Friday, January 09, 2004


I recently purchased a copy of the NET Bible. NET is an acronym for New English Translation, but it also conveys the idea of the Worldwide Web. From the Biblical Studies Foundation: The NET Bible (New English Translation) is a completely new translation of the Bible, not a revision or an update of a previous English version. It is being completed by more than twenty biblical scholars who are working directly from the best currently available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. The translation project originally started as an attempt to provide an electronic version of a modern translation for electronic distribution over the Internet and on CD-Rom. Anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection will be able to use and print out the NET Bible without cost for personal study. In addition, anyone who wants to share the Bible with others can print unlimited copies and give them away free to others. (emphasis added) Click on this link to access the NET Bible on-line. This translation looks like a very good study Bible. It has over 60,000 translator's notes packed into its over 2,000 pages! While striving to keep the literal aspect of the translation, certain nuances were translated using the dynamic equivalent method. What is nice about this is that when the translators went to a dynamic equivalent translation, they footnote the fact with comments about the literal meaning. The preface details the types of decisions the translators had to make. For instance, in Mark 1:17, the KJV reads "I will make you fishers of men." Did Jesus only expect adult males to be saved? The NRSV says, "I will make you fish for people." Will Jesus force us to fish for people? The NLT says, "I will show you how to fish for people." This addresses the teaching aspect but relegates the act to a mere occupation. NET translators decided on, "I will turn you into fishers of people." As they state, in this passage, accuracy was more important than readability or elegance.

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