Bible Translations Chart



Bible translations are English-language versions of the Old and New Testament. (See chart below.) Bible translations may use different editions of Hebrew and Greek texts, target different readers, and aim for varying degrees of precision. Recent studies find that 55% of English Bible readers prefer the King James Version (KJV) while 19% favor the New International Version (NIV). [1] Bible translations are often discussed in three categories:

(1) "Dynamic equivalence" - this isn't the most precise translation, but it often produced the smoothest English reading. The translation philosophy is sometimes referred to as "thought-for-thought" or "phrase-for-phrase" or "sentence-for-sentence." (Examples: New International Version and New American Bible.)

(2) "Formal equivalence" - this translation philosophy is considered by many to produce the most precise English Bibles because it aims to render the original languages "word-for-word." This approach, however, often results in English readings that aren't as smooth because the priority is on retaining as close as possible the words, and the word order, of the original languages. (Examples: the King James Version and the New American Standard Bible.)

(3) "Paraphrase" - this translation philosophy seeks to restate the meaning of the original text, sometimes with modern English expressions. It does not prioritize the precise translation of the original languages. This results translations at reading levels as low as sixth grade. (Examples: The Message and the New Living Translation.)

Learn more about many more Bible translations on the chart below.




Bible Translation Chart


Translation

Abbrev.

General
Category

Translation
Philosophy

Translation
Family?


American Standard Version


ASV 20th and 21st Century English Translation   American
Standard


Amplified Bible


AB      


Berkeley Version


BV      


Common English Bible


CEB      


Christian Community Bible



CCB Catholic Bible Dynamic
and paraphrase
 


Confraternity Bible



CB Catholic Bible Formal
equivalence
 


Contemporary English Version


CEV 20th and 21st Century English Translation Paraphrase  


Darby Bible


DB 18th and 19th Century English Translation    


Douay-Rheims Bible


DRB Catholic Bible Formal
equivalence
 


English Standard Version


ESV 20th and 21st Century English Translation Formal
equivalence
American
Standard


Green's Literal Translation


GLT      


God's Word


GW 20th and 21st Century English Translation Paraphrase  


The Good News Bible


GNB 20th and 21st Century English Translation Paraphrase  


Holman Christian Standard Bible


HCSB      


Jefferson Bible


JEFF      


Jerusalem Bible


JB Catholic Bible Dynamic
and paraphrase
 


King James Version


KJV 20th and 21st Century English Translation Formal
equivalence
KJV


Knox's Translation
of the Vulgate


KTV      


The Living Bible


LB 20th and 21st Century English Translation Paraphrase  


The Message


MESS 20th and 21st Century English Translation Paraphrase  


Messianic Bible Translations


MBT      


The Modern Language Bible


MLB      



New American Bible


NAB Catholic Bible Dynamic
equivalence
 


New American
Standard Bible


NASB 20th and 21st Century English Translation   American
Standard


New American Bible Revised Edition


NASBr Catholic Bible Formal
equivalence
 


New Century Version


NCV      


New English Bible


NEB      


New English Translation


NET      


New English Translation of the Septuagint


NETS      


New International Version


NIV 20th and 21st Century English Translation Dynamic
equivalence
NIV


New International Version Inclusive Language Edition


NIVi 20th and 21st Century English Translation Dynamic
equivalence
NIV


New International Reader's Version


NIVr 20th and 21st Century English Translation Dynamic
equivalence
NIV


New Jerusalem Bible



NJB Catholic Bible Formal
equivalence
 


New King James Version


NKJV 20th and 21st Century English Translation Formal
equivalence
KJV


The New Living Translation


NLT 20th and 21st Century English Translation Paraphrase  


New Revised
Standard Version


NRSV 20th and 21st Century English Translation   American
Standard


New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition


NRSC Catholic Bible Formal
equivalence
 


Orthodox Study Bible


OSB      


Recovery Version


       


Revised English Bible


REB      


Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition


RSVC Catholic Bible Formal
equivalence
 


Revised Version


RV 18th and 19th Century English Translation Formal
equivalence
 


Thomson's Translation


TT 18th and 19th Century English Translation    


Today's New International Version


TNIV 20th and 21st Century English Translation Dynamic
equivalence
NIV


Webster's Revision


WR 18th and 19th Century English Translation    


World English Bible


WEB 20th and 21st Century English Translation   American
Standard


Wuest Expanded Translation


WET      


Young's Literal
Translation


YLT 18th and 19th Century English Translation Formal
equivalence
 

Recommended:

Sources:

"The Most Popular and Fastest Growing Bible Translation Isn't What You Think," Christianity Today (3/13/14)