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What Is The Difference Between A Text Bible & A Study Bible?

Very simply, the difference is that a Study Bible has study notes in addition to the Biblical text. A Text Bible has just the Biblical Text (Genesis to Revelation).

Both Bibles (Text Bibles & Study Bibles) often have references as well. References are other places in Scripture that deal with the same word or topic. 

Not all Text Bibles have references. Those that do may have the references at the end of the verse, at the end of the paragraph, on the outside margin or in the center column in between two columns of text.

Why So Many Translations?

Because the Bible was originally written in Hebrew (Old Testament), Greek (New Testament) and Aramaic (a few places in the Old Testament), most people read a translation of the Bible in a different language (English, Spanish, French, Creole, Chinese, etc.). 

Every one of these translations has to decide how to best translate the words of the Bible from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic into the modern language of English, Spanish, French, Creole, Chinese, etc. 

The decisions made are sometimes very difficult and require a lot of study and thought. 

Some translations try to match the words in the original language (Hebrew for instance) with the same word (or as close as possible) in the modern language (English, etc.). This method of translating the Bible (philosophy of translation) is sometimes referred to as the "word for word", literal, or formal equivalence method.

Other translations try to match the thought/meaning that the original Hebrew word was trying to get at with the same thought/meaning in modern English. This method of translating the Bible (philosophy of translation) is sometimes referred to as the "thought for thought" or dynamic equivalence method.

As anyone who has ever studied or spoken more than one language knows, there is always something lost in translation because no two languages are identical. 

The diagram below shows the translation philosophy of the different modern translations. 

The chart below provides samples of some of the main translations, along with year the translation was completed and the reading grade level of each translation.

For a PDF of the Chart Above Click here.

Watch your inbox for the second article (of six) on Bibles and Translations. It will be out on Wednesday and will cover the Holman Study Bibles that are available in the KJV, NKJV and CSB translations.

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