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Comparison of Translations: Readability (NASB, ESV, NKJV, KJV)

 

Chose which translations you wish to view:

NASB  ESV  NKJV  KJV  J. N. Darby 

(J. N. Darby's translation is included to provide a very literal rendering from a respected translation.)


Note: Any verse may be compared here

Isaiah

Isaiah 53:4

NASB  Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
ESV Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
NKJV Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
KJV Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
JND Surely *he* hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; and we, we did regard him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 

Notes: NASB uses "He Himself" and "we ourselves" to show the extra emphasis used in the original language.

Isaiah 53:5

NASB  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
ESV But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
NKJV But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
KJV But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
JND But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.

 

Notes:

Isaiah 53:8

NASB  By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
ESV By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
NKJV He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
KJV He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
JND He was taken from oppression and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

 

Notes:

Isaiah 53:9

NASB  His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
ESV And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
NKJV And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
KJV And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
JND And men appointed his grave with the wicked, but he was with the rich in his death, because he had done no violence, neither was there guile in his mouth.

 

Notes:

Isaiah 53:10

NASB  But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
ESV Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
NKJV Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
KJV Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
JND Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath subjected him to suffering. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see a seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand.

 

Notes:

Acts

Acts 2:36

NASB  "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified."
ESV Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." 
NKJV "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."  
KJV Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
JND Let the whole house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him, this Jesus whom *ye* have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

 

Acts 5:23

NASB  saying, "We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside."
ESV "We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside." 
NKJV saying, "Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!"
KJV Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. 
JND saying, We found the prison shut with all security, and the keepers standing at the doors; but when we had opened them , within we found no one. 

 

Romans

Romans 4:1

NASB  What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?
ESV What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?
NKJV What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?
KJV What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
JND What shall we say then that Abraham our father according to flesh has found?

 

Notes:

Romans 4:18

NASB  In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE."
ESV In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, "So shall your offspring be."
NKJV who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE."
KJV Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
JND who against hope believed in hope to his becoming father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be:

 

Notes: NASB is not as readable here.

1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 2:15

NASB  But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.
ESV The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
NKJV But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
KJV But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
JND but the spiritual discerns all things, and *he* is discerned of no one.

 

Notes:


 


Citations are from the following versions (click link for more details):

NASB:1995 Revision, New American Standard Bible, copyright 1995 by Lockman Foundation

ESV: English Standard Version, copyright 2001 Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers

KJV: King James Version (Authorized Version), 1611, public domain. Quotations may be from the 1769 edition (E-Sword) or 1987 printing (Bible Gateway)- there is little variation between them.

NKJV: New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

 



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