Visitors to BibleGateway.com can use a single English interface to search 135 Bible versions in 47 languages. Unfortunately, though, no Japanese versions are among them.
BibleGateway does link to downloadable and searchable PDFs of Bible books from the Japanese Living Bible, but this is unwieldy for standard searches. Besides, few churches or scholars regularly use the Japanese Living Bible in worship or in study.
Instead, most Japanese Bible students would begin their searches with one or both of the two most widely used Bible versions in Japan: the New Interconfessional Translation Bible and the New Japanese Bible.
New Interconfessional Translation Bible – 新共同訳聖書 – Shinkyodoyaku Seisho
Search the New Interconfessional Translation and the older Japanese Colloquial Bible (口語訳 – Kogoyaku) on the Japan Bible Society’s website.
- Simple keyword searches
- Scripture reference searches
- Search only one version at a time
- Japanese-only interface
- The first results page shows only the biblical books that have the keyword. Users must then click on a book link. This means that results spanning more than one biblical book will not be displayed together, and that search results are two clicks away.
New Japanese Bible – 新改訳聖書 – Shinkaiyaku Seisho
Search the 2nd and 3rd editions of the New Japanese Bible at a site managed by Tetsuyasu Takao at Toyama University of International Studies.
- Simple and advanced keyword searches
- Scripture reference searches
- Search only one edition at a time
- Japanese-only interface
- There appears to be a limit to the number of searches you can do in a single session without a special user key
Seek, and ye shall find . . .
Go ahead and give it a try.
- Search the Shinkyodoyaku Seisho for “探しなさい”
- Search the Shinkaiyaku Seisho for “捜しなさい”
Find Matthew 7:7 in the search results, and see how this well-known verse reads in each version.
Are there any other sites you would recommend for online searches of the Japanese Bible?
http://dtime.jp/ Has 3 versions of the bible that you can search through (but not shinkaiyaku). It shows how many times your search occurs in the entire bible and has direct links to each scripture in which the search appears. You can view several verses at a time. The only downside is that the navigation can be a little confusing.
Thank you for sharing the link! I haven’t seen that site before.
It’s nice to have the Kogoyaku, Shinkyodoyaku, and Bungoyaku there in one place next to 6 English versions and the Hebrew text from BHS. And it even has links to commentaries and exegetical tools below.
I appreciate it!
You’re very welcome. I’m glad to be able to help people get the tools they need to learn Japanese 🙂
Hello Randall, This is Mike Ricart from Aichi. I just discovered your blog and am enjoying it thoroughly. I am looking forward to learning more about the Old Testament. In your reference to Biblegateway as of last year the site is offering the JLB on its list of foreign language Bibles and it also comes with audio as well. Really glad to have stumbled on to your site. Mike
Hi Mike! I’m very late to reply, but thanks for the info!
Hey Michael!! This is Julie Waterman in Kumamoto!! Just read your post and it helped me a lot since now I’ll go to Biblegateway and search for the JLB!! Thanks!!
What is a good site to go to to download pieces of the Japanese Shinkaiyaku Bible as needed?
Besides what you can find through the search introduced above, I don’t know of any sites where you can download the Shinkaiyaku in any of the versions. But you can get the full text — now of Shinkaiyaku 2017, the newest version — as a stand-alone app for iOS and Android, on Kindle (https://amzn.to/2FxjVno), or in an app like Accordance (see http://www.japanesebiblicalstudies.com/2012/11/29/japanese-bible-versions-on-accordance/), among other possibilities. But I wouldn’t expect to find free copies of the full-text, at least not legally, anytime soon.
I am learning Japanese and using the New Japanese Bible as a source to translate as I learn. However, my process involves attaching audio to my studies. Do you know of a source the provides audio with the NJB 2017 version? I have the iOS app, but it does not include audio.
I have *very good* news for you, then. In about a week, you should be able to get the new (and free!) Drama Bible app — 聴くドラマ聖書 — from the Grace & Mercy Foundation. You’ll have both the full text and audio together.
I’ve had the privilege of playing a role in its production (if you scroll to the bottom of the above link, you’ll find a word from me), so consider me a little biased, but I think you’ll love it.
How can I download it? I am not getting download.
If iOS, try this link: 聴くドラマ聖書 (App Store)
If Android, try this one: 聴くドラマ聖書 (Google Play)
If the link doesn’t work for some reason, go to your preferred App Store and search for “聴くドラマ聖書”.
Note: It may be the case that it’s only available now in Japan and U.S. app stores. Also, note that it’s only available for smart phones and tablets, not laptops or desktops (unless you have some sort of simulator).
Thank you!! This is super helpful! I downloaded it today; it is exactly what I’ve been looking for.
This website has 5 Japanese Bible translations online:
Good to know! Thank you for sharing it!
Which translation do you recommend? I am trying to translate Matthew 22:37-40 so I can share it to someone.
I’d recommend either of the two new versions that have come out recently. Here’s Matt 22:37-40 in each one:
37 イエスは彼に言われた。「『あなたは心を尽くし、いのちを尽くし、知性を尽くして、あなたの神、主を愛しなさい。』38 これが、重要な第一の戒めです。39 『あなたの隣人を自分自身のように愛しなさい』という第二の戒めも、それと同じように重要です。40 この二つの戒めに律法と預言者の全体がかかっているのです。」（マタイ22章37-40節、新改訳2017）
37 イエスは言われた。「『心を尽くし、魂を尽くし、思いを尽くして、あなたの神である主を愛しなさい。』38 これが最も重要な第一の戒めである。39 第二も、これと同じように重要である。『隣人を自分のように愛しなさい。』40 この二つの戒めに、律法全体と預言者とが、かかっているのだ。」（マタイ22章37-40節、聖書協会共同訳）