A Comparison of 9 Bible Translations
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Translations Compared
Translation name & abbreviation [
Date:Est Reading level:Est Literalness from 10 to 1, where 10=Most Literal]

  • Douay-Rheims (Challoner) (Rom Cath) DR-C
  • English Standard Version ESV [2001:8th Grade:Lit=7]
  • Holman Christian Std Bible HCS
  • King James Version KJV [1611:12th Grade:Lit=7]
  • New American Bible (Rom Cath) NARC
  • New American Standard NAS [1971 1995:11th Grade:Lit=8]
  • New International Ver. NIV [1978 1984:7th Grade:Lit=5]
  • New King James Ver. NKJV [1982:9th Grade:Lit=7]
  • New Living Translation NLT [1996:6th Grade:Lit=3]
  • New Revised Std. Ver. NRSV [1990:10th Grade:Lit=6]
  • Young's Literal Trans. YLT [1898:12th Grade:Lit=9]

Method
As the basis for this comparison, BibleBell selected a number of Bible verses covering...

  • 1) The virgin birth & deity of Lord Jesus
  • 2) Basic Bible terms and doctrines

Non-white letters denote BibleBell's OPINION concerning certain differences in wording...

  • Yellow means GOOD (in our opinion)
  • Blue means Mediocre (in our opinion)

Which Translation for you?
With side by side wording, you have some useful information to help you decide which [if any] of these translations best suits your spiritual needs.

This chart is by no means the only information that you should consider in selecting a translation.

  • There are excellent translations that are not on this list.
  • You should, of course, seek the counsel of God, your Pastor, and your Christian friends.
     
Isa 7.14 Therefore the Lord Himself giveth to you a sign, Lo, the Virgin is conceiving, And is bringing forth a son, And hath called his name Immanuel YLT Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. NAS Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. KJV
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. NRSV Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. NIV Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. NKJV
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. ESV All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel—‘God is with us.’ NLT Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, will have a son, and name him Immanuel. HCS
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. NARC Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel. DR-C  
Isa 9.6 For a Child hath been born to us, A Son hath been given to us, And the princely power is on his shoulder, And He doth call his name Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. YLT For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. NAS For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. KJV
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. NRSV For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. NIV For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. NKJV
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ESV For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. NLT.  For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. HCS 
For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. NARC For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. DR-C  
Mt 1.23 Lo, the virgin shall conceive, and she shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel,' which is, being interpreted "With us he is God." YLT BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL, which translated means, "GOD WITH US." NAS Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. KJV
Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, "God is with us." NRSV The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel --which means, "God with us." NIV Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, "God with us." NKJV
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). ESV “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son,
and he will be called Immanuel
(meaning, God is with us).” NLT
See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel HCS
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us." NARD Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. DR-C  
John 1.1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God YLT [NAS, KJV, NRSV, NIV, NKJV, HCS, NARC, DR-C, ESV are essentially the same as YLT] In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. NLT
John 1.18 God no one hath ever seen; the only begotten Son, who is on the bosom of the Father--he did declare. YLT No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. NAS No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. KJV
No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known. NRSV No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known. NIV No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. NKJV
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. ESV No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart; he has told us about him. NLT No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son — the One who is at the Father’s side — He has revealed Him. HCS
No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father's side, has revealed him. NARC No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. DR-C  
John 20.28 Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God" YLT [NAS, KJV, NRSV, NIV, NKJV, ESV, NARC, DR-c, HCS, NLT are essentially the same as YLT]  
John 8.58 Jesus said to them, "Verily, verily, I say to you, Before Abraham's coming--I am" YLT Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." NAS Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. KJV
[NRSV, NKJV, NARC, ESV are essentially the same as KJV. NIV & DR-C are essentially the same as NAS.] Jesus answered, “The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!” NLT  Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am. HCS
Rom 9.5 whose are the fathers, and of whom is the Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed to the ages. Amen. YLT whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. NAS Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. KJV
to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. NRSV Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. NIV of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. NKJV
To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. ESV Their ancestors were great people of God, and Christ himself was a Jew as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. NLT The forefathers are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen HCS
theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen. NARC Whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all things, God blessed for ever. DR-C  
 

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