How does the GOD’S WORD Translation compare to other Bibles? Learn about some of the major differences between the clear, natural English of GOD’S WORD and other translations.
GOD’S WORD Is in a Category All Its Own
GOD’S WORD was produced using a theory of translation that combines accuracy with understandability. This theory is called closest natural equivalence. In short, closest natural equivalence concentrates on accurately translating the meaning of the original languages into natural English. At the same time, closest natural equivalence retains as many of the unique characteristics of the original text as possible without making the English translation unnatural or harder to understand than the text was in the original languages.
For more information, download the complete brochure about the translation process of GOD’S WORD.
Contrasting Closest Natural Equivalence to Form Equivalence
Most well-known English Bible translations were produced using the traditional approach to translation which is called form equivalence. Most translations of the Bible available in bookstores today use some variation of form equivalent translation.
Contrasting Closest Natural Equivalence to Function Equivalence
Because of the problems associated with form-equivalent translation, another translation theory was developed. It is called function-equivalent translation. Function equivalence takes the differences between the source language and the target language seriously. The function equivalent theory is not concerned with preserving the maximum number of characteristics (e.g., word order, grammar, syntax, idioms, etc.) of the source language text, because it is often unnatural in the target language.
Contrasting Closest Natural Equivalence to Paraphrase
A paraphrase is a retelling of Scripture using an individual person’s words, in an attempt to make the meaning clearer.
Closest Natural Equivalence Maintains the Balance
Closest natural equivalence focuses upon meaning and naturalness in the target language. The goal of closest natural equivalence is to communicate as much of the source text as possible in a way that is usable for the type of readers that the original author targeted.
Would you like to use our comparison chart for teaching or publication? Download the chart (available in both color and b/w) and please use the following credit: 2020 Bible Translation Guide, courtesy of God’s Word to the Nations Mission Society, Orange Park, FL 32067.