1 May 2006

Bibles in English and ancient-languages on the web

We now have so many Bibles on the web it can take a long time to find the best.
I have hunted out all the versions available, and made a link for each one with the
best facilities for searching and study (such as links to lexicons & parsing).
I made this list while revamping the Tyndale links for Biblical Studies
and while writing a new page summarising Bible Software.
My most exciting discovery was La Parola's wonderful Greek NT with the
major Greek editions, variants, lexicons, allusions and MS comparisons.

1) English Translations on the Web
2) Original-Language Bibles
3) Web sites for Bible Study
4) Original-Language Texts to download as Word documents

1) English Translations on the Web

21st Century King James Version
A Conservative Version
American Standard Version
Amplified Bible
Analytical-Literal Translation NT
The Apostles' Bible (OT)
The Bible in Basic English
Bible in Worldwide English NT
Bishop's Bible (1568)
Brit Chadasha NT (Orthodox Jewish)
The Common Edition NT
The Complete Jewish Bible
Coverdale Bible (1535)
Contemporary English Version
Daniel Mace NT (1729)
Darby Translation
Disciples NT translated from Aramaic
Douay-Rheims American Edition
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision
Easy-to-Read Version
English Jubilee 2000 Bible
English Majority Text Version NT
English Standard Version
Geneva Bible (1587)
GOD'S WORD translation
Good News Translation
Great Bible (1540) (subscription)
Hebrew Names Version
Holman Christian Standard Bible
J B Phillip's NT
Jewish Publication Society 1917 version
International Standard Version
King James Version (modern edition)
King James Bible (1611)
Klingon Language Version of the World English Bible
Literal Translation Version (Green)
The Living Oracles NT
The Message
Matthew's Bible (1549) (subscription)
Modern King James Version (Green's Translation)
Modern Literal Version
Montgomery NT
New American Bible
New English Transation (NET Bible, with full notes)
New American Standard
New Century Version
New English Bible (subscription)
New International Reader’s Version
New International Version
New International Version (UK)
New King James Version
New Life Version
New Living Translation
New Revised Standard
The People's NT by B. W. Johnson (1891)
Revised King James NT
Revised Standard Version
Richard Challoner Bible (1750-52) (subscription)
Rotherham's Bible (=Emphasized Bible)
Sawyer NT (1858) (subscription)
Third Millennium Bible
Today's English Version (=Good News)
Today's New International Version
Twentieth Century NT
Tyndale Bible (1525/1530)
Websters Bible
Wesley NT (1755)
West Saxon Gospels (990) (1175) (subscription)
Weymouth NT
World English Bible
World English Bible (latest version)
Worldwide English NT
Wycliffe NT
Wycliffe Bible (1395)
Young's Literal Translation
Other languages here and here and here

What's the easiest to read?
The Message. This is an intelligently prepared paraphrase which sometimes gets to the meaning better than a word-for-word or even a dynamic equivalent translation. This web version is linked to handy commentaries.

What's the most useful?
The New American Standard. This modern word-for-word translation is usefully tagged for the underlying Hebrew and Greek. Click on a word for a simple lexicon.

What's the strangest?
The Klingon translation based on fictional language of the battle-loving Klingons on Star Trek. Fans have created a 'real' language and done a word-by-word replacement. It is interesting to see which words do not exist in Klingon (so they remain in English) - words like 'forgiveness' and 'grace'.

What's the most valuable?
The William Tyndale translation. It can be claimed that Tyndale influenced the English language more than Shakespeare, with memorable phrases like Let there be light" and "the powers that be". A million copies of his New Testament were printed but only two complete copies survived Henry VIII's wrath, and they are now worth millions.

What's Missing from this list?
- Tyndale House holds more than 100 English translations, thanks to Duane Duff.

2) Original-Language Bibles
Hebrew Old Testament
Scholars mainly use the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) which is based on the Leningrad Codex (aka St Petersburg Codex). When this text was digitised by the Westminster Hebrew Institute, they took the opportunity to 'correct' the BHS to follow the Leningrad codex more faithfully. The BHS is important for the critical apparatus, though it is now being supplanted by the Quinta which is also based on the Leningrad Codex. The Aleppo Codex is older and often considered superior (though there are not many differences with the Leningrad Codex) but almost all the Pentateuch has been lost.

Aleppo Codex:
Facsimile of original. Downloadable text.
Searchable text: (unpointed, linked to lexicon & grammar, with parallel English)
Leningrad Codex (Westminster ed):
Facsimile of original (nowhere on the web). Downloadable text.
Searchable text: (pointed, linked to lexicon & grammar, with parallel English) (Massoretic structure) (search in Unicode)

Greek New TestamentThousands of ancient copies of the New Testament have survived. This enviable situation (which is unparalleled in other ancient literature) has enabled scholars to study copying errors in detail. Three main types of text have resulted from these studies, though their differences are minor.
The Textus Receptus is based on the first edition of the Greek text prepared by Erasmus, before the earliest manuscripts had been discovered. It forms the basis of the earliest English Bibles, notably the King James Bible. It is still used by many because it contains the long reading of 1 John 5.7 which is first found in a Greek manuscript penned a short time before Erasmus published his edition - it was said to have been prepared especially for this purpose!
Most scholars use the Nestle-Alund or United Bible Society text which gives preference to the oldest manuscripts (mainly Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus) and to the papyri from the first three centuries. Decisions about which reading was original is based on which one was most likely to cause scribes to produce the others. The latest editions (NA27 / UBS3) have identical texts with different critical apparatus. The text has remained unchanged since NA26 & UBS3 and will remain unchanged in the next editions. This is very similar to earlier editions by Westcott & Hort, Tischendorf and Weiss, who all followed the same guidelines.
Some scholars use the Majority Text which gives more-or-less equal weight to a much wider number of manuscripts up to about 1500. Decisions about which reading was original is based mainly on the largest number of manuscripts which contain that reading.

Original Manuscripts:Major Codexes: Sinaiticus, Vaticanus B, Bezae, Alexandrinus. (only Bezea is freely available on the web)
Papyri, minuscules etc: (complete list) (images & discussion of many)
Editions from multiple manuscripts:
Textus Receptus unaccented, searchable, linked to lexicon & grammar, linked to parallel English
Tischendorf's 8th Ed unaccented, searchable, with parallel English
Westcott & Hort: unaccented with NA27 variants, searchable, linked to lexicon & grammar, with linked parallel English
accented, searchable, linked to lexicon & grammar, with parallel English
accented, searchable, linked to full L&S lexicon
NA27/UBS3 unaccented, searchable, linked to lexicon & grammar
accented, searchable, linked to lexicon & grammar
Majority Text unaccented, searchable, linked to lexicon & grammar, with parallel English
Variants NA26 with variants marked
interactive apparatus (incomplete)
Nestle-Alund new 'full' apparatus (incomplete)
5 parallel eds
textual commentary
list of variants
All of the above: major eds with allusions, variants, linked to grammar and very good lexicons - scholar's heaven!

Ancient Translations - originals & English translationsOT Greek Translation (Septuagint, LXX):
Original manuscripts: Facsimiles - (ID="any" Password = "any")
Rahlf's Text: unaccented, searchable, linked to lexicon & grammar, with parallel English)
Ecclesiastical Greek: download interlinear in pdfs
Translation by Brenton: English, searchable Revised

OT Aramaic Paraphrase (Tragums):
All Targums in Aramaic: pointed or translitterated
Pentateuch trans by Etheridge: Ps-Jonathan & Onkelos: English only
Psalms & Megillot trans by E M Cook and others: English only

OT & NT Syriac Translation (Peshitta):
OT: transliterated or unpointed, linked to lexicon
NT: unpointed, searchable, with parallel English
pointed with interlinear English
transliterated or unpointed, linked to lexicon
Syraic & Hebrew font, with interlinear English
NT trans by Murdoch: English with parallel Syriac English only
NT trans by Etheridge: English only
OT trans by Lamsa: English only

OT & NT Latin Translation (Old Latin & Vulgate)
Vulgate searchable, with parallel English proximity searches

3) Web sites for Bible StudyA pick of the best:

The Sword online is becoming the best Bible on the web. Its Web 2 programming gives almost-instant pop-up lexicons and parsing. eg see OT in parallel Greek, Hebrew & English LXX & MT or NT in parallel Greek & English with linked parsing
BlueLetter Bible - OT & NT, very good links incl. full Thayer and Gesenius lexicons
StudyLight - Hebrew BHS, LXX, NA26, linked to lexicons, with English. Fast.
Greek NT with Variants - multiple Greek editions & MSS, with variants, linked to very good lexical aids.
ZHubert - Greek parsing and vocab of LXX and NT, which is sooo easy on the eye. [currently being rebuilt]
Perseus Greek NT - W&H ed. with links to superb lexicons & grammatical analysis. (If down, try Chicago, Berlin, Oxford)
BibleBrowser - nice multi-version concordance, and lexicons linked to Hebrew & Greek. Useful layout.
OliveTree Bibles - search Greek & Hebrew, eg seach for hilasmos
NT Gateway All-in-One: gives easy access to lots of Bible versions and translations on various sites

4) Original-Language Texts to download as Word documentsHebrew OT with vowels
BHS corrected to the Leningrad Codex
Greek LXX with accents
Based on Rahlfs text
Greek-Hebrew LXX & MT in parallel
A Unicode version of Tov's electronic edition
Greek NT with accents (NA27/UBS4 family)
(UBS3, UBS4, NA26, NA27, and the coming NA28 all use the same text, though UBS & NA use slightly different orthography)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

http://www.zhubert.com/bible is defunct. I think it has been replaced by http://www.regreek.com/.