How To Choose a Bible Translation

James Parkinson

Every scripture inspired of God (is) also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.2 Timothy 3:16, 17 (ASV)

Which translation of the Bible is best for the devoted Christian? How faithful is it to the Word of God in the original Hebrew/Aramaic or Greek? How much should the Christian entrust his spiritual life to that translation?

The follower of the Lord must be wary of simply searching to find a translation that supports the viewpoint he or she likes, else they will be among them that "Will not endure the sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts" (see 2 Tim. 4:3).

We must first admit the possibility that early and top-quality manuscripts read differently and also that there may be a mistranslation (variously because it is difficult to translate, or the translator's bias overcomes him, or occasionally because the translator simply cannot understand the text). No matter how skilled and conscientious are the translators, as well as the readers, they still are imperfect.

To determine the original New Testament Greek text, usually one may use either Nestle-Aland or Westcott and Hort, or good translations made from them. Nevertheless a few texts should be further questioned, such as 1 Corinthians 15:51; Revelation 5:9, and 20:5.

A reliable mark of a translator's integrity is most often found in passages which are hard to reconcile with his own theology or doctrine. Most of these may be grouped under: (1) the nature of God and Christ; (2) the nature of man [e.g., the soul]; (3) the nature of atonement; and (4) prophecy. A second mark is found in making the English translation preserve no more--and no less--the ambiguity than is found in the original Greek or Hebrew. The selection of a corrupted text (e.g., Textus Receptus or Majority Text) might reflect badly on a New Testament translator's judgment or integrity.

Nature of God and Christ

Two alterations were noted already by Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727). The first was in I Timothy 3:16 where a single stroke of the pen changed changing "who" to "God." The latter is found in two fourth century writers, but not before the eighth century does it appear in any New Testament manuscripts.

Secondly, the trinitarian formula of 1 John 5:7, 8 may have been added to the Latin versions in about the seventh century but apparently was not translated backwards into Greek until the fourteenth century. Few twentieth century versions insert it, except for Green and the New King James version (NKM, who simply ignore the ancient manuscripts.

John 1: 18 was first changed probably in the fourth century.

Ancient Reading of John 1:18

"No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten god, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

Later common reading of John 1:18 (AV)

"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

The four oldest and best manuscripts of this verse, one going back to about A.D. 200, read so. was later changed to , changing "only begotten god" to "only begotten son." Rotherham, Marshall, and NASB deserve credit for translating it at face value, especially as it presents difficulties for their own theologies. Many other translators attempt to obscure the theological implications by substituting expressions like "God only begotten" (ASV margin,) or "God the only Son." Some others simply refuse to believe the early manuscripts.

Two issues from the Old Testament may be noteworthy:

Proverbs 8:22 (More accurate translation)

The LORD created me as the beginning of his way, the first of his works of old."
Similarly RVmg, ASVmg, RSV, NEB, REB, Leeser, JPS, Smith, Moffatt, NWT, Jerusalem, Lamsa

Proverbs 8:22 AV

"The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old."
Similarly RVtxt, ASVtxt, NASB, NIV, Rotherham, Young, Douay, Knox, Green, Anchor

Isaiah 7:14 AV (Preferred translation)

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign, Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
Similarly RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, Rotherham, Young, Fenton, Lamsa, Douay, NAB, Green,

Isaiah 7:14 (Poorer translation)

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a young maiden shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
Similary NEB, REB, Moffatt, Smith, NWT, JPS, Leeser, Knox

The word translated "virgin" has the meaning of a young maiden (with no suggestion of stigma), which prompts the alternative translation. However, unless the young maiden is a virgin, how would it be a sign from the Lord? If she were unmarried and not a virgin, she would be associated with the Adversary. It is better therefore to translate "virgin," with a marginal note that the literal word means a young maiden (as distinguished from an elderly spinster).

The Nature of Man

The Hebrew nephesh and the Greek psuche are commonly translated "soul" (or "life" or "being" or "creature"), but they should be consistently translated, whether it pertains to animals or humans (and probably whether to living beings or dead bodies), and without regard to theological consequences (Gen. 1:20; 2:7; 35:18; Num. 9:6, 7; 31:28). The New World Translation and Rotherham do quite well, and the NIV is only a little behind, but the ASV and a majority of others are seriously inconsistent.

Atonement

Note two corrections in accordance with the high-quality ancient manuscripts:

I Corinthians 5:7: "Christ our passover hath been sacrificed ."

I Peter 3:18: "For Christ also once died [not suffered] for sins, the just for the unjust." (Of the eleven best manuscripts and three good ancient versions, only the Vatican 1209 and 81 read "suffered.")

These corrections are more reassuring to the Lutheran than to the strict Calvinist. (Luther emphasized that Christ died for every man; Calvin insisted that it was not for every man, but only for the elect.) Accordingly, Young, Phillips, Taylor, and Green (all of varying Calvinist backgrounds) reject both corrections, as do a few others.

Ancient reading of Acts 20:28

"…feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with the blood of his own Son."
Similarly: NRSV, Rotherhammg, Concordant, TEV, NWT, Kingdom Interlinear, Wilson, Marshallmg

Acts 20:28 AV

". . . feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Similarly: RV, ASV, RSV, NASB, NIV, Wuest, TCNT, Phillips, Douay, Moffatt Taylor

Similar language is used in I Timothy 5:8, "But if any man provideth not for his own, and specially his own household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever" (ASV).

Prophecy

Zechariah 12:10 illustrates a small but significant difference in Old Testament manuscripts:

Corrected reading of Zechariah 12:10

"...they shall look unto me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him (ASV).
Similarly: RV, Rotherham, Leeser, JPS, Anchor

Zechariah 12:10 AV

". . . they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him."
Similary RSV, NASB, NEB, NIV, Douay

Revelation 22:12 illustrates the degree of theological bias that too commonly overtakes translators. The verb eimi/estin in its present tense is to be considered in a contemporary sense-- contemporary with the spoken event. The Authorized Version says, " as his work shall be"--at a time later than when John was writing. The ASV says, "as his work is," also acceptable--to be current during the time spoken of The NEB evades the issue by deleting the verb. However, the Revised Standard version translates this present/future sense as though it were a past participle; such "translation" refuses to let the Lord have his say.

Translations of Revelation 22:12

"And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (AV, KJV).
Similarly: Lamsa, Young, Wilsonint

Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to render to each man according as his work is" (ASV, better manuscripts).
Similarly: RV, Rotherham, NWT, Kingdom lnterlinear, Wilsontxt , Marshall, Green, Concordant

"Yes, I am coming soon, and bringing my recompense with me, to requite everyone according to his deeds!" (NEB).
"See, I come quickly! I carry my reward with me, and repay every man according to his deeds" (Phillips).
Similarly: Douay, NRSV, Wuest, NAB, Jerusalem, NKJV
"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done [Lit. As his work is]" (NASB).
"Behold, I am coming soonl My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done" (
NIV).
Similarly: RSV, Moffatt, Goodspeed, TEV, CEV, Barclay, Taylor

Character

A slight difference in wording can make a real difference in meaning, as in 2 Timothy 6: 1 0:

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (ASV).
Similarly: RV, NASB, NRSV, NIV, NKJV, Rotherham, Marshall, Wilson, NWT, TEV, TCNT, TNTmg, Berkeley, Knox
"For the love of money is the root of all evil" (AV).
Similarly: NEB, REB, RSV, Barclay, Moffatt, Lamsa, Douay-Rheims/Conf, NAB, Jerusalem

Punctuation

Punctuation was not used when the Bible was written, nor for many centuries afterwards. Sometimes just a comma can make a difference. More significant than changing commas in Ephesians 1:4, 5 and Colossians 3:16 is the case of Luke 23:43.

Luke 23:43 (Recommended translation)

"And Jesus said unto him. Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with me in paradise."

Luke 23:43 (AV)

"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day thou shalt be with me in paradise."

Grammatically the comma goes equally well before or after the word "today." Rotherham, the New World translation, and Concordant place it after. It is preferred to go after "today," because until the third day, according to Acts 2:3 1, Christ went to "hell"--which is not normally considered Paradise.

Chronology

The accession year or non-accession year systems are each used by various kings in the Old Testament, i.e., the year the new king comes to the throne may be called year zero (0) by one king [e.g., Amel Marduk, 2 Kings 25:27] but year one (1) by another [e.g., Saul, Israel's first king, I Samuel 13:1. Properly "Saul was in his first year when he began to reign, and when he had reigned two years over Israel. Green handles it about as well as any, though still imperfectly for King Saul in I Samuel 13: 1.

Tabernacle and Temple

Read "tent of meeting" (where God would meet with man) rather than "tabernacle of the congregation" in Exodus 27:21 and everywhere else; "tabernacle of the tent of meeting" rather than "tabernacle of the tent of the congregation" in Exodus 39:32 and everywhere else; also read "tent" for "tabernacle" in Exodus 26:9, 31:7, and some other places, but not everywhere. (The Hebrew ohel--"tent" is indicated in the bold face type above.) Correcting this confusion was one of the stated goals of the Revised Version, which has been followed by ASV, RSV, NASB, JPS, though not by Green.

Nowadays "meal offering" or "grain offering" is better understood than "meat offering" in Exodus 29:41 and elsewhere. It is updated in the Revised Version and most others.

Archaic

The archaic "gave up the ghost" should be replaced by "gave up the breath" (or expired) in Genesis 25:8 and everywhere else, as Rotherham, RSV, NASB, but not RV and ASV.

In Job 3:8, "their mourning" should be corrected to "leviathan," as do RV and most. Rotherham translates it "dragon of the sky" (i.e., the constellation Draco); he may well be right.

Some words or phrases should be corrected in many places; such as gehenna for "hell" in Matthew 5:22; 18:9; and others. Additional examples are: "consummation (or end) of the age" for "end of the world" in Matthew 13:39 and elsewhere; "presence" for "coming" for the Greek word parousia in Matthew 24:3; 1Corinthians 15:23; Philippians 2:12; and 2 Thessalonians 2:8, 9 among others; and "shall have come" for "shall come" in Matthew

24:50; Revelation 3:3 (twice) and others--whenever the Greek word heko is used in the future tense

Sometimes later manuscripts added whole verses, which therefore should be omitted today. Examples include Matthew 18:11; Mark 16:9-20; Luke 17:36; John 7:53-8:11; and Acts 8:37.

In some passages the Authorized Version is essentially accurate while various attempts to improve on them are not. Examples are found in Genesis 4:23; Numbers 31:28; Matthew 24:33; and I Corinthians 15:22.

In Need of Further Study

In I Corinthians 15:51, 52 a different reading has top quality support in the manuscripts, although about 95 per cent of all manuscripts support the Authorized Version reading.

Quality reading (5 of the 8 best)

"Behold I tell you a mystery: We shall all sleep, but we shall not all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump" (I Cor. 1 5:51, 52).

Quality reading (2 of the 8 best, plus 500)

"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump" (I Cor. 15:51, 52 ASV)

Kenneth W. Clark observes, "Though not generally acknowledged, the strongest textual attestation (, A, C, 33, et al supports a different reading: 'We shall all sleep, but we shall not all be changed."' (Studia Paulina; Haarlem [Neth.]: de Erven F. Bohn N.V., 1953, pp. 63, 64). The Anchor Bible acknowledges Clark but rejects the reading. Statistically, there is an 85 per cent chance that the first reading was the original, but it is not definite.

In Revelation 20:5, "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished" is missing from 68 manuscripts (including 2053 and , two of the three best) out of about 200, and also missing in the Aramiac (Syriac). Hence Lamsa omits it and the Anchor Bible makes note of it. Most manuscripts omit the words "but" and "again," yet the whole sentence is not well supported. (The common explanation that a scribe's eye simply skipped from one "the thousand years" to the next is unlikely for such a theologically charged passage.)

It is difficult to find objectivity in the translation of John 1:1. If Colwell's rule is correct (that the definite predicate nominative does not take the article) then "the Word was God" would be allowable. This translation is rejected on two sides. Because the indefinite predicate nominative would also not take the definite article, "the Word was a god" should be no less allowable. Still others think the Greek theos here implies a quality and translate it as "the Word was divine." Rejecting all three, the New English Bible says, "What God was the Word was." The ancient reading of John 1:18 mentioned above will impact the translation of verse 1.

From Various Ancient Versions

There are interesting readings in some of the most ancient versions-the Greek, Latin, and Aramaic (Syriac).

Exodus 12:40

"Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt and in Canaan, was four hundred and thirty years" (Septuagint, Samaritan).
"Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years" (AV).

Paul, educated by Gamaliel at Jerusalem, apparently provides independent confirmation of the Septuagint and Samaritan, although the Authorized Version reading can also be understood consistent with Galatians 3:16, 17, "Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed . . . Now this I say: A covenant confirmed beforehand by God, the law [covenant], which came four hundred and thirty years after, doth not disannul, so as to make the promise [covenant] of none effect" (ASV).

Numbers 25:4

"And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the chiefs of the people and expose them before the LORD in the daylight that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from the children of Israel" (Lamsa, Aramaic).
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel" (AV).

Job 29:18

"Then I said, I shall become straight like a reed. I shall deliver the poor and multiply my days like the sand of the seas" (Lamsa, Aramaic).
"Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand" (AV).

Luke 16:22, 23

"But the rich man also died and was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes . . ." (Douay Rheims,/Confraternity, Latin Vulgate).
"The rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell he lift up his eyes. . ." (AV).

The last reading could result from different punctuation in the Greek, but might also need a change in word order. None of these last three readings should be considered confirmed to any degree.

A Place for Paraphrase

To use a paraphrased translation as a regular study Bible is to entrust one's spiritual life to another man. Used wisely, paraphrases such as Ferrar Fenton, Moffatt, Phillips, or Barclay, may nevertheless be helpful. If one first reads a good translation (e.g., NASB or Rotherham), he may find the paraphrase says it much clearer, or he may find it far off the mark. [Some say they like Weymouth because he is usually right, and when he is not, he is usually so far off you cannot miss it!] By way of examples:

Romans 14:23 (Barclay)

". . . if a man eats, and is still not sure if he is doing the right thing or not, he stands condemned for eating."

Romans 14:23 AV

"And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."

Proverbs 27:15, 16 REB

"A constant dripping on a rainy day--that is what a woman's nagging is like. As well try to control the wind as to control her! As well try to pick up oil in one's fingers."

Proverbs 27:15, 16 AV

"A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand which bewrayeth itself."

Somewhat different from a paraphrase is recognition of Hebrew idioms expressed in Greek words.

Translations of Hebrews 7:3

"There is no record of Melchizedek's father or mother, or any of his ancestors, no record of his birth or his death" (TEV).
"There is no mention of his father; there is no mention of his mother; no ancestor of his is ever mentioned. His days are never said to have any beginning, and his life is never said to have any end" (Barclay).
"There is no record of his father, or mother, or lineage, nor again of any beginning of his days, or end of his life" (TCNT).
"[Melchisedec] without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life" (AV).

Lamsa, Ferrar Fenton, Translator's New Testament, Stern, Schonfield margin, and also Knox are similar to the Twentieth Century New Testament (TCNT), which is the closest equivalent to the Greek.

Overview

Practically no English translation is without some merit. (Joseph Smith's Inspired Version appears to be an exception.) The Authorized Version, or King James Version (AV or KJV) probably reaches a standard of literary excellence unmatched in any language (including the Hebrew and Greek), but at significant cost of faithfulness to the original. The Revised Version (RV) and American Standard Version (ASV, 1901) correct a majority of the AV errors at minimal sacrifice of literary style, though they retain much of its theological bias.

Many versions update the language to modem English. The New American Standard Bible (NASB or NAS) retains most of the accuracy of the ASV; while the Revised Standard Version (RSV, a revision of the ASV apparently influenced by the Jewish Publication Society) stresses understandability at the expense of accuracy; the New English Bible (NEB) starts from scratch and takes a still greater step backwards in accuracy. The New International Version (NIV) tries to balance accuracy, clarity, literary quality, and some measure of continuity with the AV and ASV translations, though in its claimed suppression of "sectarian bias," it openly retains the strongest bias towards traditional evangelical theology.

In addition to the committee translations above: J. B. Rotherham (British Adventist) The Emphasized Bible (1872-1902) stresses accuracy, even to including the appropriate emphasis in English. The Jehovah's Witnesses' New World Translation (NWT, 1950) offers a relatively accurate translation from a different theological perspective. Like Rotherham, though, it is often not smooth reading. Jewish Publication Society JPS; ed. Max L. Margolis, 1917) is a good translation from a third perspective and is superior to Isaac Leeser's (1853). An Amencan Translation (Old Testament: J. M. Powis Smith, T. J. Meek, L. Waterman, A. Gordon; New Testament, Edgar Goodspeed; University of Chicago, 1931) is a fairly good translation with many excellent and thought provoking readings. Jay P. Green, The Interlinear HebrewIGreek English Bible (I 979) is a diaglott for the entire Bible, though with an uncorrected Greek text. Robert Young's Literal Translation (1862) stresses literal translation. Ferrar Fenton (1895), with particular expertise in Hebrew, offers a free and idiomatic translation, which nonetheless often sacrifices accuracy. Douay-Rheims (1582, 1609, Confraternity revision, 1950) is the standard Roman Catholic translation from the Latin Vulgate, while George M. Lamsa (1957) translates from the Aramaic (Syriac). The Translator's New Testament (1973) is sadly a mixture of translation and indoctrination.

In order to objectively distinguish accuracy of the English versions of the Bible, lists of corrections to the AV were prepared before evaluating any translation. Corrections included care with verb tenses, nouns, and punctuation, doctrinally sensitive texts, consistent translation, use of ancient manuscripts, archaic and untranslated words, as well as difficult-to-comprehend texts with vague translation, and also passages where the AV was correct in the first place. In this way it is intended to suppress an evaluator's personal biases. Preliminary results (reflecting about 80 % of the evaluations) follow below. (Note: Differences of plus or minus 5, or less, are usually not significant.)

There have been some surprises for the writer. Overall, the most accurate appears to be Rotherham, even though significantly short of the ideal. In the Old Testament, ASV, NASB and RSV are comparably strong. In the New Testament, the Marshall and Kingdom Interlinear diaglotts are worthy competitors, while Concordant and the Wilson diaglott also would have been had they started with better Greek texts.

For personal and group study the ASV and NASB have advantages. They are more accurate than most. They read well and are easily followed by those who are reading from the KJV, and the additional Bible helps (concordances, lexicons, cross-references) are easily adaptable to them. The first reference to consult for accuracy should likely be Rotberham. If ASV, Rotherham, Marshall diaglott and the Kingdom Interlinear (or JPS and NWF in the Old Testament) all agree, then there is a high likelihood that the translation is correct. (Nevertheless none of these even hints at the problems of 1 Corinthians 15:51 and Revelation 20:5.) For expanded translation and paraphrasing, try Wuest, Weymouth, and possibly Moffatt. For one just leaming English, Today's English Version might temporarily be better than nothing.

A good study Bible should have chapter and verse numbers, marginal references, preferably a good concordance and maps, a sturdy binding, and should be as accurate as possible. The student should add notes, alternative translations, and corrections of which he can be confident.

It is apparent that all English vcrsions of the Bible are a mixture of translation and interpretation or indoctrination. E. Cadman Colwell, latc president of the School of Theology, Claremont, California (Methodist), in his Which is the Best New Testament?, concludes that no existing translation is adequate but "the best is still to be." It is good for the Bible student to keep this thought in the back of his mind.

Now, after deciding which is the best translation, best edition, and what are its limitations, let us now read the Bible, study it, meditate on it, and try to live it every day and at every breath.


1. C. H. Dodd, driving force of the NEB, acknowledges of the Word was a god--"As a word-for-word translation it cannot be faulted." He rejects it, saying, "The reason why it is unacceptable is that it runs counter to the current of Johanine thought, and indeed of Christian thought as a whole" (as though theological acceptability should be a criterion!) Paralleling with John 4:24 ("God is [a] spirit"), Dodd rejects also e AV rendering of John 1:1 in favor of that of the NEB. As for the original text of John 1:18, he dismisses it as "grammatically exceptional, if not eccentric." (Technical Papers for the Bible Translator, 28, Jan. 1977, pp. 101ff.)

Actually the Greek from here is not identical to that of John 4:24, but to that of I Timothy 6:10 (see translations above).


Old Testament English Translations

Accuracy

American Standard Version (ASV, 1901)
New American Standard Bible (NASB, 1963)
(British) Revised Version (
RV, 1881-1885)

84
82
77

Rotherham, The Emphasized Bible (Rhm, 1902)
Sacred Name restoration Bible (Triana, modified Rhm, 1963)

82
82-

Revised Standard Version (RSV, 1952)
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV, 1989)

82
76

Aimplified (1965)

79

New World (NWT, 1960)

78-

Jewish Publication Society (Margolis; JPS, 1917)
Jewish Publication Society - Revised (JPS2, 1985)

76
64

Berkeley (Verkuyl, 1959)

76

Darby

75

New International Version (NIV, 1973)

73

New King James Version (NKJV, 1979)

73

Revised English Bible (REB, 1989)
New English Bible
(NEB, 1970)

71
69

Anchor Bible (1964 - ) Est. 70
New Century Version (NCV, 1987)

69

Smith-Goodspeed (1927)

68

Jay Green diagiott (1979)

67

Byington (1972)

67-

New American Bible (NAB, 1970)

67-

Jerusalem (1966)

66

Leeser (Jewish, 1854)

61

Moffatt (1924)

60-

Today's English Version (TEV = GNB Good News Bible, 1976)

57

Young's Literal (1863)

54

Contemporary English Version (CEV, 1995)

52

Living Bible (K. Taylor, 1971)

51+

EDITOR'S NOTE: The charts above and below are based on an analysis of some 68 Old Testament texts and 141 New Testament texts; results are normalized to a scale of 0-100 to compare accuracy of English translations of the Bible. Authorized Version (AV, KJV, 1611) rated at 5-20.

New Testament English Translations

Accuracies

Overall

Manuscripts

Translations

Rotherham, The Emphasized Bible (1872, 1902)
Sacred Name restored Bible (Triana, mod. Rthm, 1950)

85
80

99
84-

80.5
79

Marshall diaglott (1958)

81

97

75.5

Kingdom Interlinear diaglott (J.W., 1960)
New World (1950)

80
75-

99
99

73.5
66.5

Concordant (Universalist, 1926, 1944)

76

73

77

Wilson diaglott (1864)

75

72

76

Panin Numerical, (1914)

74

95

67

Bowes (1870)

Est.72

   
Wuest (1961)

71

94

63.5

Weymouth (1902) 5th/3rd Edition

71/69

92/90

63.5/61.5

Stern ("Jewish New Testament,- 1985) 69 95 60.5
Schonfield ("Original New Testament," Jewish, 1985) 69 88 62.5
New American Standard Bible (NASB, 1963)
American Standard Version
(ASV, 1901)
(British) Revised Version
(RV, 1881-1885)

68
65
64

95
94
94.5

59
55.5
53.5

Ballantine (Riverside, 1923)

66

95

56.6

Today's English Version (= Good News for Modern Man, Bratcher)

64

88

56.6

Anchor Bible (1964)

Est 63+

Est 95-

53

Moffatt (1913)

63

93

53

C. Kingsley Williams (N.T. In Plain English, 1951)

63

93

52.5

Chas. B. Williams (N.T. In the Language of the People, 1937)

63

93

52.5

Horner (Coptic: Sahidic [southern] 1911-1922)

62.5

84

55.5

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV, 1989)
Revised Standard Version
(RSV, 1946)

62+
62

97
98-

51
50

Smith-Goodspeed (1923)

62

96

51

Byington (1972)

62

94.5

51

New International Version (NIV, 1973)

62

92

51.5

The Translator's New Testament CFNT, 1973)

61

90-

52

Lattey/Westminster (RCC, 1913-1935)

61

93

50.5

New American Bible (NAB, RCC, 1970)

60+

89

51

Ferrar Fenton (1895)

59.5

71

55.5

Revised English Bible (REB, 1989)
New English Bible
(NEB)

58
56

95
92

45.5
44.5

Barclay (1976)

57

91.5

46

Amplified (1958)

57

75

50.5

Berkeley (Verkuyl, 1945)

56

62

53.5

Twentieth Century New Testament

54

88+

42.5

Darby (Plymouth Brethren, 1871)

56

62-

53.5

New Century Version (NCV, 1987)

54

88+

42.5

God's Word to the Nations (GWN; Beck, revised, Lutheran, 1988)

53

90

41

Jerusalem (RCC, 1966)

52.5

91+

39.5

Phillips (1958)

52

83

41.5

Contemporary English Version (CEV; ABS, 1995)

59

91.5

36

DouayRheims/Confraternity (RCC, 1582, 1950)

49

71

41.5

Bagster's diagiott (1877; reprinted by G. Berry,1958)

49-

26

56

Young's Literal (Presbyterian, 1862)

45

2

59

Liviag Bible (K. Taylor, 1966)

30-

67

29

Jay Green diaglott (1976)

39

3

51

New King James (NKJV, 1979)

32

26

34

Lamsa (Aramaic, 1940)

30

27

31