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a continuum of english bible translations

The following line chart places various English translations along a continuum between word-for-word translation at one end and paraphrase at the other. Categorizing English Bible translations is difficult, and it must be recognized that relative placements are valid only in a very general sense. All of the word-for-word translations sometimes render passages very dynamically, and all of the thought-for-thought translations are very literal in some passages.

CEV Contemporary English Version
ESV English Standard Version
KJV King James Version
MSG The Message (Eugene Peterson)
NAB New American Bible (Catholic)
NASB New American Standard Bible
NIV New International Version
NJB New Jerusalem Bible (Catholic)
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NRSV New Revised Standard Version
TLB The Living Bible (Kenneth Taylor)

“For me, the greatest blessing of the NLT is how it opens up the meaning and impact of the Scriptures to people. I think it is a wonderful translation, and a gift to the Church.”

James Karsten
Grant Reformed Church
Grant, Michigan

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