The Bible was not written originally in English. For the Old Testament, the original translations were mostly written in Aramaic and Hebrew. For the New Testament, the original translations were in Koine Greek. This is one of the reasons why there are so many English translations of the Bible available worldwide today. Here we’ll take you through some of the most accurate word-for-word translations of the Bible:
1. New American Standard Bible
It carries the reputation of the ‘most accurate’ Bible translation in English today. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) first came out in 1963. In the year 1995, its most recent edition was available to the public. NASB is also the most literal world-for-word translation. This means, you’ll find it the most difficult to read when compared to the other word-for-word translations.
2. King James Version
It was the only English version of the Bible that people read for many years. This is the reason why it is one of the extremely popular word-for-word Bible translations. You might be curious to know why it carries the name King James Version. In the year 1604, England’s King James I commissioned a new Bible translation.
It was to be based upon the Textus Receptus. This was because the critical text associated with all the other modern translations were not discovered back then. More than 45 Bible scholars from the Church of England were a part of the translation work. The King James Version or KJV was complete in 1611.
3. New King James Version
If you’ve liked King James Version of the Bible but need a more modern feel, this is worth reading. The year 1975 saw the beginning of the work on New King James Version or NKJV. For updating the grammar and vocabulary of the original King James Version, 130 Bible scholars worked on the project.
At the same time, they also wanted to preserve the literary beauty and classic style of the original. While working on NKJV, they didn’t lose their faithfulness towards the Textus Receptus text. It also had The Dead Sea Scrolls.
4. English Standard Version
Another extremely popular choice for the word-for-word Bible translation is the English Standard Version or ESV. If you wish to buy a literal translation of the Bible, this version seems quite promising. However, it’s not so different from the New American Standard Bible.
One of the distinctive features of this version is that it uses a gender-neutral language. It was originally published in 2001 as a revision of the Revised Standard Version or RSV. There was a revision of about 6% of the text during the creation of ESV.
5. Amplified Bible
The intention behind creating this word-for-word translation of the Bible was to amplify the text. It had alternate readings with explanations for helping the reader understand what the scripture truly said. The Amplified Bible was published during the mid-1960s.
It was largely a revision of the American Standard Version, which came out in 1901. In its translation, the Amplified Bible uses critical text as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
6. Interlinear Bible
This version of the Bible doesn’t have translations into understandable English from Bible scholars. Instead, it’s simply a direct word-for-word translation of the original Bible into English. The original Bible can be in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek.