Bible translations, the versions used here
Translations vary because translators have to make many choices. When the original manuscript no longer exists then they have to choose which of the copies are most faithful to it. With ancient documents, the more independent manuscripts exist the easier this becomes. The Bible is exceptional in the sheer volume of ancient copies available for study.
The translator must also choose how to approach their translation. Will it be a fairly literal english equivalent to the text or a more easily read paraphrase? Will they try to be faithful to the meaning of colloquialisms or to their words?
There are many translations available and opinions vary about which is best. This site generally quotes from the World English Bible (WEB). The WEB was chosen because it is a modern translation that is in the Public Domain. As with the KJV, and its updated counterpart the NKJV, the WEB is based upon the Majority Text.
For ease of reading the various cross references and annotations embedded in the original have been omitted. The full text is available from eBible.org.
The WEB is also available in a Hebrew Names Version (HNV), the following comparison illustrates some of the typical differences.
- “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.” (Matt 3:13 WEB)
- “Then Yeshua came from Galilee to the Jordan to Yochanan, to be immersed by him.” (Matt 3:13 HNV)
The HNV is generally used here in preference to the standard version for any passages that include the tetragramaton (the transliteration of which, with vowels inserted, might cause difficulty for those with a Hebrew background). Where that would introduce Hebrew names that would be unfamiliar to the majority of readers, then the King James Version is adopted instead.
Occasionally other versions are quoted because the wording or phrasing of the translation demonstrates a particular point. The sources section of the site contains a full list of the translations used and the required copyright declarations.