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Bible TranslationsBack to Top

American Standard Version (1901)

This word-for-word translation was the work of the American committee that had consulted on the English Revised Version (1885), which was itself a revision of the King James Version.

*Amplified Bible (NT, 1958; OT, 1964, revised 1987)

A translation that is really a mini-commentary, the Amplified Bible features a system of verse-end alternate translations and comments to different shades of meaning in the original languages.

*Contemporary English Version (NT, 1991, Psalms and Proverbs, 1992)

A version that avoids complicated language, obscure vocabulary and difficult sentence structure to produce a translation understandable to a wide variety of modern readers.

*Easy-to-Read Bible (1988)

This simplified translation features brief explanations of, or synonyms for, specialized terms in the text.

*English Standard Version (2001)

This translation grew out of the Tyndale-King James legacy, and most recently out of the RSV, with the 1971 RSV text providing the starting point for this work. Archaic language has been brought to current usage and significant corrections have been made in the translation of key texts.

*God’s Word (NT, 1988; OT 1995)

This revision utilizes the translation process employed by the global mission organizations for translating Bibles into new foreign languages. The goal is to express the meaning of what appears in the forms of the original biblical languages into those expressing essentially the same meaning in modern English.

*Holman Christian Standard Bible (2004)

This fresh rendering of God's Word is translated directly from the original biblical languages with a reader-friendly style geared to contemporary English usage. The approach of combining accuracy and clarity makes the HCSB a translation that any reader can enjoy.

Jewish New Testament (1989)

David H. Stern's modern translation from the Greek seeks to bring the "Jewishness" of the New Testament to the reader's attention by employing transliteration of Hebrew/Aramaic words (like "Yeshua" for "Jesus") and Jewish cultural references.

*King James Version (1611)

Also called the Authorized Version, this translation is still recognized for the beauty of its language that dates from the time of William Shakespeare.

The Literal Translation (1987)

Editor Jay Green seeks to restore words and phrases in the original biblical text, which he believes, have been left out of many modern translations.

Living Bible (NT, 1962; OT, 1971)

This paraphrase of the American Standard Version was an attempt by Kenneth L. Taylor to put the Bible in a language his children could understand. It is useful for introducing the Bible to people who are unfamiliar with it.

*The Message (2002)

This paraphrase was done by pastor and biblical scholar Eugene H. Peterson. His aim in developing this contemporary language version is to transfer the “informal and earthly flavor of the Greek into the rhythms and idiom of everyday English.”

Moffat Bible (1926, revised in 1935)

James Moffat's modern speech translation features some text rearrangement according to his understanding of biblical chronology and many Anglicisms.

New American Bible (1970, NT revised, 1986, Psalms revised 1992)

This is the first complete American Catholic Bible translated from the original languages. Its style is more direct than that of the Jerusalem Bible.

New American Standard (NT, 1963; whole Bible, 1971)

The New American Standard was an attempt to revive the popularity of the American Standard Version although its use of contemporary English often required a departure from the word-for-word literalness of the ASV.

*New American Standard Update (1995)

This update to the popular New American Standard Bible continues a commitment to accuracy, while increasing clarity and readability. It is considered to be the most literally accurate Bible in the English language.

American Standard Version (1901)

This word-for-word translation was the work of the American committee that had consulted on the English Revised Version (1885), which was itself a revision of the King James Version.

*New Century Version (NT, 1978; OT, 1986)

A conservative evangelical translation geared to a third grade reading level.

*New International Readers Version (1996)

This version is based on the New International Version but substitutes shorter, easier words for long words and breaks long sentences into shorter ones.

*New International Version (NT, 1973; OT, 1978)

Called "international" because it is transdenominational and the work of many scholars from many English-speaking nations, the NIV is a straightforward translation in contemporary English.

New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

An update of the Jerusalem Bible, with revised footnotes and more dignified language.

New Jewish Translation (Torah, 1962; Nevi'im, 1978, Kethubim, 1982, Tanakh, 1985)

A modern language translation of the Jewish Scriptures (Christian Old Testament); of special interest to students of the Old Testament.

*New King James Version (1982)

This Bible is intended to update the language of the King James Version while preserving its basic literary structure.

New Life Bible (NT, 1969; OT, 1986)

Missionaries Gleason and Kathryn Ledyard's work in the Canadian Arctic inspired them to develop a simple language version that breaks down difficult concepts into simple phrases.

*New Living Translation (1996)

Tyndale formed a team of 90 Bible scholars who worked for seven years carefully comparing each verse of the Living Bible with the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures. The result, is a translation that is accurate and easy to understand.

*New Revised Standard Version (1990)

The updated Revised Standard Version incorporates changes resulting from archaeological and textual discoveries made in recent decades.

J.B. Phillips' New Testament in Modern English (1958, revised in 1972)

Cast in striking modern British English, this translation uses phrase-by-phrase equivalents.

Revised Standard Version (NT, 1946 and 1971, OT, 1952)

A revision of the American Standard Version (1901), the RSV was intended to preserve the best of that version while incorporating modern English. (See New Revised Standard Version.)

*Today's English Version (NT, 1966, OT, 1974)

A thought-for-thought translation theory called "dynamic equivalence" was used for this version. It uses common English throughout, and modern idioms are sometimes substituted for ancient ones in the interest of clarity.

*Today’s New International Version (2005)

Building on the classic New International Version (NIV), the TNIV precisely communicates the Scriptures with accuracy and clarity in modern English. About 7% of the NIV text was updated to make this translation. The changes reflect a better understanding of the meaning of the original Greek and Hebrew.

Tyndale New Testament (1525; revised 1534)

William Tyndale's determination to produce a translation readable by common people eventually led to his death. Although controversial, the Tyndale New Testament had a great impact on the language of the KJV.

Weymouth New Testament (1890, revised in 1912)

Richard F. Weymouth produced this translation in the contemporary English of his time.

Wuest Expanded Translation New Testament (Gospels, 1956, Acts - Ephesians, 1958; Philippians - Revelation, 1959)

Kenneth Wuest sought to use as many English words as were necessary to bring out the force and clarity of the Greek text. This version allows Greek word order and seeks to differentiate between the various verb tenses in that language.

Young's Literal Translation (1862, revised in 1887)

Robert Young sought to correct certain inaccuracies in the King James Version in this very literal translation.

Bible TermsBack to Top


A Bible with a very comprehensive study system and study aids.


Includes study notes.


A text Bible designed for presentation from a church, Sunday school, etc. Usually contains maps and other study aids.


Gift Bibles or New Testaments to commemorate births -- often bound in pastel colors.


Includes the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal books and often an imprimatur indicating it to be officially authorized by high Roman Catholic Church officials.

Chain Reference

References are keyed to a category index.


A Bible with the text arranged in the supposed order in which its events happened.


A reference Bible which contains a concordance -- an alphabetical index of principal names, key words and phrases, showing their book, chapter and verse in the Bible.

Dictionary Concordance

A Bible that has a combination Bible dictionary, concordance and subject index all in one alphabetical sequence.


A large Bible containing family record pages, often with material for family devotions.

Gift or Gift and Award

See “Award” Bibles.


A Greek New Testament or Hebrew Old Testament with a literal English translation for each word or phrase.


Inexpensive, sturdy hard cover Bibles that are used in libraries or church pews.


A Bible with a looseleaf binder that allows readers to write in their own notes and remove sections of text.


A Bible with the text of two or more versions printed side by side.


See "Library" Bibles.

Pronouncing or Self-Pronouncing

Indicates pronunciation of difficult names.

Red Letter

(RL) Words attributed to Christ are printed in red letters.


The text contains cross-references to related scripture passages, either in a column, in footnotes or within the verse.


A Bible with the references in columns on the side(s) of each page.

Soul Winner's

A New Testament which contains step-by-step instructions for personal evangelism as well as a chain reference system.


Has many extra features to help better understand the Bible, possibly including a dictionary, concordance, references, maps or other study aids.


Contains only the Bible text -- no reference material.

Verse Reference

A Bible with the references contained within the corresponding verse.

Wide Margin

Generous margins on both sides of each page allowing room for personal notes.

Binding MaterialsBack to Top

Bonded Leather or Genuine Bonded Leather

A high quality material of genuine leather fibers bonded with latex.


Very supple, luxurious leather made from the skin of young cattle. Characterized by distinctive grain and fiber structure.


Standard binding material. Cotton fabric often coated with protective plastic varnish is applied to hard boards, producing a stiff, durable cover.


A very strong, soft, long wearing leather made from the hide of a cow. Very popular.

*Duo Tone

This new binding type goes by several different names depending on the vendor (Italian Duo Tone, TwoTone, Royalsoft, etc.), and typically uses two different color tones put together. This is a synthetic leather that looks and feels very much like leather. Durability is still to be determined, but it is expected that it will hold up as well or better than a Bonded leather.

*French Morocco

A medium quality leather from sheepskin. Soft, flexible and attractive. Needs special care to prevent cracking and drying. Can be embossed in various grains.

*Genuine Leather

Natural leather cut from cowhide or pigskin especially selected and tanned for bookbinding.

*Genuine Morocco or Morocco

Comes from the skins of Indian goats. Thicker, less apt to dry and longer wearing than sheepskin (French Morocco). One of the most luxurious and durable of all book leathers.

*Imitation Leather

A cloth or paper based material which has been chemically impregnated and grained to look like genuine leather.


A durable modern plastic coated latex material.


A latex impregnated fibrous base coated with tough plastic. Resembles leather but is washable and resists soiling, cracking, scuffing and scratching.

*Soft Cover

A flexible synthetic material that combines strength and durability.

*Top Grain Cowhide

Leather from the top of outside of a hide.

Berkshire Leather

Selected high quality pigskin, with a smooth, even grain, specially tanned to enhance its appearance and durabil¬ity.

Button Flap

A pocket book style binding with an extended back cover which overlaps and snap fastens to the front. Helps protect the Bible from dirt and wear.

Italian Duo-tone

Synthetic leather with a soft & rich leather feel to it. Many times with multiple color combinations on the same cover.


A tough synthetic material, both durable and attractive.

Binding StylesBack to Top

Board Cover

A binding with stiff covers made by mounting cloth, leather or other material over bookbinder's board.

Button Flap

A pocketbook style binding with an extended back cover which overlaps and snap fastens to the front. Helps protect Bible from dirt and wear.


See “Board Cover.”


See “Board Cover.”


A binding using a board and foam to pad the front and back covers.

Snap Flap

See “Button Flap.”

Soft Cover

A binding material, usually paper or similar material, used to produce inexpensive editions.


An overlapping binding with a zipper closure that covers completely. Not only protects Bible, but provides safe¬keeping for notes, etc.