Bible Translation Resources

BY GERALD A. KLINGBEIL                                                                                                [Main Story]
The topic of Bible translations has long enjoyed great interest in English-speaking countries, and also in Seventh-day Adventist circles. Since most of us do not read Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, it is often a good idea to consult a number of different translations in order to catch the meaning of the Hebrew (or Greek) original text.
This is a good guard against a possible bias of the translator(s) and actually challenges the reader to actively engage in the work of interpreting Scripture. Here are a number of helpful resources for understanding the craft of translating and choosing an appropriate English translation.
  • Jack P. Lewis, The English Bible From KJV to NIV: A History and Evaluation, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1992) [a classic volume, containing very detailed descriptions of the characteristics of key versions]
  • Hugh Dunton, Bible Versions: A Consumer’s Guide to the Bible (Alma Park, England: Autumn House, 1998)
  • Frederick W. Knobloch, ed., Biblical Translation in Context, Studies and Texts in Jewish History and Culture, vol. 10 (Bethesda, Md.: University Press of Maryland, 2002) [this is a more academic discussion of different approaches to the art of translation]
  • Graham S. Ogden, “Translation as a Theologizing Task,” Bible Translator 53.3 (2002): 308-316 [Bible Translator is a magazine for translation practitioners, published by the United Bible Societies, which is both comprehensive, practical, and understandable]
  • Paul Ellingworth, “Theology and Translation. A Survey and a Proposal,” Bible Translator 53.3 (2002): 302-307.
  • Roger L. Omanson, “Theology, Interpretation, and Translation,” Bible Translator 53.3 (2002): 353-361.
  • Leland Ryken, Choosing a Bible: Understanding Bible Translation Differences (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2005) [a very concise introduction to translation theory and practice]
  • Tarsee Li, “How to Choose a Bible Translation?” Interpreting Scripture: Bible Questions and Answers, Gerhard Pfandl, ed., Biblical Research Institute Studies, vol. 2 (Silver Spring, Md.: Biblical Research Institute, 2010), pp. 25-31 [an excellent, concise summary of the basic “landscape” of Bible translations from an Adventist perspective]

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