What are the most popular Bible Versions?

King James Version (1611)

The King James Version is still one of the most popular versions of the Bible having been the standard Bible of the English speaking world for around 300 years since it was first published in 1611. It is a word for word translation that aimed to be as close a translation as possible of the original books of the Bible.

With the discovery of earlier and better manuscript evidence the time had come for updated versions of the English Bible.

The English Revised Version (1885)

Several dozen British and American scholars for over a decade worked on new translation with significant changes from the King James Version. In the Old Testament corrections were made to mistranslations of Hebrew words and in the New Testament a great many changes were made based on better textual evidence. The English Revised Version included British spelling and figures of speech which made it not so popular in the United States.

The American Standard Version (1901)

The American Standard Version was a translation put together by some of the American scholars who worked on the English Revised Version. The translation used American English and differed little from the English Revised Version. The differences were mainly spelling, points of idiom and word-order.

The Moffatt Bible (1926)

One of the first modern language Bible translations.

The Revised Standard Version (1952)

The Revised Standard Version is a revision of the American Standard Version. It was the first translation that aimed to take advantage of the discovery in 1947 of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

J.B. Phillips New Testament in Modern English (1958)

This New Testament translation was one of the first paraphrase translations of the Bible. J.B. Phillips chose the paraphrase style for his New Testament as it was originally intended for young people to read.

The Amplified Bible (1965)

The Amplified Bible uses the American Standard Version as a base and includes extra words to communicate insights from the original text. 

The Jerusalem Bible (1966)

A translation by Catholic scholars based in Jerusalem.

The New English Bible (1970)

The New English Bible was a translation that was by a team of English scholars. It was a free translation communicating the sense of meaning rather than a “word-for-word” meaning. In doing so it was easier to read but sacrificed accuracy in the process.

The Living Bible (1971)

The Living Bible is a paraphrase translation by Kenneth Taylor who translated the Bible into modern language with the intent that even a child could understand its message.

The New American Standard Bible (1971)

The New American Standard Bible is an update to the American Standard Version taking advantange of new manuscript discoveries since the ASV was originally created in 1901. 

The Good News Bible (1976)

The Good News Bible was another free translation using modern English aimed at being easy to read.

The New International Version (1979)

The New International Version was not a revision of any previous translation but a new translation done by an international group of over 100 scholars. They sought to create a version midway between a literal word for word translation and a free paraphrase translation.

The New King James Version (1982)

Thomas Nelson Publishers assembled 119 scholars to work on a revision of the King James Version that replaced archaic English words and phrases with the modern equivalent of those words. It retains much of the accuracy of the King James while being more easier to read.

Jewish New Testament (1989)

An English translation that uses traditional Jewish expressions.

New Revised Standard Version (1989)

A "gender neutral” revision of the Revised Standard Version

Contemporary English Version (1991)

A free translation that aims to read with natural, uncomplicated English.

The Message (2002)

A paraphrase translation

Holman Christian Standard Bible (2004)

Like the New International Version it is a translation that tries to maintain a balance between being a word for word translation and paraphrase translation. 

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