The debate as to where one should be in the spectrum of literal versus dynamic equivalent, i.e., their translation philosophy has been going on since the first translation of the Hebrew (Aramaic) into Greek, i.e., the Septuagint (280-150 B.C.E.).
This is a brief introduction to Bible translation basics, with other articles readdressing some areas in greater detail. Understanding how the Bible came down to us, how Bible translations are made, the different translation philosophies, and the textual issues that exist are essential for all serious students of the Bible.
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.
There have been various debates concerning the proper family of biblical manuscripts and translation techniques that should be used to translate the Bible into other languages. Who is correction and which translation is best?
The Bible has been translated into many languages from the biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. As of September 2020, the full Bible has been translated into 704 languages, the New Testament has been translated into an additional 1,551 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1,160 other languages. How did the Bible come down to us? Can it be trusted?
On the Bible translation scene, advocates of colloquial English Bible translations regularly and rigorously debunk the King James Version. In turn, it has become common for these debunkers to attempt to drive a wedge between the King James Version and William Tyndale’s translation work nearly a century earlier.
Over the last seven decades, dynamic equivalent (thought-for-thought) translation advocates have flooded the market with easy-to-read Bible translations. These focus on the reader, not the text, which has literally threatened the integrity of God's Word, and Ryken has been at the forefront of defending the arguments the dynamic equivalent advocates have raised.
It would seem that the Bible scholars who favor the interpretive dynamic equivalent translations are making a joint effort to redefine the spectrum of Bible translations. They do this to aid their cause of trying to move publishers away from producing literal Bible translations.
UNTIL THE MIDDLE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, all major English Bible translations were based on the premise that the goal of Bible translation is to take the reader as close as possible to the words that the biblical authors actually wrote.
The Lexham English Bible (LEB) is a relatively accurate Bible translation. It is on par with the English Standard Version, and in some case more literal. The relatively new Lexham English Bible is being marketed as a “second Bible,” to be used with whatever “primary translation” the reader prefers. And this is how it should be used. I hope that this is a sign of a realization among publishers as well as Bible readers that not all Bible translations are equal, or always faithful to the original languages of the Scriptures.