GOD'S WORD Translation (GW) accurately translates the meaning of the original texts into clear, everyday language. Readable and reliable, GW is living, active, and life-changing.
Readable and Reliable
GW is a translation of the Holy Bible, which is inspired by God and reveals his work of redemption. It leads us to know God and his guiding principles for living. "From your guiding principles I gain understanding," said the psalmist, adding, "your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path" (Ps. 119:104–5).
GW was translated by a committee of biblical scholars and English reviewers to ensure accurate, natural English that preserves the styles of the biblical writers.
The GW translation team weighed the various factors that affect readability as they produced the translation. The readability of GW is not an accident. It is the result of the team's careful use of readability principles.
What People Are Saying about GOD'S WORD Translation
"An easy-to-understand Bible It is a wonderful version."—Rev. Billy Graham
"Readable, faithful, accurate—what more could you ask for in a modern translation of the Bible? GOD'S WORD Translation is a great version for enhancing your love for God's Word. I recommend it." —Ann Spangler, bestselling author or coauthor of several books, including Praying the Names of God, Praying the Names of Jesus, Women of the Bible, Men of the Bible, and He's Been Faithful.
"A remarkably fresh, accurate, and readable translation that communicates well the original text for modern readers. An outstanding achievement."—Dr. David Dockery
"The Bible is the means God has chosen to reach out in human language, reveal the essence of his relational heart, and relate the Good News of his redemptive plan. GOD'S WORD Translation presents that message in a way that makes sense to readers of all ages. It is an accurate translation using modern English language and phraseology which makes it easier to understand."—Josh McDowell
The Translation Process
The talents of a wide variety of people were used to produce GOD'S WORD Translation. At the core of this effort was a full-time translation team composed of biblical scholars who served as translators, English experts who constantly reviewed English style, and professional production personnel who oversaw the work. Each book went through a thorough process of translation and English style review, then reviews by six committees dedicated to accuracy and readability.
Closest natural equivalence (CNE) translation provides readers with a meaning in the target language that is equivalent to that of the source language. It seeks to express that meaning naturally, in a way that a native English speaker would speak or write. Finally, it expresses the meaning with a style that preserves many of the characteristics of the source text.
But CNE does not attempt to make all books or passages function on the same level. The more difficult books of the Bible are translated to the same level of difficulty as the original languages. In addition, abstract concepts in Greek and Hebrew are translated into abstract concepts in English, and concrete concepts remain concrete in translation.
The translators and English reviewers took many factors that affect readability into account during their work, including sentence length, number of clauses and prepositional phrases, voice, word length, and more.
The team chose words that were natural in context and that were as easily understood as possible without losing accuracy and faithfulness to the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible.
Another challenge faced by the translators was finding words that accurately communicate the meaning of important theological concepts in the Bible. Many of these concepts have traditionally been translated by words that no longer communicate to most English speakers. While these words continue to be used by theologians and even by many Christians, the meanings that speakers assign to them in everyday use do not match the meanings of the Hebrew or Greek words they are intended to translate. The words have become jargon—words with specialized meanings often poorly understood by nonspecialists. GOD'S WORD Translation uses understandable, meaningful language. Gender References
The Scriptures contain many passages that apply to people in general. For this reason, GOD'S WORD avoids using words like man and he if the Hebrew or Greek is speaking about people regardless of gender.
In some places, however, gender-inclusive language cannot be used because English has no uniquely gender-inclusive third person singular pronoun. For this reason, GOD'S WORD uses the pronoun he to refer to a single person, male or female. The translation team felt that retaining singular pronouns was more important than absolute loyalty to gender neutrality.
In addition, GOD'S WORD does not change gender references inappropriately. For example, when Gamaliel addresses the Jewish council in Acts 5:35, he begins andres Israelitai ("men, Israelites"). Some modern translations have translated this in a gender-inclusive way, even though all the members of the Jewish council were men. GOD'S WORD recognizes this and translates the phrase as "men of Israel."