Newly Incorrect Version, Extremely Saved Version, and other Bible backronyms

You would not believe how creative Christians can be when it comes to making fun of Bible translations they don’t like!

Different Bible translations (or versions, as they are also called) are often referred to by an acronym of their name. So the King James Version is sometimes called the KJV. Same with the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the New International Version (NIV), the New King James Version (NKJV), the English Standard Version (ESV), Holman Christian Standard Version (HCSB), and so on and so on. There are literally dozens of best-selling Bible translations, nearly all of them with some unique acronym to make it easier to refer to them in conversation or when you’re carefully citing a Bible verse.

But those acronyms also make it extraordinarily convenient to make fun of a translation you don’t agree with! Pretty much all you have to do to make fun of a Bible is use its acronym to give it a rotten name. Hence, the New International Version gets called the Nearly Inspired Version (ouch!). The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) becomes the Not Really Suitable Version (whoa!). There seems to be little in the way of boundaries when it comes to this game of Bible translation one-upmanship: The NASB has been called New Apostate Standard Bible and New American Slandered Version. Even gentle Eugene Peterson’s best-selling paraphrase The Message didn’t escape unscathed. Somebody call a timeout and move the bodies off the field!

Maybe you can understand why tempers rise. The Bible is our record of the great conversation between God and man since the very beginning. If the translation of these sacred words is off-base, then we don’t really know who God is or what his big plan is all about. So it’s essential to have an accurate Bible that doesn’t misrepresent God or mislead the people trying to get to know him.

Well, when I began my research into this fascinating area of Christianese, I figured I’d find maybe a dozen or two dozen teasing backronyms for different Bible translations. But I found way more… I found 80!

If you’re like me, you’re curious about which Bible translations seemed to attract the most attention. Here are the 6 Bibles with the greatest number of backronyms.

Bible Backronyms
English Standard Version (ESV) 13
New International Version (NIV) 12
New American Standard Bible (NASB) 8
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 8
Revised Standard Version (RSV) 7
King James Version (KJV)/Authorized Version (AV) 7

I’ll mention one more thing before I get out of the way and give you the actual list of definitions. Backronyms can be positive or negative. By that I mean that you can tease other Bible translations in either of two ways: you can put them down by making fun of them, or you can vaunt your own Bible translation above all others as being the only legitimate one.

Let me give you an example of this. In the case of the English Standard Version, there are backronyms such as Extremely Saved Version (a backronym that exalts the ESV above all other translations) and also backronyms such as Error Saturated Version (a backronym that puts down the ESV as being a bad translation). Whether a backronym is positive or negative, it is still making a value judgment about which Bible translations are better and which are worse.

 

Always Superior Version n. Nickname for the American Standard Version (asv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the asv as superior to other versions.
Anglican Version n. Nickname for the Authorized Version (av) translation of the Bible, which is also called the King James Version (kjv). The nickname refers to the fact that the translators of the av were members of the Church of England, and the nickname suggests that the language and doctrine of the av is subtly biased toward Anglicanism.
Anglo-Catholic Version n. Nickname for the Authorized Version (av) translation of the Bible, which is also called the King James Version (kjv). The nickname refers to the fact that the translators of the av were members of the Church of England, and the nickname suggests that the language and doctrine of the av is subtly biased toward Anglicanism.
Antiquated Version n. Derisive nickname for the Authorized Version (av) translation of the Bible, also known as the King James Version (kjv). The nickname is meant to characterize the language of the av as old-fashioned and quaint.
Bad News for Sinful Man n. Nickname for the Good News Bible (gnb), which was originally published in 1966 under the title Good News for Modern Man.
Best Bible Ever n. Nickname for the Bible in Basic English (bbe).
Close Enough Version n. Derisive nickname for the Contemporary English Version (cev) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the cev as an inaccurate translation.
Common Elementary Version n. Derisive nickname for the Contemporary English Version (cev) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the simple language of the cev as being on an elementary-school level.
Ecumenical Standard Version n. Derisive nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname suggests that the translators of the esv made compromises in order to secure the support of various denominations.
Oddly enough, “Ecumenical Standard Version” was one of the proposed titles for what would become the New Revised Standard Version.
Elected/Saved Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as more theologically sound than other versions, particularly from the perspective of Reformed theology.
Elect Standard Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as more theologically sound than other versions, particularly from the perspective of Reformed theology.
Eliminated Scriptures Version n. Derisive nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as having omitted verses that should be part of the Bible.
Episcopal Version n. Nickname for the Authorized Version (av) translation of the Bible, also called the King James Version (kjv). The nickname refers to the fact that the translators of the av were members of the Church of England, and the nickname suggests that the language and doctrine of the av is subtly biased toward Episcopalianism and Anglicanism.
Error Saturated Version n. Derisive nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
Essentially Similar Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as being little more than a light revision of the Revised Standard Version (rsv).
This nickname is possibly making a word play; in the esv’s preface, the translators describe their work as an “essentially literal translation.”
Evangelically Sound Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible.
2007 Catherwood Church Hist.: A Crash Course for the Curious 16 : It is easy today to go into a bookstore and pick up the English Standard Version (or the Evangelically Sound Version as some people call it).
Evangelical Superior Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible.
Every (Calvinist’s) Standard Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as more theologically sound than other versions, particularly from the perspective of Reformed theology.
Extra Special Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as superior to other versions.
Extra Spiritual Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as superior to other versions.
Extremely Saved Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as more theologically sound than other versions.
Extremely Similar Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as being little more than a light revision of the Revised Standard Version (rsv).
Extremely Sound Version n. Nickname for the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the esv as more theologically sound than other versions.
Gender Neutered Bible n. Derisive nickname for the Good News Bible (gnb). The nickname is meant to characterize the language of the gnb as having gone too far with regard to gender-inclusivity.
Hard-Core Southern Baptist Bible n. Nickname for the Holman Christian Standard Bible (hcsb). The nickname is meant to suggest that Southern Baptists prefer this version to any others.
Heavily Controlled by Southern Baptists n. Derisive nickname for the Holman Christian Standard Bible (hcsb). The nickname refers to the fact that the hcsb is published by B\&H Publishing Group, which is a division of Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Killer Jesus Version n. Derisive nickname for the King James Version (kjv) translation of the Bible.
King Junk Version n. Derisive nickname for the King James Version (kjv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the kjv as being out-of-date and useless.
See also *bible backronyms; *KJVO; *kjv talk.
Kingly Jargon Bible n. Nickname for the King James Version (kjv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the language of the kjv as being old-fashioned and quaint.
See also *bible backronyms; *kjv talk.
KJB Abbreviation for King James Bible, which is another name for the King James Version (kjv) translation of the Bible.
KJVO Abbreviation for King James Version Only (or King James Only). See citation below.
2004 Neufeld What’s in a Version? 85 : KJVO stands for King James Version Only…. Some people believe that the kjv is the sole word of God in the English language. Often they also conclude that one cannot even be saved through reading another version or by hearing the gospel preached from another version.
Most Erroneous Slaughter In full: Most Erroneous Slaughter (of) Scripture Available; Gets Everywhere. n. [Facetiously alleged to be what the letters in the word Message stand for, were it an acronym for a Bible translation] Derisive nickname for The Message, a paraphrase of the Bible written by Eugene Peterson and published in parts starting in 1993. The nickname is meant to characterize The Message as being so far removed from a literal translation of the Bible as to be practically useless.
See also *The Mess.
Near Enough Bible n. Derisive nickname for the New English Bible (neb). The nickname is meant to characterize the neb as an inaccurate translation.
Nearly Infallible Version n. Derisive nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the niv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
Nearly Inspired Version n. Derisive nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the niv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
2003 Van Dalen G-d’s Final Connection 136 : If the niv is the “Nearly Inspired Version” that was “Never Intentionally Verified,” than the tniv tops it with humanistic pride and theological absurdity. 2010 Rendelman The Open Bible 365 : Take for example the beloved New International Version (niv) that has ripped literally thousands of comments out of the Bible. The “Nearly Inspired Version” niv says …
Nearly the King James Version n. Nickname for the New King James Version (nkjv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the nkjv as being very similar to the King James Version (kjv).
Necessary in Vineyard n. Nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to suggest that members of the Vineyard association of churches prefer this version to any others.
Never Inaccurate Version n. Nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible.
Never Intentionally Verified n. Derisive nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the niv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
2003 Van Dalen G-d’s Final Connection 136 : If the niv is the “Nearly Inspired Version” that was “Never Intentionally Verified,” than the tniv tops it with humanistic pride and theological absurdity.
New Age Standard Bible n. Derisive nickname for the New American Standard Bible (nasb).
New American Slandered Version n. Derisive nickname for the New American Standard Bible (nasb).
New Apostate Standard Bible n. Derisive nickname for the New American Standard Bible (nasb).
New Improved Version n. Nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible.
New Incorrect Version n. Also: Newly Incorrect Version. Derisive nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible.
New International Perversion n. Derisive nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the niv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
New Liberal Bible n. Derisive nickname for the New Living Bible (nlb). The nickname is meant to characterize the nlb as an inaccurate and misleading translation.
New Liberal Translation n. Derisive nickname for the New Living Translation (nlt) Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the nlt as an inaccurate and misleading translation.
New Loose Translation n. Derisive nickname for the New Living Translation (nlt) Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the nlt as an inaccurate and misleading translation.
Newly Incorrect Version n. Derisive nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the niv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
Newly Reviled Substandard Version n. Derisive nickname for the New Revised Standard Version (nrsv) translation of the Bible.
New Reprobate Standard Version n. Derisive nickname for the New Revised Standard Version (nrsv) translation of the Bible.
New Reviled Standard Version n. Derisive nickname for the New Revised Standard Version (nrsv) translation of the Bible.
New Revised Slandered Version n. Derisive nickname for the New Revised Standard Version (nrsv) translation of the Bible.
Non-Inspired Version n. Also: Not Inspired Version. Derisive nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the niv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
No-one Accepts (this) Standard Bible n. Derisive nickname for the New American Standard Bible (nasb).
North American (Southern-Californian) Bible n. Derisive nickname for the New American Standard Bible (nasb).
Not All is Biblical n. Derisive nickname for the New American Bible (nab), a Roman Catholic Bible translation. The nickname refers to the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the text of the nab.
Not Always the Same Before n. Nickname for the New American Standard Bible (nasb). The nickname is meant to disparage the nasb for being revised frequently.
The copyright page of the nasb shows that revisions to the text have occurred in 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, and 1995.
Not a Saving Bible n. Derisive nickname for the New American Standard Bible (nasb). The nickname is meant to characterize the nasb as theologically unsound.
Not a Solid Bible n. Derisive nickname for the New American Standard Bible (nasb). The nickname is meant to characterize the nasb as being theologically unsound.
Not Exactly Bible n. Derisive nickname for the New English Bible (neb). The nickname is meant to characterize the neb as an inaccurate translation.
’Nother Ridiculously Similar Version n. Derisive nickname for the New Revised Standard Version (nrsv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the nrsv as being little more than a light revision of the Revised Standard Version (rsv).
Not Infallible Version n. Derisive nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the niv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
Not Inspired Version n. Derisive nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the niv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
Not Knowing Jesus Version n. Derisive nickname for the New King James Version (nkjv) translation of the Bible.
Not Literal Translation n. Derisive nickname for the New Living Translation (nlt) Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the nlt as an inaccurate translation.
Not Racist/Sexist Version n. Nickname for the New Revised Standard Version (nrsv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the nrsv as having judiciously omitted the racist and sexist language that is alleged to be present in other versions.
Not Really Safe Version n. Derisive nickname for the New Revised Standard Version (nrsv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to disparage the nrsv as being theologically unreliable.
Not Really Spiritual Version n. Derisive nickname for the New Revised Standard Version (nrsv) translation of the Bible.
Not Really Suitable Version n. Derisive nickname for the New Revised Standard Version (nrsv) translation of the Bible.
Not the King James Version n. Derisive nickname for the New King James Version (nkjv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to disparage the nkjv as failing to live up to its predecessor, the King James Version (kjv).
Not Witnessing to the Truth n. Derisive nickname for the New World Translation, a version of the Bible published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The nickname is meant to disparage this version as being theologically incorrect.
Now Indispensable Version n. Nickname for the New International Version (niv) translation of the Bible.
Rather Special Version n. Nickname for the Revised Standard Version (rsv) translation of the Bible.
Really Silly Version n. Derisive nickname for the Revised Standard Version (rsv) translation of the Bible.
Removed Sacred Virgin n. Derisive nickname for the Revised Standard Version (rsv) translation of the Bible.
The nickname refers to the fact that the rsv translates the Hebrew word almah in Isaiah 7:14) as “young woman” rather than “virgin.” The rsv reads: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” The kjv reads: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Reprobate Standard Version n. Derisive nickname for the Revised Standard Version (rsv) translation of the Bible.
Retro-Sounding Version n. Derisive nickname for the Revised Standard Version (rsv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the language of the rsv as old-fashioned and quaint.
See also *bible backronyms; *kjv talk.
Reversed Standard Version n. Derisive nickname for the Revised Standard Version (rsv) translation of the Bible.
Reviled Standard Version n. Derisive nickname for the Revised Standard Version (rsv) translation of the Bible.
The Lying Bible n. Derisive nickname for The Living Bible (tlb). The nickname is meant to characterize the tlb as an inaccurate and misleading translation.
The Mess n. Derisive nickname for The Message, a paraphrase of the Bible written by Eugene Peterson. The nickname is meant to characterize The Message as being so far removed from a literal translation of the Bible as to be unsuable.
See also *bible backronyms; *Most Erroneous Slaughter.
Today’s Nearly Infallible Version n. Derisive nickname for the Today’s New International Version (tniv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the tniv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
Totally Elementary Version n. Derisive nickname for the Today’s English Version (tev) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the simple language of the tev as being on an elementary-school level.
Totally Non-Inspired Version n. Derisive nickname for the Today’s New International Version (tniv) translation of the Bible. The nickname is meant to characterize the tniv as inaccurately translated and theologically unsound.
you can’t spell “saved” without ESV n. A catchphrase meant to characterize the English Standard Version (esv) translation of the Bible as being more theologically sound than other versions.
The allusion is to the letters E, S, and V in the word saved.
See also *bible backronyms; *saved.
  • T&L

    Thank you for such a fun, succinct and educating moment. 

    • timoteostewart

      Thanks, Mom and Dad!

  • Craig

    My favorite is the HCSB – Hard Core Southern Baptist.

    • timoteostewart

      Had you heard of that one before?

  • Hi Tim,
    I love it. Three others that are in common use (at least in my head!) in the UK are:Now Indispensable Version (NIV)
    Not Really Spiritual Version (NRSV)Evangelically Sound Version (ESV)

    • timoteostewart

      Wow, David. Thanks for visiting! Thanks for letting me know about those three additional Bible version nicknames!

      I have an entire chunk of Christianese related to the U.K. I’ve got flying bishop (from the 1990s!) and happy-clappy, along with a smattering of other small terms. I admit that U.K. church slang is one of my weak points… it’s hard to research the casual language when you can’t walk amongst the locals and listen to them chatter.

      If you hear of any interesting U.K. Christianese terms you think would warrant inclusion in a comprehensive dictionary like the one I’m writing… by all means please send them my way! I will be most appreciative. My email’s tim@dictionaryofchristianese.com.

      Cheers,
      Tim

  • Damian Yerrick

    Found on the web: New World Travesty, New World Mistranslation, New International Perversion

    • timoteostewart

      Nice! I’ll add those the next update. Thank you.

  • Jonathan

    My friends and I were making fun of KJVO Christians so we came up with a few:
    New Iniquity Version
    New Lying Translation
    Extra Sinful Version
    Now Accepting Sin Bible
    and my favorite (and it’s in your list), the Not The King James Version.

    Lol hope you enjoyed that

    • Thanks for the suggestions! I did some research, and it turns out you are not the only ones who have used “New Iniquity Version” and “New Lying Translation” to refer to the NIV and the NLT. So I’ll be adding information about those next time I update this page. Thanks for reading.

  • Gary

    Wow, not cool. These are all representations of God’s gift to us. The worst I have ever heard is the guy who said we should use the NIV only for toilet paper. Unfunny.

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  • Shawn Loy

    Holy Canon of the Southern Baptists

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  • Rosemarie Scott

    When I was in Evangelicalism we called the New World Translation (of the Jehovah’s Witnesses) the “Green Phantom” because the cover was green at one point and the translators were mostly unknown. Now the cover is silver, though.