Saturday, March 8, 2014

Guidelines for Quoting from Bible Translations

There's a question that frequently comes up about quoting from various Bible translations and whether or not you need permission to include a scripture from, say, the New American Standard Version. 

With the exception of a translation in the public domain such as The King James Version (the original not one of the modern paraphrases), the answer varies from translation to translation. 
As a general rule, the easiest way to find out the permission is to just go to the publisher of that translation. They all have guidelines for permission to quote. In fact, a simple way to find any one translation is to run a search on Google for "Permission to quote from [Bible Translation Name]" 
But to make it even easier I did that for you. 
Here's a list of links to all the major Bible translations. The amount able to be used without express permission ranges from 101 words for The Message to 1000 verses for New American Standard. The average is about 500 verses and the quotations must comprise less than 15% of the finished work, but that varies with the version. Most will not allow the reproduction of an entire book without permission regardless of the number of verses. 
But each is different so read their guidelines. And remember, writing a book is a commercial enterprise, so, in spite of sales, you can't use the "Non-profit" status. 
Permissions to quoteThe New Living Translation and The Living Bible
NIV (New International Version and all Zondervan Bibles)
The Message (most restrictive for commercial use)
NASB (New American Standard Bible, not to be confused with the New American Bible or the Revised Standard)
Amplified Bible
New King James (and all Thomas Nelson Bibles)
Good News Bible
Revised Standard
New American Bible (Catholic)


  1. Thanks a million, Terri. I've just bookmarked this as suggested. It will definitely come in handy going forward!