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History of the English Bible: Home

BYU Special Collections

Want to see actual early English Bibles?

BYU Special Collections has many ultra-rare Bibles or pages from rare Bibles. Here are some examples.

The English Bible Timeline

1384: Wycliffe produces a hand-written English translation of the complete Bible; All 80 Books; his translation was from the Latin Vulgate and not from Greek or Hebrew.

1455: Gutenberg invents the printing press; Books may now be mass-produced instead of individually hand-written. The first book ever printed is Gutenberg's Bible in Latin.

1525: William Tyndale's New Testament translated from the Greek MSS; This is the first New Testament to be printed in the English language on the printing press.  Tyndale did not finish translating the Old Testament.

1535: Myles Coverdale's Bible; The first complete Bible to be printed in the English Language (80 Books: Old Testament and New Testament including the Apocryphal books which are non-canonical).

1537: Matthews Bible; The second complete Bible to be printed in English. Done by John "Thomas Matthew" Rogers (80 Books).

1539: The "Great Bible" or "Cramner's Bible" printed; The first English language Bible to be authorized for public use (80 Books).

1560: The Geneva Bible Printed; The First English Language Bible to add numbered verses to each chapter (80 Books).

1568: The Bishops Bible Printed; The Bible of which the King James was a revision (80 Books, as well as a 20% cut and paste from the Geneva Bible).

1609: The Douay Old Testament is added to the Rheimes New Testament of 1582 (Catholic translation) making the first complete English Catholic Bible; It was translated from the Latin Vulgate (80 Books).

1609: The first printing of the King James Bible; originally with All 80 Books.

1611: The King James Bible revised and printed; all 80 Books. The Apocrypha was Officially Removed in 1885 Leaving Only 66 Books.

1782: Robert Aitken's Bible; The first English language Bible (a King James Version without Apocrypha) to be Printed in America.

1791: Isaac Collins and Isaiah Thomas respectively produce the first Family Bible and First Illustrated Bible printed in America. Both were King James Versions, with All 80 Books.

1808: Jane Aitken's Bible (Daughter of Robert Aitken); The First Bible to be printed by a Woman.

1833: Noah Webster's Bible; After Producing his Famous Dictionary, Webster Printed his Own Revision of the King James Bible.

1846: The Illuminated Bible; The most lavishly illustrated Bible printed in America. A King James Version, with All 80 Books.

1885: The "Revised Version" Bible; The First Major English Revision of the King James Bible.

1901: The "American Standard Version"; The First Major American Revision of the King James Bible.

1971: The "New American Standard Bible" (NASB) is Published as a "Modern and Accurate Word for Word English Translation" of the Bible from the Greek and Hebrew texts.

1973: The "New International Version" (NIV) is published as a "Modern and Accurate Phrase for Phrase English Translation" of the Bible. (However its accuracy is very much disputed in many places and is often found wanting as a reliable translation.  It is categorized as a dynamic equivalent.)

1982: The "New King James Version" (NKJV) is published as a "Modern English Version maintaining the original style of the King James."

Websites and Databases with English Bible Versions

Biblegateway.com is a free site with 21 versions of the Bible in English

StudyLight.org is also free and has over 40 different English translations

The Bible in English is available on campus or with a Route Y username and password. It has 20 versions of the Bible in english.

Differences in Translations

Consider these few examples of scriptures and the different meanings and implications of the translations. NOTE: Technically speaking none of these translations are incorrect, as there is never a word=word correlation in language translation.

KJV King James Bible
NRS New Revised Standard
JPS Jewish Publication Society
DBY The Darby Bible
TNT Tyndale
NJB New Jerusalem Bible
PNT Bishop's Bible
DRA Douay-Rheims
NET New English Translation

Isaiah 7:14

KJV Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

JPS Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Psalm 22:16

KJV For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

JPS For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evil-doers have inclosed me; like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet.

NJB A pack of dogs surrounds me, a gang of villains closing in on me as if to hack off my hands and my feet.

Matthew 18:17

KJV And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

TNT If he heare not them tell it vnto the congregacion. If he heare not the congregacion take him as an hethen man and as a publican.

NJB But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a gentile or a tax collector.

Luke 1:36

KJV And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

DBY And behold, Elizabeth, thy kinswoman, she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month to her that was called barren:

1 Corinthians 11:19

KJV For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

PNT For there must be sectes among you, that they which are approued among you, myght be knowen.

NJB It is no bad thing, either, that there should be differing groups among you so that those who are to be trusted among you can be clearly recognised.

Ephesians 5:32

KJV This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

DRA This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church.

PNT This is a great secrete: but I speake of Christe and of the Churche.

2 Thessalonians 2:3

KJV Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

NRS Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction.

1 Timothy 4:14

KJV Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

DRA Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophesy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood.

NET Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have, given to you and confirmed by prophetic words when the elders laid hands on you.

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Joseph Smith Translation

The Joseph Smith Translation (or JST, also called The Inspired Version) is available on GospeLink:
Old Testament

New Testament

And from CenterPlace.org