Translation Continuum

continuumThis continuum of Bible translations shows the diversity in thought behind each translation of the Bible.  Translations on the left attempt to translate the original language into English on a word for word basis.  This makes the most literal translation but it also doesn’t flow as well in English.  Translations on the right side of the spectrum try to capture the idea conveyed in the original language but are not necessarily concerned with using the exact same words.  For instance, instead of saying “do not covet” the translation may say “don’t be greedy.”

There is no right or wrong translation, it depends on one’s purpose in reading the Bible.  A thought for thought translation will be easier to understand but it isn’t as good for in depth study.  With these translations one shouldn’t take one word and build an argument around it as the word “water” could have originally been sea or ocean or lake or just water.  It is meant to convey the general idea without specifics that sometimes can confuse a reader.

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