Bible Translations

English Bible translations can present confusion. There are dozens (and dozens and dozens) of them. Schuyler publishes 8 of the best available! All of the translations that we publish attempt to strike a balance between precision and readability. Please be aware however that “most literal” does not necessarily mean “most accurate.” Anyone who speaks more than one language can assure you that sometimes a literal translation of a text will leave you scratching your head! There is no such thing as a strictly literal translation. A completely literal translation would be extremely difficult if not impossible to comprehend. Some translations have more emphasis on the literal, word for word translation of the text, while others emphasize translating the main ideas. See Bible Translation Chart. Do you want the most literal? The most eloquent? The most accessible? The most readable? The most popular? The most enduring? Some mixture of the above? All of the Bible translations below will give you the possibility to encounter Jesus, the focus and subject of all divine revelation.
Below are short descriptions of the translations that Schuyler currently offers, combined with thoughts in their publishers’ own words. We hope this information is useful to you in choosing your Bible translation.

New American Standard Bible: Focusing on the Literal
Great for someone looking to dive deep into Bible study.
The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is an original translation that adheres to the same principles of translation as the American Standard Version. It is recognized as one of the most literal, word for word translations in the English language and has been widely embraced for its usefulness for study. We publish the NASB in the 1995 and 2020 editions. In the words of the publisher, Lockman Foundation:
“The NASB does not attempt to interpret Scripture through translation. Instead, the NASB adheres to the principles of a formal equivalence translation. This is the most exacting and demanding method of translation, striving for the most readable word-for-word translation that is both accurate and clear. This method more closely follows the word and sentence patterns of the biblical authors to enable the reader to study Scripture in its most literal format and to experience the individual personalities of those who penned the original manuscripts. The NASB 1995 is trusted as an English translation that provides superior accuracy while using a more classic style of biblical English. The NASB 2020 is an update of the NASB 1995 that further improves accuracy where possible, modernizes language, and improves readability.”

English Standard Version: A New Classic in the Tyndale Tradition
Great for someone who values a more literal translation, while enjoying the flow of language in the Tyndale-KJV tradition.
The English Standard Version, which has gained widespread popularity in the past two decades, focuses on being a literal translation written in beautiful, comprehensible English. The English Standard Version strives to remain in the King James and Tyndale tradition, and its starting point was the Revised Standard Version. We publish the ESV both with and without the expanded Apocrypha of 1977. Part of the exponential growth in the ESV has been due to the widespread acceptance of the ESV Study Bible, which has become for many, the “gold standard” in the Study Bible world. In the words of the publisher, Crossway:
“The English Standard Version® Bible is an essentially literal translation of the Bible in contemporary English. Created by a team of more than 100 evangelical scholars and pastors, the ESV Bible emphasizes word-for-word accuracy, literary excellence, and depth of meaning. Since its publication in 2001, the ESV has gained wide acceptance and is used by churches, denominations, organizations, and millions of individuals around the globe, making it one of the leading Bible translations in the world today.”

Revised Standard Version: A Scholarly Classic
Great for someone seeking a scholarly and ecumenical translation in the Tyndale-King James tradition.
The RSV is also an excellent translation for the reader who appreciates the more archaic and literary English: “thee” “thou” etc.
As the first widely accepted update of the King James Version, the Revised Standard Version is an enduring ecumenical classic of scholarship. Its continued influence is felt in its direct descendants, the New Revised Standard Version and the English Standard Version. It sought to update the King James Version while still preserving the beauty of the original language. Some evangelicals were not extremely enthusiastic with this translation. This dissatisfaction led in part to the creation of the NIV and later the ESV. We publish the RSV both with and without the expanded Apocrypha of 1977. From the RSV Preface:
“The Revised Standard Version Bible seeks to preserve all that is best in the English Bible as it has been known and used through the years. It is intended for use in public and private worship, not merely for reading and instruction. We have resisted the temptation to use phrases that are merely current usage, and have sought to put the message of the Bible in simple, enduring words that are worthy to stand in the great Tyndale-King James tradition.”

King James Version: Noblest Monument of English Prose
Great for someone who appreciates the compelling poetry of this classic translation, which has permanently shaped the English language. The KJV’s literary cadence and rhythm remain unrivaled.
To many modern readers, however, the 17th Century English can be somewhat of a steep climb.

The King James Version is a towering masterpiece of the English language that has been read, memorized, and beloved for 400 years. The English language and understanding has been forever shaped by this “Noblest monument of English prose.” The King James Version is the most poetic, as well as a very literal, English translation. This classic has been a bestseller for centuries and is still the most well-known and most read translation worldwide.
“From approximately 1700 to 1950, the King James Bible was the preeminent book in England and America in virtually every sphere of society that we can name — family, religion, church, politics, education, literature, art, and music. The foundation on which everything else rested was the influence of the King James Version on the English language.” -Leland Ryken

New King James Version: A Princely Translation Often Standing in the Shadow of King James.
An excellent translation for someone who loves the King James Version but needs something slightly more accessible.
The New King James Version is the revised and updated version of the King James Version and serves as a bridge to a modern generation of King James readers. It is esteemed for its faithfulness to the original King James Version and valued for its readability and accessibility to a more contemporary audience. It is also the only major modern translation based on the Majority Text and contains many helpful footnotes that compare differences among the major transcript families. In the words of the publisher, Thomas Nelson:
“The NKJV Bible preserves the authority and accuracy, as well as the rhythm and beauty, of the original King James Version while making it understandable to current readers. The result is a Bible translation, scrupulously faithful to the original, yet truly updated to enhance its clarity and readability.”

New International Version: The Best Selling International Translation
Great for someone looking for an approachable and engaging read.
Probably slightly more on the “thought for thought” continuum than the preceding translations.

A staple for modern evangelicals for generations, the New International Version is the most popular modern English Bible. Its translation style is balanced between literal and idiomatic, making it consistently accessible and well-loved. We publish the 2011 edition of the NIV. In the words of the publisher, Zondervan:
“The New International Version (NIV) is the world’s bestselling modern-English Bible translation—accurate, readable, and clear, yet rich with the detail found in the original languages. Representing the spectrum of evangelicalism, the translators come from a wide range of denominations and various countries and continually review new research to ensure the NIV remains at the forefront of accessibility, relevance, and authority.”

New Living Translation: Clear, Contemporary English
Great for someone looking for a fresh and highly accessible perspective on the Biblical text.
The NLT is a bit more focused on “thought for thought” translation than the NIV.
The New Living Translation is a popular and accessible translation that strives to be faithful to the text but also dynamic and understandable, bringing a sense of freshness and immediacy to the reading. The NLT is a consistently smooth read – in part because of its emphasis on readability. While the NLT is a revision of The Living Bible, it is a translation, not a paraphrase. We publish the 2015 edition of the NLT. In the words of the publisher, Tyndale:
“The translators of the New Living Translation set out to render the message of the original texts of Scripture into clear, contemporary English. As they did so, they translated as simply and literally as possible when that approach yielded an accurate, clear, and natural English text…On the other hand, the translators rendered the message more dynamically when the literal rendering was hard to understand, was misleading, or yielded archaic or foreign wording…Their goal was to be both faithful to the ancient texts and eminently readable. The result is a translation that is both exegetically accurate and idiomatically powerful.”

Christian Standard Bible: An Original Translation from the Greek and Hebrew
Great for someone who desires a new translation in contemporary language.
The Christian Standard Bible is a fresh translation from the original Biblical languages, which focuses on achieving optimal equivalence, mediating between clarity and accuracy. We publish the 2020 edition of the CSB. In the words of the publisher, Broadman and Holman:
“Developed by more than 100 scholars from 17 denominations, the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB) utilizes an optimal equivalence translation philosophy that pursues both linguistic precision to the original languages and readability in contemporary English. The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message.”