Monday, November 25, 2013

Gideons Revised Berkeley Version in Modern English

One more post about the Bibles distributed by the Gideons: This time it is the oldest of the modern English versions they have distributed. It is The Revised Berkeley Version in Modern English. I believe that the Gideons started using this version in 1974. However, I have had difficulty verifying that date. It was discontinued in 1983 in favor of the the New International Version. I have found three different types of changes:

  1. Footnotes were removed throughout the text.
  2. Brackets around text were removed.
  3. Verses, at least in the New Testament, were changed to conform to the Textus Receptus.

An example of the changed verses can be found in John 3:16. In the original Berekeley version of 1969 it had "His only Son." In the Gideons edition it reads "His only-begotten Son."

While these differences are interesting for those of us that study Bible versions, they should not draw attention away from what God is doing through Gideons International. The organization is drawing closer to two billion Bibles and testaments distributed! These are not just in English. There are Gideons in 190 countries across the globe. More than two Bibles or testaments are being distributed every second. Every time I hear a Gideon speak, I hear a new testimony of someone whose life was forever changed because they had a Bible to read. Please support the Gideons in prayer and donations!


  1. I was told today that the Gideons distributed the ASV after it was introduced in 1901. While it may not be considered a modern English version, it is older than the Berkeley version.

  2. I have a copy of a Gideon New Testament which is the Berkley Version. It is dated 1972, I think. I found it at a Good Will store for 50 cents. This bible eventually became the "Modern Language Bible." Editor of the Berkley Version is Gerrit Verkuyl.

  3. Thank you! Is there any way you could post a scan of the title and copyright pages?