Please Support the Bible Translation Work of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
Allan Parr, there is a lot of truth to what you say. However, you offer so many misleading points that you are literally doing more damage than good. This is like a politically correct, feel-good, safe space video. For example, you say, “There are 5 million Greek words and only 1 million English words.” The fact is, we are not worried about how many words there are in Koine Greek (330 BCE to 330 CE). There are about 130,000 words in the Greek New Testament (GNT). These are the words we need to concern ourselves with, many of which are basic words like “the” (19,867 occurrences) or “and” (9,160 occurrences). In fact, 172 words appear 100x or more, with another 138 appearing 50-100x.
- 7,940 total verses
- 138,150 total words (by word count)
- 5,420 distinct words
You are correct about the different types of translation philosophy (literal, dynamic equivalent, paraphrase). However, you should have hit on the New American Standard Bible in addition to the Amplified Bible. The NASB was the only literal modern Bible, but even it has now dipped its toe in the dynamic equivalent interpretive translation philosophy. I say at present because Christian Publishing House is working on the Updated American Standard Version (UASV), which will be available at the end of 2021.
The ESV is not as literal as the NASB nor the UASV. It calls itself the essentially literal translation. Well, if you want essentially the Word of God; then choose the ESV.
Dynamic equivalent translations (NLT, GNT or GNB [TEV], CEV, TNIV, ERV) are really nothing more than mini-commentaries. They are OK to use if you accept that they are not the Word of God and are nothing more than a mini-commentary.
Dumbing down the Word of God is not a pros (benefit), as you put it. Christianity has already been dumbed down, with 95% of all Christians lacking Bible knowledge. Moreover, a dumbed-down translation is not the Word of God; it is the translator or translation committee’s word.
Then, to suggest that we cannot find the exact English equivalents coming from one language into another is very misleading. Your enunciation made it seems as though we cannot even get close. Is an English equivalent going to be that far removed from a Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek word? No. Moreover, this is what we have word study dictionaries for, as well as lexicons. Tell them to get the best literal translation, which was/is the NASB until the UASV comes out in 2021. Then, tell them to study. Having thought for thought translation on the 6th-7th grade level says a lot about whether a person is willing to buy out the time to study.
To then go and ask, “what is the best translation to use?” Then, to answer, “the one that you enjoy reading the most.” Talk about politically correct. Man up and give them the truth, do not try to make all people happy at the expense of God’s Word. The only problem with the New American Standard Bible (NASB) is the fact that it includes many of the KJV interpolations placed in square brackets, as is true of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) as well. The New American standard Bible2020 has also slightly abandoned its literal translation philosophy.
17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
Luke 23:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17 [[a]Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]
- Luke 23:17 Early mss do not contain this v
Luke 23:17 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
[17 For according to the festival he had to release someone to them.][a]
- Luke 23:17 Other mss omit bracketed text
- ‘Luke 23:17’ not found for the version: English Standard Version.
- ‘Luke 23:17’ not found for the version: Lexham English Bible.
- ‘Luke 23:17’ not found for the version: American Standard Version.
Our primary purpose is to give the Bible readers what God said by way of his human authors, not what a translator thinks God meant in its place.—Truth Matters!
Our primary goal is to be accurate and faithful to the original text. The meaning of a word is the responsibility of the interpreter (i.e., reader), not the translator.—Translating Truth!
Luke 23:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
 [Now it was necessary for him to release one [prisoner] for them at the feast.] Early witnesses such as P75 A B l T 070 892* 1241 ita copsa al, do not contain verse 17. Another indication of it being an interpolation is appearing in different places and forms.
A Literal Translation Is a Translation that you Should use in all Bible study and research, as well as your daily reading program.
A literal English translation is the word of God in English. Anything less is simply essentially the Word of God on a lower level. It is the translator’s interpretation of the literal word. We are commanded not to add or take away from God’s Word. You add to and take away when you remove the English equivalent for what a translator thinks the author meant by the use of that word or phrase. The translator adds his interpretation of the meaning and removes what the author penned. The reader deserves the actual Word of God in English; then, it is up to him to determine what the author meant by his words.
The translation of God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek is a task unlike any other and should never be taken lightly. It carries with it the heaviest responsibility: the translator renders God’s thoughts into a modern language. The Updated American Standard Version (UASV) is a literal translation. What does that mean?
A literal translation is certainly more than a word-for-word rendering of the original language of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The corresponding English words need to be brought over according to English grammar and syntax, but the translation at the same time must be faithful to the original word or as much as possible, for the author may have used word order to emphasize or convey some meaning. In most cases, the translator is simply rendering the original-language word with the same corresponding English term each time it occurs. The translator has used his good judgment in order to select words in the English translation from the lexicon within the context of the original-language text. The translator remains faithful to this literal translation philosophy unless it has been determined that the rendering will be misunderstood or misinterpreted. The translator is not tasked with making the text easy to read but rather with making it as accurately faithful to the original as possible.