I would like to think the kind folks at BakerBooks for this review copy.
As with any translation, you cannot merely do a review in one day, one sitting, regarding one passage. While I am reviewing it, I want to introduce it to you, followed by a few posts examining the passages.
While looking at the endorsements, I noticed more than a few conservative theologians/pastors who have given high marks to a translation which uses a dynamic equivalent method which they term ‘Closest Natural Equivalence.’
Closest natural equivalent (CNE) translation attempts to be exactly what its name suggests. First, it provides readers with a meaning in the target language that is equivalent to that of the source language. Second, it seeks to express that meaning naturally, in a way that a native English speaker would speak or write. Finally, it expresses the meaning with a style that preserves many of the characteristics of the source text.
Regarding the uses and translations of gender, the team writes,
The Scriptures contain many passages that apply to people in general. But the traditional use of words such as man to mean “people in general” can no longer be assumed to communicate the Bible’s meaning accurately to all readers. For instance, Psalm 1:1 is traditionally translated, “Blessed is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked.” For many who currently speak English, this translation reads as if Psalm 1 is speaking about blessings males receive. But the psalm is intended to apply to any person. Therefore, God’s Word Translation (GW) renders the first psalm, “Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of the wicked.”
This concern is not a recent phenomenon. Almost five hundred years ago, Martin Luther expressed the same concern as he translated Psalm 1 into German…
They are correct, of course, in referring to this (GW started as a Lutheran translation). How far they take it, however, remains to be seen. I ask you to hold judgment until we examine certain passages. If you have any which you would like to see compared, please let me know.
From the God’s Word team,
GOD’S WORD Translation communicates the saving, life-changing Good News about Jesus in clear, natural English. Translated directly from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, GOD’S WORD is an exceptional Bible that consciously combines scholarly fidelity with natural English.The combination of accuracy and readability makes GOD’S WORD ideally suited for the following:
- Devotional reading and in-depth study
- Preaching, teaching, and worship
This large print edition includes features such as
- large 12.5-point type
- convenient, portable size
- single-column, paragraph format
- presentation page
- ribbon marker
- black letter text
- translation and textual notes
- The Teachings of Jesus index
- Application IndexDownload full-length book excerpts from the GW Personal Size Giant Print Bible:GOD’S WORD Translation is an exceptionally accurate and easy-to-read translation of the Holy Bible. For in-depth information about the translation philosophy and scholarship behind GW, download A Guide to GOD’S WORD Translation: Translating the Bible according to the Principles of Closest Natural Equivalence.Endorsements“GOD’S WORD is a remarkably fresh, accurate, and readable translation that communicates well the original text for modern readers. Based on a sound linguistic approach, this translation is an outstanding achievement.”
—Dr. David Dockery
“GOD’S WORD is an easy-to-understand Bible. . . . It is a wonderful version.”
—Rev. Billy Graham
“This new Bible translation, GOD’S WORD, strives to interpret passages for the American reader without changing the original Hebrew meaning of the text. The English language is constantly changing. It is time, and vitally important, to bring Bible translations up-to-date. The Old Testament portion of GOD’S WORD ranks among the best.”
—Dr. Menahem Mansoor, (retired) department chair, Research Programs in Semitic Texts and Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Mansoor was a key technical reviewer and consultant for the entire Old Testament of GOD’S WORD Translation.
“Even if the rather prolific output of modern translations, paraphrases, and versions of Scripture should increase, this particular linguistic achievement, GOD’S WORD, will rank among the top contenders with the Bible-reading public.”
—Dr. D. James Kennedy
“GOD’S WORD is very possibly the most accurate English translation of the original text available today. GOD’S WORD is a must-read for twenty-first century Christians.”
—Dr. Larry Richards
“As a lay leader in several evangelical organizations, including colleges and parachurch organizations, I am often asked to lead devotions or give a speech. Over the years my walk with Christ has deepened through study of the Bible in various translations and paraphrase editions. It was with great joy that I discovered GOD’S WORD Translation because I appreciate a more contemporary writing style that honors original meaning. This may be the Bible that I go to first from now on.”
—Robert C. Andringa, PhD, president emeritus, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
“From the helpful indentations of the text to the accurate and fluent wording of the translation, GOD’S WORD provides the reader with a compelling translation of the Bible that communicates to today’s reader. Read through some of your favorite Bible passages and see how well the passage flows. Read Jer. 31:31-34 or Psalm 23, and you’ll know what I mean. Rediscover the story of Pentecost in Acts 2 or faith stories of Old Testament saints in Hebrews 11. Prepare yourself for a fresh reading of Scripture, whether it’s your first time or your hundredth time.”
—Joel D. Heck, ThD, professor of theology, executive editor, Concordia University Press
“Even though there are many English translations of the Bible, GOD’S WORD stands out due to its clarity and scholarship. I believe that the GOD’S WORD Translation will be the one that stays in your hands, not on your shelf.”
—Steve Wingfield, author, speaker, and president of the Steve Wingfield Evangelistic Association
“I am by profession a radio and television journalist, but I am also a lay evangelist, and in that capacity I am always looking for a translation of the Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek text that is both accurate and clear. Clarity matters, but accuracy matters even more. For my own private study I want a translation that is essentially literal. But for evangelistic speaking, writing, and broadcasting I want a translation that is clear. . . .
“For the former purpose I’ve tended to use the NASB or the NRSV. . . . For the latter purpose I’ve tried the CEV and the NLT but have not been really satisfied with either.GOD’S WORD performs both these tasks better than any other translation I’ve come across.
“So, for those purposes in which a combination of clarity (and simplicity of language) with accuracy and reliability is needed, GOD’S WORD seems to me to win hands down.”
“GOD’S WORD is accurate, inspirational, and easy to read. Thank God for this translation!”
—Dr. T. W. Wilson, former executive assistant to Billy Graham
“After extensive study, I am convinced that GOD’S WORD Translation is, without exception, the most accurate, easy-to-read version of the Bible available on the face of the earth. It is a powerful tool for this new millenium that should be placed in the hands of every individual at every reading age level.”
—Tim Todd, executive director of Revival Fires International
“I’m a huge fan of GOD’S WORD Translation; in fact, it’s the translation we use most in our particular church because of its excellent mix of accuracy and readability. GOD’S WORD Translation has been a key ingredient in our efforts to reach people for whom church itself has been an obstacle to knowing God; many of these same people have been blocked from a relationship with Christ by a misunderstanding that the Bible is boring and irrelevant to them. We’re accomplishing our mission . . . thanks in large part to you accomplishing yours!”
—Pastor Ron Crawford
“Over the last two years God has permitted me to lead over fifty people to Christ or back to Christ. When I share Christ with them I read certain verses from three or even four translations—NIV, NKJV, NASB, TEV—but last I’ll read from GOD’S WORD. Invariably, when I read from GOD’S WORD their eyes will light up and they’ll say something like, ‘Wow! That was really clear. What Bible is that?’ I then give them a copy of GOD’S WORD and mark out what I want them to read. GOD’S WORD is a wonderful, clear, and accurate translation.”
—Pastor Robert J. Muller
“I don’t know any other translation that so conscientiously captures the meaning of the original languages yet reads more simply and clearly.”
—Rev. Ron Mehl
“As a pastor and radio broadcaster I especially love the flow, clarity, and accuracy ofGOD’S WORD Translation. It has greatly enhanced my teaching and preaching ministry. I’ve noticed people paying much closer attention to the reading of the Word because of the natural way GOD’S WORD Translation sounds when it is read in sermons and on the radio.”
—Pastor Don Wight
“I am greatly impressed! I couldn’t put GOD’S WORD down. It certainly is the most readable English translation I’ve read. I predict it will become a standard text. I believeGOD’S WORD will enrich the study habits of a whole generation.”
—Dr. Joe C. Aldrich
“Wow! GOD’S WORD is translated the way I teach my students to translate the New Testament.”
—Dr. Charles Guth
“We’ve always had translations that are very accurate and from time to time we’ve had translations that are readable. GOD’S WORD combines these two in a way that makes for an incredibly useful tool to give students.”
—Dr. Marv Penner
“GOD’S WORD is an easy-to-read, accurate translation your students will love.”
“New translations of the Bible abound today, but many fall short because they ‘dumb-down’ its meaning to try and appeal to man and in doing so fail to glorify God. Conversely, GOD’S WORD Translation of the Bible stands head and shoulders above its peers. It uses clear, contemporary language of our day and still ‘guards the trust’ of the rich meaning of the Scriptures.”
“With so many Bible translations available, GOD’S WORD is the breakout choice. It’s clear and contemporary yet intelligent and elegant. Its refreshing style communicates powerfully. Most important, it’s thoroughly accurate.”
—Rev. Peter M. Wallace, executive producer and host, Alliance for Christian Media
“As Point of Grace, we struggle just like the rest of the world . . . being wives, being moms, and just being. Life requires a daily decision as well as a commitment to stay focused on those things that are of eternal matter (Phil. 4:8). The Bible reveals the truth to us, empowering us with the armor necessary to make good choices. GOD’S WORD Translation puts those truths in a language that is easy to read and understand, making it clear to us how to choose wisely.”
—Leigh Cappillino, Point of Grace
“As we share God’s Word with our audience this year we choose to use GOD’S WORD Translation. It’s easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to share with others.”
—Denise Jones, Point of Grace
“The amateur Bible scholar in me loves versions like the HCSB and ESV because their precise translation allows for good word studies and comparisons to the original languages (even though the HCSB isn’t as literal as the ESV). The evangelist in me likes translations like the Good News, NLT, and TNIV because they speak the language of ordinary people. Ultimately I want a person to actually enjoy reading the Bible I give them. But I don’t like for a translation to be overly interpretive, and the dynamic equivalent translations sometimes disappoint me in this area, particularly the NLT. GW seems to excel in the area of readability while avoiding over-interpretation. That’s a big achievement.”
“For nearly ten years, I’ve been using GOD’S WORD Translation in my morning devotions. It is a good combination of accuracy and readability, and many times I’ve found that it gives fresh meaning on old familiar passages.
“One favorite passage is Psalm 71:20-21:You have made me endure many terrible troubles.
You restore me to life again.
You bring me back from the depths of the earth.
You comfort me and make me greater than ever.
“No other translation gives the warmth and lyricism to these verses.”
—Gretchen W. Goldsmith, president/CEO, Rose Publishing, Inc.
“The Bible is the means God has chosen to reach out in human language, reveal the essence of his relational heart, and relate the Good News of his redemptive plan. GOD’S WORD Translation presents that message in a way that makes sense to readers of all ages. It is an accurate translation using modern English language and phraseology which makes it easier to understand.”