Logos 4: Identify English Words Added By Bible Translators

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars and provides many training materials.

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A Logos user recently emailed me the following question:

From Logos Bible Software, how can one know which parts of the English Bible are not from the original language,  but were added in by translators?

If you’re new to the Bible please don’t be concerned about this question. The Old Testament was originally written (primarily) in Hebrew while the New Testament was recorded in Greek. Our English Bibles are translations of these Hebrew and Greek texts.

Sometimes Bible translators, for various reasons, will both insert extra English words and not translate all Hebrew and Greek words. The Logos reverse interlinear feature, found in numerous English Bibles, clearly identifies these instances.

  • Open an English Bible containing the reverse interlinear information such as the ESV.
  • Click Display | Inline on the Bible’s toolbar. (1)
  • Navigate to a passage such as Matthew 6:1 . (2)


The English words, such as other in verse 1, with a dot / bullet underneath them have been added by the translators. The Hebrew / Greek words, such as the one to the right of beware in verse 1, with a dot / bullet above them on the English line have NOT been translated in this specific English Bible.


As you can see, the reverse interlinear is trying to account for every word, both in the original text and the English Bible.

Other English Bibles containing this reverse interlinear option include: NASB, KJV,  NKJV,  LEB, NRSV, NIV (NT only) and NLT (NT only).

For more detailed information about the reverse interlinear option, please see Camp Logos Live, our two-day seminar that we brought to DVD-ROM.

For more information about the basics of Bible study, like the Logos user’s question above, please see our newest video training project, Introduction to Bible Study with Logos Bible Software.

How do you use the reverse interlinear to study the Bible? Leave a comment and let us know!


  1. Starting in 1762 onward the KJV Bible in all its revisions up to at least 1881 italicized any words that the translators had inserted into the text. Therefore anyone can know what extra words were used by simply refering to the most populer Bible version ever produced the King James Version.

    Newer translations have started become much more creative in their insertions into the text and have been unwilling to point out the extent of their creativity by using italics anymore. That is my surmisal. I hope no one is offended by this observation. I would rather know what words are directly supported by the underlying Greek or Hebrew text and which ones are not.

    There is some deviation between the OXFORD Based KJV (over 80% of KJV’s) and the Cambridge version KJV text. Most don’t realize there are minor differences between them.

    Also most do not realize that most Non KJV Bibles follow a different Greek source known as Alexandrian, named after Alexandria Egypt where it is thought there deviation from the Majority texts comes from. Therefore all newer bibles including ASV, ESV, NIV, NASB, NLT, RSV, NRSV and over 100 others differ in some places consistently in opposition to the KJV Bible. Anyone wishing to know what God intended us to have as his word must explore the source of the text whether from the second Antioch near Byzantium, (Constantinople, Today’s Istanbul) or from Egypt is a place to trust as a source of information.

    I wrote a book on this topic called “Illumination or Illusion” which questions what we are learning when we read one of the over 160 available English Bibles today whether we are being Illuminated by what God wants us to know or getting an illusion of what he wants us to know. If anyone here is interested in reading this let me know. Just email me rayluff@rogers.com. I would like to make this available on Libronix, however so far the back log is so big I have not received word that they will respond to it as a book to gather interest in. A copy was sent in and they sounded interested over the phone. Perhaps if any read it and like it you can help me to get it established later as an downloadable book here later on.

  2. Having an 87cm wide shelf overflowing with different translations of the Holy Scriptures, I find that the KJV family – starting with Tyndale’s NT in 1526 – is the most accurate and complete Word of God in the English language. Other translations, of which there are many, suffer from denominational influences to suit the agenda and doctrine of these denominations.

    Christian P.J. Bahnerth
    GradDipMaintEng., GradCertMgmt., MACS(Snr)
    GradDipTh., MTh., PhD(Biblical Studies.

  3. I have included a link to the Gospel of John for the SKJV (Simplified King James Version). The Introduction which is included describes some of the reasons why this version is more accurate than the most of the other newer Bible versions, while at the same time making an advance in modernizing the KJV in a way that is more accurate than the attempt made by the introduction of the NKJV.

    I welcome any criticism of this work here and including my conclusion about the failed attempt of the NKJV by any who read my reasoning in the Introduction of the free SKJV Gospel of John.

    I was challenged to exegete this gospel after writing my book. Two retired Professors from Canada Christian College have been working with me on the project Dr. Harold McCarthy and Ron Wilson. In the past 3 years we have completed the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. We are currently working on the remainder of the Old Testament.

    What might be of interest in this discussion is the fact that highlighted in Yellow are the words and phrases which differ in the underlying Greek source between the Textus Receptus Greek and the Alexandrian Greek sources.


    If anyone is interested in receiving the whole New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs as well as the book “Illumination or Illusion” let me know. I will keep you in an email list to inform later in the year. Likely they will be made available on Amazon initially. I hope also the day will come when this version is made available here as a Libronix e-book.

    God Bless,