Translation Comparison Charts

 


Above chart taken from http://www.zondervanbibles.com/translations.htm <link no longer active>

 

NASB       New American Standard Bible (1971; update 1995)

AMP         Amplified Bible (1965)

ESV          English Standard Version (2001)

RSV          Revised Standard Version (1952)

KJV           King James Version (1611; significantly revised 1769)

NKJV        New King James Version (1982)

HCSB       Holman Christian Standard Version (2004)

NRSV       New Revised Standard Version (1989)

NAB         New American Bible (Catholic, 1970, 1986 (NT), 1991 (Psalms)

NJB          New Jerusalem Bible (Catholic, 1986; revision of 1966 Jerusalem Bible)

NIV           New International Version (1984)

TNIV        Today’s New International Version (NT 2001, OT 2005)

NCV         New Century Version

NLT1         New Living Translation (1st ed. 1996; 2nd ed. 2004)

NIrV         New International reader’s Version

GNT          Good News Translation (also Good News Bible)

CEV          Contemporary English Version

Living        Living Bible (1950). Paraphrase by Ken Taylor. Liberal treatment of ‘blood.’

Message    The Message by Eugene Peterson (1991-2000s)

 

 

 


English Bible Translation Comparison chart taken from http://www.gospelcom.net/ibs/bibles/translations/index.php

 

Translations not identified in previous list

OIV            Oxford’s Inclusive Language Version – revision to NRSV to be more gender neutral and politically correct.

GW             God’s Word to the Nations. Translation/paraphrase by William Beck. Little known.

REB            Revised English Bible

 

 

Translation Comparison of Selected Passages

 

 

KJV

NASB

ESV

NIV

NLT2

Message

Proverbs 18:24

 

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

A man of many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.

 

Comments: The KJV follows the Septuagint (Greek OT) rather than the Hebrew text. The meaning of the Hebrew text conveyed by the NASB, ESV, NIV, and more or less the NLT. The Message is completely out in left field. I see no legitimate connection between the concept communicated by the Hebrew text and the text of The Message.

 

 

KJV

NASB

ESV

NIV

NLT2

Message

Romans 3:25

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

 

Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

 

whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

 

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--

 

For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,

God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public--to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured.

 

 

 

 

Comments: KJV is the most literal here. There is disagreement about whether the word paresis  means “remission, forgiveness” or “passing over, leaving unpunished.” This explains the difference between the KJV and all cited modern versions. Interesting to see the NIV agree with the KJV against the NASB and ESV’s treatment of the phrase ‘in his blood.’ Original text data missing from The Message: no mention of blood or of God’s self-justification. Confusing terminology: What does it mean to “set the world in the clear with himself?” And what is the “altar of the world?”

 

 

KJV

NASB

ESV

NIV

NLT2

Message

Romans 8:35-37

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

 

Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.") 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us.

 

Comments: I was flabbergasted at the audacity of The Message. This is nothing less than adding to God’s Word support for one’s theological position. Paul would never have said such a thing: (1) the worst sin listed in Scripture is unpardonable and, therefore, would without remedy separate one from Christ; (2) There is not one single passage of Scripture that supports the contention that no sin is capable of separating a believer from Christ. This is Eugene Peterson writing his own scripture; it is not God’s Word.

 

 

KJV

NASB

ESV

NIV

NLT2

Message

Colossians 2:9-10

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

 

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

 

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

 

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

 

For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

 

Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don't need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him.

When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.

 

Comments:  I like the NLT’s paraphrase here. I think it captures nicely what the text is teaching. And again, The Message is way out in left field. A horoscope! Besides the text says nothing about realizing the fullness of Christ. Rather, Paul asserts that the fullness of the divine nature or of deity dwells in him.

 

Translation Comparison Chart from Zondervan

(with their spin, slightly modified)

 

Version

Reading Level

Readability

Number of Translators

Translation Philosophy

Example Verse

NASB [apb1] New American Standard Bible (1995)

11.00

Formal style in modern English  but more readable than the King James Version.

54

Word-for-word

But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB)

AMP [apb2] Amplified

NA

Expanded and "amplified" by means of a system of brackets and parentheses, which sometimes make for fragmented reading

Frances E. Siewert, plus 12 others

Word-for-word plus additional amplification of word meanings.

We, on the other hand, will not boast beyond our legitimate province and proper limit, but will keep within the limits [of our commission which] God has allotted us as our measuring line and which reaches and includes even you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (AMP)

ESV [apb3] English Standard Version

8.0

Literal style, but more readable than the King James Version

100+

Word-for-word

But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

KJV [apb4] King James Version

12.00

Difficult to read due to 17th-century English vocabulary and word order

54

Word-for-word

But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)

NKJV [apb5] New King James Version

9.0

Easier word usage, but somewhat choppy because it maintains 17th century sentence structure

119

Authors used the original KJV as a benchmark, while working to produce an accurate and modern word-for-word translation

We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us--a sphere which especially includes you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

HCSB [apb6] Holman Christian Standard Bible

N/A

A highly readable, accurate translation written in modern English

90

Balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought

We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but according to the measure of the area of ministry that God has assigned to us, which reaches even you.2 Corinthians 10:13 (HCSB)

NRSV [apb7] New Revised Standard Version

10.40

Contemporary, dignified with generic language in reference to humans

30

Attempts a balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought

We, however, will not boast beyond limits, but will keep within the field that God has assigned to us, to reach out even as far as you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (NRSV)

NAB [apb8] New American Bible (Roman Catholic)

6.60

A clear and straightforward translation that reads smoothly. Written in basic American English.

55

Word-for-word

But we will not boast beyond measure but will keep to the limits God has apportioned us, namely, to reach even you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (NAB)

NJB [apb9] New Jerusalem Bible (Roman Catholic)

7.4

A highly readable, accurate translation written in modern English

36

Balance between word translation and meaning

By contrast we do not intend to boast beyond measure, but will measure ourselves by the standard which God laid down for us, namely that of having come all the way to you.

2 Corinthians 10:13 (NJB)

NIV[apb10]  New International Version

7.80

an accurate and smooth-reading version in modern English

115

Attempts to balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought

We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you.

2 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

TNIV [apb11] Today's New International Version

N/A

same as NIV

115

Balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought. Deliberate attempt to be gender neutral

We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (TNIV)

NLT [apb12] New Living Translation

6.3

A readable translation; uses vocabulary and language structures commonly used by the average person

90

Translators were involved in bringing the classic Living Bible from its status as a paraphrase to a thought-for-thought translation of Scripture.

But we will not boast of authority we do not have. Our goal is to stay within the boundaries of God's plan for us, and this plan includes our working there with you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

CEV [apb13] Contemporary English Version

5.40

Clear, simple English that a child can understand, but with a mature style that adults can appreciate

100+

Thought-for-thought

We don't brag about something we don't have a right to brag about. We will only brag about the work that God has sent us to do, and you are part of that work. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (CEV)

NIrV[apb14]  New International Reader's Version

2.90

easy to read and understand; uses simple, short words and sentence

11

Balance between word translation and meaning, with an emphasis on meaning where necessary for simplification

But I won't brag more than I should. Instead, I will brag only about what I have done in the area God has given me. It is an area that reaches all the way to you.  2 Corinthians 10:13 (NIrV)

GNT [apb15] Good News Translation, formerly Today's English Version (TEV) and Good News Bible (GNB)

6.0

Very simple, readable version without jargon. Uses a limited vocabulary.

R. Bratcher (NT); Bratcher plus six others (OT)

Thought-for-thought

As for us, however, our boasting will not go beyond certain limits; it will stay within the limits of the work which God has set for us, and this includes our work among you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (GNT)

The Message[apb16] 

4.8

An easy-to-read, modern-language paraphrase

Eugene H. Peterson

Thought-for-thought. Converts the original languages into the tone and the rhythms of modern-day American speech while retaining the idioms and meaning of the original languages.

We're not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they're our superiors. We wouldn't dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, the quite miss the point. We aren't making outrageous claims here. We're sticking to the limits of what God has set for us. But there can be no question that those limits reach to and include you. 2 Corinthians 10:13 (The Message)

 

 


 [apb1]A highly respected formal translation of the Bible. Purpose of the work was to update the American Standard Version into more current English. Published in 1971. Updated in 1995. The most literal is now more readable.

 [apb2]A popular translation used to understand the hidden meaning of Greek and Hebrew words. Published in 1964 (updated in 1987). Break through the language barrier.

 [apb3]A literal update of the Revised Standard Version, seeks to produce word-for-word correspondence. Published in 2001.

 [apb4]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." Published in 1611. Timeless treasure.

 [apb5]A modern language update of the original KJV. Purpose was to update and modernize the original KJV but preserve the KJV as much as possible. Published in 1982.

 [apb6]A new translation that attempts to combine both formal and dynamic equivalence. Published in 2004.

 [apb7]A widely accepted translation in the tradition of the King James Version. Purpose was to "make a good one better." Published in 1990.

 [apb8]Published under the direction of Pope Pius XII, this Catholic version of the Bible represents more than 25 years of effort by the Catholic Biblical Association of America. All editions include the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal books. Published in 1970.

 [apb9]An updated version of the 1966 Jerusalem Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible is the official English language text used in Catholic liturgy outside the United States.

 [apb10]A best-selling translation, widely accepted by evangelical Christians. Purpose in translation was to "produce an accurate translation, suitable for public and private reading, teaching, preaching, memorizing, and liturgical use." Published in 1978.

 [apb11]Based on the NIV, the most read and most trusted translation. Combines uncompromising accuracy with the clarity of contemporary language. New Testament published in 2001; Old Testament published in 2005. The classic translation in today's language.

 [apb12]The New Living Translation is a dynamic equivalence translation based on the work of 90 Bible scholars and a smaller team of English stylists. These scholars and stylists went back to the original languages and sought to produce the closest natural equivalent of the message in natural, contemporary English. Published in 1996.

 [apb13]Written at an elementary-school reading level, the CEV is readable and understandable for the modern reader. Published in 1995.

 [apb14]A thorough, scholarly simplification of the NIV, the NIrV was specifically designed to help young children and new readers understand the Bible for themselves and create an easy stepping-stone from a children's Bible to an adult Bible. Published in 1994. Updated in 1998

 [apb15]"A translation intended for people everywhere for whom English is either their mother tongue or an acquired language." Published in 1976. The Good Book that reads like a good book.

 [apb16]This paraphrase was translated using the rhythms and tone of contemporary English to communicate to the modern reader. New Testament published in 1993, Old Testament in 2002.