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Bible Translations

By Fred Myers

Published on Jan 19, 2017

When choosing a Bible, first decide how you are going to use this Bible. But, first you must understand that the translation method only effects translation philosophy and not the Truth of God’s Word. The first option results in what is usually called a “word-for-word” translation or a “literal” translation (though both are impossible). These are also called “formal” translations or “formally equivalent” because they try to translate every form in the source language into forms in the target language. English translations that strive for a word-for-word translation include the leb, nasb, kjv, and esv.  The second option results in a “thought-for-thought” translation, also called a “functional” or “dynamically equivalent” translation. Translators try to represent the meaning of every Greek or Hebrew word in a style that reflects proper, readable English. Their goal is to “produce the same effect on readers today that the original produced on its readers.”1 English translations that prefer dynamic equivalence include the niv, nlt, cev, and ncv.  A third mode of translation adds explanatory words or phrases that are not in the original text. These are better called “paraphrases” (literally, “phrases alongside”) because the additions are neither in the original text nor necessary to communicate the meaning of the original text: “they tend to explain rather than translate.” In this method, the translator tries to give the text fresh impact for contemporary readers. Popular English paraphrases include the amp and msg.         1 William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard, Introduction to Biblical Interpretation (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 2004), 126.

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