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English Bible Translations

Amplified Bible:
The Amplified Bible adds explanatory and alternate readings and amplifications within the Bible text to help the reader understand Scripture. It is based on the American Standard Version and uses a system of synonyms, punctuation, typographical features, and clarifying words or phrases to reveal shades of meaning of the key words in the original text. It was translated by a committee of qualified Hebrew and Greek scholars.

Reading Level: Grade 11

Example:
John 3:16
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

Contemporary English Version (CEV):
The Contemporary English Version gives the meaning of the text in plain modern speech that is biblically accurate, reader friendly, and understandable, even for first-time Bible readers. It smoothes out rough places and eliminates repetition, making it a good choice for casual reading and devotional use. It was translated by an international, interdenominational group of over 100, including translators, English language experts, and biblical authorities and final approval was given by the American Bible Society's Board of Trustees.

Reading Level: Grade 6

Example:
John 3:16
God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.

English Standard Version (ESV):
The English Standard Version is a revision of the Revised Standard Version (RSV). It is essentially literal and noted for its accuracy and traditional style, while using clear modern language. It is an "essentially literal" translation that seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original.

Reading Level: Grade 8

Example:
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Good News Translation (GNT) :
The Good News Translation, also known as Todayís English Version (TEV), seeks to express the ideas in Scripture as they would be expressed if they were being written today in everyday English. It attempts to set forth the Biblical content and message in a standard, everyday, natural form of English easily understood by readers. The final approval of the text was given by American Bible Society's Board of Managers upon recommendation of its Translations Department Committee.

Reading Level: Grade 7

Example:
John 3:16
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB):
The Holman Christian Standard Bible is a newer translation in modern English that maintains traditional style and accuracy. Its footnotes are highly regarded. This version of the Bible was planned and sponsored by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as a replacement for the NIV after the International Bible Society acknowledged that it was revising the NIV with "politically correct" gender-neutral language.

Reading Level: Grade 8

Example:
John 3:16
For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

King James Version (KJV):
The King James Version has been the bestselling Bible for four centuries. It is the choice for those wanting a traditional Bible. It is named after King James I of England who initiated the work. Over fifty scholars worked on the project which was finished in 1611. It is basically a revision of previous translations, primarily the Bishop's Bible of 1568. The King James Version is known for its utmost accuracy of translation and majesty of style, although it may be too "Old English" for the average person with no familiarity with some of its terms.

Reading Level: Grade 12

Example:
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The Message:
The Message is an innovative translation of the Bible in free, natural language that is often surprising and which grabs the readerís attention. It is a highly colloquial and interpretive translation/paraphrase of the New Testament and the Old Testament books of Psalms and Proverbs by Eugene H. Peterson. The goal is not to render a word-for-word conversion of Greek into English, but rather to convert the tone, the rhythm, the events, the ideas, into the way we actually think and speak. There is an introduction to each book. Verses are not numbered, except at the top of the page where the range for that page is given.

Reading Level: Grade 9

Example:
John 3:16
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

New American Bible (NAB):
The New American Bible is used predominantly by Roman Catholics. The first American Catholic Bible to be translated from the original languages by the Catholic Bible Association of America. There is an introduction and, usually, an outline at the beginning of each book.

Reading Level: Grade 7

Example:
John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

New American Standard Bible (NASB):
The New American Standard Bible is highly regarded for its literal accuracy. It is a new translation of the American Standard Version of 1901 by a team of thirty-two scholars organized by The Lockman Foundation, a nonprofit Christian corporation committed to evangelism. It pays close attention to the wording and structure of the original Hebrew and Greek and attempts to use words consistently.

Reading Level: Grade 11

Example:
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

New Century Version (NCV):
The New Century Version is a modern language translation that emphasizes clear communication. The translation team was composed of the World Bible Translation Center and fifty additional, highly qualified and experienced Bible scholars and translators. Concepts were put into natural terms, obscure terms were clarified, and modern measurements and geographical locations were used.

Reading Level: Grade 3

Example:
John 3:16
God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.

New King James Version (NKJV):
The New King James Version maintains the traditional accuracy and style of the King James Version while using up-to-date English. It eliminates the "thees" and "thous" and changes obscure words to modern, more easily understood words, but still retains much of the King James Version's classic style and cadence.

Reading Level: Grade 9

Example:
John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

New International Version (NIV):
The New International Version is a modern English translation that achieves a good balance between accuracy and readability. It is a completely new translation of the original languages done by an international group of more than a hundred scholars. Their goal was to convey in English the thought of the original writers. Since 1987 it has outsold the King James Version, the best-seller for centuries, a remarkable indication of its popularity and acceptance in the Christian community.

Reading Level: Grade 8

Example:
John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

New International Readerís Version (NIRV):
The New International Readerís Version uses language understandable to children and other early readers, with an emphasis on readability. It is a simplification of the New International Version, today's most popular translation of the Bible. The NIrV was designed by the International Bible Society and Zondervan Publishing House to make the Bible clear and understandable to early readers, and can be read by a typical fourth grader. It is also of value to the millions for whom English is a second language.

Reading Level: Grade 4

Example:
John 3:16
God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.

New Living Translation (NLT):
The New Living Translation is especially usable for reading aloud in group teaching or worship settings. More than ninety scholars from various theological backgrounds and denominations spent seven years in revising the New Living Translation. Every verse has been carefully compared to the most reliable editions of the Hebrew and Greek texts in an effort to make a translation that accurately conveys the meaning of the original texts. Entire thoughts, rather than just words, were translated into natural, everyday English.

Reading Level: Grade 6

Example:
John 3:16
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV):
The NRSV and its predecessor, the Revised Standard Version (RSV), are used by many in mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox churches. It is is a revision of the American Standard Version by a committee of about thirty members of various Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church with Eastern Orthodox and Jewish representatives for the Old Testament.

Reading Level: Grade 8

Example:
John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.



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