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Bible Translation Guide

There are more than 50 English Bible translations in circulation by some estimates.

We have provided a chart to provide information on some of the most common translations.  This chart attempts to show the degree to which a translation conforms to the original languages and the source and ‘pedigree’ of the given translation.  This chart does not attempt to evaluate translations, but rather to expose translation philosophies.

Incidentally, even a cursory study of English Bible history shows the importance of William Tyndale, whose translation of the New Testament in 1525 (under bitter persecution) formed the fountainhead of subsequent English translations.

There are many excellent English Bible translations.  We are  partial towards those that follow the ‘Formal Equivalence’ model – that is, the ones that put a premium on word-for-word accuracy.  “Dynamic Equivalence” translations in distinction, tend to focus on translating the meaning of sentences and phrases – they tend to put less emphasis on word-for-word accuracy and retaining grammar and syntax, and more emphasis on presenting the meaning of phrases and sentences.  We have provided a short essay to explain our position.  The short version of the essay is that we believe A. the Holy Spirit not only inspired the thoughts of the Bible writers, but the words themselves.  B. Thoughts cannot be disconnected from the words that produce them. C.  Intended Biblical cross-references will get obscured when word-for-word translation philosophy is not employed. All translations in fairness employ both of these ideas in their philosophy – translating is always to some degree a trade-off between “accuracy” and “clarity.”  Anyone who is bilingual knows that the ‘best’ translation is not always the most ‘literal.’