In my recent post Is the mainline church closed-source? I resigned myself to using the King James Version of the Bible. Last night, I installed more open-source software on my computer — I’m loving the Ubuntu Linux, but that’s another entry — and GnomeSword2 Bible Guide had a translation I had never heard of: the World English Bible, the WEB. (There are Sword Project versions for Macs and Windows.) It is a revision of the 1901 American Revised Edition: the “grandparent” of the New Revised Standard Version, or the “grandchild” of the King James Version, depending on how you look at it.
There are a couple of problems. First, it isn’t done so says webible.org, but I can’t find the Old Testament books that are missing, or perhaps the “missing” ones are just not done with editing. Christmas 2005 is the full-text rollout date. They hope.
What I’ve seen reads well, and would probably be good for public worship, but (1) it uses contractions in the New Testament to reflect the koine Greek, and (2) spells out the Tetragrammaton, that is, the name of God often mistranslated Jehovah. I’ll want to research how it make translation decisions more before I go hog-wild about it.
But it has to be better than what I would confect.
And if you were looking for other public domain goodies, see this page at Wikipedia. (And the World English Bible is there, too.)