Proposed Bible Version Commentary Changes

For the past few years, I have published the International Bible Lesson Commentary in five Bible versions: ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, and NRSV. Due the possibility of making errors sometimes (as I sometimes have—embarrassing for you and me) when copying and pasting Bible verses from five different translations of the Bible to create the five Bible version commentaries, I believe I need to begin publishing only three Bible version commentaries: KJV, NIV, and NRSV for less chance of mistakes. I think accuracy in properly copying Bible verses into a commentary is more important than trying to offer five different Bible version commentaries.

I will continue to publish the “Verse by Verse Five Bible Version Handouts” in the ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, and NRSV versions to make it easy for you to continue comparing translations when you study and teach. Doing this has not yet become a problem. It seems it is easier to have these five Bible version handouts available compared to having five Bibles open at one time. Also, it is easier sometimes to give your students five different version handouts so they can discuss in class the different Bible versions when trying to understand a Bible lesson better.

Please let me know if you really need the ESV or the NASB version commentaries; if so, I can reevaluate my proposed changes. I do think the KJV, NIV, and NRSV will meet most of our needs, and they are the most popular versions used among our readers.

EDIT June 8, 2019: Beginning with the June 16 International Bible Lesson Commentary, I will provide commentaries in the KJV, NASB, NIV, and NRSV translations. The ESV and the NRSV are close enough (both being related to the RSV) that I believe the NRSV will suffice. Beginning June 23, I will begin recording the audio version using the NRSV; my primary reason for doing so is I find the NRSV more literal or closer to the Greek New Testament than the NIV in more than one case. One example from the International Bible Lesson for June 16 can be found by reading and comparing the NIV translation and the NRSV translation of Hebrews 9:14.

The NIV of Hebrews 9:14 reads, "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"

The NRSV of Hebrews 9:14 reads, "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!"

The NIV translates "dead works" as "acts that lead to death." That is true, but I believe "dead works" includes that meaning and also has a broader meaning than that (see my commentary on Hebrews 9:14 for June 16, 2019).

I am still waiting to learn if there are more people who use the NASB so exclusively that they would like to see that version left in this online International Bible Lesson Commentary.

If you can think of any other changes or improvements that you would like to see in the IBLC or the IBLF, please feel free to write your comments on the IBL Forum or send me an email directly to: And please let me know if either the ESV or NASB commentaries are crucial for your teaching!

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,


  • Dear Sir, I'm an adult Sunday school teacher and a Wednesday night Bible study leader. I really enjoy your Sunday school material. I know most everyone has their own preference of Bible versions, and I know this is your choice to make, and I will continue using your material, but my preference is the KJV and NASB. But whatever your decision is Sir continue your good work and may God bless you. Floyd
  • Thank you Floyd. I will certainly continue with the KJV. I discovered through some helpful readers that I was making some errors trying to do five different commentaries, and I was hoping that by reducing the commentaries to KJV, NIV, and NRSV that I might make fewer errors. I will put down 1 vote for the NASB so far! I appreciate your commitment to teaching on Sundays and Wednesdays, and I am sure that your church and students appreciate all your dedication and efforts!
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