Exciting new Bible translation!

Yes, work on the Open English Translation of the Bible is proceeding and the first rough draft of the New Testament was completed in mid-March so now Old Testament drafting continues alongside New Testament checking.

You can read more details in the Overview, but some of the distinctives of the OET include:

  • a Readers’ Version and a very Literal Version side-by-side
  • not bound by church jargon, unnecessary tradition, and following the crowd, in an attempt to communicate well to non-churched readers, yet to provoke and stimulate seasoned Bible readers
  • a commitment to accuracy and high-quality, and to wrestle with the text to try to determine the likely intent of the various biblical writers
  • prepared to fix long-time mistakes, including some that have been propagated for hundreds of years since the New Testament was translated from the Latin translation into middle-English, i.e., we’re aiming to correct old mistakes (at the risk of making some new ones)
  • trying to avoid using Greek words in the English translation (like ‘baptise’ and ‘apostle’), although we do use (Hebrew) ‘Messiah’ heavily
  • following modern trends in our societies of showing more respect to other language groups by doing the same with the names of the Biblical characters and with God’s name
  • designed from the beginning to connect with other resources including links to the original manuscripts
  • not a commercial product like most English Bibles—freely available to use, copy, print, adapt, or retranslate—no need to ask for permission

Currently as of mid-July 2024, we have the first draft of the New Testament available, plus a few Old Testament books trialled (Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, Esther, Job, Jonah, and Malachi, along with half of Joshua and a few Psalms, combines to around 20% of the Hebrew scriptures), so a total of over 40% of the Bible drafted. That’s more than enough for you to get an idea of the style that we’re aiming for, although some decisions (even some major ones) are still in flux (and will be for quite some time yet). But we’re also excited about the way that every word in the OET Literal Version is linked to the Hebrew or Greek word that it’s translated from. Also, as part of the OETcommitment to transparency, for ‘The Messianic Update’ (New Testament) with a few clicks (and with the help of a companion website), you can go all the way from our text to a photograph of the original Greek manuscript that it’s translated from. Try clicking on a word in our Reader.

Picture of an open Bible

  Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

We’re needing more volunteers to help with many aspects of this work including logo and website design, as well as help with the translation itself, i.e., consultants, translators, checkers, authors, note-writers, etc. If you’d like to help with a revolutionary, new Bible project, please look for more information on our Partners page.

We’re also looking for software developers. If you’re a Python or Flutter/Dart or other Android developer and would like to help with this vital side of the project, please look for more information on our Partners page. We’re also after Rust and Golang devs.

Verse of the day

And the message became a human and lived here among us and we saw his greatness—the greatness of an only child of the father—full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:14, OET-RV, early draft version)

And the message became flesh and sheltered among us, and we_saw the glory of_him, a_glory as of_an_only_begotten with a_father, full of_grace and truth. (Jn 1:14, OET-LV, joined_words come from single Greek words)

Note: You’re probably more used to Jesus/Yeshua being called ‘the Word’ (than ‘the message’), but in modern English, ‘words’ are the things on this page. Hundreds of years ago, someone decided that the Greek word ‘λόγος’ (logos) meant ‘word’ in English and many translations have naively followed that, but we’ve known for a long time now that ‘message’ or ‘speech’ (or similar), would be a more accurate translation in most contexts. While most older English translations still use ‘word’, the new OET uses a better translation that makes the concept much easier for the modern reader to understand. (Oh, and by the way, there are no capitalised words in the Hebrew and Greek originals, so with a focus on accuracy over tradition, the OET has much less artificial capitalisation than your older Bible.)

Read Overview