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Literal Bible Translations


Literal translations are a word-for-word rendering of the Greek and Hebrew, conveying the literal meaning of the text. Compare Psalm 27:4 in many Bible translations.
Bible Version Description
American Standard Version - ASV Rooted in the work that was done with the Revised Version (RV), the ASV has earned the reputation of being a rock solid translation of the original Hebrew and Greek texts.
Amplified Bible - AMP A unique Bible version designed to reveal, along with the most accurate single word equivalent of a Hebrew or Greek word, the various shades of meaning that a word may have. As many words as are necessary to convey the original meaning are used, and the footnotes point out the names of original language scholars who are relied upon for the various renderings. Readable and very enlightening in its own right.
Bible in Basic English A translation of the Bible using the standard 850 Basic English words. 100 words that were helpful to understand poetry were added along with 50 "Bible" words.
Contemporary English Version - CEV Marked by uncompromising simplicity, the CEV is an accurate and faithful translation of the original manuscripts, described as a "user-friendly" translation that can be read aloud without stumbling, heard without misunderstanding, and listened to with enjoyment and appreciation because the language is contemporary and the style is lucid and lyrical.
Darby's New Translation Provides the simple and unlearned reader with as accurate a translation as possible. Darby's English translation is a trusted, scholarly work based on a thorough knowledge of the original languages. More than 125 years after its introduction, The New Translation is still considered to be one of the most accurate English translations of the Bible.
Douay-Rheims The Douay-Rheims Version of the Bible was derived from the Latin Vulgate Bible for which Pope Damasus commissioned St. Jerome to translate the original Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin in 382 A.D. The Douay-Rheims Bible was completed in 1609 AD and first published by the English college. It was revised and diligently compared with the Latin Vulgate by Bishop Richard Challoner in 1749-1752 AD. This version includes the seven deuterocanonical books.
English Standard Version - ESV To achieve the greatest possible accuracy in an English translation of the original Hebrew and Greek texts, the translators of this readable, modern Bible version have attempted to write what is, as much as possible, a "word for word" rendering of the text. The authors of the English Standard Version, ESV, published in 2001, view their work as a continuation in a long line of solid, true, and beautiful English versions of the Bible, beginning with the New Testament of William Tyndale in 1526. While modernizing archaic language and correcting certain errors in key portions of text, the translators have labored to preserve the enduring language of their predecessors in a Bible version that is true to every God-breathed word of Scripture. This Bible includes red-letter support for the words of Jesus in the gospels (except on iPod).
Geneva Bible In 1557 the Geneva Bible translators began to revise the English Bible. Much of the work was done by William Whittingham, the brother-in-law of John Calvin. The revisers used the Great Bible as their basis for the Old Testament and Tyndale's work, Matthew's Bible, for the New Testament. The new translation was verified against earlier works and the original text. It was not printed in England until 1575. The Geneva Bible was immediately popular, but considered a political threat to the King of England because of its ties with Calvin. Rome was also threatened by the Protestant undertones of the translation. As a result, it was replaced by the King James Version, and is sometimes referred to as the Forgotten Translation. This Bible includes red-letter support for the words of Jesus in the gospels, and contains only the books from Matthew through Romans.
Holman Christian Standard Bible 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 textual base for the New Testament [NT] is the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th edition, and the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament, 4th corrected edition. The text for the Old Testament [OT] is the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 5th edition. Significant differences among Hebrew [Hb] and Aramaic [Aram] manuscripts of the OT or among Greek [Gk] manuscripts of the NT are indicated in footnotes. In a few NT cases large square brackets indicate texts that are omitted in some ancient manuscripts. The Holman CSB® uses the traditional verse divisions found in most Protestant Bibles in English. This Bible includes red-letter support for the words of Jesus in the gospels.
King James Version - KJV It is said that when William Tyndale (1494 to 1536) was burned at the stake for translating the New Testament into the English vernacular in 1526, his last words were, "Lord, open the eyes of the king!" Shortly thereafter, the Bible was made available in English by royal decree; and in 1604, 85 years after Tyndale's work, King James I authorized a new translation of the whole Bible for use by the Church of England. The result was the King James Version, or KJV, of 1611, a work of profound gravity, careful scholarship, and surpassing literary quality, which has influenced English language and literature for hundreds of years, has been preached from thousands of pulpits, has been quoted by countless writers, and has led millions to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Though modern scholarship has led to revisions that strive for greater accuracy and readability, based both on a broader array of Greek texts and on gradual changes in English usage, the King James Version is still the source from which most literal English translations derive their inspiration. This electronic version does not include the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament. This Bible includes red-letter support for the words of Jesus in the gospels (except on iPod).
New American Bible - NAB This translation, published by the World Catholic Press in 1987, is a literal translation, based on the word-for-word principle and undertaken by fifty translators. Unlike previous Catholic Bibles, the New American Bible, or NAB, is based not on the Latin Vulgate, but on original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts representing the most recent textual scholarship. Although the NAB is intended for official use in the Catholic Mass, its authors collaborated with scholars outside of Catholic circles in an attempt to make the translation more suitable for use by all Christians. Extensive footnotes are a significant part of this work. This version contains the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament and (for Palm, Pocket PC, and Symbian UIQ) the complete publisher notes that expand on translation context and meaning.
New American Standard Bible - NASB In the simplest of forwards, the goal of this popular translation is stated as follows: "to adhere as closely as possible to the original languages of the Holy Scriptures, and to make the translation in a fluent and readable style according to current English usage." The New American Standard Bible, or NASB, is based on the American Standard Version of 1901, still highly regarded for its accuracy. The new translation was undertaken in order to incorporate recent discoveries in Hebrew and Greek textual scholarship. Additionally, numerous other translations were consulted, and decisions on the best rendering of the text were made jointly by scholars, educators, and pastors. The first printing of this readable and widely appreciated translation was in 1971. From the Lockman Foundation. This Bible includes red-letter support for the words of Jesus in the gospels (except on iPod).
New Century Version - NCV Just as the New Testament was originally written in the simple Greek of everyday life, the New Century Version translates the Scriptures in familiar, everyday words of our times. Two basic premises guided the translation process: faithfulness to the original manuscripts, and the use of language clear enough for anyone to read the Bible and understand it for himself. Several of the translation methods that were followed are listed below: " Modern measurements and geographical locations have been used wherever possible. " The most familiar name for a place is used consistently, instead of using variant names for the same place. " The meaning of ancient customs referenced in the text are clarified in the text itself or in a footnote. " Since word meaning changes over time, care has been taken to translate into terms that will not be misunderstood by readers today. " Figures of speech are translated according to their meanings. " Idiomatic expressions are translated to communicate the same meaning to today's reader that would have been understood by the original audience. This Bible includes red-letter support for the words of Jesus in the gospels, and includes a notes file that provides ample cross references and a limited number of translator notes.
New English Translation - NET Bible®, First Edition The NET Bible®, a modern translation of the Bible based entirely on the original languages, has been updated and revised, and is now available as the First Edition. It is noted to be accurate, readable and elegant, and includes almost 60,000 translator notes from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts, as well as more than 700 references to scholarly works. The unparalleled detail in these notes unlocks the riches of the Bible's truth from entirely new perspectives. A free version with limited notes is now available. "The NET Bible® ... is a refreshing and radical departure from previous translations of the Bible into English. It includes extensive translators' notes explaining and defending the translation and showing other options for handling difficult passages. The translators' notes, along with the study notes and textual notes, form an excellent resource for pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible. Yet the translation itself is still easy to read and understand, well suited for pulpit use as well as personal reading and study. Highly recommended!" - Howard G. Hendricks, Distinguished Professor, Chairman, Center for Christian Leadership, Dallas Theological Seminary
New International Version - NIV Striving for faithfulness to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts of the Bible, scholars from five English speaking countries labored to make this contemporary version of the Scriptures readable in style and international in scope. Begun in 1965, published in 1978, and revised in 1983, the New International Version, or NIV, has become one of the most popular English Bible translations. The translators' goal was to produce a work of clarity and literary quality that would be well-suited to private and public reading, memorization, teaching, and preaching. This Bible includes red-letter support for the words of Jesus in the gospels.