Only a few of the many Bibles available—in different translations and meeting special needs—are shown in this chart. Most titles are offered in a range of sizes, bindings, and prices to match the various requirements of home, school, and pulpit.

Name Publisher Principal Constituency

King James Version (KJV)

Many publishers Literary elitists, Conservative Protestant
Published in 1611 and revised in 1789 and 1982. The dominant Bible for 330 years.

New King James Version (NKJV)
New Testament (1979), Old Testament (1982)

Nelson Traditional, Conservative Protestant
Updated King James preserving as much of the original as possible while modernizing archaic words, streamlining punctuation and capitalizing divine pronouns. (See review in “The New King James Version,” in this issue.)

Revised Standard Version (RSV)
New Testament (1946); Old Testament (1952); Apocrypha (1957)

Other publishers
Roman Catholic; Mainline Protestant
Revision of KJV and American Standard Version (1901).

Oxford Annotated Bible
(1962), with Apocrypha (1963)

Oxford Mainline Protestant
Study edition of RSV.

New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha
Expanded Edition (1977)

Oxford Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches
Study edition of RSV with expanded Apocrypha.

J. B. Phillips Version (PV)
Letters to Young Churches (1947), Gospels (1952), Young Church in Action (1955), Book of Revelation (1957), Four Prophets (1963)

Macmillan Conservative and Mainline Protestant
Includes in the translation the data implicit in the minds of the original hearers or readers, thus giving a more complete statement of the ideas intended by the Biblical writer.

Bible in Basic English (BBE)

Cambridge Those with limited English skills.
Simple English translation. Limited to 1000 words. Paraphrases complex ideas.

New English Bible (NEB)
New Testament (1961), Old Testament and Apocrypha (1970)

Mainline Protestant
Transposes Greek and Hebrew syntax into excellent current English. Sponsored by major non-Catholic churches of Great Britain.

Cambridge Bible Commentary
New Testament (1963), Old Testament (1971), Apocrypha (1977)

Cambridge Mainline Protestant
Study Edition of NEB.

Oxford Study Bible

Oxford Mainline Protestant
Study edition of NEB.

Good News Bible (GNB), also known as Today’s English Version (TEV)
New Testament (1966), Old Testament (1976), Apocrypha (1978)

American and United Bible Societies
Other publishers
Mainline and Conservative Protestant
Expresses messages of Bible in today’s common language with dynamic equivalence of the Biblical ideas, not the syntax.

New International Version (NIV)

New York International Bible Society and Zondervan Semi-traditional, Conservative Protestant
Close to RSV, although considered a conservative alternative to RSV. Publisher states that NIV “conserves some measure of conformity with the long tradition of translating Scriptures into English.”

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Revision of the KJV and American Standard Version (1901). NASB states “that the words of Scripture as originally penned in Hebrew and Greek were inspired by God,” and that NASB “follows the principles used in the American Standard Version (1901) known as the Rock of Biblical Honesty.”

Living Bible Paraphrased (LB)

Tyndale Strict Evangelical
A paraphrase of the Bible. The freest of the translations. Some expansions, especially in the theological areas, modify the meaning of the Biblical writers.

The Jerusalem Bible (JB)

Doubleday Roman Catholic, Mainline Protestant
Excellent contemporary English Bible based on French Bible de Jérusalem.

Knox Bible

Anthony Clarke Books Roman Catholic
Based on the Latin Vulgate.

New Jewish Version (NJPS)
Torah (1962), Prophets (1978), Writings (1982)

Jewish Publication Society Jewish, Mainline Protestant
Contemporary English. Based on Masoretic Hebrew text of 11th century using ancient sources to help interpret the Masoretic text. (See review in The Torah, The Prophets and The Writings—A New Jewish Translation,” in this issue.)

Anchor Bible (AB)
35 Volumes to date

Doubleday Mainline and Conservative Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish
Translation and commentary by individual scholars. Aimed at general reader with no special formal training in Biblical Studies. Fresh translations with new insights and latest textual information. Uneven translation styles from volume to volume.

Hermeneia—A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible
9 Volumes to date

Fortress Mainline Protestant, Jewish, and Roman Catholic scholars
New translations and commentaries under headings of Form, Setting, and Interpretation.

Thompson Chain Reference Bible (TCRB)
4th Edition (1964)

Kirkbride Conservative Protestant
Analyzes the text by books, chapters and verses, and then synthesizes 4218 topics and sub-topics by numbered chain-references which indicate the next link in the chain. Besides the index, concordance, and maps is a somewhat outdated “Archaeological Supplement” with 109 items discussed and then noted by number in the margins.

Scofield Reference Bible (SRB)
(1909, 1917)

Oxford Conservative Protestant
Attractive format. The Biblical text in paragraphs preceded by section headings and parallel passages. The notes, by C. I. Scofield (1843–1921), use the dispensational system of interpretation, which originated with John Nelson Darby (1800–1882).

New Scofield Reference Bible (NSRB)

Oxford University Press Conservative Protestant
The NSRB drops Bishop Usher’s dates, revises one name and seven starting dispensations, but it retains the essence of the system.

Open Bible (OB)

Nelson Conservative Protestant
The purpose of the OB is “to make the Scriptures an open and rewarding book for the serious and committed Bible student, while at the same time presenting a meaningful Bible for the general reader.” Revises the 66 obsolete words in the KJV. Clarifies and amplifies the KJV text with Read-along references and translations at the end of the verse. “Cyclopedic Index” combines concordance, reference system, and index. Messianic prophecies are starred.