Verbum offers several tools to help you compare Bible translations. This article will briefly summarize several of these tools and link out to more extended articles for further explanation.
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Text Comparison Tool
The Text Comparison tool is the best way to compare translations word-by-word. It allows you to compare multiple texts to quickly spot similarities and differences with visual markers.
You can open the Text Comparison tool in two ways:
- Tools menu: click Tools and click Text Comparison.
- Context menu: right-click any Bible text, ensure either of the Selection or Reference options on the left are selected and choose Text Comparison in the right-hand column of the context menu.
Next, add your desired passage in the reference box and press Enter.
With the tool open, choose the translations you’d like to compare by clicking the highlighted translation abbreviations and adding all desired translations to the list. By default, translations are compared against your current (or most recent) active version.
To visually display the difference between your base translation and your selected comparison translations, select the show differences icon. Differences show in blue with an indicator revealing the base text on hover. Click the show base text icon to show the base text inline with the comparison version, which reveals the base text inline with a strikethrough styling.
Note: Learn more about the Text Comparison tool.
Multiple Resources View
Multiple Resource View allows you to open two or more resources in parallel in the same panel. While the view works with many resource types (e.g., commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons, Bibles, etc.), when you display multiple Bibles, you can conduct your own Bible translation comparison.
To display multiple Bible translations for comparison purposes, open a Bible. Click the drop-down menu to the right of the Multiple Resources icon and select additional Bibles to display.
To select resources, either type your desired resource name in the Search box or scroll down the list to review available resources. Check the box beside your desired Bibles to display in parallel. To save the view for use later, click Save.
With your resources configured, click the Multiple Resources icon to toggle the view on.
As you scroll in any one Bible, the others will stay in sync.
Note: Learn more about the Multiple Resources View tool.
The Passage Analysis tool visually analyzes Bible passages. Several of the viewing options provide helpful insight into Bible translation differences.
To get started:
- Expand the Tools menu and choose Passage Analysis to open the tool.
- Type the biblical passage you want to study in the Reference box and press Enter.
- Select the Passage Analysis feature you want to use.
The following views offer insight into Bible translation differences:
The Compare Pericopes view lets you see at a glance how different translations break up passages of scripture. You can use this view to determine which pericope gives you the exact verse range you want to use in the other Passage Analysis views.
To select the versions you want to compare, click Pericope Sets, and choose from the versions in your Library. Enter a passage of scripture then scroll up and down to quickly see how your selected versions have delineated pericopes. Hover over a pericope to view the text of those verses in your preferred Bible, or click a pericope to open it in your preferred Bible.
The Cluster Graph view visually represents the degree of difference between Bible translations.
Enter the version names or abbreviations (separated by commas) that you want to compare in the version box, or select a collection in the drop-down list of suggestions that appears. The Cluster Graph requires two or more Bible versions to compare.
The closer together translations appear in the display, the greater the degree of similarity between them. So, in the example above, the LEB has a far greater degree of similarity with the ESV than it does with the CEB.
The Version River view visually represents the differences between Bible versions on a verse-by-verse basis, using one version as the base to which the others are compared.
Enter the version names or abbreviations (separated by commas) that you want to compare in the version box, or select a collection in the drop-down list of suggestions that appears. Version River requires two or more Bible versions to compare.
A legend at the bottom of the display explains the color-coding of the graphical display and provides percentages indicating how the degrees of difference between that translation and your base text. In the image above, the red river representing the NRSV completely disappears in verses 21 and 23 because the only difference between the ESV and NRSV is of word order rather than word selection. These verses correspond to the 0 under Minimum beside the NRSV.
You can zoom in and out, and pan left and right with your mouse in this view.
Note: Learn more about the Passage Analysis Tool.