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What is the World English Bible (WEB)?

World English Bible, WEB audio

The World English Bible came about in order to provide a complete translation of the Holy Bible in normal modern English that can provide unrestricted free posting on the internet and also be freely copied without written permission from the publisher and payment of royalties. No other Bible is thus available and this is the vacuum that the World English Bible is filling. Under the guidance of Rainbow Missions, Inc., a Colorado nonprofit corporation, scores of volunteer translators, editors and proofreaders have produced the WEB. The World English Bible is an update of the American Standard Version of 1901, which is in the public domain. The WEB revision is also in the public domain, which sets it apart from other revisions of the American Standard Version, like the New American Standard Bible and the Revised Standard Version. There is also the World English Bible: Messianic Edition that substitutes traditional Hebrew names and phrases for the equivalent Greek/English names and phrases.

World English Bible - Translation method
The translation method of the World English Bible is primarily that of formal equivalence (word for word), and is based on the 1901 American Standard Version, the Greek Majority Text, and the Hebrew Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. The process consists of seven “passes” of editing and proofreading for each book of the Bible. An initial automated pass updated approximately 1,000 archaic words and phrases. The first manual pass was to add quotation marks (the ASV had 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, but does use the original Hebrew “Yahweh” when rendering the tetragrammaton. The World English Bible also includes the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical books.

World English Bible - Pros and Cons
The World English Bible is to be commended for being a modern, free, and public domain English translation of the Bible. Overall, the WEB is a very good translation, sticking closely to formal equivalence in most instances. If there is a downside to the WEB, it is that it is not always in the most natural-sounding and free-flowing English, likely due to the WEB going with as literal renderings as possible. The lack of availability of the WEB in print form has hindered its adoption by the Christian community at large.

World English Bible - Sample Verses
John 1:1, 14 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

John 8:58 – “Jesus said to them, ‘Most certainly, I tell you, before Abraham came into existence, I AM.{or, I am}’"

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast.”

Titus 2:13 – “looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ;”

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What is the World English Bible (WEB)?
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This page last updated: January 4, 2022