Macclesfield Christadelphian Church
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1.0 Bibles Before 1611
1.1 Background: The English Reformation
1.2 Background: The Development of Printing
1.3 Wycliffe: The First English Translation
1.4 Knox: Supporting the Reformation
2.0 King James Verson 1611
2.1 Favoured Version for 300 Years
2.2 Rules for Translators
2.3 The Canon of Scripture
2.4 Tyndale's Earlier Work
2.5 Coverdale & the Great Bible
2.6 Support from Luther
3.0 Modern Versions
3.1 Updating the KJV
3.2 Methods of Translation
3.3 Word for Word Versions
3.4 Thought for Thought Versions
3.5 English Translations of the Latin Bible
3.6 Which Translation for Me?
4.0 What the Bible Says
4.1 God the Creator
4.2 The Word of God
4.3 God's Word in Prophecy
4.4 The Jews - God's Witnesses
4.5 Jesus - God's Son
4.6 Jesus - The Coming King
4.7 Our Need for God
4.8 God's Love for Us
4.9 Our Response
5.0 Where to Start
5.1 God's Inspired Word
6.0 We Would Like to Help
6.1 Conclusion
3.2 Methods of Translation

There are various Methods Of Translation

The translator of God’s Word has a tremendous responsibility. On the one hand there is the concern to be faithful to the original source languages. The Scriptures were originally given in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. This necessitates a thorough knowledge of the original language in both its culture and its context. There is an additional difficulty because there is both a time and cultural difference between the world of The Bible and the world of the twenty-first century.

So the translator also has the responsibility to communicate meaningfully the author’s message to us today in our culture and context. They must therefore be skilful in the understanding of the original and how the translation will be understood by today’s readers.

If these were the only obstacles, the task would be daunting enough, however, we must add another factor to the translation process. That is the method used in the translation. There are two basic methods of translation, as follows.

Firstly word for word translations follow the original text as closely as possible making as little change as possible and let the readers make their own decisions about the message and doctrine.

Secondly thought for thought translations are written paragraph by paragraph with the translator conveying in his own words what he believes the author was intending.


Word for Word translations tend not to be as readable as liberal translations but because the translator has used less new words of his own, are good for tracing key words and themes through The Bible.

Thought for thought translations are more readable and help with ideas of interpretation, but obviously contain doctrinal bias which can be misleading.

In practice all translations are not solely one technique or the other, but they are created with one technique or the other as a priority.

 Examples of each group are as follows:


·         Revised 1884 – this was the first significant change since the King James Version of 1611

·         Revised Standard Version 1952

·         New King James 1982

·         New Revised Standard Version 1990

·         English Standard Version 2001

Because they convey ideas thought for though translations tend to subdivide into two groups as follows


·         New English Bible 1970

·         Living Bible 1971

·         Good News Bible 1976

·         New World Translation 1970

·         New International Version 1978

·         The Message 2002


·         Knox 1949

·         Jerusalem Bible 1966

·         New Jerusalem Bible 1985

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