God So Loved the World
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How is your favorite Bible passage translated in versions other than the one which you normally use? In this survey, John 3: 16 is considered, using sixty-eight versions. No two that are quoted are completely alike. The difference may only be one word with some. When two or more versions are exactly the same, reference is made to another one which is listed. Perhaps, as you read this listing, you will find some whose wording that you like and others that you find awkward. A few footnotes and a summary conclude the comparison.


Versions Compared

 

AAT An American Translation (Beck)
AB Amplified Bible
AIV An Inclusive Version
ANT The Authentic New Testament
BNT Barclay New Testament
CENT Common English New Testament
CEV Contemporary English Version
CJB Complete Jewish Bible
CLNT Concordant Literal New Testament
CNT Cassirer New Testament
CTNT Centenary Translation of the New Testament
DHB Darby Holy Bible
DRB Douay-Rheims Bible
EBR The Emphasized Bible
EDW The Emphatic Diaglott
EVD English Version for the Deaf
GW God's Word
HBME The Holy Bible in Modern English
HBRV Holy Bible, Revised Version
IB Interlinear Bible
IV Inspired Version
KJV King James Version
KLNT Kleist-Lilly New Testament
KTC Knox Translation
LB Living Bible
LBP Lamsa Bible
MCT McCord's New Testament Translation
MNT Moffatt New Translation
MRB Modern Reader's Bible
MSNT The Modern Speech New Testament
NAB New American Bible
NAS New American Standard Version
NBV New Berkeley Version
NCV New Century Version
NEB New English Bible
NET New Evangelical Translation
NIV New International Version
NJB New Jerusalem Bible
NKJ New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NLV New Life Version
NNT Noli New Testament
NRS New Revised Standard Version
NSNT Norlie's Simplified New Testament
NWT New World Translation
ONT Original New Testament
PRS Phillips Revised Student Edition
REB Revised English Bible
RNT Riverside New Testament
RSV Revised Standard Version
SARV Standard American Edition, Revised Version
SBK The Shorter Bible
SGAT An American Translation (Smith-Goodspeed)
SNB Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible
SSBE Sacred Scriptures, Bethel Edition
SV The Scholars Version
TBR The Bible Reader
TCNT The Twentieth Century New Testament
TDB The Dartmouth Bible
TEV Today's English Version
TJB The Jerusalem Bible
TM The Message
WAS Worrell New Testament
WET Wuest Expanded Translation
WMF The Word Made Fresh
WNT Williams New Testament
WTNT William Tindale Newe Testament
YLR Young's Literal Translation, Revised Edition


John 3: 16
AAT God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life.
AB For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only-begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish -- come to destruction, be lost - but have eternal (everlasting) life.
AIV For God so loved the world that God gave God's only Child, so that everyone who believes in that Child may not perish but may have eternal life.
ANT For God loved the world so dearly as to give his Only-begotten Son, so that all who believe in him should not perish but have Eternal Life.
BNT For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him should not have destruction but eternal life.
CENT For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes on him, should not perish, but may have everlasting life.
CEV God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never die.
CJB For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed.
CLNT For thus God loves the world, so that He gives His only-begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian.
CNT Yes, God had such love for the world that he gave up his only Son, so that anyone believing in him might not perish but lay hold of eternal life.
CTNT For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever trusts in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
DHB For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal.
DRB For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.
EBR For God so loved the world,
      That his Only Begotten Son he gave, --
            That whosoever believeth on him
                  Might not perish,
                        But have life age-abiding.
EDW For GOD so loved the WORLD, that he gave his SON, the ONLY-BEGOTTEN, that EVERY ONE BELIEVING into him may not perish, but obtain aionian LIFE.
EVD Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. Gave gave his Son so that every person that believes in him would not be lost, but have life forever.
GW God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but have eternal life.
HBME For God so loved the world that He gave the only-begotten Son, so that every one believing in Him should not be lost, but have eternal life.
HBRV (See Standard American Edition, Revised Version.)
IB For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
IV For God so loved the world, that he gave his Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish; but have everlasting life.
KJV For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
KLNT So marked, indeed, has been God's love for the world that he gave his only-begotten Son: everyone who believes in him is not to perish, but to have eternal life.
KTC God so loved the world, that he gave up his only-begotten Son, so that those who believe in him may not perish, but have eternal life.
LB For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Footnote: [Only], Or, "the unique Son of God."
LBP For God so loved the world that he even gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
MCT God so loved the world that he gave his unique Son, in order that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but may have eternal life.
Footnote: The word "begotten" in John 1: 14, 18; 3: 16, 18; Hebrews 11: 17; 1 John 4: 9 is eliminated (1) for the sake of accuracy and (2) for the sake of the honor that belongs to Isaac and to Jesus. ... . In none of the six citations mentioned above did the infallible Holy Spirit cause monos gennetheis, only begotten, to be written, but in every instance the word written is monogenes, the only one of a kind, the unique one.
MNT For God loved the world so dearly that he gave up his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life, instead of perishing.
MRB (See Standard American Edition, Revised Version.)
MSNT For so greatly did God love the world that He gave His only Son, that every one who trusts in Him may not perish but may have the Life of the Ages.
NAB For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
NAS For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
NBV For God so loved the world, that he gave up his only-begotten Son, so that those who believe in him may not perish, but have eternal life.
Footnote: Christ is the unique Son of God, eternally One with the Father and the Spirit, yet truly man in His perfect humanity.
NCV God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.
NEB God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, that everyone who has faith in him may not die but have eternal life.
NET For God loved the world so much that He gave His one-and-only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.
Footnote: The Greek word for "one-and-only" can also mean "one-of-a-kind" ("unique") or "only-begotten."
NIV For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
NJB For this is how God loved the world:
he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not perish
but may have eternal life.
NKJ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
NLT For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
NLV For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Whoever puts his trust in God's Son will not be lost but will have life that lasts forever.
NNT God loved men so much that he gave up his only-begotten Son for them. For whoever believes in him will not perish, but will find eternal life.
NRS For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
NSNT For God so loved the world that He gave His only born Son, that all who believe on Him shall not die, but have everlasting life.
NWT For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.
ONT (See Authentic New Testament.)
Footnote: While much that was in his documentary source (the Memoirs of John the Priest) has been adapted by the Greek author to bring the text into line with his ideas, as here, some passages, largely by way of commentary, stand out as his distinctive contribution. Whenever possible attention has been drawn to these, as in this instance, and some have been placed below the main body of the text and in slightly smaller type. The present passage is John 3: 16-21. [This passage has been so placed by the translator.]
PRS For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him should not be lost, but should have eternal life.
REB God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that everyone who has faith in him may not perish but have eternal life.
RNT For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that every one who believes in him may not perish, but have life eternal.
RSV For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
SARV For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
SBK (See Revised Standard Version.)
SGAT For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that no one who believes in him should be lost, but that they should all have eternal life.
SNB For YAHVAH so loved the world, that His Only Begotten Son He gave, that whosoever believeth on Him might not perish, but have life age-abiding.
SSBE For Yahweh so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
SV This is how God loved the world: God gave up an only son, so that every one who believes in him will not be lost but have real life.
TBR (See Revised Standard Version.)
TCNT For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that every one who believes in him may not be lost, but have Immortal Life.
TDB (See King James Version.)
TEV For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
TJB Yes, God loved the world so much
that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
TM This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
WAS For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that every one who believes on Him should not perish, but have eternal life; ... .
WET For in such a manner did God love the world, inasmuch that His Son, the uniquely-begotten One, He gave, in order that everyone who places his trust in Him may not perish but may be having life eternal.
WMF God so loved the people of the world that he sent his only Son, affirming that whoever believed on Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.
WNT For God loved the world so much that He gave His Only Son, so that anyone who trusts in Him may never perish but have eternal life.
WTNT God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son for the intent, that none that believe in him, should perish: but should have everlasting life.
YLR ..., for God did so love the world, that His Son -- the only begotten -- He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during.


Commentary

 

In the sixty-eight versions used, there are sixty-two ways of writing this verse. On close examination, it will be seen that there is very little difference in meaning among most of them. A few show a little difference.

If the meaning of what is said is the important factor, most of the versions may be considered as being correct. If the exact translation of the words from the original Greek is the important factor, most of the versions are wrong. Which version, then, is the correct one?

Some Christians state that God quoted directly to the original author. If so, something has happened by the time that the current translators completed their work. Some Christians state that the Bible is inerrant. Does this mean inerrant in thought or in exact wording? Some Christians question whether what the authors of the four Gospels wrote is historically accurate or is descriptively created.

This passage is a favorite for memorization. It also contains an important theological message. There are many ways of quoting it without distorting its meaning. Thus, those who claim to be Christians need to avoid their theological biases as they read this verse in order to comprehend it.