New Believers Bible - Flipbook - Page 134
INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
Moses, for she explained, ‘I lifted him out of the water.’ ” The accompanying footnote reads: “Moses sounds like a Hebrew term that means ‘to lift out.’ ”
• Sometimes, when the actual meaning of a name is clear, that meaning is included
in parentheses within the text itself. For example, the text at Genesis 16:11 reads:
“You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the LORD has heard
your cry of distress.” Since the original hearers and readers would have instantly
understood the meaning of the name “Ishmael,” we have provided modern readers
with the same information so they can experience the text in a similar way.
• Many words and phrases carry a great deal of cultural meaning that was obvious to
the original readers but needs explanation in our own culture. For example, the
phrase “they beat their breasts” (Luke 23:48) in ancient times meant that people
were very upset, often in mourning. In our translation we chose to translate this
phrase dynamically for clarity: “They went home in deep sorrow.” Then we included a footnote with the literal Greek, which reads: “Greek went home beating
their breasts.” In other similar cases, however, we have sometimes chosen to illuminate the existing literal expression to make it immediately understandable. For example, here we might have expanded the literal Greek phrase to read: “They went
home beating their breasts in sorrow.” If we had done this, we would not have included a textual footnote, since the literal Greek clearly appears in translation.
• Metaphorical language is sometimes difficult for contemporary readers to understand, so at times we have chosen to translate or illuminate the meaning of a metaphor. For example, the ancient poet writes, “Your neck is like the tower of David”
(Song of Songs 4:4). We have rendered it “Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of
David” to clarify the intended positive meaning of the simile. Another example
comes in Ecclesiastes 12:3, which can be literally rendered: “Remember him . . .
when the grinding women cease because they are few, and the women who look
through the windows see dimly.” We have rendered it: “Remember him before
your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—
the women looking through the windows—see dimly.” We clarified such metaphors only when we believed a typical reader might be confused by the literal text.
• When the content of the original language text is poetic in character, we have rendered it in English poetic form. We sought to break lines in ways that clarify and
highlight the relationships between phrases of the text. Hebrew poetry often uses
parallelism, a literary form where a second phrase (or in some instances a third or
fourth) echoes the initial phrase in some way. In Hebrew parallelism, the subsequent parallel phrases continue, while also furthering and sharpening, the thought
expressed in the initial line or phrase. Whenever possible, we sought to represent
these parallel phrases in natural poetic English.
• The Greek term hoi Ioudaioi is literally translated “the Jews” in many English translations. In the Gospel of John, however, this term doesn’t always refer to the Jewish