I use Sword Project Bible software to read Bible.

Currently I use WEB (World English Bible), sometimes KJV.

But in WEB there are such things as intermixing soul, heart, spirit and other words, as if these would be one the same word, that is they translate somehow arbitrarily.

Please advise me a more literal (however not too literal) translation of Bible, preferably available in Sword Project.

  • 3
    Young's Literal Bible (1862) and Green's Literal Bible (1993) are accepted standards. See Textus Receptus Bibles for comparison with KJV.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 1, 2018 at 16:31
  • 1
    I'd warn you that translation is hard. The fact that one word is translated in different ways doesn't necessarily mean inconsistency (though admittedly it might). There are different philosophies behind translation and one isn't inherently superior to another. Dec 1, 2018 at 16:40
  • @NigelJ I know these. Notice that I ask "however not too literal". I want it to be proper English not a calc from Hebrew like YLT/GLT.
    – porton
    Dec 1, 2018 at 19:24
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    NASB is usually considered somewhat more literal than KJV, and the English is modern. If you prefer a textus receptus (TR) or Byzantine/Majority (MT) Greek source, be aware that NASB is based on the UBS critical text (NU). There are a number of public domain 'updated KJV' translations that remain quite true to the original, American KJV is one, available in 'the Word' program and online, I'm sure.
    – Bit Chaser
    Dec 1, 2018 at 22:12
  • 1
    @NigelJ Misspelling of calque.
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 2, 2018 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


Looking for a reasonably literal Sword Project Bible translation

I respect your desire to get a Bible translation you can have confidence in to be "God's Word", as close to the original languages as possible, but not too difficult to read and understand in English. The Sword Project has at least two Bible translations that may be helpful for you:

  • American King James Version (AKJV)
  • Updated King James Version (UKJV)

These are two of several updates to the KJV which update the archaic words of the KJV while being careful not to change any meanings. They are therefore neither less nor more literal than the KJV, but easier to understand.

Obtaining a better understanding of the Bible

All translations are compromises.

I will address the New Testament books primarily, but recommend you continue to study manuscript history and translation issues of both testaments.

It is to your advantage to have several translations, some very close to the original language, and others as clear in English as they can be without compromising the teachings.

I know of at least three Bible versions which provide interlinears, quite literal translations, and a more readable version. Of course they vary in what Greek texts they translate from and their procedure, and they are proprietary so not available for Sword.

  • SBLGNT Study Bible
  • BSB Berean Study Bible
  • ACV A Concordant Version

Greek texts

It is beneficial to any student of the Bible to know about the Greek manuscripts and how the different ones were used in translation. I recommend having Greek texts and interlinears. While these are hard for someone who doesn't know Greek to understand, they are the ultimate source of the Bible. I recommend reading the NKJV introduction to understand their abbreviations for Greek texts, TR (Textus Receptus) MT (Majority, aka Byzantine, Text), and NU (the UBS text used by many modern translations). These Greek texts are available for Sword. Read the small print, but you can count on these as reliably representing the readings in the thousands of Greek manuscripts in existence.

  • TR: Textus Receptus (1550/1894)
  • Byz: The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform 2005
  • WHNU: Westcott and Hort with NA27/UBS4 variants
  • Posting initial version of this answer. I hope this will be helpful to @porton, and we can improve it for others as well.
    – Bit Chaser
    Dec 2, 2018 at 5:05
  • Try this one, I use it and find its a good translation. jw.org/en/publications/bible/study-bible/books
    – user43190
    Dec 2, 2018 at 13:06
  • Are KJV/NKJV Old Testament based on Hebrew text directly or through Septuagint?
    – porton
    Dec 2, 2018 at 13:37
  • The Eastern Orthodox churches prefer using the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew. Most English translations are based on the Hebrew text preserved by Jewish scholars, known as the Masoretic text. And yes, I have and occasionally reference the WLC and Aleppo texts, the two most respected Masoretic texts. By the way, you can use the chat room at chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/1167/the-upper-room if you want to. Discussion of translations and manuscripts is always on topic there, as is this question.
    – Bit Chaser
    Dec 2, 2018 at 14:20
  • @ethos. The NWT is a little controversial in places, though I don't think it's as bad as some people's hyperbolic claims make it.
    – TRiG
    Dec 2, 2018 at 16:27

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