Bible Translation Spectrum

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See also
 Bible Book Abbreviations
 Common Resource Abbreviations
 Bibles @ Logos.com
 Bible-Researcher English
 Bible Gateway Reading Levels
 Reading Level of the KJV
 Scott David: Spectrum Chart
 Scott David: Bible Table
 Jan Krohn: Source&Affiliation

Bible Translating has a spectrum of target equivalence approaches ranging from formal to functional with dynamic in between. Formal seeks literal rendering of original language into target language, which wants to preserve original word order as much as practical. Also literal goal is one translated word for one original word. This translation philosophy assumes that the reader is familiar with the culture of the original text. In contrast, functional equivalence focuses on phrasing meaning using contemporary colloquialism. Here the assumption is that the reader is not familiar with the original culture but must have the cultural meaning translated. In a sense, functional equivalence is an application commentary of the original text. In the middle of the spectrum is dynamic thought for thought, which seeks a mediating balance from stilted literal expression and current colloquialism.

Comparing Bibles from across spectrum of equivalent approaches can be insightful. Essentially all Bible translations are a commentary on the original text (within bounds of translator’s believability) so look for commonality (agreement) between apparently different renditions.

For Bible Study of a passage, one practical approach is praying Psalms 119:18 followed by using S.O.A.P.
S = Scripture (Where’s it at ?)
O = Observe (What jumps out ?)
A = Apply (What to do ?)
P = Pray (about it)
At times, the “O = Observe” needs to seek meaning in Original Context to discover Truth gem(s).

Page Contents

Word for Word
Thought for Thought
Paraphrase

Year released or revised (with ~ suffix for Bibles not offered by Faithlife)
Bible abbreviation for resource filtering
Reading level (R#) reflects number of different words used and length of sentences.
Language (L) can be: A for Archaic (Ye), I for Inclusive, or N for Neutral.
* Apocrypha or DeuteroCanonical books are included in Bible Resource by Faithlife.

Word for Word

Formal equivalence seeks literal rendering (albeit some word choices are closer to Thought for Thought). Logos Blog has You’ve Probably Never Seen the Real King James Version article about NCPB. Logos.com offers ESV Apocrypha text with Lutheran Notes

Year Bible R# L * Bible Description (Product Link) Source Affliation
2016 ESV 11+ English Standard Version (ESV) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
2014 MEV 11+ Modern English Version (MEV) Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Ecumenical
2012 LEB 11+ Lexham English Bible (LEB) Masoretic Text, SBL Greek Protestant
2012 LES 11+ * Lexham English Septuagint (LES) Swete’s LXX Protestant
2011 EOB-NT 11+ I Eastern/Greek Orthodox NT (EOB:NT) Patriarchal Greek NT Orthodox
2011 NCPB 12+ A * New Cambridge Paragraph with Apocrypha (NCPB) Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Anglican
2007 NETS 11+ * New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS) Swete’s LXX Protestant
2006 RSV2CE 12+ Revised Standard Version 2nd Catholic Edition (RSV2CE) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 27 Catholic
1997 WEB 11+ World English Bible (WEB) Masoretic Text, Byzantine, ASV Evangelical
1995 NASB95 11+ New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB95) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
1993 NRSVCE 11+ N * New Revised Standard Version Catholic (NRSVCE) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 27 Catholic
1989 NRSV 11+ N * New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 27 Protestant
1987 AMP 11+ The Amplified Bible (AMP) Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Protestant
1985 Tanakh 11+ Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures (1985) Masoretic Text Jewish
1982 NKJV 7+ New King James Version (NKJV) Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Protestant
1977 NASB 11+ New American Standard Bible 1977 (NASB) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
1971 RSV 11+ Revised Standard Version (RSV) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Protestant
1966 RSVCE 11+ * Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Catholic
1961 Wuest 12+ The New Testament: An Expanded Translation Nestle-Aland Evangelical
1917 Tanakh 11+ Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures (1917) Masoretic Text Jewish
1901 ASV 12+ A * American Standard Version (ASV) Masoretic Text, Westcott-Hort Protestant
1900 KJV 12+ A * King James Version (KJV) Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Anglican
1898 YLT 12+ A Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Protestant
1895 ERV 12+ A * English Revised Version (ERV) Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Anglican
1890 DBY 12+ A 1890 Darby Bible (DBY) Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Brethren
1873 KJV, AV 12+ A * Cambridge Paragraph Authorized Version (AV) Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Anglican
1790 DR, DRA 12+ A * Douay-Rheims Bible (Challoner) Latin Vulgate Catholic
1769 AV, KJV 12+ A Authorized Version (Dr Blayney) Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Anglican
1560 Geneva 12+ A * Geneva Bible Masoretic Text, Textus Receptus Anglican
1536 Tyndale 12+ A * Tyndale Bible Masoretic Text, Greek Protestant
1535 Coverdale 12+ A * Coverdale Bible Masoretic Text, Greek, German, Vulgate Protestant

Thought for Thought

Dynamic equivalence seeks a mediating balance from stilted literal expression and current colloquialism. CSB and HCSB sought an optimal equivalence between formal and dynamic. Good News Bible was renamed Good News Translation to change paraphrase perception. Bible-Researcher includes NIV history: 1984 NIV => NIVI => TNIV => 2011 NIV. Dynamic gamut ranges from close to literal to almost a paraphrase: D column has < for more literal than NIV and > being closer to paraphrase.

Year Bible R# L * D Bible Description (Product Link) Source Affliation
2017 CSB 7+ < Christian Standard Bible (CSB) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 28 Lifeway
2015 NLT 6+ N > New Living Translation (NLT) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
2015 TLV 11+ N Tree of Life Version (TLV) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 27 Messianic
2011 CEB 7+ N * Common English Bible (CEB) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Alliance
2011 ISV 7+ I > International Standard Version (ISV) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
2011 NABRE 9+ A * < New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 26 Catholic
2011 NIV 7+ I New International Version (NIV) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
2011 NIV-A 7+ I New International Version – Anglicised (NIVUK) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
2009 HCSB 7+ < Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Lifeway
2006 NET 7+ I < New English Translation (NET) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
2005 NCV 3+ N > New Century Version (NCV) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Protestant
2005 TNIV 7+ N Today’s New International Version Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
2004~ ERV 4+ N < Easy to Read Version Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 27 Deaf
2000 ISV-NT 7+ I > International Standard Version NT Nestle-Aland Evangelical
1998 NIrV 3+ New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
1996~ NIVI 7+ N New International Version Inclusive (NIVI) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
1998 CJB 11+ > Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Messianic
1997 JNT 11+ > Jewish New Testament (JNT) Nestle-Aland Messianic
1996 REB 7+ I * > Revised English Bible with Apocrypha (REB) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 27 Protestant
1995 CEV 5+ N > Contemporary English Version (CEV) Masoretic Text, UBS 3rd & 4th American Bible Society
1995 GW, GWT 5+ > God’s Word Translation (GW) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 27 Lutheran
1992 GNB,TEV 7+ > Good News Bible, Today’s English Version Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Protestant
1992 GNTa 7+ * > Good News Translation with Apocrypha (GNTa) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Protestant
1991 NAB 9+ A * < New American Bible (revised NT & Psalms) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 26 Catholic
1987~ ERV 4+ < Easy to Read Version Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 27 Deaf
1986~ ICB 3+ < International Children’s Bible Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Protestant
1985 NJB 7+ New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland 25 Catholic
1984 NIV84 7+ New International Version Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
1984 NIV84-A 7+ New International Version – Anglicised (NIVUK) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Evangelical
1970 NEB 7+ N * > New English Bible with Apocrypha (NEB) Masoretic Text, R.V.G. Tasker Protestant
1959 EBR 12+ A < Emphasized Bible, Rotherdam (EBR) Masoretic Text, Westcott-Hort Evangelical

Paraphrase

Functional equivalence seeks meaning using contemporary colloquialism.

Year Bible R# L * Bible Description (Product Link) Source Affliation
2017 TPT 12+ N The Passion Translation Nestle-Aland 27 BroadStreet
2012~ TV 6+ N The Voice Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Ecclesia
2005 MSG 4+ N The Message (MSG) Masoretic Text, Nestle-Aland Presbyterian
1992 CPG 5+ Cotton Patch Gospel (CPG) Koinonia
1971 TLB 5+ The Living Bible, Paraphrased (TLB) ASV Kenneth Taylor
1958~ Phillips 10+ J.B. Phillips NT in Modern English Nestle-Aland Evangelical
1768 Harwood 12+ Liberal Translation of the New Testament Greek Elegance


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