Bible Retranslation Project

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The Bible Retranslation Project recognizes that a modern language changes and devolves quickly. There are several reasons for this, including attempts by non-believers to dilute and distort powerful religious concepts for political ends, the corrosive effect of cultural changes on language, and the impact of politics on the meaning of terminology. Terms that were clear and meaningful to one generation are often unclear and less meaningful to the next.

The rate of devolution of language may be increasing as communications increase. If a word inevitably alters its meaning after an approximate number of uses, then the time period for the change in meaning will shorten due to improved technology, just as the length of a sound bite likewise shortens. In the internet era, combating the effect of language degradation on the understanding of the Bible becomes more important.

As a first step to the Bible Retranslation Project, it is useful to identify modern terms having changing, unclear or altered meaning, which appear in important passages in translations of the Bible into the corresponding modern language:

Original Term English Translation Usage Lack of Clarity Real meaning Suggested Improvement
Greek λόγος transliteration:"logos" "word" "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1 (NIV) "Word" now means a short utterance of a single concept, which can include a vulgarity or a falsehood underlying logic or profound statement of the truth replace "Word" with "Truth"
"grace" "From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another." John 1:16 (NIV) "grace" has become a female name and a sports term to refer primarily to smoothness in style spiritual and majestic gift-giving replace some instances of "grace" with "generosity"
"government" "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. ... Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end." Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV) "government" now means officials paid by mandatory taxes and accountable to a democratic vote spiritual kingdom replace "government" with "kingdom"
"peace" "... Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!'" Isaiah 20:19 (NIV) "peace" now means an absence of war an inner peace and lack of personal fear or anxiety replace "peace" with "tranquility"
"rich" "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:24) "rich" now refers simply to one with many possessions, and this verse is sometimes misapplied to justify laziness or even socialism having a love of possession for its own sake; miserliness replace "rich" with "miserly"
"kill" "Thou shalt not kill" Exodus 20.13 (KJV) In Biblical times, as today, the bearing of arms to defend ones family and society was the hallmark of civilisation. The commandment referred to unjustifiable homicides - murder and manslaughter - rather than advocating blanket pacifism, as many Leftists today interpret it. to murder or take up arms without sufficient justification replace "kill" with "commit murder"