Bible Translations

Contemporary English Version (CEV)
This Bible translation was made with the attempt that the text be faithful to the meaning of the original and that it can be read with ease and understanding by readers of all ages. It was made directly from the original languages of the Scriptures and is not an adaptation of any existing translation.

English Standard Version
The English Standard Version (ESV) stands in the classic mainstream of English Bible translations over the past half-millennium. The fountainhead of that stream was William Tyndale's New Testament of 1526; marking its course were the King James Version of 1611 (KJV), the English Revised Version of 1885 (RV), the American Standard Version of 1901 (ASV), and the Revised Standard Version of 1952 and 1971 (RSV). In that stream, faithfulness to the text and vigorous pursuit of accuracy were combined with simplicity, beauty, and dignity of expression. Our goal has been to carry forward this legacy for a new century.

To this end each word and phrase in the ESV has been carefully weighed against the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, to ensure the fullest accuracy and clarity and to avoid under-translating or overlooking any nuance of the original text. The words and phrases themselves grow out of the Tyndale-King James legacy, and most recently out of the RSV, with the 1971 RSV text providing the starting point for our work. Archaic language has been brought to current usage and significant corrections have been made in the translation of key texts. But throughout, our goal has been to retain the depth of meaning and enduring language that have made their indelible mark on the English-speaking world and have defined the life and doctrine of the church over the last four centuries.

The ESV is an "essentially literal" translation that seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer. It seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original.

The New American Standard Bible (NASB) 
Translated in 1971 by 58 scholars of the Lockman Foundation, from Kittle’s Biblia Hebraica and Nestle’s Greek New Testament 23rd ed., which include the Alexandrian Family codices. Though academic in tone, it is said to be the most exact English translation available. A very good version.

A highly respected formal translation of the Bible. Purpose of the work was to update the American Standard Version into more current English. Updated in 1995.

God's Word Bibles
This translation, which is the work of God's Word to the Nations Bible Society, fills the need to communicate clearly to contemporary Americans without compromising the Bible's message. It employed full-time Bible scholars and full-time English editorial reviewers. It uses natural grammar, follows standard punctuation and capitalization rules, and is printed in a single column.

The King James Version (KJV)
Translated in 1611 by 47 scholars using the Byzantine family of manuscripts, Textus Receptus. This remains as a good version of the Bible. It has been the most reliable translation for over three centuries, but its Elizabethan style Old English is sometimes difficult for modern readers, especially youth. 

It is noted for the quality of translation and the majesty of style. The translators were committed to producing an English Bible that would be a precise translation and by no means a paraphrase or broadly approximate rendering. The scholars were fully familiar with the original languages of the Bible and especially gifted in their use of their native English. Because of their reverence for God and His Word, only a principle of utmost accuracy in their translation could be accepted. Appreciating the intrinsic beauty of divine revelation, they disciplined their talents to render well-chosen English words of their time as well as a graceful, often musical, arrangement of language.

Traditionally loved and accepted by all Christians. Purpose in translation was "to deliver God's book unto God's people in a tongue which they can understand." 

For nearly four centuries, the King James Version has held first place among English translations of the Bible throughout the world. Today it remains both a time-honored classic and a best-seller, revered by countless Bible readers, church leaders, and teachers of God's Word because of its rich, majestic language and unsurpassed longevity among Bible texts. 

New American Bible (NAB)
In 1944, the Catholic Bible Association of America was requested to produce a completely new translation of the Bible from the original languages and to present the sense of Biblical text as accurately as possible. The Old Testament was first published in a series of four volumes. The New Testament was completed in 1970(with a revision in 1986), resulting in the New American Bible. It has widespread use by American Catholic people in public worship.

There is an introduction and, usually, an outline at the beginning of each book. It has four imprimaturs. 

New Century Version (NCV)
The distinguishing feature of the NCV that supposedly separates it from the legions of modern versions is the easy to read format. Advertised as a Third Grade Reading level, the preface of the NCV says concerning it’s word usage, "Vocabulary choice has been based upon The Living Word Vocabulary by Dr. Edgar Dale and Dr. Joseph O’Rourke (Worldbook-Childcraft International, 1981), which is the standard used by the editors of World Book Encyclopedia to determine vocabulary."

The NCV has been published and re-packaged with many titles. Some of the NCV’s titles are: The Everyday Bible (endorsed by Billy Graham); The Holy Bible: New Century Version: Traveler's Edition, The Youth Bible; Extreme Teen Bible; The Revolve; Nelson’s; Time With God; The Answer; and The Secret Kingdom Edition (special edition with Pat Robertson).

The New International Version (NIV)
Over 100 translators completed this work in 1978 which was composed from Kittle’s, Nestle’s and United Bible Society’s texts. It is a good, easy to read version.

It followed several years of exploratory study by committees from the Christian Reformed Church and the National Association of Evangelicals. There were participants from the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in the translating process. The denominations included Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Brethren, Christian Reformed, Church of Christ, Evangelical Free, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, Wesleyan, and others.

The goals were that the translation would be accurate and have clarity and literary quality so as to be suitable for reading, teaching, preaching, memorizing, and liturgical use. A concern was that the English be idiomatic but not idiosyncratic, contemporary but not dated.

The New King James Version (NKJV)
130 translators, commissioned by Thomas Nelson Publishers, produced this version from the Byzantine family (Textus Receptus) in 1982. This is a revision of the King James version, updated to modern English with minor translation corrections and retention of traditional phraseology. 

The translators, the committees, and the editors sought to maintain the lyrical quality of the King James Version while being sensitive to the late twentieth century English idiom and adhering faithfully to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. Where obsolescence and other reading difficulties existed, present-day vocabulary, punctuation, and grammar were integrated. Words representing ancient objects which have no modern substitutes were retained. A special feature is the conformity to the thought flow of the 1611 Bible. King James spelling of untranslated words was retained, but made uniform throughout. Standard doctrinal and theological terms were retained. Pronouns and verb endings no longer in use were replaced by modern words. Pronouns referring to God were capitalized. Frequent use of "and" was limited., and, where the original language permitted, replaced by other words. The format was designed to enhance vividness and devotional quality of the Scriptures.

The New Living Translation (NLT) 
The New Living Translation is the easiest-to-understand Bible translation you've ever read. Yet as understandable as it is, the New Living Translation is a truly accurate and faithful translation, which makes it perfect for both devotional reading and serious study.

The goal of any Bible translation is to convey the meaning of the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts as accurately as possible to the modern reader. The New Living Translation is based on the most recent scholarship in the theory of translation. 

The challenge for the translators was to create a text that would make the same impact in the life of modern readers that the original text had for the original readers. In the New Living Translation, this is accomplished by translating entire thoughts (rather than just words) into natural, everyday English. The end result is a translation that is easy to read and understand and that accurately communicates the meaning of the original text.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
This is the authorized revision of the Revised Standard Version (1952). A committee of about thirty members of various Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church participated. Eastern Orthodox and Jewish representatives were members of the Old Testament section.

Since the publication of the Revised Standard Version, there have been advances made in the discovery and interpretation of documents in the Semitic languages. The Dead Sea Scrolls provided information on the Books of Isaiah and Habakkuk and fragments on the other books of the Old Testament. Greek manuscript copies of books of the New Testament also became available. Thus, authorization was given for revision of the entire Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

For the Old Testament, the 1977 edition of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia was used. For the New Testament, the 1966 edition of The Greek New Testament was used.

Revised Standard Version (RSV)
This is the authorized revision of the American Standard Version (1901), a variant of the (British) Revised Version (1881-1885), which was a revision of the King James Version (1611), which took into account several earlier versions. The King James Version has been termed "the noblest monument of English prose," yet it has grave defects. This was brought to light in the nineteenth century when more ancient manuscripts than those used for the King James Version were found.

The directive was that the revision should embody the best results of modern scholarship as to the meaning of the Scriptures and to express this meaning in English diction which is designed for use in private and public worship and preserves those qualities which have given to the King James Version a supreme place in English literature. Thirty-two scholars worked on the revision. Fifty representatives of cooperating denominations reviewed their work and counseled them. The aim was to make a good translation better.

Changes in the English language since 1611 were the main reason for revision. Except for the Dead Sea Scrolls, only late manuscripts of the Old Testament survive. This revision is based on Hebrew and Aramaic texts fixed early in the Christian era and revised by the Masoretes.

The Tetragrammaton was rendered as LORD or GOD, in capital letters.

Today's New International Version (TNIV)
The Today's New International Version (TNIV) is a thoroughly accurate, fully trustworthy Bible text built on the rich heritage of the New International Version (NIV). In fact, this contemporary language version incorporates the continuing work of the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT), the translators of the NIV, since the NIV's last update in 1984.

In translating the NIV, the CBT held to certain goals: that it be an Accurate, Beautiful, Clear, and Dignified translation suitable for public and private reading, teaching, preaching, memorizing, and liturgical use. The translators were united in their commitment to the authority and infallibility of the Bible as God's Word in written form. They agreed that faithful communication of the meaning of the original writers demands frequent modifications in sentence structure (resulting in a "thought-for-thought" translation) and constant regard for the contextual meanings of words.

The uniqueness of the TNIV rests in its ability to speak God's Word clearly and accurately in English that has evolved and changed. The result is a Bible text that reflects the NIV, but also clarifies and updates passages and words to provide a more timely, contemporary English rendition for a new generation of Bible readers.

Increased Clarity

* Word updates: Some of the improvements in the TNIV text are simple word changes that reflect contemporary English terms. For example, the "sixth hour" is accurately translated as "noon" in the modern understanding of time (Mark 15:33).
* Gender: Without exception, the TNIV retains gender-accurate, masculine terminology for references to God. This is a theological understanding and commitment that the CBT, standing in concert with the Church throughout the ages, considers inviolable.

There are passages in the TNIV, however, in which the contemporary English rendition used to refer to men and women has been translated to accurately reflect the original language, context, and understanding. Where the NIV previously used "he," "man," or "men" to indicate all people, the TNIV, in many cases, renders these passages as "person," "people," or other terminology that reflects the meaning of the original language. In no cases do these updates impose upon or change the doctrinal impact of Scripture.







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