GOD’S WORD Bible Translation Process

The Theory Used to Produce GOD’S WORD

  • Closest Natural Equivalence
  • Contrasting Closest Natural Equivalence to Form Equivalence
  • Contrasting Closest Natural Equivalence to Function Equivalence
  • Closest Natural Equivalence Maintains the Balance

Closest natural equivalent translation attempts to be exactly what its name implies. Above all else, it provides readers with a meaning equivalent to the source language (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek in the case of the Bible) in the target language (English in the case of GOD’S WORD). Second and equally important, it seeks ways to express that meaning naturally in a way that a native English speaker would have spoken or written. Finally, it expresses the meaning naturally in a way that is as close as possible to the way the source language expressed the meaning. For more information, download the complete brochure.

The Process Used to Produce GOD’S WORD

  • An Overview of the Process
  • Communicating in Natural English
  • The Use of Computers in Producing GOD’S WORD

The process used to produce GOD’S WORD made use of the talents of a wide variety of people. At the core of this effort was a full-time translation team composed of biblical scholars who served as translators, English experts who constantly reviewed English style, and professional production personnel. For more information, download the complete brochure.

Readability and GOD’S WORD

  • The Concerns and Aims of Readability
  • Factors Affecting Readability

GOD’S WORD was produced to be as readable as possible. The translators and English reviewers took many factors that affect readability into account during their work. Furthermore, since some parts of the Bible are written on different levels than others, assigning a grade level to a Bible translation is a very inaccurate way to judge how easy it is to read. For more information, download the complete brochure.


Communicating with the Proper Words

  • Word Choice in GOD’S WORD
  • Eliminating Theological Jargon
  • Gender References

The theory of closest natural equivalence and the factors that affect the readability of a text made word choice an important part of the work of the translation team that produced GOD’S WORD. The team chose words that were natural in context and that were as easily understood as possible without losing accuracy and faithfulness to the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible. For more information, download the complete brochure.

Communication Goes Beyond Words

  • The Importance of Visual Communication
  • Poetry in GOD’S WORD
  • Lists, Genealogies, and Other Similar Items

Much of the effort spent translating the Bible is concentrated on the wording of the text. The correct words arranged in the best possible sentences and paragraphs are critical to communicating the meaning of the Bible. 

Yet, how the words are placed and arranged on a page is also important. For this reason, English has rules for arranging words in sentences and paragraphs that show the reader where words begin and end (spaces), how thoughts within sentences are arranged (commas, colons, semicolons), where sentences begin and end (capital letters and periods), and where paragraphs begin (indentation). 

GOD’S WORD uses standard English punctuation whenever possible. Capitalization is used as it normally would be: at the beginning of a sentence or for a proper noun. Italics are also used as they would be in other printed English texts: for foreign words or to indicate that a word is used as a word. 

Another feature of GOD’S WORD is that it is printed in a single-column format. Most English Bibles available today are printed two columns to a page. The effect is a dense, difficult-looking page. The translation team recognized that the page layout of the text is an important part of communicating the meaning of the Scriptures. 

For more information, download the complete brochure.