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Bible Comparison Chart

Translation

Grade Level

Translation Philosophy

Sample Passage
Hebrews 1:1-2

Distinctive 
Features

Theological Affiliation

NAB

New
American
Bible

6.6

word-for-word In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, Official translation of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. All editions include Deuterocanical/Apocryphal books. First published in 1970. Roman Catholic
NIV

New
International
Version

7.8 Balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought In the past God spoke to the forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. Popular modern language translation. Attempts to balance literal and dynamic translation methods. Does not include Deuterocanical/Apocryphal books. Published in 1978. Transnational, trans-denominational team of scholars. Conservative evangelical
RSV

Revised
Standard
Version

10 Maintain a word-for-word accuracy using modern American language In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. Although attempting to update the "Bible English" of the KJV, some thous, and beholds still remain. First published in 1952. Mainline and interconfessional
NRSV

New
Revised
Standard
Version

8.1 Balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. Revises the RSV into fully modern language. Uses gender neutral language and removes thees, thous and beholds. Published in 1990. Mainline and interconfessional
DR

Douay
Rheims
12 word-for-word God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all, In these last days hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world. English translation from the Latin Vulgate with comparisons the Hebrew and Greek. Its language contains "Latinisms," common in the English writing of the day. First published in 1609. Roman Catholic
NJB

New
Jerusalem
Bible

7.4 Balance between word translation and meaning At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our time, the final days, he has spoken to us in the person of his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the ages. An update of the Jerusalem Bible first translated into French. Includes comprehensive introductions, footnotes and gender neutral language. Published in 1985. Roman Catholic official English language text outside United States.
LB

Living
Bible

8.3 Paraphrase Long ago God spoke in many different ways to our fathers through the prophets [in visions, dreams and even face to face], telling them little by little about his plans. But now in these days he has spoken to us through his Son to whom he has given everything and through whom he made the world and everything there is. A very popular interpretive rephrasing of the text. First released as "The Way", it was originally intended for personal devotional use only. Deuterocanical/Apocryphal books, if included, placed at the end of the entire text. Published in 1971. Conservative and evangelical
NLT

New
Living
Translation

6.4 thought-for-thought Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. But now in these final days he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he made the universe and everything in it. This successor of the Living Bible seeks to produce the closest natural equivalent of the message in contemporary English. Published in 1996. Evangelical
KJV

King
James
Version

12 word-for-word God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Poetic literary style using Elizabethan English. Most universally accepted translation for centuries. Considered the most difficult to read. Deuterocanical/Apocryphal books placed at the end of the Old Testament. First published in 1611. Church of England, conservative and evangelical
NKJV

New
King
James
Version

8 Based on the original KJV, yet attempting to produce an accurate and modern word-for-word translation God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; Captures the accuracy and beauty of the KJV in contemporary, readable language. Published in 1982. Transnational, trans-denominational team of scholars. Conservative evangelical
NASB

New
American
Standard
Bible

11 word-for-word God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son. whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Updating the American Standard Version into modern language. Generally considered an accurate translation. Does not include Deuterocanical/Apocryphal books. Published in 1971. Conservative and evangelic