What do you think about the International Standard Version?

I just happened to be doing a lesson at the time on various Bible translations, their good points and their bad points, so I checked into the International Standard Version ( What I found was awful. Never have I seen a more inconsistent translation. There are verses which are very literal, such as Matthew 16:19, but the verse before is heavily altered. "I tell you that you are Peter, and it is on this rock that I will build my church, and the powers of hell will not conquer it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will have been prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will have been permitted in heaven." But many verses are just paraphrases, such as Acts 20:7, "On the first day of the week, when we had met to break bread, Paul began to address the people." The translation claims to be literal with only a few idiomatic changes to make reading easier, but I constantly found severe changes in the oddest places.

Consider the qualifications of an elder, "Therefore, an elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, stable, sensible, respectable, a lover of strangers, and teachable. He must not drink excessively or be a violent person, but instead be gentle. He must not be argumentative or a lover of money" (I Timothy 3:2-3). The word translated as "teachable" actually means having the ability to teach, but this translation reverses the meaning! And the words translated as "not drink excessively" is literally "not near wine" in the Greek; thus changing avoidance of alcohol into permission to use so long as it isn't "excessive."

In contrast, I just ran across the World English Bible ( So far every problem verse that I found fault with in other translations is beautifully rendered in WEB. I found less errors in it than in the ESV. It used the ASV as its base English text and the precision shows:

"Don't think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn't come to destroy, but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17)

"I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven." (Matthew 16:18-19)

"On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight." (Acts 20:7)

"For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." (Romans 4:3).

"who, existing in the form of God, didn't consider equality with God a thing to be grasped," (Philippians 2:6)

Even more impressive, the translators have released WEB as public domain!