|
|WEB||World English Bible||In progress|
|REV||Revised English Version||In progress|
New International Version and derivatives
The popular New International Version has appeared in a number of editions.
|NIV||New International Version||1978, 1984, 2011|
|NIrV||New International Reader's Version||1996|
|NIVI||New International Version Inclusive Language Edition (discontinued)||1996-unknown|
|TNIV||Today's New International Version (discontinued)||2005-2011|
Dynamic translations and paraphrases
A significant aspect in translations from the latter half of the 20th century was much greater use of the principles of dynamic equivalence.
|TLB||The Living Bible||1971|
|GNT/GNB/TEV||Good News Translation/Good News Bible/Today's English Version||1976, 1992|
|The Clear Word (paraphrase, non-official Seventh-day Adventist)||1994|
|CEV||Contemporary English Version||1995|
|NLT||New Living Translation||1996, 2004, 2007|
|RNT||Restored New Testament||2009|
The New English Translation (or NET Bible) is a project to publish a translation of the Bible using the Internet. It is freely available and accompanied by extensive translator's notes. Another Internet based translation (currently only in the planning stages) is The Free Bible. It is a wiki, collaborative project, based on Wikisource. A third is The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible, which uses a collaborative MediaWiki website that interlinks the words of the Bible to articles and image galleries about the topic. The Open English Bible aims to create the first modern public domain English translation of the Bible, using an open-source process for corrections and modernizing verses. אשׁ מן־השׁמים, also called the heavenly fire, is a version of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament based on no previous translation, which seeks extreme fidelity to the artistic form and communicative intent of the Masoretic Text while creating innovative new renderings. In addition, it will include a translation of the gospel of Matthew from an ancient Hebrew manuscript and a translation of the Hebrew version of Psalm 151 from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
|NET||New English Translation||2005|
|TFB||The Free Bible||In planning stage|
|WGCIB||The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible||2010|
|OEB||Open English Bible||In progress.|
|CBP||Conservative Bible Project||In progress[non-primary source needed]|
|WEB||World English Bible||In progress|
|MLV||Modern Literal Version (NT)||In progress|
|THF||the heavenly fire (OT)||In progress|
Some Bible translations find popular use in, or were prepared especially for, the Messianic Judaism movement.
|AENT||Roth, Andrew, Aramaic English New Testament||2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012|
|TS||The Scriptures||1993, 1998, 2009|
|HRV||Hebraic Roots Version||2004|
|CJB||Stern, David H, Complete Jewish Bible||1998|
|CNT||Cassirer, Heinz, God's New Covenant: A New Testament Translation AKA Cassirer New Testament||1989|
|OJB||Goble, Phillip E, Orthodox Jewish Bible||2002|
|TLV||Tree of Life Bible ||2014|
|HNV||World English Bible Messianic Edition aka the Hebrew Names Version||In progress|
|MATS||Messianic Aleph Tav Scriptures| ||In progress|
New English Bible and derivatives
The initiative to create the New English Bible began in 1946, in an attempt to make an entirely new translation of the Bible in modern English.
|NEB||New English Bible||1970|
|REB||Revised English Bible||1989|
Public domain translations
|WEB||World English Bible||In Progress|
|MASV||Modern American Standard Version||In Progress|
|CPDV||Catholic Public Domain Version||2009|
|DRP||David Robert Palmer Translation||In Progress|
|UKJV||Updated King James Version||2000|
|TFB||The Free Bible||In Progress|
|WGCIB||The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible||2010|
|OEB||Open English Bible||In progress|
|RHB||Restored Holy Bible||In progress|
|DRB||Douay-Rheims Bible||1582–1609, 16105|
|DRC||Douay-Rheims Bible Challoner Revision||1749-1752|
|WVSS||Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures||1913–19351|
|SPC||Spencer New Testament||1941|
|Knox||Knox's Translation of the Vulgate||1955|
|KLNT||Kleist-Lilly New Testament||19563|
|RSV-CE||Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition||1965–664|
|NAB||New American Bible||1970|
|TLB-CE||The Living Bible - Catholic Edition||1971|
|NJB||New Jerusalem Bible||1985|
|CCB||Christian Community Bible||1986|
|NRSV-CE||New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition||1989|
|GNT-CE||Good News Bible / Today's English Version - Catholic Edition||2001|
|RSV-2CE||Revised Standard Version - Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Version)||2006|
|NABRE||New American Bible Revised Edition||2011/1986 (Old Testament and Psalms)/New Testament|
1Released in parts between 1913–1935 with copious study and textual notes. The New Testament with condensed notes was released in 1936 as one volume.
2NT released in 1941. The OT contained material from the Challoner Revision until the entire OT was completed in 1969. This Old Testament went on to be the base for the 1970 NAB
3New Testament only; Gospels by James Kleist, rest by Joseph Lilly.
4Second Catholic Edition released 2006.
5The DRB was translated entirely by 1582, but due to financial issues the OT wasn't entirely published till 1610
In addition to the above Catholic English Bibles, all of which have an Imprimatur granted by a Catholic Bishop, the authors of the Catholic Public Domain Version of 2009 and The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible of 2010 refer to them as Catholic Bibles. Additionally, in September, 2013 the Message, a paraphrase of the Holy Bible, released a Catholic/Ecumenical Edition. However these three versions have not been granted an Imprimatur so they're technically not Catholic Bible's per se, but are versions of the Sacred Scriptures that utilize the Catholic Biblical Canon of 73 books.
Sacred Name translations
These Sacred Name Bibles were all done with the specific aim of carrying into English the actual Name of God as they were in the originals. Most have been done by people from the Sacred Name Movement. They are distinguished by their policy of transliterating Hebrew-based forms for sacred names, such as "Yahweh", "YHWH", etc.
|SNB||Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible||1976|
|HNB||Holy Name Bible||1963|
|SSBE||Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition||1981|
|SN-KJ||Sacred Name King James Bible||2005|
|SSFOY||Sacred Scriptures, Family of Yah Edition||2000|
|TWOY||The Word of Yahweh||2003|
|TS||The Scriptures||1993, 1998, 2009|
|TBE||Transparent English Bible||In progress|
Masoretic Text / Jewish translations
Jewish translations follow the Masoretic Text, and are usually published in bilingual editions with the Hebrew text facing the English translation. The translations often reflect traditional Jewish exegesis of the bible. As translations of the Masoretic bible, Jewish translations contain neither the apocrypha nor the Christian New Testament.
|JPS||Jewish Publication Society of America Version||1917|
|Koren Jerusalem Bible based on a translation by Harold Fisch||1962|
|Kaplan, Aryeh, The Living Torah
Elman, Yaakov, The Living Nach
|NJPS||New Jewish Publication Society of America Version||1985|
|Artscroll||Stone Edition (Artscroll)||1996|
|Charles Thomson's The Holy Bible, Containing The Old And New Covenant, Commonly Called The Old And New Testament: Translated From The Greek||1808|
|Brenton's English Translation of the Septuagint||1851|
|ABP||Apostolic Bible Polyglot||2003|
|AB||The Apostles' Bible||2004|
|OSB||Orthodox Study Bible||2007|
|NETS||New English Translation of the Septuagint||2007|
|LES||Lexham English Septuagint||2013|
|EOB||Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible||In progress|
|HOB||Holy Orthodox Bible|
Simplified English Bibles
There have been a number of attempts to produce a Bible that greatly simplifies the English. (Some of these versions are also listed in other categories: for example, the NIrV is also found under the NIV section). These are translations that are not necessarily a very dynamic translation, but go beyond simply everyday English into a restricted vocabulary set, often aimed at non-native speakers of English.
|BBE||Bible in Basic English||1949|
|BWE||Bible in Worldwide English [New Testament only]||1969|
|NLV||New Life Version (Gleason Ledyard)||1986|
|SEB||Simple English Bible (Dr Stanley Morris)||1980|
|ERV||Easy-to-Read Version (previously English Version for the Deaf)||1989|
|NCV||New Century Version||1991|
|NIrV||New International Reader's Version||1998|
Translations exclusively published by Jehovah's Witnesses
|NWT||New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures||1961, 1981, 1984, 2013|
|By||The Bible in Living English||1972|
Translations exclusively published by the Latter Day Saints movement
|JST||Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible||1830|
Some versions have been labelled "adaptive retelling" as they take many liberties with the form of the text.
|Black Bible Chronicles||1993, 1994|
|The Cotton Patch version (various portions of the New Testament done by Clarence Jordan)|
|The Aussie Bible; also More Aussie Bible by Kel Richards||2003|
|Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, by Thomas Jefferson||1895|
|The Epistles of Paul in Modern English (includes Hebrews), by George Barker Stevens||1898|
|The Twentieth Century New Testament||1902|
|Weymouth New Testament (New Testament in Modern Speech)||1903|
|Centenary New Testament (by Helen Barrett Montgomery)||1924|
|The Four Gospels, by E. V. Rieu, Penguin||1952|
|The Authentic New Testament, by Hugh J. Schonfield||1955|
|Phi / PME||Phillips New Testament in Modern English and Four Prophets (by J. B. Phillips)||1958|
|The Simplified New Testament, by Olaf M. Norlie||1961|
|WET||Wuest Expanded Translation (by Kenneth Wuest)||1961|
|The New Testament: a New Translation, by William Barclay||1968|
|TransLine, by Michael Magill||2002|
|CPG||Cotton Patch Gospel by Clarence Jordan||1968–1973 (4 vols)|
|The Four Gospels, by Norman Marrow, ISBN 0-9505565-0-5||1977|
|The Original New Testament, by Hugh J. Schonfield, ISBN 0-947752-20-X||1985|
|int-E||The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures by The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society||1985|
|McCord's New Testament Translation of the Everlasting Gospel by Hugo McCord||1988|
|A Fresh Parenthetical Version of the New Testament by B. E. Junkins ISBN 0-7618-2397-2||2002|
|God's New Covenant: A New Testament Translation by Heinz Cassirer, ISBN 0-8028-3673-9||1989|
|Jewish New Testament, by David H. Stern||1989|
|Gaus||The Unvarnished New Testament by Andy Gaus||1991|
|Christian Bible||The Christian Bible: Its New Contract Writings Portion (Christian Bible Society, Mammoth Springs, AR)||1991|
|The New Testament, by Richmond Lattimore, ISBN 0-460-87953-7||1996|
|TCE||The Common Edition New Testament||1999|
|COM||The Comprehensive New Testament||2008|
|A New Accurate Translation of the Greek New Testament, by Julian G. Anderson ISBN 0-9602128-4-1||1984|
|The Voice ISBN 1-4185-3439-0||2008|
|MLV||Modern Literal Version||2012|
|JNT||Jewish New Testament by David H. Stern||1989|
|The Source New Testament With Extensive Notes on Greek Word Meaning, by Dr A. Nyland ISBN 0-9804430-0-8||2004|
|The Last Days New Testament, Ray W. Johnson||1999|
|The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation, N T Wright||2011|
|The Wisdom Books in Modern Speech (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Song of Songs), John Edgar McFadyen||1917|
|Four Prophets (Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah), J.B. Phillips||1963|
|Job Speaks (Job), David Rosenberg||1977|
|The Book of J (Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), Harold Bloom and David Rosenberg||1990|
|A Poet's Bible (Psalms, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Maccabees, Job, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Jonah, Ruth, Esther, Judith, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah), David Rosenberg||1991|
|The Book of Job, Stephen Mitchell||1992|
|The Five Books of Moses, Everett Fox||1995|
|The Lost Book of Paradise: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis and related apocrypha), David Rosenberg||1995|
|Genesis, Stephen Mitchell||1996|
|The Book of David (2 Samuel), David Rosenberg||1998|
|Give us a King! (1, 2 Samuel), Everett Fox||1999|
|The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, Martin Abegg, Peter Flint, Eugene Ulrich||1999|
|The David Story (1, 2 Samuel), Robert Alter||2000|
|The Five Books of Moses, Robert Alter||2004|
|The Bible with Sources Revealed, Richard Elliott Friedman||2005|
|The Book of Psalms, Robert Alter||2007|
|The Wisdom Books, Robert Alter||2010|
|Ancient Israel (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings), Robert Alter||2013|
|The Psalms Translated and Explained, Joseph Addison Alexander||1850|
- Bible translations - for a view of translation into languages other than English.
- Bible errata
- List of English Bible translations
- Jewish English Bible translations
- Bible version debate
- List of Bible verses not included in modern translations
- List of major textual variants in the New Testament
- Bible translations into Broad Scots
- Ryken, Leland (2004). Bible Translation Differences: Criteria for Excellence in Reading and Choosing a Bible Translation. Illinois: Crossway.
- Wakefield, Gilbert (1820). A Translation of the New Testament
- American King James Version
- King James 2000 Version
- Updated King James Version
- King James Bibles
- The Holy Scriptures. Rabon Vincent Jr., translator. Victoria: Trafford, 2001. ISBN 1-55369-199-7
- The Evidence Bible
- Amazon Online Reader : The Evidence Bible
- New Cambridge Paragraph Bible
- http://www.avupdate.org/ (Broken link)
- King James Version - Corrected Edition
- Revised English Version
- "About the New International Version". Electronic version available; print version available March 2011.
- publisher = The ten commandments ministry Free Bible Translation Version, USA, "The FBT is only in the planning stages and no translation work has been done yet"
- Bible project, Conservapedia.
- WEB, eBible.
- The Sacred Bible: Catholic Public Domain Version
- A new translation of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 1 John, 2 John, and Revelation
- UKJV Bible: Updated King James Version
- The Hebrew Bible in English, Mechom Mamre.
- The Judaica Press Complete Tanach with Rashi, Chabad
- Jerusalem Bible (Koren), UK: CAM.
- The Living Torah, ORT
- Simple Translations of the Bible in Easy English
- Boswell, Freddy. 2006. Classifying "Cotton Patch Version" and similar renderings as adaptive retelling rather than translation (La clasificación de la "cotton patch version" y de otros tipos de versiones más como reescrituras adaptadoras más traducciones)." Hermēneus, Vol. 8: 45–66.
- A Voice in the Wilderness
- The Writ, Dabhar Translation
- New European Version
- The Manga Bible
- Original Bible Project
- The Cotton Patch Version
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-  
- The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible
- The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy
- An extensive list of English translations
- OSIS User Manual Appendix D provides standard abbreviations for many translations.