History of the English Bible Part 20: The Living Bible (1971)

Kenneth Taylor would read to his ten children from the KJV and they would not be able to understand him. He started paraphrasing into his own words and decided others would benefit if there was a bible written as a paraphrase. In 1956 he used the time in his daily commute on a train to start paraphrasing the ASV.

In 1962 he published The Living Letters. In 1965 he published The Living Prophecies and in 1966 he published The Living Gospels. By 1967 He had the entire New Testament and Psalms published. In 1968 he published The Living Lessons of Life and Love. In 1971 the entire Bible was published as The Living Bible.

Remember that this is a paraphrase and therefore it is good for devotional reading but not serious study as in its very nature it is the paraphraser’s words and not the original author’s words. Taylor stated that his goal was to make the bible easier to understand. The early editions of The Living Bible, while being aimed at children had some very strong and profane language in places. This was taken out in later editions. This bible led to the NLT which I will talk about later.

John 3:16 The Living Bible

For god loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The Lord’s Prayer from The Living Bible (Matthew 6:9-13)

“Pray along these lines: ‘Our Father in heaven, we honor your holy name. We ask that your kingdom will come now. May your will be done here on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us our food again today, as usual, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. Don’t bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One. Amen.’

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