Bible Translation

The Lexham English Bible

Just in case you were worried that you didn’t have enough Bibles in English, along comes the Lexham English Bible which describes itself as a transparent and linear translation.

The translation (which is just of the New Testament as far as I can tell) originates with an interlinear Greek English translation which has then been tidied up. The idea is that you can trace the process of the translation from the initial interlinear to the final English version.

But these are interlinear translations with a twist: rather than provide only simple context-free glosses for each word (what you would typically find in a lexicon), these Lexham interlinears also provide a context-sensitive, grammatically informed translation of each word.

The interlinears, available separately, provide two translations. First, they give a simple, context-free gloss for each word—essentially the lexical or dictionary form of a word. This gloss answers the question, “What does this word mean?”

The second gloss is the English literal translation, a contextually sensitive gloss of the inflected form of the word. This gloss answers the question, “What does this word mean here?” The difference between these two glosses is subtle, but powerful.

This translation suffers the same problems as all literal translations. Rather than rehash those areguments here, I’ll point you to some earlier blog posts on the subject here and here.

Despite these reservations, I can still imagine that this may be a useful tool to people who want to study the New Testament but don’t know any Greek. Mind you, they would do better learning some Greek!

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1 reply on “The Lexham English Bible”


“Just in case you were worried that you didn’t have enough Bibles in English”

And to think, in the Islam class I’m leading, last week I discussed Bible translation (talking about a comparison between how Christians view the Bible and how Muslims view the Qur’an), and in a similar tone talked about how unbalanced the world is with translations. I brought up the NIV 2011 of course and the resources being thrust into that as an example. But, here’s yet another one.

I gave several plugs for you Wycliffe folks and a push for supporting translation to the languages yet without Scripture.

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