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The form in which the Bible is given here is not simply another example of the Bible story put into present-day English. The language used is Basic English. 1

Basic English, produced by Mr C. K. Ogden of the Orthological Institute, is a simple form of the English language which, with 850 words, 2 is able to give the sense of anything which may be said in English.

Working with the Orthological Institute, a Committee under the direction of Professor S. H. Hooke, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Studies in the University of London, has been responsible for a new English form of the Bible made from the Hebrew and the Greek.

In this undertaking, the latest ideas and discoveries in connection with the work of putting the Bible into other languages were taken into account, and when the Basic form was complete it was gone over in detail by a Committee formed by the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press.

The Basic Bible, which in this way was watched over by two separate groups of experts through its different stages, is designed to be used wherever the English language has taken root.

Frequently, the narrow limits of the word-list make it hard to keep the Basic completely parallel with the Hebrew and the Greek; but great trouble has been taken with every verse and every line to make certain that there are no errors of sense and no loose wording. It is only natural that, from time to time, some of the more delicate shades of sense have not been covered; on the other hand, it is well to keep in mind that in the Authorised Version the power and music of the language sometimes take so much of the reader's attention that these more delicate shades are overlooked.

In fact, the Basic expert is forced, because of the limited material with which he is working, to give special care to the sense of the words before him. There is no question of the Basic work taking the place of the Authorised Version or coming into competition with it; but it may be said of this new English Bible that it is in a marked degree straightforward and simple and that these qualities give it an independent value.

 

 

New Testament       The Christian Bible

 

Matthew
1
Mark
15 16
Luke
1
3
5
7
9
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
John
1
3
5
7
9
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
The Acts
1
3
5
7
9
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Romans
1
5
9
15 16
1 Corinthians
15 16
2 Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
Philippians
Colossians
1,2 Thessalonians
1,2 Timothy
Titus
Philemon
Hebrews
James
1,2 Peter
1,2,3 John
Jude
Revelation
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Stories

 

 

 

Signs used in this book

...
are used where it is no longer possible to be certain of the true sense of the Hebrew words, and for this reason no attempt has been made to put them into Basic.
***
are used as a sign that one or more Hebrew words, necessary to the sense, have been taken out at some time or other.
[ ]
are used for marking additions made by later writers.
( )
are used for marking additions put in for the purpose of making the sense clear.
< >
have been put round the numbers of verses which have been moved to a different position from that which they have in the Authorised and Revised Versions.
[Ed. etext version does not retain this "creative" and spurious arrangement. Verses marked with <> have been restored to their standard and original location as they appear in source documents.]
italic
When words are used which are not in the Basic list, they are printed in sloping print the first time they are used in any division of any book.
1,2,3,...
The numbers used for divisions of books and for verses are the same as in the Authorised and Revised Versions of the English Bible.
1 The language of this Note.
2 By the addition of 50 Special Bible words and the use of 100 words listed as giving most help in the reading of English verse, this number has been increased to 1000 for the purpose of putting the Bible into Basic.