Comparisons and Evaluations

NOTE: This list includes books and articles that examine several versions. Books and articles that focus on particular versions are listed in the bibliographies for those versions.

1. General Works

Marvin Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament. New York: Scribners, 1887. Issued in four volumes 1887-1890 and reprinted by Eerdmans in 1946. Currently available from Hendrickson. Vincent offers alternative renderings to the King James version in almost every verse, frequently comparing it with the English Revised Version (1881).

Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1986. This is a very helpful book for comparison of versions. Earle gives explanations for most of the important differences in rendering between the King James Version and the major English versions published in the twentieth century (although he sometimes fails to notice the various Greek readings that are the true reason for the differences under discussion). Being a member of the New International Version translating committee, he also includes a certain amount of NIV promotion in his explanations.

Philip W. Comfort, Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House, 1990.

Philip W. Comfort, The Complete Guide to Bible Versions. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1991. A simple and brief introduction to the major English versions that describes their salient characteristics, "complete" only in the sense that most versions are mentioned.

Philip W. Comfort, Essential Guide to Bible Versions. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 2000. This is a revision and expansion of Comfort's earlier Complete Guide (1991). Read a review of this book.

Alan S. Duthie, Bible Translations and How To Choose Between Them. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1985. 2nd edition 1995, published as: How to Choose Your Bible Wisely.

Lloyd R. Bailey, ed., The Word of God: a Guide to English Versions of the Bible. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1982. Chapters on different versions by various authors, "expanded from the Duke Divinity School review's spring 1979 issue, entitled Recent English versions of the Bible." All of the authors are committed to the "dynamic equivalence" method. The Good News Bible and Contemporary English Version receive especially favorable treatment, while literal versions are severely criticized. The chapter on the New American Standard Bible is grossly unfair, being written by Barclay M. Newman (chief translator of the Contemporary English Version).

Millar Burrows, Diligently Compared: The Revised Standard Version and the King James Version of the Old Testament. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1964.

Jack P. Lewis, The English Bible from KJV to NIV: A History and Evaluation. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981, 2nd ed. 1991 (with new chapters on the NKJV, REB, NRSV). Read a review of this book.

Robert L. Thomas, How to Choose a Bible Version: Making Sense of the Proliferation of Bible Translations. Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2000. 208 pages. Thomas (professor at The Master's Seminary) advises the use of literal translations.

2. Books by King James Version Apologists.

Please note: The books listed below contain many falsehoods. They are included in this bibliography only because of their importance as literature of the "King James Only" teaching which arose in some conservative churches during the latter half of the 20th century.

3. Against the King James Version Apologists. The influence of the King James apologists has given rise to a number of corrective books which interact with their claims.