PRODUCING AN ACCURATE AND FAITHFUL TRANSLATION
OF THE WORDS OF GOD
NINE IMPORTANT FACTORS
The Dean Burgon Society
The William Carey Bible Society
H. D. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.
This work will be produced in booklet form in the
near future and will be available on Amazon.com by typing in their
search engine the title of the work, but not the author's name. It
should be available by October.
Some of the original formatting is not retained
in the HTML version.
The elements involved in producing an accuate
and faithful translation of the Bible must begin by examining how we
got into the modern pstiferous situation. It involves: (1)
translatin methods and techniques (2) the texts used for
translating; as well as (3) translation experience that also
incorporates the concept of the art of translating;' (4) excessive
national and scholarly' pride that overrides the principles of
translating found in the Words of God; (5) bibliology andtheology
of the translator; (6) adequate funds for translating; (7) one
overlooked principle or the neglect of it by so many participating
in translating endeavors which will be discussed below; this
principle may be the reason a significant number of otherwise good
translations fail in the final analysis (q.v.); it is the need for
multiple counselors; (8) faith in God; and (9) "without
Faith & Preservation
Furthermore, and probably most importantly, the
modern quagmire in translation theory and practice involves unbelief
ou pisto", no
faith, Lk. 18:8, Mk. 4:40, etc.) or, at best, little faith (oligopisto",
little faith, Mat. 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, etc.). Part of the reason for
lack of faith in the last two or three generations is related to the
horrendous modern and postmodern attack on the Preservation of the
Words of God' in the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and
Greek; specifically, the Words of God that are found in the Greek
Received Text (Textus Receptus or Traditional Text) and the second
edition of the Rabbinical Hebrew Masoretic Text published by Jacob
ben Chayyim and Daniel Bomberg that underlie the King James Bible.
In this work, the two texts will be referred to as the
Received Texts or the Traditional Texts (with an "s"). In addition,
the attack by modernists includes the caustic harassment of those
who are steadfast in their stand for Preservation of the Words of
God and for the most accurate and faithful translations such as the
King James Bible. They are falsely labeled as uneducated, apostates,
or heretics. These vitriolic and false accusations have confused and
frightened many pastors and missionaries, much less the man in the
Missionaries are the primary translators of the
Words of God into the language-groups of the world. Discussions with
missionary-minded men who have been called of God to go unto "the
uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8) reveals their confusion
about these issues, their fear of loss of financial support, their
abandonment by so-called' friends, and their loss of retirement
funds. Examples could be given by this author from trips overseas,
emails, and from his conversations with missionaries at conferences.
One example will suffice. On a trip to South America (the country's
name is withheld), a Southern Baptist missionary served as my
translator by necessity. After ten days of work in the field,' the
missionary explained his dismay at the Southern Baptist Mission
Board's fall from proper doctrinal stance and the handling of their
missionaries in the field. He expressed his desire to change, but he
was only 3 years from retirement. He would lose all of his
retirement funds after almost 30 years away from America. What would
In light of the comments above and other factors,
this work is not for liberals, modernists, or others who have a
low view of Scripture. The old adage, "a man convinced against
his will is of the same opinion still" is very apropos to this
What follows are short explanations of the nine
important precepts listed above, which must be understood and
applied for producing a proper, accurate, and faithful translation
and the apt (right) and proper process of translating the Words of
The nine factors discussed must be addressed by
missionaries and those supporting them BEFORE they enter the mission
field; and hopefully, before entering educational facilities for
training and preparation. A missionary's "path" and "practice" (Jer.
6:16) is influenced by the school chosen to attend because
tremendous pressures are applied by mission broad for a school to
conform to the ideas' of the board. The effect on the missionary
lasts a lifetime. Once the individual is disposed (infected?), and
influenced by a school's doctrine, reversing faulty educational
training and doctrine is nearly impossible.
Mission-minded pastors and churches funding the
deputation of missionaries must be aware of a missionary's stand and
beliefs about the issues presented in this work. These factors will
ultimately influence many bibles' that are published around the
world because missionaries are the most common translators of
Bibles' in other languages. Do you want to support defective
training and translating?
What kind of persuasive pressures are we
indicating that influence the final translation result? Those listed
above. The first on the list is translation methods.
1. TRANSLATION METHODS
Modern translation methods are either causing
many very poor translations or translations that are basically
satisfactory, but they contain from a few minor errors to numerous
serious, significant, critical text-type errors. These errors may be
related to bibliology, the significant influence of inappropriate
interpretation (hermeneutics), faulty verbal and formal translation
methods and techniques, and even the use or influence of dynamic
equivalent (DE) translating (also called functional equivalent
The Wrong Precept: The Paraphrase
The proliferate paraphrase versions of the Bible
that are in many languages and in many countries are primarily the
result of one man, Eugene Nida. His influence cannot be
underestimated. It has been insidious and pervasive. From the
beginning of Nida's career, his problem has been, and still is,
unbelief in the inspiration and preservation of Words of God. Nida
"...God's revelation involved limitations.
...Biblical revelation is not absolute and all divine
revelation is essentially incarnational...Even if a truth is
given only in words, it has no real validity until it has
been translated into life...The words are in a sense nothing
in and of themselves...the word is void unless related to
experience" (Nida, Message and Mission, p. 222-228).
Furthermore, he said the following concerning the
doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ's death on the Cross:
"Most scholars, both Protestant and Roman
Catholic, interpret the references to the redemption of the
believer by Jesus Christ, not as evidence of any commercial
transaction by any quid pro quo between Christ and
God or between the two natures of God' (his love and his
justice), but as a figure of the cost,' in terms of
suffering" (Eugene Nida and Charles Taber, Theory and
Practice, 1969, p. 53). In A Translator's Handbook on
Paul's Letter to the Romans, Nida (with co-author
Barclay Newman) says, "... blood' is used in this passage
[Romans 3:25] in the same way that it is used in a number of
other places in the New Testament, that is, to indicate a
violent death...Although this noun [propitiation] (and its
related forms) is sometimes used by pagan writers in the
sense of propitiation (that is, an act to appease or placate
a god), it is never used this way in the Old Testament."
We are commanded to separate from heretics and
blasphemous men (Rom. 16:17, Tit. 3:10, etc. in many places). The
practice of separation as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ
extends not only to people, but our responsibility, extends to many
other areas of our lives. For example, what books we read or what
movies we watch. The old maxim that "the pen is mightier than the
sword" or even the spoken word" is either disregarded or not
understood. Therefore, what books influence or guide the translator
related to the methods and practice of translating becomes very
Those of us interested in accurate and faithful
translating and translators are surprised to learn of the widespread
use of Nida and associates' materials, ideas, and concepts to
translate the Bible. These influences are particularly observable in
the programs and products of many Bible Societies. The Societies
include those such as the Wycliffe Bible Society and their "Summer
Institute of Linguistics," the American Bible Society and their use
of corrupted texts and DE translations, and the United Bible Society
and their board members that for years included the apostate Bruce
Metzger, Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop Carlo Maria Martini,
Matthew Black, Kurt Aland, Eugene Nida, and Allen Wikgren. Many
other Bible Societies that number at least 145 have used the
translating principles established by Nida.
Perhaps many pastors and churches are unaware of
Nida's beliefs and influence. Whatever the case, Nida's principles
of translation or even the versions of the Bible, which have come
about as a result of his influence, should not be used. They are
infected with man's philosophy; albeit his "professed desire" was to
reach lost souls for the Lord. His doctrine and theological stance
cannot be sustained by Scripture. As a matter of fact, by his own
admission of his low view of the preserved revelation of the Words
of God (see above), his views are obviously not based on Scripture.
The Pedagogue's Result
The result of Nida's influence on translators can
be boiled down to two primary factors. (1) Since he believes the
Words of God are not preserved, he concludes that only the message,
idea, concept, or thought needs to be conveyed to a receptor-group
(dialect). (2) As a result of the first factor, the next premise
falls into place. He claims the primary aim of a translator should
be to make the "message" understandable to the receptor group. Thus
dynamic (or functional) equivalent translating was birthed as a
consequence. This is paraphrase or interpretive
The Perfidy of the Paraphrase:
Six Precepts Subverted
The outcome of these two major premises
subverts seven of the Bible's most important proclamations
related to proper translation:
1. The Lord's claim to and for glory:
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive
glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all
things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
2. And the Bible's statement:
"For mine own sake, even for mine own
sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and
I will not give my glory unto another." Isaiah 48:11
3. And the Bible's warning:
"Behold, ye trust in lying words, that
cannot profit." Jeremiah 7:8
4. And the an example of the Bible's proper
word-for-word translating by the cognates of interpreted (meaning
translated) such as:
"And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a
loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is,
being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou
forsaken me?" Mark 15:34
5. An the Bible gives the reason for accurate and
faithful translation of the Word's of God:
"I will worship toward thy holy temple,
and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy
truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy
name." Psalms 138:2
6. The Bible's command (in many places):
"And thou shalt speak my words unto them,
whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for
they are most rebellious." Ezekiel 2:7
7. The Bible's assertion of the right Words (in
"To the law and to the testimony: if they
speak not according to this word, it is because there is no
light in them." Isaiah 8:20
The proper translation method is verbal, formal
equivalent translating without the influence of bias from
theological beliefs and influence. The translators job is to
translate the Words on the page. It is stated this way in
Word-For-Word Translating of the Received Texts, Verbal Plenary
Translating by this author et al:
"DE (dynamic equivalent) theorists
mistakenly think that word-for-word translating is only one
word for one word and only one class of words (nouns, verbs,
pronouns, etc.) for one class of words. Although the primary
attempt should be one word for one word or one class for one
class, the syntax of language determines the final
disposition of translating. Nothing could be further from
the truth than the accusation by modern language theorists
that word-for-word translating is rigid. Rather, it is
militancy for accurate and faithful translation of His
Words! Literal word-for-word translating is translating
words in the source language for words in the
receptor-language so far as the syntax of the
receptor-language will allow. No one would deny the
difficulty that often occurs, but the primary aim of
translators is for His glory through faithful preservation
of His glorious Words (Isa. 42:8) in any language."
However, since a translator cannot get away from
his theological beliefs and interpretation, care about who is chosen
for a translating team must be exercised.
2. THE TEXTS USED FOR TRANSLATING
This factor alone has greatly influenced the
production of many false, corrupted, and inadequate translations.
Anyone involved in translating or the support of translators needs
to understand the facts related to the multiple original language
texts in the market place that are all called the original Words of
God. How can all of them be the very Words of God? It is not logical
and does not make sense. There are thousands of word differences.
Why doesn't it make sense? God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Second
Person of the Trinity, declared their Preservation and their
eternality to the jot and tittle in multiple places in Scripture,
which has been declared by many men of God through the ages (Mat.
4:4, 5:17-18, 24:35, Psa. 12:6-7, 1 Pe. 1:23-25, etc.) to be used
for translating. How can there be twenty-eight (28) significantly
different REVISIONS (not editions) of the Nestle/Aland critical
text, four (4) UBS texts, and several Majority Texts and claim to be
the Words of God according to His promise to preserve "EVERY WORD."
Oh yes, we know, immediately, the mantra of the "Critical Text" or
"Majority Text" men will pull out their false claims of multiple
REVISIONS of the Received Texts. The truth is there have been
several EDITIONS of spelling changes, printing errors, and RARE word
changes, but not REVISIONS of the. Prior to the King James Bible,
there were minor changes in the RT editions (e.g. 100's) as more
manuscripts of the RT were uncovered; there certainly were not
thousands as in the Critical Text (CT) of Westcott/Hort, UBS, or
Furthermore, the evidence supporting the
preservation of "every word" is overwhelming, if the evidence for
the Received Text alone is considered. In other words, if the
one percent (1%) of the Critical Text manuscripts (MSS) are removed
from the "mix," the remaining ninety-nine (99%) of the original
language MSS along with the MANY witnesses to their accuracy and
perfection confirms their Apostolic origin. Some of those witnesses
are the early post-Apostolic versions and lectionaries, plus the
church elder writings before the first Nicene Council of 325 A.D.
Dean Burgon addressed these facts related to the
support for the Traditional Texts in regard to VARIETY and DIVERSITY
"Variety distinguishing witness massed
together must needs constitute a most powerful argument for
believing such Evidence to be true. Witnesses of different
kinds; from different countries; speaking different
tongues:--witnesses who can never have met, and between whom
it is incredible that there should exist collusion of any
kind:--such witnesses deserve to be listened to most
respectfully. Indeed, when witnesses of so varied a sort
agree in large numbers, they must needs be accounted worthy
of even implicit confidence... Variety it is which imparts
virtue to mere Number, prevents the witness-box from being
filled with packed deponents, ensures genuine testimony.
False witness is thus detected and condemned, because it
agrees not with the rest. Variety is the consent of
independent witnesses...It is precisely this consideration
which constrains us to pay supreme attention to the combined
testimony of the Uncials and of the whole body of the
Cursive Copies. They are (a) dotted over at least 1000
years: (b) they evidently belong to so many divers
countries,--Greece, Constantinople, Asia Minor, Palestine,
Syria, Alexandria, and other part of Africa, not to say
Sicily, Southern Italy, Gaul, England and Ireland: (c) they
exhibit so many strange characteristics and peculiar
sympathies: (d) they so clearly represent countless families
of MSS., being in no single instance absolutely identical in
their text, and certainly not being copies of any other
Codex in existence,--that their unanimous decision I hold
to be an absolutely irrefragable evidence of the Truth."
[HDW, my emphasis]
Dean Burgon was talking about the Received Text
(Textus Receptus). Dr. Waite says:
"If you are talking about the Textus
Receptus of the New Testament we find those manuscripts
virtually identical one with the other...a seamless
garment. There are a few spelling differences but other than
that not much else."
With the overpowering evidence available for the
Received Texts (the Traditional Texts), one has to ask himself or
herself, what is all of this confusion produced by some scholars'
and essentially all Bible Societies. We will let you insert your
reasons here. This author suspects it is related to the old serpent,
lust, greed, pride, money, and similar.
The Preservation of the Words of God in a Translation
The most important job of a translator is to
produce a translation to God's glory using the proper original
texts; the only way translating will glorify God is by accurately
and faithfully translating His Words from the right Hebrew, Aramaic,
and Greek texts without wavering. If you believe the Scriptures
proclamations concerning "inspiration" of His Words, then verbal
plenary inspiration demands verbal plenary preservation, which in
turn demands verbal plenary translation. Technically, this type f
translating is called verbal and formal equivalent (Verbal Plenary
Translating ~ VPT) or essentially literal translating. The result is
the Words of God preserved in the receptor-language. When the
emphasis is on the receptor rather than the Author, the technical
name for this type of translating is dynamic or functional
equivalent (Fun E) translating.
The translator, who produces a translation whose
major guiding principle is the receptor in a language-group, will
fail his call to be a translator of the Words of God. His emphasis
is on the receptor and not to the glory of God. As indicated in Psa.
138:2, God has a very high opinion of His Words. Deviating from this
important precept leads to failure to produce an accurate and
faithful translation that can be said to preserve the Words of God
in a receptor language.
The Pattern to be Extolled
The primary and classic example of accurate and
faithful translating of God's Words and also of almost perfect
English literature is the King James Bible. It is an English
product; that is, it was produced in England, not America. For those
around the world who are caught up in prejudice against America and
in national pride, purge your narrow-mindedness.
The King James Bible can and should be used as
confirmation of a translation in many language-groups. First of all
because of its allegiance to the Words of God. Second because it is
recognized by many scholars of literature as the greatest of all
For example, Laurence M. Vance wrote:
"The Authorized Version not only
functions as a standard in the religious realm. As the famed
commentator Adam Clarke (1762 - 1832) observed: "Our
translators have not only made a standard translation,
but they have made their translation the standard of
our language." The place of the Authorized Version in
English literature is a story that has often been told.
"Historically," said Geddes MacGregor (1909 - 1998), author
of A History of the Bible: From the Middle Ages to the
Present Day (Abingdon Press, 1968), "it is the most
influential version of the most influential language." John
Genung (1850-1919), writing on the occasion of the
tercentenary of the Authorized Version for The Biblical
World, points out how this is even more remarkable in
that "it is a thing so rare that it may indeed be called
unique when a book translated faithfully from one language
becomes a literary classic in another...In the case of the
Authorized Version the unique has become the universally
recognized fact. It is not only a classic, it is the
English classic par excellence, true to the genius of
English speech and life." Robert Lowth (1710-1787), one-time
Professor of Poetry at Oxford, termed the Authorized Version
"the best standard of our language" and "the noblest
monument of English prose."..."
Something has to be missing in the synapses of
the brain when some translators, pastors, missionaries, or
evangelists thumb their noses' at the King James Bible.
Disregarding this most excellent of all translations of the Bible
and its indelible contribution to English literature is akin to
denying the Preservation of the Words of God in Hebrew, Aramaic, and
Greek that underlie the Authorized Version.
In the past, many men have stood for the English
translation of the KJB. However, there is an ever increasing chorus
of men in opposition to those who would defend the 1604 to 1611
English translation of the Bible as the most accurate and faithful.
Those opposed fall into two groups. First, many recent scholars',
neo-evangelicals, protestants, emerging church leaders, and even
more and more fundamentalists, loudly proclaim in essence: "The KJB
translation is not very good because it has many errors, the English
is outdated, and it is based upon the wrong text. The modern
translations and texts are better." For example, Dr. James Price
"In my early days, it never entered my
mind that the King James Version needed revision in modern
English because I cut my teeth on that edition of the Bible,
memorizing it from early childhood. Consequently, I
understood King James English as well as Modern English and
did not know some people had trouble comprehending it. It
was not until I began teaching in seminary that I discovered
I was investing a worthwhile percentage of my teaching
Elizabethan English in my classes instead of Bible. Many
students did not understand (or they misunderstood) what
they read in the King James Bible because of its archaic
language. That encouraged me to participate in the editing
of the New King James Version." .
Dr. Price could have better spent his time
producing a KJB with the words defined such as the Defined King
James Bible published by Bible For Today, Collingswood, NJ. His
path has certainly contributed to many students not knowing "where
the Bible is" and to confusion. Do his students know for sure that
they hold A BIBLE in their hands or it is still being "constructed"
from somewhere in cyberspace'? Are they certain EVERY WORD in their
Bible' is the Words of God or their translation is the Words of God
preserved in English? Are his students certain when the teach,
pastor, or preach that they are using God's Words or man's words?
Second, some individuals, although they use the
King James Bible for preaching and teaching, claim those individuals
defending the preservation of God's Words to the "jot" and "tittle"
(Mat. 5:17-18) and to "every word" of the canon of Scripture (Mat.
4:4) are duped. In other words, they believe the KJB translation
conveys the thoughts, ideas, concepts, or message adequately, but
they admit to preferring another text than the Traditional Texts
underlying the KJB. Dr. Sproul said:
"I write from the perspective of a
preference for the Byzantine/Majority Text. My purpose is
not to defend that position necessarily, but I am certain
some of my beliefs will be apparent. I preach every week
from the Old Scofield King James Version that relies on
Blayney's 1769 revision."
So why doesn't he use the New King James
In addition, many of these men falsely claim that
there are or have been only a few poorly trained men who stand for
the King James Bible translation and its underlying texts. Those,
who are opposed one way or another to the KJB and to the men who
support it, have loudly promulgated their claims over television,
websites, emails, books, journals, and newspapers and have
denigrated those who defend the KJB English translation and the
inspired, preserved, pure, perfect, inerrant, infallible words of
the Traditional Texts behind it. Their favorite accusation is to
lump all defenders of the KJB and underlying texts as "King James
Only" dupes' after the fashion of Peter Ruckman, which is deceptive
and libelous. Do all of these things fall into the hands of the
enemy to eventually influence translators? Of course it does!
But the KJB men, who defend it as the most
accurate and faithful because of the texts it is based upon and
because of the method underlying its translation, have withstood the
attacks with deference. They have not attacked the "persons;"
rather, they have defended their beliefs with Grace and Wisdom. They
always start with the Words of God, which is where all of us should
start, rather than with ideas passed from one person to another that
are without foundation. This information is important for
translators around the world in order to caution them NOT to be so
ready to take up the pronouncements of modernistic scholars without
careful reflection and consideration of the man's false philosophies
and ideas. Seek multiple counselors (see below). The verses that
come to mind concerning those who attack so many who believe in
Preservation of the Words to the jot and title is:
"For I know nothing by myself; yet am I
not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord."
1 Corinthians 4:4
"And if any man think that he knoweth any
thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." 1
This leads to the next element in producing an
accurate and faithful translation of the Words of God.
3. TRANSLATION EXPERIENCE
On occasion, it has been my privilege to travel
to foreign lands to share the Gospel and to teach in churches out
side of the United States. Invariably, encounters with translators
Eventually, the conversation turns to
translation(s) in existence or underway. Unfortunately, on most
occasions, the translation underway is being made by only one to
several men (less than three or four). The effort for an accurate
and faithful translation is probably bound for failure. In addition,
the names and addresses of the men on the translation team are
usually hard to obtain.
The art of translating' the Bible into a
language-group must by definition occur with a great depth of
knowledge in languages of the Bible, in customs of the Biblical era,
in the receptor language, and in the culture of the language-group.
The nuances of translating are greatly influenced by the
understanding of idioms, precise sense of a word in a passage or
"signification," and many similar concepts in both languages. This
experience (acquired knowledge) cannot not be reflected in a
translation by a novice (1 Tim. 3:6). It requires a team of
experience Christians with exceptional knowledge of texts.
4. EXCESSIVE PRIDE
National pride related to translating is extolled
by many authors. Even Kurt and Barbara Aland use it as a reason to
translate the words of God. This may be related to "pride for
country" or for "pride by nationals" of a nation to produce a
translation in their receptor-language. The Alands said:
"Consequently in most languages at least
revisions of Bible translations were (and are) long overdue,
if only to satisfy a sense of pride in a text prepared by
national Christian translators." (HDW, my emphasis).
On the basis of our Lord's commands and the
Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, national barriers for the church
are removed. Brothers and sisters in every nation are charged with
the same responsibilities; namely, to make the faith "once delivered
unto the saints" made known to the world (Jude. 1:3, Mat. 28:18-20).
The members of the body of Christ in the world know no borders. The
Bible recognizes only three groups pertaining to the Gospel. The
first two are unbelievers, the third, believers. They are:
"Give none offence, neither to the Jews,
nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:" 1
The purpose of translating the Bible into a
language-group is for winning souls and educating the body of
"...the whole body fitly joined together
and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according
to the effectual working in the measure of every part,
maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in
love." Ephesians 4:16
This applies to the local church as well as to
the "whole body." Anyone who has traveled to another nation for
evangelistic purposes will immediately recognize the bond of fellow
believers. Translate the Words of God for the "body of Christ."
A translator who has begun the arduous task of
properly and appropriately translating the Words of God secondary to
pride will soon lose his way.
"When pride cometh, then cometh shame:
but with the lowly is wisdom." Proverbs 11:2
"Only by pride cometh contention: but
with the well advised is wisdom." Proverbs 13:10
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an
haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)
Need we say more?
5. THE BIBLIOLOGY OF THE TRANSLATOR
This is a cardinal point for producing an
accurate and faithful translation of the Bible. Pastors and local
churches must be attuned to the Bibliology of the missionaries or
translators they are supporting.
Although conservative, fundamental men should
believe the following they increasingly do not:
"The Old Testament in Hebrew...and the New
Testament in Greek...being immediately inspired by God, and,
by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are
therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the
Church is finally to appeal unto them." (HDW, my emphasis)
Care must be taken as to how terms are defined.
For example, the precise definition and use of the word "inspired"
by many people through the years. When used "secularly," the
word inspired carries the connotation of enthused, extraordinarily
good, stimulated, motivated, and similar terms. Many individuals
have used the term, inspired, applied to a translation, when they
were trying to convey the special providential care of a
However, when used in a Biblical setting,
it causes great misunderstanding. Theologically, the definitions
above are not the meaning of "inspired" when applied to the Bible.
Bibliologically, the term is technical. It means the Words of the
Bible were God-breathed; every Word was given by God, meaning every
"jot" and "tittle."
In like manner, other words were defined and
applied in the area of bibliology over the centuries to combat many
errors. For example, "inerrancy" and "infallibility" of the
Scriptures were applied during the Reformation as theological terms
to combat higher and lower criticism that was sweeping Europe and
America. Many critical texts and translations of the corrupted texts
were developing as a result of the work of Hugo Grotius, John Fell,
Gerhard von Maestricht, J. A. Bengle, Johann Semler, J. J.
Griesback, Carl Lachmann, and many others. The terms helped refute
modernistic, liberal teachers.
Likewise, the heretical opinions of men such as
those mentioned above have undermined faith in VPI, VPP, and the
necessary corollary of VPT.
Therefore at the risk of repetition, verbal
plenary inspiration demands verbal plenary preservation and
subsequently verbal plenary translation.
A book could be written about this topic alone.
Let it suffice to say in this brief exposition that pastors and
churches supporting translators (missionaries) need to know where
they stand on these issues. Are the missionaries/translators solid
6. ADEQUATE FUNDS FOR TRANSLATING
This seems to be an elementary topic. But it must
be mentioned because the cost of completing an excellent translation
of the Bible demands a heavy price. It is not only the acquisition
of money, but it is related also to the loss of funds for
translators who could be earning money to support their families and
themselves doing something else.
The pressures related to this area of producing
an accurate and faithful translation are often overlooked.
Subsequently, the toll on men participating in the effort are
unnoticed and "the drop out rate" can be high. Those left to
complete the translation subsequently assume a much greater
responsibility and more time than was anticipated.
Furthermore, world-wide inflationary pressures
are causing many projects to be "short changed." This author
recently heard of a building under construction that initially was
to cost $50,000 and the cost has doubled to $100,000. The
discretionary funds to be allocated for translation endeavors will
be cut as a result.
This leads to the final element to be discussed
in this brief work about producing an accurate and faithful
translation: multiple counselors.
Proper counsel is a very important element. It is
far too often side-stepped or neglected. How many times have we
learned of a single solitary translator working by himself. This
does not preclude an excellent translation, but the Scripture is
clear about the need.
"The way of a fool is right in his own
eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise."
"Every purpose is established by counsel:
and with good advice make war." Proverbs 20:18
"Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of
counsellors they are established. Proverbs 15:22 (cf. Prov. 19:20
There is a word of caution for a translating
team, however. False counsel may be used by the Lord to test your
resolve, to test your wisdom and understanding, and to test your
sanctified counselors assisting with the translating project. (see 2
Sam. 17). Also, an evil spirit can be used to confuse a matter. A
lying spirit may be involved. (Judges 9:23, 1 Kg. 22:23, Acts 19).
Any counsel that is opposed to Scripture should not be accepted (Job
5:13, Acts 4:19-20). Positively, God can thwart evil counsel (Neh.
4:15). Sometimes, the counsel of the Lord should make a believer
tremble; this certainly applies to a translator because of the
awesome responsibility (Ezra 10:3, Jer. 23:28).
God The Counseller
The first counselor of utmost importance is God:
"Hearken now unto my voice, I will give
thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the
people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto
God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and
shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work
that they must do." Exodus 18:19-20
"With him is wisdom and strength, he hath
counsel and understanding." Job 12:13
And God warns (the Translator) to be certain that
His Words and not man's words are translated. H asks (the
"Who is this that darkeneth counsel by
words without knowledge? Job 38:2
He reaffirms His promise that His Words (Counsel)
will stand for ever, saying:
"The counsel of the LORD standeth for
ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."
"Have not I written to thee excellent
things in counsels and knowledge," Proverbs 22:20
Translator: "Should you use interpretive
translating of God's Bible and call it a Bible?" "Have you forgotten
His works (one of which is the recording of His inspired Words)?
"They soon forgat his works; they waited
not for his counsel:" Psalms 106:13
The preceding verse was addressed to Israel
during their wilderness journey. But, we have His written Counsel.
We no longer have to wait. We have His testimonies in hand which God
calls His counsel.
"Thy testimonies also are my delight and
my counselors". Psalms 119:24
As a translator, have you rebelled against God
and despised His counsel wittingly or unknowingly and set at naught
"Because they rebelled against the words
of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:"
"But ye have set at nought all my
counsel, and would none of my reproof:" Proverbs 1:25
"There are many devices in a man's heart;
nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."
"There is no wisdom nor understanding nor
counsel against the LORD". Proverbs 21:30
Surely you understand that God will not bless the
translation if you have rebelled against His counsel and His
Too many have sought "the counsel of Balaam"
after "the matter of Peor" and have trespassed "against
the Lord." (Exodus 31:16). In other words, they have sought
remuneration in the form of fame or power or influence. Access to
God's counsel is: (1) through His Words and (2) by prayer. The Words
of God contain the proper translation principles that are clearly
outlined in Scripture. Our prayer is that God would reveal them to
those who desire to translate His Words into a receptor-language.
Far too many start with man's philosophy as opposed to God's
Counsel. Secondly, translators of the Bible should "pray without
ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). They should be ready to cry out to him in
"O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt
thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful
things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth."
The Counsel of the Poor
The rich Roman Catholic Church has been
consulted either knowingly or unknowingly by translators around the
world because many are based upon or influence by the CT. The CT
currently used around the world is published by the UBS/Nestle/Aland
subsidiaries. For many years, the members of the United Bible
Society's editorial committee on textual matters remained a secret.
Finally, it was learned that Roman Catholic Archbishop and Cardinal
Carlo Maria Martini was on the committee and other Roman Catholics
had been in advisory positions. Furthermore, most modern translation
mention the use of the UBS corrupted Greek texts on their
title/copyright page, in addition to the corrupted Septuagint and
other Biblia Hebraica texts such as the Leningrad or Stuttgard. .
The cries of lonely poor fundamental defenders of
the Words of God concerning these issues have been shunned for
"Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor,
because the LORD is his refuge." Psalms 14:6
The warnings about the corrupted heretical
influence of modern versions has not only been ignored, it has been
scorned. The need to reassess the insidious influence of modern
versions and the modernistic translation techniques that produced
them is imperative.
This leads to another critical element that has
been overlooked by translators or bypassed because of fatigue,
printing costs, time, and many other factors. It involves the
concept of multiple counselors.
The Field Test
The translation process is so overwhelming that
not only is there a need for many men on a committee, but also for
many sanctified well-trained men not on the committee to be
utilized. It appears the most significant weak point in the
process of translating for many translations is not allowing the
review of the work by those in the "field" in language-groups.
Before the final edition of the translation is printed, what needs
to happen is to have a few copies (e.g. fifty to 100 copies or more)
printed and sent to nationals and missionaries of a
receptor-language for their review of the translation.
This is precisely what the KJB translators did,
and incidentally, is exactly what happened with the Wycliffe Bible.
This was done at a time when producing copies was much harder than
it is today. Why can't it be done today (q.v.)?
The use of scholars' not on the translating
committee by translations in previous times has been pointed out by
several authors. The KJB translators sent portions around the nation
to be reviewed and commented upon by many; I understand their target
was those who had pastor and teaching responsibilities.
Dr. David Cloud said:
"The KJV committee consisted of roughly
50 scholars, many of whom were incredibly gifted and
knowledgeable. They were divided into six companies, and the
revision went through the hands of each company. The
finished product was submitted to a 12-man final-review
committee composed of the two chief men from each company.
By this process each part of the translation was examined at least 14 times.
Further, the committee received
assistance and feedback from other scholars throughout
England. I am not aware of any Bible translation in history
that has gone through such an extensive sifting process."
(HDW, my emphasis)
The Wycliffe Bibles were reviewed by laymen and
by competent ministers. As a matter of fact, many individuals were
so anxious to have the Bible in their hand that they would pay a
wagon load of hay (a days work) to have a chance to read/copy a few
chapters of Wycliffe's translation. There are preserved examples of
these hastily made copies and of portions of the Wycliffe
translation sent to individuals for review in museums. Andrew Miller
"As soon as the translation of a portion
was finished, the labor of the copyists began, and the Bible
was ere long widely circulated wither wholly or in parts.
The effect of this bringing home the word of God to the
unlearned-to citizens, soldiers, and the lower classes-is
beyond human power to estimate. "Wycliffe," said one of his
adversaries, "has made the gospel common, and no more open
to laymen and to women who can read than it is wont to be to
clerks well leaned and of good understanding; so that the
pearl of the gospel is scattered and is trodden under foot
Even B. F. Westcott comments on many translators
at work in various parts of England during Wycliffe's time.
"While Wycliffe was engaged in his translation
others were prosecuting a similar work in different parts of
England. There is a manuscript translation of portions of the
Epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Gospel of Matthew, in
the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. It is in the
western dialect. In the same library is a complete version of Paul's
Epistles. The authors are unknown, and probably they concealed their
names for the purpose of escaping persecution." (HDW, my emphasis)
The Print-0n-Demand Asset
The review of a translation project by many
nationals and missionaries not on a translation committee has become
easier. Print on demand (POD) printing, has made this possible. For
example, as long as the NT or OT (or a portion of these) does not
exceed 828 pages, then 50 to 100 copies can be printed at a
reasonable cost to be submitted for evaluation to those who were not
involved in the translating process. These working copies would be
printed on 45# paper, however, and not on 25# paper (like the very
thin Bible paper). The purpose would be to pick up every possible
mistake or error possible before printing the translation for wide
distribution and sale.
The Fatigue Factor
The Lord knows we all understand "fatigue." It is
a REAL problem in the ministry for anyone who steps into the shoes
of pastor/teacher/missionary/evangelist; and if I can be so bold as
to add, translator! If someone is not called (or sure he is called)
to these positions by our Great God and only Saviour by such a
strong desire that he cannot resist, then he should flee the
responsibility. Those in these positions mentioned must be trained,
qualified, saved, and determined to do the best job possible to the
point of death. One of the striking features of great men in the
past is their service to the Lord to the point of demise. John
William Burgon is one, Wycliffe is another, much less those who went
to the fires such as William Tyndale and to the torture racks in
Translating work requires a dedication beyond
many extremes, without reward, without praise, without compassion;
and certainly, it is often accompanied by much criticism, even
vulgar attacks. Even so, this last step of seeking multiple
counselors by sending the translation to many others for comments
SHOULD NOT be neglected.
At the risk of repetition, pride should never
ever enter the picture, whether national or personal when
translating. This could keep a committee from seeking the advise of
others. But translators are translating the very Words of a Holy
God; it is not an ordinary book. Ever means possible to insure a
correct translation is imperative.
If someone truly understands our God, his
enormous ability (just look at the heavens and look at His Son), and
His love for us, then we should have respect of no (one) man, and
seek multiple counselors. This leads us to making a few comments
about a foundation doctrine. Too many translators today have "little
faith." Their doctrines of inspiration, preservation, and
translation are 180 degrees in the opposite direction of Scripture.
Why? They exalt themselves. They have no fear of changing, adding
to, or subtracting from the Words of God by two important ways
hinted at above. (1) Using the original language texts that are
built upon man's idea that God preserved only His message, concept,
thoughts, ideas, etc., but not His perfect, pure, Words. (2) Using
interpretive translating (paraphrase/dynamic equivalent/functional
equivalent) translating that invariably inserts man's idea. Why do
they believe this with all their heart. Because they do not have
faith in God's promises.
8. FAITH IN GOD
"And Jesus answering saith unto them,
Have faith in God." Mark 11:22
The entire process of translating the Words of
God MUST BE ANCHORED in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (God) and His
indescribable work, the SIXTY-SIX BOOK Canon of Scripture.
"But without faith it is impossible to
please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he
is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek
So many translators seem to have forgotten:
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and
hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17
Faith does not come by man's interpretations,
man's works, or man's philosophy (Col. 2:8). These factors, which
were briefly discussed above, are causing a paresis of faith among
baptized saints. O' translator, "What words do you want in the hands
of the people of your concern?" "Are you helping to destroy faith
among the people of the world in the "jot" and "tittle" preservation
of "every word" of God found in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts
that underlie the King James Bible.
9. "Without Ceasing" Prayer
Although this element to producing an accurate
and faithful translation will not be expounded, any experienced
translator or believer who is not a novice would be foolish to
attempt a translation of the Words of God "without ceasing" prayer.
The prayer should include every aspect (e.g. funds, people involved,
first phase-selecting the team, texts, time, and ALL the factors,
elements, printing, printers, patience, longsuffering, and on we
There are many more things that could be
presented that are important to producing an accurate and faithful
translation of the Bible such as selection of the translation team,
the number on the team, national translators, pre-translation stage,
books to have on hand, time schedules, and similar topics. But, in
this author's opinion, the very significant factors influencing
translators and an accurate and faithful translation of the Bible
are discussed above.
May the Lord bless each one of you who have taken
up the mantle of the most daunting task of properly translating the
Bible into the languages of the world according to the factors
presented in this work and many more important factors recorded by
the members of the William Carey Bible Society.
"The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The
LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto
thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give
thee peace." Numbers 6:24-26
H. D. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.,
A Vice-President, Dean Burgon Society
Board Member, William Carey Bible Society
The following seventy-seven (77) criteria were
taken from this author et al book, Word-For-Word
Translating of the Received Texts, Verbal Plenary Translating
available on Amazon (type in the name, not the author) and Bible For
Today ministries www.biblefortoday.org. They are placed here for
your review and consideration of the extensive preparation necessary
for translating accurately and faithfully the Preserved Words of
77 CRITERIA FOR TRANSLATING
"That thy way may beknown upon earth..." Psalms 67:2
"And the gospel must first be published among all
nations." (Mark 13:1) [HDW, whether spoken or written in
every "part" of the world]
"Now to him that is of power to stablish you
according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according
to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the
world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the
prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made
known to all nations for the obedience of faith:" (Romns
"For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven,
whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth
forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it,
and knew the grace of God in truth:" (Colossians 1:5-6)
"In the law it is written, With men of other
tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for
all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord". (1 Corinthians
14:21; cf. Isa. 28:11-12)
1. The correct Biblical texts should be used:
they include (1) The Received Texts: The Received Greek Text
(Textus Receptus ) and the 2nd Rabbinical Ben Chayyim
Hebrew Received Text, which are the Words that underlie the King
James Bible. (2) Guidelines offered by the superb, never to be
equaled, English translation, the King James Bible, or other
Bibles (versions) based upon the Received Texts such as the
Tyndale, Geneva, Matthews, and Bishops.
2. Multiple counselors should be used, which
includes: (1) Experts in the source-languages of Hebrew, Greek,
and Aramaic. (2) Native receptor-language speakers and/or
writers, whichever is appropriate. (3) Well-trained elder
theologians. (4) Intelligent believers in the receptor-language.
3. Word-for-word translation is the method of
translating to be utilized. Interpretation is left for the
pastors, missionaries, teachers, and evangelists.
4. The details of translating, such as
figures of speech , passive voice, etc. are determined by the
syntax of the language and the experience of the translators
in the source and receptor-language, not the concept or method
of translating, which is word-for-word. The concept or method of
translating does not require an expert. It requires obedience to
Scripture to make His Words known (not the message, concept,
idea, or thought interpreted by man. God's thoughts are revealed
in His Words.)
5. Under no circumstance should words be
added, subtracted, or changed in other ways. If no word or words
exist in a receptor-language for a word or words in a
source-language, a translator must construct one. Under no
circumstance should "Seal of God" be substituted for "Lamb of
God," even if no word for lamb exists in the
receptor-language or if the receptor of the receptor-language
does not understand "Lamb."
6. Under no circumstance should dynamic
equivalent translations or alleged literal translations
of the source-languages be used as examples for translating the
Words of God into a receptor language. For example, the NIV,
NASB, Living Bible, The Message, ARV, RSV , ESV , etc.
7. Under no circumstance should a version
which is not based upon the Received Texts be used as an
8. Under no circumstance should the ambiguity
in the original source-language be removed by inserting words of
interpretation by the translator. (e.g. Rom. 1:17 "For
therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to
faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith," as
the NIV did, stating: Rom. 1:17 "For in the gospel a
righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by
faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous
will live by faith.""
9. Under no circumstance shall an
anachronism be used in translating. It is wrong to refer to an
item that did not exist in the Biblical times. It will not be
true to the culture and historical setting. (e.g. NLB wrongly
uses a modern term, "clock." Isa. 60:11 "Your gates will stay
open around the clock to receive the wealth of many lands. The
kings of the world will be led as captives in a victory
procession." The clock did not exist in Biblical times. KJB
Isa 60:11 has it right. "Therefore thy gates shall be open
continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may
bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings
may be brought."
10. Under no circumstance will apostrophes be
changed. For example, if God addresses an inanimate or abstract
idea as if they were people, the translation into a receptor
language will do the same. Also, if people are addressed as if
they were present by the Scriptures, then the translation will
also. (e.g. Mat. 2:6 "And thou Bethlehem, in the land of
Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of
thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel."
Rom. 2:1 "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man,
whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest
another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest
the same things."
11. Under no circumstance should information
assumed to be known by the reader of the original
source-language be added into the text. A word or words may be
added to clarify a text, but see #13. Under no circumstance
should text be added to the receptor-text which is thought to
amplify, enhance, and not distort the "discourse" or "message."
This is adding interpretation to the text, which is not the job
of a translator. It is the job of
12. Footnotes and/or marginal notes should be
used liberally in translation work.
13. Any words added to a text for explanatory
reason under any circumstance needs to be identified in the
receptor-text, such as by italics. (e.g. KJB Rom 10:17
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word
14. A brief introduction to a book of the
Bible should be placed at the beginning of the receptor
15. Under no circumstance should the order of
a chiasmus be changed in Scripture for interpretation reasons.
(e.g. KJB Mat. 7:6 "Give not that which is holy unto the
dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they
trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."
changed to TEV Mat. 7:6 "Do not give what is holy to
dogs-they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your
pearls in front of pigs-they will only trample them underfoot."
16. Under no circumstance shall the order of
events reported in Scripture be changed for clarification. (e.g.
KJB Lk. 5:28 "And he left all, rose up, and followed him."
changed to NRSV Lk. 5:28 "And he got up, left everything, and
17. Under no circumstance shall the sequence
of events be changed in Scripture. (e.g. KJB, John 4:7, 8, 9
"There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto
her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto
the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him,
How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a
woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the
Samaritans." To NIV "When a Samaritan woman came to draw
water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"8
(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a
Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do
not associate with Samaritans.)" Or this example, KJB John
21:7 "Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto
Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was
the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was
naked,) and did cast himself into the sea." Changed to CEV
"When Simon heard that it was the Lord, he put on the clothes
that he had taken off while he was working. Then he jumped into
18. Under no circumstance is the quality of a
translation measured by the "message" to the reader
without regard to the words of the source-language. The quality
is measured by the accuracy and faithfulness to God's Words. The
theme of the source-language may not always be clear to the
receptor when translated accurately and faithfully into the
receptor-language, as expected without a teacher.
19. Transition words are kept in the
receptor-language if they are in the source-language. (e.g. Mk.
1:4-45 "and" begins almost each verse in the source-language,
Greek, and should be maintained in the receptor-language.
20. Conditional words are used often in
Scripture. For example, Greek ei,
(often translated "if") is used by itself 271 times, and
combined with other particles, at least 208 times. If the word
is in the source-language , it must be translated with a word
such as with, whether, that, if, etc. in the receptor-language.
In these circumstances, a lexicon will help greatly. (e.g. KJB
Mat. 9:35 "And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith
unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same
shall be last of all, and servant of all." Should not be
changed to TEV Mk 9:35 "Whoever wants to be first must place
himself last of all."
21. Even if the connotation of a word in the
source language triggers an emotional reaction by its use in a
receptor-language, it should be translated as the source
language text is written; and it should not be changed to
accommodate the receptor-language-group. (e.g. KJB Jn. 19:26
"When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing
by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy
son!" The word, woman, is the translation of the Greek word,
should not be changed to CEV "he said to his mother, This
man is now your son.'"
22. Under no circumstance should words in the
source language be removed, even if the receptor-language -group
is not familiar with an object mentioned in the Bible, or they
interpret symbolic actions differently, or they lack Biblical
knowledge or background, or their ideas of the spirit world
differ greatly from the spirit world referred to in the Bible.
(i.e. KJB Mat. 28:19-20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all
things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am
with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." [HDW,
23. Passages in a source-language that
"reference" another passage should be noted in the
receptor-language margin or center area.
24. Proper receptor-language markings should
be used such as question marks, quotations, paragraph markings,
25. The double meaning of words in the
source-language should not be explained within the word-for-word
receptor-language translation. It would mean adding words to the
text that are not there in the source-language. (e.g. "living
water" maybe misunderstood by Biblically illiterate people to
mean that a person needs water to live. KJB. Jn. 4:10-11
"Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of
God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou
wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living
water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw
with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that
living water?" Should not be changed to CEV "...you asked
him for the water that gives life.' Sir,' the woman said, you
don't even have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where are you
going to get this life-giving water?'" Reason: translations
of God's Holy Words should be word-for-word as it is written in
the VPI words.
26. An ellipsis in the source text should not
be filled in or placed into the receptor-language if it is not
in the source-language. (e.g. KJB Jn. 15:4 "Abide in me, and
I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it
abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."
Do not place after "no more can ye" the words, "bear
fruit" because it is not in the text, unless you indicate by
italics the addition of the words. The NIV adds the words
without indicating that it is not in the text. NIV Jn. 15:4
"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear
fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you
bear fruit unless you remain in me."
27. An euphemism in the source-language -text
should be left in the receptor-text. (e.g. KJB Mat. 21:25
"The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And
they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From
heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?"
Heaven is the word in the Greek language. It should not be
translated as the TEV Mat. 21:25 "Where did John's right to
baptize come from: was it from God or from man?" God is not
in the source-language-text.
28. If a word or expression in the
source-language stands for an association that accompanies it,
called a metonymy, it should be translated as it is in the
source language. (e.g. Mk. 3:25 "And if a house be divided
against itself, that house cannot stand." Should not be
translated as the TEV "If a family divides itself into groups
which fight each other." A translator could add to the KJB
words that are italicized, such as, "And if a family
in a house..." However, the addition changes the meaning to
the family living in a house, and does not extend to the family
living elsewhere, also. Therefore, again, translate the words.
29. If a synecdoche is used in the
source-language , then it should be used in the receptor
language . (e.g. KJB Mat. 6:11 "Give us this day our daily
bread." Should not be changed to: TEV Mat. 6:11
"Give us today the food we need."
30. The Hebrew poetic passages cannot be
duplicated in the receptor language, but they should still be
translated word-for-word, obeying syntax .
31. Words used repeatedly in a certain way in
the source-language, such as "Thus saith the Lord" should
be repeatedly used by the same words in the receptor-language .
32. Genitives in the source-language should
be maintained in the receptor-language and not interpreted by
the translator. (e.g. KJB "John did baptize in the
wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the
remission of sins." Should not be translated as the NLT
"people should be baptized to show that they had turned from
their sins and turned to God."
33. The types of literary composition in the
source-language such as narratives, hortatory discourse, or
conversational discourse should be maintained in the
34. A glossary should be attached to the
translation explaining (e.g.) people, festivals, titles, customs
such as phylacteries, myrrh, etc.
35. .An hendiadys (noun), a
literary device expressing an idea by means of two words linked
by "and," should be translated as it is in the source-language .
(e.g. KJB "But when Paul perceived that the one part
were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the
council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a
Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called
in question." The "hope and resurrection" are linked
and are in the original text. Therefore, the expression should
remain. It should not be translated another way just because
"The receptor language does not join two concepts with "and"
when they are not coordinate."
36. Hyperbole in the source-language should
remain in the receptor-language. (e.g. KJB Mat. 11:18 "For
John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a
devil." Should not be translated TEV Mat. 11:18 "When
John came, he fasted and drank no wine." The words are not
in the source-language.
37. Idioms in the source-text should be
translated into the receptor-language if at all possible. (e.g.
KJB Jn. 11:41 "Jesus lifted up his eyes" should not be
changed to NIV Jn. 11:41 "Jesus looked up." Sometimes, an
idiom must be translated in such a way that it is understood.
For example, he had me in stitches' or a bird in the hand is
worth two in the bush' may not be understood at all by anyone
for ever in a receptor-language, and must be altered. These will
be rare occurrences. See criteria number 62 below.
38. Irony in the source-language should be
left in the receptor-language. (e.g. KJB Mk. 15:32 "Let
Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we
may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him
reviled him." Should not be translated NCV Mk. 15:32 "If
he is really the Christ, the king of Israel, let him come down
now from the cross. When we see this, we will believe in him."
39. Key terms in the Scriptures should be
translated a closely as possible to the way the KJB translated
the terms (e. g. redemption, grace, propitiation, salvation,
40. Font sizes and columns should be
predetermined before translation begins.
41. Key words in the source-language should
be translated consistently in the receptor-language (i.e.
repeated). (e.g. KJB Mk. 12:15 "Shall we give, or shall we
not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why
tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it." Should
not be translated, TEV MK. 12:15 "Why are you trying to trap
me?" And KJB Jam. 1:13 "Let no man say when he is
tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with
evil, neither tempteth he any man:" should not be
translated, TEV "For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he
himself tempts no one."
42. Litotes (a deliberate understatement by
denying its opposite) should be translated word for word. (e.g.
KJB Lk. 1:37 "For with God nothing shall be impossible."
Should not be translated, NCV Lk. 1:37 "God can do anything!"
43. Metaphors in the source-language should
not be changed in the receptor-language unless any word added is
italicized. (e.g. KJB Acts 2:20 "The sun shall be
turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great
and notable day of the Lord come:" Should not be
translated TEV Acts 2:20 "and the moon will turn red as
blood" or NLT Acts 2:20 "The sun will be turned into
darkness, and the moon will turn blood red, before that great
and glorious day of the Lord arrives."
44. Naturalness in translation (i.e. syntax )
should be guarded with great care, but adding, subtracting, or
changing the words in the source-language to accommodate
"naturalness" is fraught with danger. (e.g. A difficult
translation of 2 Cor. 1:12 from the Greek is made by the KJB,
word-for-word: "For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of
our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with
fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our
conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward."
Should not be changed to "smooth" the translation in the
receptor-language such as the NLT 2 Cor. 1:12 "We can say
with confidence and a clear conscience that we have been honest
and sincere in all our dealings. We have depended on God's
grace, not on our own earthly wisdom. That is how we have acted
toward everyone, and especially toward you." Much is missing
from this translation by the NLT, which does not reflect the
45. If negation is in the source-language, it
should be found in the translation into the receptor-language .
(e.g. "not" is in the Greek text in Mat. 13:57, at "a prophet is
not...". The KJB has "And they were offended in him. But Jesus
said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own
country, and in his own house." The NLT Mat. 13:57 has,
"And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
Then Jesus told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in
his own hometown and among his own family." Many of these
words are not found in the source language .
46. Rules of grammar such as capitalization
should be decided before the translation begins.
47. The passive voice is a special situation
in many languages. Sometimes the passive voice is not used in a
receptor-language . Great care must be taken to express the
source-language words in the receptor language. (e.g. KJB Col.
1:11 "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious
power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;"
Should not be translated NCV Col. 1:11 "God will strengthen
you with his own great power." Rather, "May you be
strengthened, according to his glorious power,..." would be
much better to overcome the passive.
48. Many more examples could be given. But
the "bottom line" will be the same. The words of God that
express His thoughts should be translated word-for-word into any
receptor-language so far as syntax will allow. Semantics and
interpretation added to the source-language should be no
49. A Translator must be born-again.
50. Method-A translation cannot take place
without a translator. Therefore, criteria for a translator must
also exist. A translator is influenced by his method of
interpretation of the Scripture (e.g. literal versus
allegorical, dispensational versus covenant). Consequently, a
mandate to translate must consider the translators basic
approach to interpretation. Ideally, men should set their
theology and interpretation preferences aside in order to
translate Scripture, but this would be similar to asking someone
to separate a drop of blood placed in a glass of water.
51. Accordingly, the translator's
hermeneutical approach to interpretation must be compatible with
Biblical concepts and methods. A translator should be a
consistent literal interpreter of Scripture versus allegorical
analysis or interpretation of Scripture (See Dwight Pentecost,
Things To Come, Chapter 1 and 2 quoted often in this
52. A translator's hermeneutics should be
inductive as opposed to deductive .
53. A translator must keep in mind that the
Bible is not like "any other book" contrary to what Bishop
Westcott and Professor Hort wrote in their "Introduction" to
their revised Greek text in 1881. More recently, Eugene
Nida has echoed these sentiments. The Bible must be approached
with a believing heart and great reverence for God's Words. The
textual critics of the modern age have unceremoniously
recommended that "scripture is to be interpreted like any other
book;" and therefore, it should be translated like any other
book. How false this statement is! In other words, the proper
attitude for translation must be brought to the table. Foremost
in the translators mind must be the remembrance that the Lord
Jesus Christ is the Logos' who gave us the words and the Holy
Spirit is the conduit (2 Pe. 1:21; Jn. 1:1; Rev. 19:13) and a
translation must be faithful to His Words (Deut. 4:2; Pro.
30:5-6; Rev. 22:18-19).
54. A translator must not be involved in
presumptuous sin. If he is, then he must excuse (recluse)
himself (Psa. 19:13; Nu. 15:30; 2 Pe. 2:10).
55. A translator must be morally upright
according to Biblical standards, and not the standards of
society (2 Tim. 3:1-7; Jam. 5:3; 2 Pe. 3:3).
56. A translator must be in constant prayer
(1 Thes. 5:17, Rom. 12:10-12).
57. A translator must disdain pride and
superiority in education and training (Phil. 2:3-4; Rom.
58. A translator must keep in mind at all
times that his ways and thoughts are not the ways and thoughts
of God. Therefore, his philosophy, religion, church, thoughts,
ways, doctrinal positions, theological bent (allegory vs.
literal), social or educational background, theories, etc.,
should be put aside. (Isa. 55:7-9) (See Dean Burgon,
Inspiration and Interpretation, pp. 80-87).
59. A translator must not abandon the
verba ipsissima (the very words themselves) of Holy Writ by
lapsing into expressions which are doctrinal predilections (Dean
Burgon, Causes of Corruption, quoted in this work, p.
60. Guarding against amalgamation of accounts
in Scripture (particularly the Gospels) must be strictly
61. A translator must keep in mind that every
letter to the yod and tittle of the original Hebrew, Aramaic,
and Greek words (autographs), and preserved in the Apographs,
are inspired. (2 Tim. 3:15-16; Mat. 4:4, 5:17-18; 24:35, 1 Pe.
1:23-24) Therefore (#61),
62. A translator must remember that God
commanded His words were to be "made known to
all nations for the obedience of faith." (Rom. 16:26; 1 Cor.
14:21; Mk. 13:10; Col. 1:5-6)
63. A translator must be familiar with
idiomatic expressions in Scripture, which need to be translated
into precise expressions in the receiving' language.
64. A translator must be cognizant that any
text proclaiming to be the original text cannot be translated
unless it can be shown that it goes back "without break or
intermission to the original autographs." (Causes of
Corruption, p. 2) Therefore, only the text that lies behind
the King James Bible should be used.
65. A translator must shun dynamic equivalent
translation promoted by most Bible societies and promulgated by
Eugene Nida; only formal equivalent translation should be used.
66. If at all possible, the mechanisms,
methods, and details for translation should be similar to those
used by the translators of the KJB. (See Dr. D. A. Waite ,
Defending the KJB, Chapter IV)
67. A translator must be "walking with the
68. A translator is trained in the
linguistics of the source-language and the receptor-language.
69. A translator is thoroughly familiar with
the culture of the receptor-language group or nation.
70. A translator is competent in the meaning
of words of the source and receptor-languages.
71. A translator is competent with the
culture and customs of the Bible.
72. A translator is very familiar with an
excellent translations such as the KJB, Tyndale, and Geneva,
etc., which are based on the Received Texts of the original
languages of the Bible as a source-languages.
73. A translator is competent with the best
lexicons, dictionaries etc. of the original languages of the
74. A translator has many consultants in the
receptor and source-languages. An individual translating without
many counselors and much help is a sure prescription for
75. A translator understands word-for-word
76. A translator may use computer resources
such as Logos, BibleWorks, SwordSearcher.
77. .(vid. supra) This does not
mean that a missionary going into a foreign nation rushes in and
demands changes in the culture to match Western customs and
dress. But, it certainly means that the missionary must address
any cultural iniquity such as murder, governmental mayhem
(bribes), fornication, dishonesty, etc. with love, compassion,
patience, and longsuffering after the manner ofthe perfect
God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His words.