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English Standard Version
The English Standard Version is a literal translation of the Bible, firmly rooted in the tradition of Tyndale and King James but without archaic language. Published at the beginning of the 21st century, it is extremely close to the Revised Standard Version and is well suited to public reading and memorisation.
King James Version
The world's most widely known Bible translation, using early seventeenth-century English. Its powerful, majestic style has made it a literary classic, with many of its phrases and expressions embedded in our language. Earlier generations were 'brought up' with this translation and learnt many of its verses by heart.
New American Standard Bible
A literal translation from the original texts, well suited to study because of its accurate rendering of the source texts. It follows the style of the King James Version but uses modern English for words that have fallen out of use or changed their meanings. It uses capital letters for pronouns relating to divinity, eg 'there He sat down with His disciples'.
New English Bible
The New English Bible was a translation undertaken by the major Protestant churches of the British Isles. Scholars translated from the best Hebrew and Greek texts, aiming to present the full meaning of the original in clear and natural modern English. The translation was published jointly by the University Presses of Cambridge and Oxford.
New International Version
The NIV watchword is ‘balance’. The most widely used of any modern Bible version, the NIV marries meaning-for-meaning principles with word-for-word renderings. It is an all-round translation, suitable for a wide range of purposes, and has proven especially popular amongst evangelicals. Its straightforward, contemporary language is both clear and dignified in style.
New King James Version
The New King James Version was first published in 1982 and is a modernisation of the King James Version of 1611, using the same underlying Greek text for the New Testament. It preserves the KJV's dignified style and its word and phrase order but replaces some words and expressions that may be no longer easily understood. The translators sought 'to preserve the original intended purity of the King James Version in its communication of God's Word to man.'
New Living Translation
The New Living Translation was translated from the ancient texts by 90 leading Bible scholars. It employs clear and natural English. It often makes implicit information explicit (e.g. 'disreputable sinners and corrupt tax collectors'.) The NLT's motto is 'the Truth made clear'.
New Revised Standard Version
The NRSV is a thorough revision of the original RSV by an ecumenical team of scholars. It is growing in popularity, particularly in churches, schools and academia. The translators made full use of contemporary biblical manuscripts, resulting in a clearer understanding of many obscure passages. It uses gender-inclusive language (making it clear where the original texts include both males and females).
The Revised English Bible
The REB updates the New English Bible, retaining the latter’s elegant literary style, but removing its archaisms. The REB employs a modest amount of inclusive language and is good for public reading. Like the NEB before it, the REB is a British translation, sponsored by all the main Christian denominations.
William Tyndale’s seminal contribution to the development of the Bible in English is universally recognised. Translating directly from the Hebrew and Greek scriptures, he produced a text of enduring quality that underpinned Bible translations in English from the sixteenth century to the present day
The Revised Version was produced in the nineteenth century by British and American scholars, benefiting from the discovery of some early and important manuscripts which threw new light on many aspects of biblical scholarship. It was the first real revision of the KJV and the basis for the American Standard Version of 1901.
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