I have been asked occasionally to describe some of the Bibles Versions that we have available. This is a list of 20 versions, both old and new that we have been able to include on all of our discs. In another blog I will try to describe some of the versions that require a higher royalty payment than we are able to absorb.
1769 Authorised (King James) Version with Strong’s Numbers from Englishman’s Greek and Hebrew Concordances with Verb Parsings.
This Bible is foundation of the English Online Bible. You can obtain a lexicon definition by cursoring over a Strong’s Number or a dictionary definition by cursoring over a word..
Other versions from most recent to oldest.
The English Standard Version (ESV) is an “essentially literal” translation of the Bible in contemporary English. Created by a team of more than 100 leading evangelical scholars and pastors, the ESV Bible emphasizes “word-for-word” accuracy, literary excellence, and depth of meaning. Suited for personal reading, public worship, and in-depth study.
The Message – The Bible in Contemporary Language. The Message is written by Eugene Peterson to make the original meaning of the Bible more understandable and accessible to the modern reader. The Message is an idiomatic translation of the original Hebrew and Greek text. Peterson uses a contemporary slang from the US rather than a more neutral International English, and the translation falls on the extreme dynamic end of the dynamic and formal equivalence spectrum. For use with the Online Bible this edition has been numbered (as far as possible).
Holman Christian Standard Bible – The motive for the HCSB translators to produce yet another English translation stemmed from the need for each new generation of English speakers to have a translation that reflected changes in the English language. Because English is the first truly global language, the publishers sought to produce a version that served a large cross section of English-speaking people throughout the world. After several years of preliminary development, Holman Bible Publishers, the oldest Bible publisher in America, assembled an international, interdenominational team of 90 scholars, all of whom were committed to biblical inerrancy. Smaller teams of editors, stylists, and proofreaders then corrected and polished the translation. Outside consultants contributed valuable suggestions from their areas of expertise. An executive team then reviewed the final manuscripts. The HCSB® was first published in 1999. Using original Greek and Hebrew texts, the Holman Christian Standard Bible used the optimal equivalence approach to translation which seeks to combine the best features of formal equivalence (word-for-word) and dynamic equivalence (thought-for-thought). In places where a literal rendering might be unclear, a more dynamic translation is given.
New King James Version Commissioned in by Thomas Nelson Publishers, 130 respected Bible scholars, church leaders, and lay Christians worked for seven years to create a completely new, modern translation of Scripture, yet one that would retain the accuracy, purity and stylistic beauty of the original Authorized Version or King James Version. According to Thomas Nelson, the translators were unyieldingly faithful to the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts, applying the most recent research in archaeology, linguistics, and textual studies. The translators have also sought to follow the principles of translation used in the original KJV, which the NKJV revisers call “complete equivalence” in contrast to “dynamic equivalence” or “thought-for-thought” used by many other modern translations, such as the New International Version.
J. B. Phillips New Testament – The New Testament in Modern English is an English translation of the New Testament of the Bible translated by Anglican clergyman J. B. Phillips. While the translation is not well known it has many ardent fans including Os Guinness, Chuck Swindoll, and Ray Stedman. Corrie ten Boom considered it her favorite in English. The songwriter Michael Card often used Phillips’ wording. Phillips began by rewording the New Testament epistles for his church’s youth group in modern English, which group met during World War II in bomb shelters. These he published in 1947 under the title Letters to Young Churches. In 1952 he added the Gospels. In 1955 he added Acts and titled it The Young Church in Action. In 1957 he added The Book of Revelation. Later he finished the whole of the New Testament, first publishing it in 1958. Phillips worked entirely from the Greek Testament.
The Bible in Basic English was translated by Professor Samuel Henry Hooke (1874-1968), an English scholar and Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Studies at the University of London. The BBE was printed in 1965 by Cambridge Press in England. In an effort to simplify the text, Professor Hooke and his team limited the vocabulary to C. K. Ogden’s Basic English vocabulary of 850 words which is said to be able to give the sense of anything which may be said in English. One hundred words that were helpful to understand poetry were added, along with 50 “Bible” words.
21st Century King James Version is an updating of the 1611 King James Version. It is not a new translation, but a careful updating to eliminate obsolete words by reference to the most complete and definitive modern American dictionary, the Webster’s New International Dictionary. Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization have also been updated. What has been historically known as Biblical English has been retained in this updating. Biblical English is the language which has found its acceptance in Scripture and liturgy for more than 500 years in most of the English-speaking churches throughout the world. Only in the late twentieth century does one find the use of secular English in Bible translations. All language relating to gender and theology in the King James Version remains unchanged from the original.
The World English Bible came about in order to provide a complete translation of the Holy Bible in normal modern English that can provide unrestricted free posting on the internet and also be freely copied without written permission from the publisher and payment of royalties. No other Bible is thus available and this is the vacuum that the World English Bible is filling. Under the guidance of Rainbow Missions, Inc., a Colorado nonprofit corporation, scores of volunteer translators, editors and proofreaders have produced the WEB. The World English Bible is an update of the American Standard Version of 1901, which is in the public domain. The translation method of the World English Bible is primarily that of formal equivalence (word for word), and is based on the 1901 American Standard Version, the Greek Majority Text, and the Hebrew Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. The process consists of seven “passes” of editing and proofreading for each book of the Bible. An initial automated pass updated approximately 1,000 archaic words and phrases. The first manual pass was to add quotation marks and other punctuation, and to check the translation against the Greek and Hebrew texts where there are significant textual variants or the meaning is unclear. The WEB does not capitalize deity pronouns, but does use the original Hebrew “Yahweh” when rendering the tetragrammaton.
Revised Webster Bible This edition of the Webster Bible contains Strong’s Numbers for deeper study. Noah Webster was America’s first grammarian and founding father of American education. In 1828 Noah Webster published the ‘American Dictionary of the English Language’. This dictionary demonstrates the Christian values which were found in America’s educational and scholarly systems. It is from this early dictionary that we have today’s popular ‘Webster Dictionary’. In 1833 Noah Webster, who had mastered 20 languages including Hebrew and Greek, published the King James Authorized Version ‘with amendments to the language’. In stating his reasons for producing this version of the Bible, Webster said: ‘In the present version, the language is, in general, correct and perspicuous; … in many passages uniting sublimity with beautiful simplicity. In my view, the general style of the version ought not to be altered. But, in the lapse of two or three centuries, changes have taken place, which, in particular passages, impair the beauty; in others, obscure the sense, of the original languages. … they do not present to the reader the Word of God. … My principal aim is to remedy this evil.’
The American Standard Version has earned the reputation of being the Rock of Biblical Honesty. The American Standard Version of the Holy Bible was first published in 1901. The ASV was a minor American revision of the Revised Version of 1881. It became the foundation of several 20th century American versions, including the Revised Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible.
1947 Revised Standard Version is a revision of the American Standard Version. The RSV posed the first serious challenge to the popularity of the King James Version. It was intended to be a readable and literally accurate modern English translation, not only to create a clearer version of the Bible for the English-speaking church but also to “preserve all that is best in the English Bible as it has been known and used through the centuries” and “to put the message of the Bible in simple, enduring words that are worthy to stand in the great Tyndale-King James tradition.”
The Weymouth New Testament, otherwise known as The New Testament in Modern Speech, is a translation into “modern” English as used in the nineteenth century from the text of The Resultant Greek Testament by Richard Francis Weymouth from the Greek idioms used in it. Weymouth produced the version as a literal translation of his own text in Greek. The Preface states that the version was chiefly designed to furnish a succinct and compressed running commentary (not doctrinal). Richard Francis Weymouth’s popular translation of the New Testament into English was first published in 1903 and has been in print through numerous editions ever since with millions of copies sold. Weymouth’s aim has been to discover how the inspired writers themselves would have expressed and described the events of the New Testament and Gospels, had they been actually writing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In doing so, he has succeeded in rendering it into a dignified modern English edition without ecclesiastical nor doctrinal bias making it desirable to Christian readers of all denominations.
1901 The American Standard Version is rooted in the work that was done with the Revised Version, a late 19th-century British revision of the King James Version of 1611. In 1870, an invitation was extended to American religious leaders for scholars to work on the RV project. A year later, Protestant theologian Philip Schaff chose 30 scholars representing the denominations of Baptist, Congregationalist, Dutch Reformed, Friends, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Protestant Episcopal, and Unitarian. These scholars began work in 1872. The ASV was published in 1901 by Thomas Nelson & Sons. The ASV was the basis of the Revised Standard Version, 1971, the Amplified Bible, 1965 and the New American Standard Bible, 1995. The ASV was also the basis for Kenneth N. Taylor’s paraphrase, The Living Bible, 1971.
1899 Douay Rheims Version is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by members of the Catholic seminary English College, Douai, France. It is the foundation on which nearly all English Catholic versions are still based. It was translated principally by Gregory Martin, an Oxford-trained scholar, working in the circle of English Catholic exiles on the Continent. The New Testament appeared at Rheims in 1582; the Old Testament at Douai in 1609. The translation, although competent, exhibited a taste for Latinisms that was not uncommon in English writing of the time but seemed excessive in the eyes of later generations. The New Testament influenced the Authorized Version. Between 1749 and 1752, English bishop Richard Challoner substantially revised the translation with an aim to improve readability and comprehensibility.
Youngs Literal Translation is designed to assist students in the close study of the Biblical text by reproducing in English the Hebrew and Greek idioms, in an exceedingly literal translation. Robert Young (1822-1888) was a Scottish editor and publisher who became proficient in several ancient languages through self-study. He was a strict textual critic and theologian. His important work was the Analytical Concordance to the Bible (Edinburgh, 1879). Young was celebrated as an editor and translator of Jewish and Biblical writings in various languages, especially in Hebrew, Samaritan, Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic, and Gujarati, thus and in other ways contributing to the apparatus for textual criticism.
A Literal Translation of the Bible A New Translation from the Original Languages by J. N. Darby. John Nelson Darby went in 1853 to Germany, where he established congregations in Dusseldorf, Elberfeld, and in other towns. He was dissatisfied with the existing Bible versions in French and German, and so he collaborated with German and French followers in the creation of new versions in those languages. With some German associates he produced the “Elberfelder Bible,” and with French-speaking followers he produced the “Pau Bible.” Darby did not feel such a need for a new translation in English, because he considered the King James Version to be adequate for most purposes, and he encouraged his followers to continue to use it. But, he decided to produce a highly literal English version of the New Testament for study purposes. This New Testament was completed in 1867. The version is exceedingly literal, based upon modern critical editions of the Greek text. After Darby’s death in 1882, certain of his followers in England produced an English version of the Old Testament based upon Darby’s French and German translations. In 1890 this was published as the Old Testament portion of The Holy Scriptures.
The Emphatic Diaglott was a two-language polyglot translation, of the New Testament by Benjamin Wilson, first published in 1864. It was an interlinear translation with the original Greek text and a word-for-word English translation in the left column, and a full English translation in the right column. It is based on the interlinear translation, the renderings of eminent critics, and various readings of the Vatican Manuscript. After Wilson’s death in 1900, the plates and copyright were inherited by his heirs. Charles Taze Russell, then president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, approached Wilson’s family via a third party and obtained the copyright, and at some later point, the plates.
Murdoch New Testament A Literal Translation from the Syriac Peshito Version. To extend his own long cherished but scanty knowledge of the Syriac language, the writer commenced reading the Peshito Syriac New Testament in 1845, and at every step he found increasing delight. The artless simplicity, directness, and transparency of the style,-the propriety and beauty of the conceptions of Christ and his followers, as expressed in a Shemitish dialect very nearly identical with their vernacular tongue,-the pleasing thought that the words were, probably, in great part, the very terms which the Savior and his Apostles actually uttered in their discourses and conversations,-and especially the full comprehension which the Syriac translator seemed to have of the force and meaning of the inspired original, served to chain attention and hold the mind spell-bound to the book. Such exquisite pleasure the writer longed to have others share with him; but as few persons, even among the clergy, have either leisure or facilities for acquiring the Syriac language, he soon came to the conclusion, that he could do nothing better than first read the book carefully through, and then give a literal and exact translation of it. Accordingly he furnished himself with several of the best editions of the book, and the best Lexicons and Grammars, and commenced his translation in 1845.
Webster Bible Noah Webster’s 1833 limited revision of the King James Version focused mainly on replacing archaic words and making simple grammatical changes. For example: “why” instead of “wherefore”, “its” instead of “his” when referring to nonliving things, “male child” instead of “manchild”, etc. He also introduced euphemisms to remove words he found offensive: “whore” becomes “lewd woman”. Overall, very few changes were made, and the result is a book which is almost indistinguishable from the King James Version. It is noteworthy that throughout Webster’s revision of the King James Bible, the lexicographer replaced “Holy Ghost” with “Holy Spirit”. Webster did so because he knew that in the Scriptures this expression did not mean “an apparition”. In the preface of his Bible, Webster wrote: “Some words have fallen into disuse; and the signification of others, in current popular use, is not the same now as it was when they were introduced into the version.
The Living Oracles is a translation of the New Testament compiled and edited by the early Restoration Movement leader Alexander Campbell. Published in 1826, it was based on an 1818 combined edition of translations by George Campbell, James MacKnight and Philip Doddridge, and included edits and extensive notes by Campbell. Campbell was motivated by a belief that changes in the English language and the availability of improved critical editions of the Greek New Testament had made the Authorized King James Version obsolete. In developing the translation, Campbell relied on the critical Greek text published by Johann Jakob Griesbach. One notable feature of the translation is the replacement of traditional ecclesiastical terms such as “church” and “baptize” with alternative translations such as “congregation” and “immerse”. The Living Oracles has been described as a forerunner of modern language translations in its updating of the traditional King James language and use of the work of textual critics such as Griesbach. The translation was widely used within the Restoration Movement, but was criticized by others for its translation of ßapt??? (baptizô) as “immerse” rather than “baptize”. Because of the way this word was translated, the Living Oracles was most often used by those who believed in immersion baptism and most vigorously criticized by groups practicing infant baptism by sprinkling.