Contemporary Bible Versions

King James Version (KJV) – 1611

Also known as the AV (Authorized Version), a favorite traditional version among Protestants in America: still regarded as the only authorized English translation among smaller groups of Protestant evangelicals.

Revised Standard Version (RSV) – 1952

An American revision of the King James Version, translated by mostly mainline Protestants (and one Jewish translator).  It was burned and reviled by some fundamentalist Christians, because, among other things, it replaced virgin with young woman in Isaiah 7:14.

New American Bible (NAB) – 1970

The first American Catholic Bible translated completely from the original languages instead of from the Latin Vulgate.

Good News Bible (GNB) – 1976

An example of the so-called dynamic-equivalence method that seeks to adjust biblical translation to the culture of the reader.  Notorious for sugarcoating objectionable passages.

New International Version (NIV) – 1978

Perhaps the best-selling Bible on the market; popular among American Protestant evangelicals.

New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) – 1985

A British Catholic updating of the Jerusalem Bible (1966) that includes mild efforts to be more gender-inclusive.

New Revised Standard Version – 1989

An interdenominational (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish) and gender-inclusive updating of the Revised Standard Version (RSV).

Revised English Bible (REB) – 1989

A British interdenominational counterpart of the American RSV.

Today’s New International Version (TNIV) – 2005

A “gender-inclusive” updating of the NIV; currently under attack by many evangelical Christians.


  1. Source “Twisting Scripture” by Hector Avalos, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University and published in Free Inquiry Magazine, Feb/Mar 2006, page 40.
  2. Dates in parenthesis refer to the publication of the complete version; in some cases, one testament or the other was published separately and earlier.