World English Bible

What Is the World English Bible?

The World English Bible (WEB) is a Public Domain (no copyright) Modern English translation of the Holy Bible. That means the World English Bible can be freely copied, published, quoted, and distributed in any form, including electronic and print formats. However, “World English Bible” is a Trademark.

The World English Bible is based on the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Holy Bible first published in 1901, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. It is in draft form, and currently being edited for accuracy and readability. The translation work for the World English Bible began in 1994 and was deemed complete in 2020. It was created by volunteers with oversight by Michael Paul Johnson.

According to the creators of the World English Bible, “The Holy Bible is God’s Word. It belongs to God. He gave it to us freely, and we who have worked on this translation freely give it to you by dedicating it to the Public Domain.”

World English Bible Editions

The WEB has two main versions of the Old Testament: one with Deuterocanonical books and the other limited to Protocanonical books. The New Testament is the same in both versions.

There are several editions of the World English Bible:

  • World English Bible with Deuterocanon/Apocrypha (WEB)
  • World English Bible Protestant Edition, Protocanon only (WEBP)
  • World English Bible British Edition with Deuterocanon/Apocrypha (WEBBE)
  • World English Bible Catholic Edition (WEBC)
  • World Messianic Bible (WMB)
  • World Messianic Bible British Edition (WMBBE)

The WEB follows the ASV’s decision to transliterate the Tetragrammaton, but uses “Yahweh” instead of “Jehovah” throughout the Old Testament. The British, Catholic, and Messianic editions of the WEB, as well as the New Testament and Deuterocanonical books use more traditional forms (e.g., the LORD).

The Catholic edition (WEBC) presents the books in the traditional Catholic book order, substitutes Esther translated from the Greek Septuagint for Esther translated from the traditional Hebrew, and omits books not recognized as canonical or deuterocanonical by the Roman Catholic Church.

The World Messianic Bible (WMB) is an edition of the WEB that uses a dialect of English closer to what Messianic Jews normally use. It is just like the WEB, except:

  • God’s Proper Name in the Old Testament is rendered “LORD” or “GOD” instead of “Yahweh”.
  • Many proper names in the New Testament are given in their Hebrew forms instead of the common Greek/English forms.
  • “Baptize” is rendered “immerse” for a more clear connection between Jewish purification rituals and the meaning of the Greek word.
  • The books of the Old Covenant are listed in the traditional Hebrew Bible order.
  • The Deuterocanon/Apocrypha is omitted.

This Website Uses the WEBP

This website uses the World English Bible British Edition, Protocanon only (WEBP) for the Holy Bible text because the creators are Protestant and prefer the handling of God’s Proper Name as LORD instead of Yahweh for the site’s target audience.

For a list of the differences between the World English Bible (WEB) and the World English Bible British Edition, Protocanon only (WEBP), besides the handling of God’s Proper Name, see the eBible.org phrasetranslog.txt and phrasetranslist.txt.

Additionally, the WEBP and WEBBE use some words that are not very common, either because they refer to ancient weights, measures, or money, or because they are in some way unique to the Bible. See the Glossary for a list of these words and their associated meanings.

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