Introduction to Bible Translations

Q: I was curious, which English Bible translation do you find to be the most accurate? Is there a correct / accurate Hebrew / English Bible translation? Is there a good Hebrew Bible Dictionary other than the Strong’s? Is there a Messianic Jewish Commentary that I can trust? Any advice or guidance will help. Thank you.

A: These are all great questions—thank you for asking!

As you probably already know, he Scriptures were written in Hebrew (some in Aramaic) and Greek. So when we read the Scriptures in English, we are reading a translation. By definition, this means that no translation can be absolutely “correct.” A translation requires more than just the conversion of individual words. Concepts and connotations need to be understandable by the receiving audience. The various Bible translations fall along a spectrum between literal and paraphrase. A literal translation attempts to convey the original meanings of words and phrases. A paraphrase focuses on the translation of original ideas and concepts. Many modern translations attempt to preserve a certain level of what is called “dynamic equivalence” with the source texts, trying to strike a balance between the literal and paraphrase ends of the spectrum. Read more