Dynamic equivalence

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Dynamic equivalence is an approach to Bible translation that seeks to convey the meaning of a phrase or verse without necessarily adhering to a word-for-word literal translation. The New International Version is an example of a translation where dynamic equivalence was the predominant method used.

The extent to which dynamic equivalence should be used is a long-running debate. Many modern translations of the Bible use dynamic equivalence to some extent, but some versions use it more than others. Part of the controversy is how dynamic equivalence can allow liberal creep into the Bible unless there is a strong guiding principle, such as to adhere to conservatism.

An example of an effective use of dynamic equivalence, which is too much for most modern translations of the Bible, is the Living Bible's translation of Proverbs 16:27:

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.

The above translation goes beyond a word-for-word translation in order to convey the full meaning of the entire verse.

See also