I am interested in using some bible reading for study, since I know many of the passages already in English.

Since the primary goal is language study, it is not a priority to have the most academically accurate/rigorous translation or the most literary or "classic" translation. In other words I simply want the translation which most closely reflects contemporary French usage. In English I think the New Living Translation would be one of the best for this purpose in English, versus an older translation like King James or even NIV.

BibleGateway.com has the following to choose from:

  • La Bible Du Semeur (BDS)
  • Louis Segond (LSG)
  • Nouvelle Edition de Genève (NEG1979)
  • Segond 21 (SEG21)

Which one fits the requirement best? Are there others which should be considered?

2 Answers 2


The Segond versions are more popular with Protestants, I believe. The one I use when I need to is the Bible de Jérusalem, a team effort (33 translators) that dates back to the 1950s and has been revised twice since then. It's been officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church and has the imprimatur. For a more classical one, there is the Bible de Port-Royal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_de_Port-Royal) from the 17th century. It's available relatively cheaply in the Bouquins collection published by Robert Laffont.


The "Bible Français Courant" (NFC) might be what you are looking for (ref). You'll find samples here that'll give you an idea of the philosophy of the new translation.

Moreover there is the option of a work that comprises on top of the NFC text 4000 notices of explication.

  • La Bible Expliquée ajoute à la traduction en français courant des outils aidant le lecteur, en particulier celui qui découvre la Bible, à entrer dans l’essentiel. En marge du texte, 4 000 notices explicatives replacent les textes dans leur perspective historique et religieuse, éclairent le message central, invitent à une réflexion sur l’actualité de ces écrits et en soulignent la profondeur spirituelle.

You might want to keep in mind the following :

"A noter : La traduction de la Bible en français courant est actuellement en cours de révision. Une nouvelle édition paraîtra en septembre 2019. 57 biblistes ont travaillé pendant 3 ans à la réalisation de ce chantier d'envergure.".

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