Friday, March 13, 2009

Interesting New Bible Translation Approach Reviewed by Stephen Muires

The Ancient Roots Translinear Bible uses a fascinating, different approach to translating the Old Testament. For each Hebrew word it uses just one English word, rather than using different English words in different contexts to try to cover the range of meaning of the Hebrew word.

The author explains how this is different from an interlinear and why he wanted this sort of translation for himself.
[W]hat would happen if all the all the ancient words matched the English language 100% of the time? You wouldn’t need a cross reference column. You wouldn’t need to compare them in an Interlinear bible. You wouldn’t need to double check the original word in a concordance.

Or think about the number of footnotes in a typical study bible. Have you ever noticed that many footnotes tell you the "real" meaning of the word? In ARTB, the "real" word is in the text! So the number of footnotes is dramatically reduced. ...all those reference books could be put on a shelf, and you'd be free to soak in the word of God.
Theolog Stephen Muires was the one who told me about this translation and he wrote a really interesting review of it on
I didn't believe at first that the Hebrew actually had these possible meanings, but with a concordance and a dictionary and an interlinear Bible I have to admit that these translations are probably good. Not "better", since they lack the poetic flow and the evocative imagery of the KVJ/NIV. But good, instructive, tantalizing, and prodding deeper research into the meaning of the words. It creates an effect of a deeper meaning shining out, not poetic, but more like metal ore shines out of hard stone.
You can read and search the whole text for free online.

1 comment:

Coleman Glenn said...

I love the idea (although I don't know that I'd use it as my Bible for daily reading). But I checked it out, and I discovered that it omits "ands" at the beginning of sentences (e.g., Genesis 1:3 begins, "God said, 'Light, be!'", when it should say, "And God said, 'Light, be!'"), which frustrates me even in less literal translations. Sigh. I guess no one's perfect.