Bible Version Selection Tool from and Henry Neufeld
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Bible Version Comparison Tool


Please watch for bugs and if you find some, let me know by e-mailing

Usage is fairly simple even though it may look confusing at first. You can initially ignore the list of 11 characteristics. Each one is set by default to (1), which makes them all of even value. They can be set to any value from '0' (ignore) to '5' (critical). Setting a high value means that any difference in this area is very important to you in your comparison. Setting the value to '0' means that this value will be ignored in calculating the difference between the versions.

Immediately after these 11 drop-down boxes for characteristics you will find a drop down box listing versions. Choose the one you want used as a base of comparison. The default is NRSV. All the other versions are listed from the least to the greatest difference from the NRSV. You can choose any version as the base using this drop-down box.

Once you have chosen your base Bible version, click the "Sort!" button to produce the list according to your characteristics. The score in the right hand column gives you the points of difference between the base version and the one listed on that line.

Choose Your Version and Weight your Preferences

How important is each of the following to you?

Functionality refers to how well a translation transfers the function, or the meaning to the new language. A high score in this category indicates that idioms in the source languages are translated into idioms in the target language. This is often called dynamic or functional equivalence.


Formality refers to how closely a translation follows the grammatical forms and wording of the source language. This is often known as literal translation.

Easy Reading

Easy reading refers to how easy a translation is to read. This should not be confused with reading grade level. A children's Bible would rate a 10 here, while a scholarly version using many theological terms would rate a 1.

Use in public reading

If the translation is to be used in public reading, for example as a pew Bible, how well does it flow orally. A translation that lacks dignity or is clumsily worded will rate poorly here; one with dignified vocabulary but also smoothly designed will rate well.

Use in serious study

For serious study, often a more formal translation is required, even when a more functional translation is easier to understand. This is especially true if one wants to do word studies or make effective use of a concordance in other ways. This rating combines formality, good scholarly notes, and consistent translation practice.

Gender Neutral language

Gender neutral refers to translations such as "brothers and sisters" for Greek adelphoi, or use of plurals rather than singular masculine references, and not to use of gender neutral terms for God. A translation is considered gender neutral if groups of mixed gender are referenced neutrally where allowed by the source texts.

Capitalization of divine names

Divine names and pronouns are capitalized in some modern versions. This is strictly a matter of translator practice as there is no capitalization in the original. The rating indicates whether words such as "Son" referring to Jesus, and pronouns referring to God or any person of the trinity are capitalized.

Translation of cultural references

Cultural references always require some translating. I only rate a Yes for cultural translation when extensive items such as species of animal, or even geographic references (such as in the Cotton Patch version) are transposed..

Translation by committee rather than individual

Committee simply means that more than one translator was involved in producing the translation.

Interdenominational participation

Interdenominational means that translators from more than one Christian denomination were involved, even if they came from one broader group, such as evangelical denominations.

Interfaith participation

Interfaith means that there was interfaith cooperation. Generally this means both Jewish and Christian translators were involved in some way.

AbbrNameFuncFormEasy ReadPublic ReadStudyGenderCapitalCulturalCommitteeInter-denomInter-faithScore
Comparing versions to the NRSV
NRSVNew Revised Standard Version39341010NoNoYesYesYes0
NETNew English Translation5976109NoNoYesYesNo10
TNIVToday's New International Version387659NoNoYesYesNo14
NASBNew American Standard Bible194481YesNoYesYesNo16
ESVEnglish Standard Version195582NoNoYesYesNo16
HCSBHolman Christian Standard Bible295562YesNoYesYesNo18
RSVRevised Standard Version110337NoNoNoYesYesNo18
NKJVNew King James Version2102361YesNoYesYesNo19
REBRevised English Bible767969NoNoYesYesYes21
NLTNew Living Translation767759NoNoYesYesNo21
NABNew American Bible496761NoNoYesNoNo22
KJVKing James Version1101331NoNoYesYesNo23
NIVNew International Version587882YesNoYesYesNo23
NCVNew Century Version8710549NoNoYesYesNo23
CJBComplete Jewish Bible683341NoNoNoNoNo23
NEBNew English Bible695741NoNoYesYesNo24
JPSJewish Publication Society Tanakh688791YesNoYesNoNo25
YLTYoung's Literal Translation1101151NoNoNoNoNo25
GWGod's Word776661YesNoYesYesNo26
NJBNew Jerusalem Bible577962NoNoYesNoNo27
TEVToday's English Version969629NoNoYesYesNo27
NIRVNew International Reader's Version8510529NoNoYesYesNo27
TSThe Scriptures1101121YesNoYesNoNo28
MSGThe Message9284110NoYesNoNoNo31
CEVContemporary English Version958825NoNoYesYesNo33
PhilPhillip's New Testament718631NoNoNoNoNo38
TLBThe Living Bible718312YesNoNoNoNo39
NLVNew Life Version6410221YesYesNoNoNo39

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