February 23, 2015
By: Hannah Weiand
It’s a blessing to have many versions of the Bible in our language, but many people want to know which version we use to translate the Bible. We’re happy to tell you!
Actually, we don’t translate from an English translation, because that would be like making a copy of a copy! In order to achieve clear and accurate translations, we train our translators to look to the original biblical Hebrew and Greek texts. They also have to carefully study the language they are translating into in order to understand how it works and how people who speak that language think and communicate.
A good translator does far more than simply exchange Hebrew and Greek words for words in the new language. Their job is to understand the original meaning and discover the best way to communicate that in the new language so people can clearly understand what the Bible is saying, just as if their mother was talking to them.
To clarify further, when developing a new Bible translation the source text used can vary from country to country or people group to people group. The local people who are translating Scripture into their language for the very first time have to start somewhere, and will often refer to the Bible in the national language or language of wider communication that they can understand.
In some cases, mother tongue translators are able to work directly from the Greek and Hebrew themselves. But even if they can’t, our consultants and facilitators are able to work from those texts to ensure the accuracy of the translation. In any case, the goal of every translation product is for the end result to be clear, natural and accurate to the original text.