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A Comparison of The Open Source Scriptures (OSS) and the World English Bible (WEB) Scripture Versions

The Pedigree of the WEB and OSS

The King James Version (KJV) is the ancient forefather of most of our contemporary English translations and every translation is indebted to it to a greater or lesser degree.

In the 19th century a new translation was made entitled the Revised Standard Version (RSV) which was meant to replace the KJV. It used more modern language and also took into consideration a wider variety of manuscripts.

The American Standard Version (ASV) is essentially the RSV but with a few variations due to cultural and theological differences between English and American translators.

It is upon the ASV (1901) that the World English Bible (WEB) is built. The WEB modernized the language of the ASV just as the ASV had done with the KJV. From there the translation has undergone (and undergoes) continued modifications. You can learn all about the method, process, and philosophy of the WEB on the WEB FAQ page.

The Open Source Scriptures (OSS) is built on the WEB. This allowed us to bypass much of the work of correcting archaisms as this valuable work had already been completed by the folks working on the WEB.

It is at this juncture that the OSS and WEB begin to diverge…and that is not to say that the OSS is superior to the WEB, only that the philosophies and methods being utilized are different.

The OSS will go through a number of fairly rapid revisions. The text included below can be considered 0.1. Creating this text involved reading line-by-line the text from the WEB and comparing it line-by-line to the text of the English Standard Version (ESV) and Lexham English Bible (LEB).

Where there was divergence between the texts this was exhaustively footnoted and when the ESV and LEB agreed against the WEB, the ESV/LEB agreed translation almost always replaced the WEB’s original translation.

The Differences Summarized

The following is a brief compilation of the changes made between the two texts:

  • The Lord’s prayer has been significantly shortened due to a scholarly consensus that the additional portions included in the WEB are almost certainly interpolations from some of the other gospels.[1]
  • A number of individual words have been changed:
    • v. 4 “bring” becomes lead;
    • v. 5 “tell” –> “say”;
    • v. 7 “don’t” –> “do not”;
      • “can’t”–>”cannot”;
      • “it to you” –> “give you anything”;
    • v. 8 “as many as” –> “whatever”;
    • v. 11 “his” –> “your”;
      • “won’t” –> “will not”;
      • “he won’t give him a scorpion, will he?” –> “will give him a scorpion?”;
    • v. 13 “your” –> “the”;
    • v. 16 – “testing” –> “test”;
      • “brought to desolation. A house divided against itself falls.” –> “laid waste and a divided household falls.”;
    • v. 19 “Therefore will they be your judges” –> “Therefore they will be your judges”;
    • v. 20 “God’s Kingdom” –> “kingdom of God”;
      • “to” –> “upon”;
    • v. 21 “dwelling” –> “palace”;
    • v. 23 “doesn’t” –> “does not”;
    • v. 24 “dry” –> “waterless”;
    • vv. 24-26 “he” –> “it”;
    • v. 26 “himself” –> “itself”;
    • v. 29 “crowds were increasing” –> “multitudes were gathering together to him”;
    • v. 31 “one” –> “something”;
    • v. 35 “isn’t” –> “is not”;
    • v. 39 “platter” –> “dish”;
      • “inward part” –> “inside”;
      • “extortion” –> “greediness”;
    • v. 40 “You foolish ones” –> “Fools!”;
      • “didn’t” –> “did not”;
    • v. 41 “all things” –> “everything”;
    • v. 42 “bypass” –> “neglect”;
    • v. 44 “hidden” –> “unmarked”;
      • “men” –> “people”;
    • v. 45 “this” –> “these things”;
    • v. 46 “men” –> “people”;
      • “difficult to carry” –> “hard to bear”;
      • “won’t even lift one finger to help carry those burdens” –> “do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers!”;
    • v. 48 “testify” –> “are witnesses”;
      • “works” –> “deeds”;
    • v. 51 “Zachariah” –> “Zechariah”;
    • v. 52 “took” –> “have taken”;
      • “didn’t –> “did not”; “those who were entering in, you hindered” –> “you hindered those who were entering!”
  • In addition, the following was dropped from the OSS which exists in the WEB:
    • v. 11 “asks for bread, will give him a stone? Of if he”;
    • v. 29 “the prophet”;
    • v. 34 “also”;
    • v. 41 “to the needy”;
    • v. 44 “scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”;
    • v. 54 “that they might accuse him.”

Getting to 1.0

What needs to occur to move from the current 0.1 to 1.0? A lot. While the text has here been compared to the ESV and LEB there is a need for at least one more pass to be done with each of these versions. In addition, it is desirable to compare to a number of other versions as well Рsuch as the  Amplified Bible (AMP), Common English Bible (CEB), Expanded Bible (EXB), Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), New English Translation (NET), New International Version (NIV), and so on.

Nor is 1.0 the end…there is much to be done beyond 1.0, the OSS is meant to be ever-evolving, ever refining, but if we were to travel along that path this post would exceed its already significant length, so look for another post to come discussing about some of the things the OSS hopes to accomplish in the long run.

Also, after the comparison of the text see the embedded 0.1 version with footnotes. This version is meant to be used by those working on the OSS (or anyone performing Scripture translation) – currently there are 165 footnotes just for chapter 11!

Luke 11 OSS/WEB Comparison

Below is the embedded comparison, if you run into any issues viewing it you can hop over to the actual document by going here.

OSS With Footnotes

Below is the chapter w/footnotes in the OSS, if you run into any issues viewing it you can hope over to the actual document by going here.

  1. [1]In other words, it is not that this text is not part of Scripture, only that it is not part of Scripture at this juncture. It was added by a scribe at some juncture because it existed in one of the other gospels.