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Bible Version Detail — The Scriptures(TS)

What's in a Version? is a book about the process of Bible translationAbbreviation:TS
Name:The Scriptures
Functional Translation (1-10):1
Formal Translation (1-10):10
Ease of reading (1-10, 10 is easiest):1
Public Reading (1-10):1
Serious Study (1-10):2
Gender Neutral Language (1-10):1
Capitalization of pronouns referring to God (Yes/No):Yes
Extensive Translation of cultural terms (Yes/No):No
Translated by Committee (Yes/No):Yes
Interdenominational Participation (Yes/No):No
Interfaith Participation (Yes/No):No
Committee Note:Messianic Jewish Christianity
Produced by the Institute for Scripture Research, this is a translation with a strong Messianic Jewish flavor.

Amongst its key characteristics are:

  • Extremely literal translation. By my word count tests this is the most literal translation I have tested, with every word in test passages justified by the source language on a formal theory, and in a number of others I checked just to be sure.
  • Transliteration of Hebraized names, even in the New Testament.
  • Use of YHWH in Hebrew characters, and the Hebrew form Yehoshua, also in Hebrew characters throughout.
  • Translation of the word "law" by Torah, apparently throughout. I haven't personally checked all of these, but their description says it is so.
  • Ordering the books of the Old Testament in the Hebrew order. I'm reviewing from the e-Sword version, and this change of order is not apparent in that version.

I think that most English readers will find this Bible extremely difficult to use because of the introduction of Hebrew terms into the text. These appear throughout the text, and for anyone familiar with the Bible, but not with Hebrew, I believe they would cause some difficulty. I find it a little bit distracting, and I know the Hebrew names involved.

Use of the tetragrammaton and the Hebrew form of the name of Jesus represents a certain theological commitment. Since the precise source forms of these names cannot be found in the New Testament text, there is always some doubt as to precisely what was intended.

In addition to literal translation of idioms--this is the only translation I have reviewed to produce a score of 0% on the New Testament portion of my idiom test--the grammatical forms are translated literally, and long Greek sentences are not broken up in the passages I checked. One of my test passages is Hebrews 1:1-4, which is one sentence in Greek, and it is translated as one sentence in this version.

As an example of the feel, let me provide a couple of quotations, first from the gospel commission, Matthew 28:19-20:

(Mat 28:19) “Therefore, go and make taught ones of all the nations, immersing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Set-apart Spirit, teaching them to guard all that I have commanded you. And see, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Amen.

Psalm 1 has a couple of similarly interesting renderings:

1Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, And shall not stand in the path of sinners, And shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, And he meditates in His Torah day and night. 4The wrong are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind blows away. ... 6For יהוה knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wrong comes to naught.
Overall, I would recommend this version only if you have a commitment to the same theological views apparently espoused by the translators, or for general interest.

Threads from Henry’s Web Blog on the TS

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