Why is there a lot of Bible Versions? Here are 3 Translation Techniques

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The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic according to biblegateway.com.

Which Bible translation should you use in your personal Bible study?

Learning about the different techniques in translating the original manuscript will help you pick out the best one depending on how you wish to use your Bible.

Every translation technique aims to fulfill a certain purpose in studying the Bible. Here are 3 of them paraphrased from Dr. Robert Thompson’s “Bible Study 101” from the Breadcrumbs Ministries.

  1. Formal Equivalence

This follows the “word-for-word” rule of translation where the English words that has the same meaning as that of the original manuscript.

Though this technique preserves the authenticity of the real message of the text, the sentence structures were compromised. This gives the readers a hard time reading and understanding the text.

Some examples of translations that used the formal equivalence technique are New King James Version and English Standard Version.

2. Dynamic Equivalence

This translation uses more familiar words, thus, translating “thought-for-thought.” It gives less regard to the specific words used in the original language, as long as it conveys the same message. It can be less precise but it is easier to read and understand.

Some examples of translations that used the dynamic equivalence technique are New International Version and New Living Translation.

3. Paraphrased

Paraphrased versions translates the Bible “idea-for-idea”. Mel Lawrenz says in an article in biblegateway.com that “…the purpose of which is to give readers the flow of the biblical text idea by idea, oftentimes rendering the meaning of whole sentences in new ways, rather than carrying over the exact words of the Hebrew or Greek.”

Some people find the paraphrased versions as interesting to read. But then its highly paraphrased texts is not recommendable for those who wish to have an in depth study of the Bible.

An excellent example of the translation that used the paraphrase technique is The Message.

Now that you know which Bible versions are translated using a specific style, you can already figure out which one suits your Bible Study habits.

Keep yourself updated to the CBN Asia website for more Bible Study Tips.

Do you need someone to talk to? Call us at 737-0700, if you are in Metro Manila. If you are outside Metro Manila or the Philippines, you can contact us through the CBN Asia Prayer Center.

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