Here is where I’ll keep my own translations of various Biblical passages and early church creeds. If I put something on this page, it means I translated it – probably as part of sermon preparation. I am not a Koine Greek expert. I’m just a guy who studied New Testament Greek for a few years at seminary, and likes to keep up with it so I can understand God’s word.
Helps and brief tips
Here are a few “friends” I consult when I do most translating, along with some comments:
- Logos bible software. Almost all my language tools are here. I did have BibleWorks 10, but it is now gone.
- The Nestle-Aland 28th edition and less commentaries! I usually don’t bother comparing textual variants or even consulting different printed Greek texts. I just go with the NA-28. If you do your own translations, you often don’t need a whole shelf of commentaries. A few trustworthy ones per biblical book will suffice. By and large, I believe preachers depend far too much on exegetical commentaries as a crutch. Do your own translations (time permitting), and you’ll be forced to deal with every single exegetical and interpretive question in the passage as a matter of course.
- Intermediate grammars. I primarily consult Richard A. Young, Intermediate New Testament Greek. This is the text I used at seminary, and I prefer it to Dan Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. I consult Wallace when I’m at a loss, or want some more detail that Young doesn’t quite deliver. I sometimes look at A.T. Robertson’s classic grammar, too. You don’t need oodles of grammars. Choose a primary, and keep one or perhaps two around as back-ups.
- Lexicons. BDAG, of course. Then, in rough order, I look at Louw-Nida, Friberg, then Abbott-Smith. It’s worth having a few good ones. And, of course, depending on the trickiness of the word in your particular context, you’ll need to examine word usage yourself after surveying the lexicons.
- A good English dictionary. I use the New Oxford American Dictionary (3rd ed.). I admit I chose this one with great care, because I’m a shameless loser. The Greek lexicon will give you a few English glosses. Then, you’ll often want to consult a reliable English dictionary to make sure you really “get” the English word’s range of meaning. This step can be very helpful.
- A good English thesaurus. You’ll get an English gloss, then you look at an English dictionary to get a full sense of its meaning, but maybe you don’t like the suggested gloss. You want a synonym, or something with a bit more nuance, or punch, or whatever. That’s why you need a good thesaurus. I use the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus (3rd ed.). Again, I chose this one after some research.
- Compare other English translations. I can’t emphasize enough how useful it is to compare other English versions from a spectrum of translation philosophies to get a well-rounded sense of how to render a passage. I use Logos’ text comparison tool, and have it set up to display ESV, ISV, NLT, NASB, NET, HCSB, KJV, RSV, NEB, REB, and Jay Adams’ translation. In paper form, I consult J.B. Phillips, along with a little-known translation by a Lutheran minister named Julian Anderson.
- Translation philosophy. As I consider what my translations often end up looking like (see the “Selections from Luke” document, below, for a recent representation), I would peg myself as occupying a middle ground between the NET and the NLT. I want to communicate well. A somewhat crude but generally accurate rule of thumb is “if I have to explain what the word choice means, I should probably just translate it that way to reflect the explanation.” What does that mean? It means, for example, I often take common phrases like “in the Spirit,” “in Christ,” “horn of salvation,” “sin,” “church” and the like and explain what they mean. More literal English versions just render them woodenly and leave the reader to draw her own conclusions. This is a fine approach. It just isn’t my approach.
Here is my list of translations, below (these will be updated periodically). Some are older than others, so there may be embarrassing mistakes that I’ll fix when I get around to it. The older ones will be color-coded to indicate word function, will likely use the Textus Receptus as the base text, and will probably reflect a more wooden translation philosophy. They don’t reflect my skill level or approach any longer, but I’ll leave them here until I eventually re-do them.
- Selections from Luke 1
- Acts 13:38-39
- Acts 16:4-5
- Romans 8:1-4
- Philippians 3:17-21
- Colossians 1:12-20
- James 1:18
- James 1:26
- The Book of 1 Peter(in process)
- 1 Peter 3:21 (this is a hard one! It will need revision . . . later!).
- Revelation 3:8-12
- Revelation 5:9-10