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Major English Bible Translations

The Traditional Text

Tyndale Version (1525, 1534)

Translating and publishing during times of persecution in England, Tyndale often had to flee and work on his translation in other countries. Tyndale died as a martyr in 1536 leaving his Old Testament translation incomplete. This translation, based squarely upon the Traditional Text, served as a solid English base for later translations in content, freshness of style, and richness of language.

Coverdale Version (1535)

Coverdale used Tyndale's English and Luther's German translations as primary sources for his version. While Tyndale's incomplete Old and complete New Testaments were published separately, Coverdale's was the first complete, printed English Bible. (Wycliffe's version was written before the age of printing.)

Geneva Version (1560)

The Geneva Version was translated by several English scholars in Geneva during the persecution under Mary in England. Difficult verses and doctrines were clarified in lengthy explanations.

King James (Authorized) Version - KJV (1611)

The KJV translation was completed from the original Hebrew and Greek Traditional Text by fifty appointed language scholars and devout church leaders, who also used the previous English translations as examples. King James I endorsed this translation and had it printed for use in all churches throughout England. It contains no marginal notes or comments.

The KJV has historically been used by all Protestant churches and seminaries and it is the most widely-circulated and read English Bible today.

The Westcott & Hort Text

English Revised Version - RV (1881,1885)

The RV was translated by sixty-five English and thirty-two American scholars from various denominations, primarily sponsored by the Church of England. The New Testament follows Westcott and Hort's teachings, (both were members of the translation team), relying primarily on the two oldest, complete manuscripts, rather than on the Traditional Text.

American Standard Verson - ASV (1901)

The American Committee serving on the RV translation team promised to refrain from publishing an American version for fourteen years. In 1901 the ASV was published favoring the word choice preferences of the American Committee.

Revised Standard Version - RSV (1952)

A revision of the RV and ASV, this version attempted to maintain the dignified literary style of the KJV. The liberal views of the men involved in this translation can be observed in several places.

New English Bible - NEB (1961, 1970)

Unlike the ASV and RSV, the NEB is not a revision of previous translations, but a return to the original Hebrew and the two oldest complete Greek manuscripts. Obscuring of words which speak of man's sinful, fallen nature and Christ's divinity takes place frequently.

New International Version - NIV (1979)

The NIV is a new translation completed by one hundred scholars from many different denominational backgrounds sponsored by the New York Bible Society International. While this translation was completed in a very scholarly fashion, it follows the Westcott and Hort theory, and the nature of widely interdenominational translation teams raises serious doubts regarding the understanding of the content being translated on the part of many of its translators.

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