Confusion among Bibles: the Best of the Rest


This set are bibles that are idiosyncratic i.e. they have odd licensing agreements or tend to have unusual translations.  Whatever their reason, they are not very popular but are worth considering.

  1. The World English Bible is actually an update to the 1901  American Standard version.  It also has footnotes to explain some of its translation reasoning.
    1. They changed their name because the WEB includes the Apocrypha while the ASV 1901 version did not also  some churches of course still use the ASV and there already is a NASB (New American Standard Bible) as well as RASB (Revised American Standard Bible).  And that’s another thing to remember, I’m looking at these bibles as study resources, not from the viewpoint of the “pew”.
    2. The name WEB is supposed to be a pun on the WEB being World accessible and to ensure that it is in the public domain i.e. there is no copyright attached.
    3. The site has some nice features like a Year Reading Plan and the online bible has footnotes but probably it’s biggest selling point is that the text can be downloaded as well as it’s audio, both in tons of formats,  so you can read, listen or read along.


  1. There is something out there called the NET, the New English Translation, another translation with a built in pun.  It was published in 2005 and it claims that it is gender accurate but based on Judges 8:9 I don’t agree because the Hebrew states people while the NET translates that to “men” as it feels that all warriors were exclusively male.   That is untrue as Deborah was a judge i.e. a warrior and definitely a female.   Some of its highlights are :
    1. It  is free and in the public domain and has lots of “updates” like the New King James and the 21 Century King James Version for those who want a more modern verbiage but with the same feel as the original. 
    2. The NET considers itself successor to the NASB. I’m not sure what the  difference between the NET and the WEB except for the WEB version did not mention the 8:9 note.  
    3. The NET  version without notes can be downloaded, while the note version can be accessed online.  This site reviews it in depth but be forewarned, I don’t think he likes any translations.


  1. If you like contemporary English, then you have to look to the Message from Tyndale.  It isn’t just a translation, it’s a whole new feel to the bible as it paraphrases verses.  It’s also rather politically correct. 


  1. If you need a simplified bible, the Contemporary English Bible is  the key. 
    1. It is geared towards those with poor reading skills much like the New Life and  Good News Bibles. 
    2. I have one, the Seek Find Bible, that needs a home.  If you are interested let me now by posting a comment that way I don’t get a lot of spam.
  2. Speaking of the Good News, it has a very liberal quote policy i.e. up to 1000 verses can be quoted freely.  It is published by the American Bible Organization, aims for a common English language translation,  and has an excellent website.


  1. The Mosaic Bible is a full color print-only bible.  It is also from Tyndale. 

  1. It’s website is over here and it celebrates the Christian year i.e. Advent, Lent and such, something “low church” i.e. evangelical Protestants do not do. 
  2. From what the website shows it seems also to be a write-in bible.  The pictures are very nice and I’ve never seen it so I will have to look for it at BAM, my local bookstore as they carry a lot of bible paraphernalia.


  1. I have always liked reading the Amplified Bible but I have to admit that the amplification can get on your nerves. OTOH, it does supply all the connectors (if, and, but) so that the text reads easily.  I find that it feels like the KJV.  It also has notes. Some of it’s key features are: 
    1. The Amplified is one of the few edited by a woman, Frances Siewert, the other is the New Life which was a husband and wife team.  The Amplified is joinltly published by the Lockman Foundation & Zondervan.
    2. While they do have updates, it is only a change in formatting, not in the actual translation which remains as Mrs. Siewert wrote it in 1955.
    3.   You can download the textual Amplified for free as long as you agree to their license. There is no formatting or notes in the free version.
    4. They also have an audio Amplified that is rather cheap for those who like to read along or listen but the site does not take PayPal; just credit cards. 

This is the Amplified’s Genesis:

    In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth.2 The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.3 And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.


  1. The Voice is published by Thomas Nelson and it omits words like “angel” but also “Jesus Christ”.  Instead it calls Jesus, Jesus the Anointed One (Messiah).   In the OT, the Lord or Yahweh is The Eternal One  and that threw me as I was totally unaccustomed to that term.  Still like anything it takes getting used to.
    1. You can download  the New Testament of the Voice for free over here and see if you like it.  One of its biggest criticisms is its translation of John 1:1.
    2. Other idiosyncrasies are that it takes a conversation tone towards passages between the Lord and his prophets. 
    3. It’s notes are interspersed with the text (see the yellow highlighted text below, this does make it easier not having to page through footnotes).
  • 0 Gideon had 70 sons who were his own children, for he had many wives and concubines,31 and his concubine in Shechem bore him a son whom he named Abimelech. 32 Gideon, son of Joash, died after many years of life and was buried with his father Joash at Ophrah in the land of the Abiezrites.
  • Gideon is one of the most powerful judges of Israel: he attacks and overthrows kings; he plunders their royal treasures; and after his great success against the land of Midian, the people of God actually want to make him their king. This desire is logical. Other peoples have kings to lead them into battle and to rule over them. Why not them? But this is not God’s desire for His people, and Gideon knows that pain, destruction, and bloodshed follow when someone pursues the throne against God’s will. Gideon tells them he will not rule them—and neither will his sons—so they can get that idea out of their heads. But the thirst for power leads to intrigue, and one of Gideon’s sons plays on the people’s continual desire for order at the hand of a king.   (Judges 8:30-31)


  1. The Lexham Bible wants to be your reading bible, an“addendum” to your pew version.  Some of its highlights are :
    1. It takes a literal approach using Walter Bauer’s (Ancient) Greek-English Lexicon of the NT and other Early Christian Literature and the Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible.  It’s major contributors are all Dutch so I wonder if it is related to the {Dutch} Reformed Church of America and Robert Schuller.
    2. It started out just doing the NT, it now has a translation for the OT as well.
    3. It can be downloaded for free.  The free (epub) version has the footnotes but at the end not interspersed while the plain text version the footnotes are interspersed. 
    4. They have a generous use policy: If you quote less than 100 verses of the LEB in a single work you can attribute it by simply adding (LEB) after the quotation.


 This guy, at the very forward Lutheran Seminary College in Gettysburg, PA,  uses my guidelines but comes up with a different set of translations.  Of course YMMV.

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