Types of Bible editions

Christianity / Bible / Translations

Types of Bible editions

There are different principles of Bible translation:
  1. Paraphrase,
    • live translation,
    • Poetic.
  2. Literal,
    • literal,
    • interlinear.
  3. Classic (the golden mean between literal and alive),
    • closer to the literal (more archaic), more often old translations,
    • Closer to the living, more often modern translations.
  4. Study Bible
    • A version of the Bible with notes, maps, dictionaries ...
    • Amplified Bible.
  5. Easy,
    • spoken language,
    • with a limited number of words.
  6. Children.
    • broken down into verses, as in the ordinary Bible,
    • Selected stories are described separately in the form of a children's book with pictures.


Paraphrase is not a literal translation, but a semantic one.

Live translation

The translator essentially absorbs the text of the Bible and gives it out through a lively, natural speech for him.

The most known English translation is The Living Bible.

Poetic translation

More often in verses translate the Psalter, but not only. Such a translation is far from being literal and most not correct. But a number of books in the Bible are originally written in a poetic form - Psalter, Ecclesiastes.

The most popular English translation - The Message - is not poetry, but a highly literary syllable, lyrics.

Such translations have many, they are convenient for the first reading of the Bible, but not for study.
Therefore, they are practically not used and certainly not used as the main text.
Unless, if the text in the standard Bible is not clear, you can see another interpretation of it and it can help in understanding the verse or the passage.
It is literally translated.


The most popular for studying the Bible.


A popular publication, where the text is in the original language: VZ - Hebrew, NZ - Ancient Greek. In the printed version there is the text of the original, under each word translation, over each word Strong's number.

It is clear that such a text is difficult to read and understand, a translation in the usual form is written side by side in the column. This is sometimes a classic translation (Synodal, in the English Bible KJV)? some authors make their own translation and post.

Everything looks like this:

The Bible with Strong's Symphony

Literal translation

The literal translation, unlike a substring, is not tied to the order of words of the original, and therefore it is executed in the form of an understandable readable text.
However, this text is hard to read. Therefore, it is more in demand in publications where 2 translations are printed in parallel in 2 columns, or in the digital Bible, where it is possible to watch 2 windows in parallel.

Such translations are not for the first reading of the Bible, but for a deeper study.

An example of such a translation is Zhuromsky's Contemporary Modern Translation.


This is usually the main transfer that people use on a regular basis.

Old translation

I would say "time-tested". There were many translations of the Bible, but not all became standard.

The most coomon English translation is King James Version.

Modern Translation

Many modern translations are being made. The fact is that at one time the Synodal Bible and the King James Version were modern. They were published in understandable language so that anyone had access to the Word of God. Over time, the language of the translations is outdated, it began to look archaic and all the less clear.

There was a need to create modern translations of the Bible. Not all modern translations were successful, therefore, updated, updated versions of classical translations have appeared.
In 2000, immediately issued 2 versions of the Modern Synodal Bible - the publication of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Jubilee edition of the Mission "Light in the East."

English translations have a lot of modern reissues - New King James Version, New American Standard Bible ...

In addition, there are new high-quality Bible translations in modern language.
Many set themselves an unrealistic goal to create a live literal translation. That is, the most understandable language as accurately as possible to convey the text and spirit of the original.
There are quite a few successful works, you can choose.

The most popular English translations:

  • NIV - New International Version, 2011 - editor Biblica,
  • NASB - New American Standard Bible, 1971 - editor Lockman Foundation,
  • NKJV - New King James Version, 1982 - editor Thomas Nelson,
  • NCV - New Century Version, 1987 - editor Thomas Nelson,
  • ESV - English Standard Version, 2011 - editor Crossway Bibles.

Study Bible

The first such widely known version is the Geneva Bible.
This is the Bible with a lot of comments, to many verses. In addition, the publication can be maps, pictures, dictionaries, weight measures ...

Today, more and more people are trying to publish the Bible with maps, and new translations of the Bible are published with notes.

Amplified Bible

A fairly well-known publication is the Amplified Bible, which exists only in English. The peculiarity is that when the translator wanted to translate a verse or a word more accurately, it is the place to add notes, did it right in the text, highlighting with different quotes.

In principle, if you have such a translation, you do not need anything else. Just read it hard, it is more suitable for a detailed study of the Bible.


Translations in easy language are popular. The fact is that many people do not have translations in their native language, even more translations are only parts of the Bible, translations are not of high quality or translations from translations (from French, English, Russian ...).
Many speak international English, Russian (in the post-Soviet space) and a number of other languages.

Not having full access to Scripture, but knowing the language, which has a whole library of Christian literature and a number of quality translations of Scripture.
Many speak a foreign language at a low level, so translations of the Bible in a simple language are more in demand.

An example is Easy-to-Read Version series (there are translations into many languages, including English).


For children, the Synodal Bible will be little understood and extremely difficult to read, just like KJV and other adult translations. There are special versions for children. Feature - the absence of the doctrinal part, here mostly the stories are rewritten shorter and simpler. Well and necessarily colorful pictures. Such a Bible is understandable and interesting for children. In English there are children's full-bodied Bibles, broken down into verses for older children. This is an ordinary Bible, rewritten in style, which is more easily perceived by children.


In addition, there are many specific translations, for example:


Such translations may unduly emphasize doctrinal "truths", or there will be many comments that clarify the text in the true light.

Such translations can be useful to the servants of their faiths. Personally, I am more interested in the most accurate interpretation of the source.


  • Restorative translation - the "Living Stream" service,
  • The Bible of Kulakov - Seventh Day Adventists,
  • translations of Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons ...
  • English translations do not rarely make a Catholic version.


If the Jews do not understand why Jesus is called Jesus and not Yeshua, as his mother called him, then people who grew up in Muslim culture are easier to understand when Jesus is called Isa, Moses-Musa ... Just all these images are in the Qur'an and they already have familiar names.
In addition, there is a translation of the name of God and a number of other nuances.

Second layer

We have already described what translations of the Bible are, but each of them can also have:
  1. The Messianic edition,
  2. A British or American publication,
  3. Catholic edition.

Messianic Edition

Jesus' mother called Yeshua because he was a Jew, not a Greek, and it would be strange for Jews to call Him Jesus. There was no baptism in Israel, there was a mikvah. The Ginesareth Sea was not there, it was Lake Keneret, etc. The special edition changes all names and terms to Jewish ones, according to the environment in which everything happened.

There are versions that simply change the names or only the name of God.
There are plenty to choose from.


  1. Complete Jewish Bible,
  2. World Messianic Bible.
  3. New Heart English Bible Special Edition (Jesus Messiah).