Core Values

 of the

Open English Translation


Without resorting to a translation that uses modern slang and risks becoming outdated even faster than usual, as much as possible we have attempted to use words and phrases that you’d likely hear in modern conversation or read in a contemporary novel. So you’ll find Paul and Silas “set free from prison” rather than being “delivered from prison” and Jesus “coming back to life” rather than being “lifted-up/raised from the dead”.


You don’t need to have studied Greek and Roman history etc. in order to understand the OET—it’s designed to be able to be understood by a diligent high-schooler. Yes, some concepts and even some terms are complex, but the Readers’ Version tries to add a small amount of helpful information to assist the reader. (Remember, you can always glance across to the Literal Version if you want a window into what words were actually written.)

Fresh and non-traditional

Many traditions are good and valuable and help us to have stability in our lives. However, some traditions are plain wrong, and the pros and cons of others can and should be debated. The translators of the Readers’ Version have wrestled with each segment of the text as it was being translated to try to express the thoughts in the language that we speak at school and at work, and to have less of the words that you’ll only hear at church and nowhere else. We don’t have to speak ancient English or Greekified English to be more devout or religious—in fact we aim for less religiosity and more matter-of-fact communications.

The freshness of this approach comes for those individuals who may have read the Bible for decades in various other translations. By deliberately trying to choose other words (where we can do so without compromising the intent of the text), we aim to encourage our readers to look at concepts that they’ve imagined for years and to see them from a different, fresh perspective.


The OET is designed in such a way as to make the modern, idiomatic, English translation found in the Readers’ Version to be able to be traced across to the Literal Version and then all the way back to the words from the SR Greek New Testament that it was translated from, and from there right back to photographs of the original manuscripts.

Anytime that we’ve needed to guess at the intent of the authors, we’ve endeavoured to mark those decisions by clearly marking any words that we added that weren’t completely obvious from the text, as well as footnoting where we’ve chosen one or two or more ambiguous possibilities for what was meant. (And of course we’re aware that there might have been times when the writer was deliberately ambiguous, and certainly multiple times when sections of text have innuendos, word plays, and/or multiple meanings.)


We live in the 21st century and the digital age. A modern Bible should have interlinked resources and make full use of the internet. Every word in the OET-LV is already connected to the Greek word that it’s translated from and it’s in progress for the OET-RV. We already have a good start linking at pronouns to their referents, i.e., to click on a pronoun like ‘him’ and find out who it’s talking about. Click on the person’s name and go to an entry where you can click throught their family tree.