The World English Bible – WEB

The World English Bible is an update of the American Standard Version of 1901.  Work on the World English Bible began in 1997 with the translation method being primarily a word-for-word equivalence to. And based on the 1901 American Standard Version, the Greek Majority Text. The Hebrew Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia with minor adjustments made because of alternative readings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint.

The World English Bible project is a non-copyrighted modern English Bible version that does not use archaic English, like the King James Version, or is a simplified version like the Bible in Basic English.

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The World English Bible came about to provide a complete translation of the Holy Bible in normal modern English that can provide unrestricted free posting on the internet. The Colorado nonprofit corporation, Rainbow Missions, Inc and its many volunteer translators, editors and proofreaders produced it. The process comprised seven “passes” of editing and proofreading for each book of the Bible. An initial automated pass updated 1,000 archaic words and phrases. The first manual pass was to add quotation marks, the American Standard Version has none, and other punctuation, and to check the translation against the Greek and Hebrew texts where there are significant textual variants or the meaning is unclear.

The WEB does not capitalize deity pronouns, and it uses the original Hebrew “Yahweh” instead of Jehovah when transliterating the tetragrammaton. Besides the books found in modern Christian Protestant bibles, the World English Bible also includes the Apocryphal and Deuterocanonical books. There is also the World English Bible: Messianic Edition that substitutes traditional Hebrew names and phrases for the equivalent Greek/English names and phrases.

Overall, the WEB is an excellent translation, sticking to formal word equivalence in most instances. The main knock on the World English Bible is that it isn’t always in the most free-flowing English. Likely because the WEB goes with an as literal as possible rendering of the ASV. The lack of availability of the WEB in print form has hindered its adoption by the Christian community at large.

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