Update: MyBibleVersion.com

Posted: 31st March 2008 by ElShaddai Edwards in Uncategorized

Henry Neufeld has created a test version of his online Bible selection tool that allows visitors to more easily compare Bible translations to a base version:

I have added a page that will allow you to choose a base Bible version (whatever you prefer) and get a list of all other available versions based on how much they differ from that. The page is http://www.mybibleversion.com/compare.php. The default version is the NRSV if you don’t specify. There is a drop down box listing all available versions after the list of characteristics.

Essentially you choose the preference values you prefer from the dropdowns, then select a base translation to compare to. Click the Sort button and the tool will show you which translations are the closest to your starting version. The comparison calculates the sum of the differences between scores in each scoring category. You can leave the preference values at their default values to get a straight comparison or weight the comparison by customizing the preference settings.

For example, if I leave the preferences at their default values and select my favorite translations, the Revised English Bible, then click Sort, I find that the closest translation is the NLT, followed by the TNIV, NJB, NCV, TEV and NET, among others. If I were to change the “Use for public reading” preference item to “5 (Critical)”, then the closest translations are the NJB and NLT, followed by the CEV, NIV and TNIV. The public reading score measures how well a translation flows orally. “A translation that lacks dignity or is clumsily worded will rate poorly here; one with dignified vocabulary but also smoothly designed will rate well.

Of course, this is all based on Henry’s default scores for each translation. Lingalinga (the blogger formerly known as Lingamish) made the suggestion “to be able to modify the version profiles to one’s individual tastes, and use the tool against those profiles rather than the ones” supplied by default.

  1. Steve says:

    Definitely works for me. The only question I have is why a base translation is necessary. It seems you almost have to know which one is your favorite and compare others to it. The way it worked best for me was to pick the one I scored lowest on with my test run, re-sort, and then the highest scores were my best matches. NRSV and NET, by one point! I would have thought NET, but now I’ll have to start checking out the NRSV a bit more.

  2. Steve, be sure to check out the original version of the tool, if you haven’t seen it before.


    The base tool allows you to answer the questions (either by selecting a preset “profile” or by answering all 11 questions), then scores the versions to your preferences. This “update” was in response to a suggestion I made regarding finding translations that were similar to one you already preferred.

  3. Steve says:

    Ah, I see. Thanks!