Statement of Faith
The developers of the Open English Translation of the Bible all agree to the following:
Commonly known in English as the Bible, the Christian texts consist of the two major components:
- the Hebrew scriptures (commonly known as the ‘Old Testament’) are a collection of documents written by a number of authors over a period of over 3,000 years. Some portions (around 1%) are written in Aramaic (an ancient language from the Syrian region) which is in the same language family as Hebrew.
- the Greek scriptures (commonly known as the ‘New Testament’) which feature five narrative accounts of Yeshua’s life on earth around 2,000 years ago and the establishment of Christian assemblies, followed by a collection of letters and a couple of other documents.
We believe that the Christian scriptures (the Hebrew and Greek originals), although penned by human authors, were inspired by God, and from the beginning to the end point to Jesus the messiah as the only way for us to be saved. Thus we also believe that they are worthwhile for us to diligently translate into our own languages, especially as they appear to be written in the languages of the ordinary people at those times.
One God, three persons
- God the father
- God the son—commonly known in English as Jesus, although you might find him called by his Hebrew name Yeshua in some of the OET editions. We believe that he was and is the creator son of God. Everything was formed through him and by him.
- God the (holy) spirit
Note: The OET doesn’t always continue old English traditions of using capital letters for pronouns and other words referring to members of the trinity. Of course, that’s because the original Hebrew and Greek scriptures didn’t ever distinguish or use such things either. (They only had one set of letter types, so had no distinction between capital or small letters. Modern Hebrew still doesn’t.)
More to come
Yes, what else do we need in here?
Everyone has a bias and in the interest of complete transparency, we openly declare ours here. All of those involved in the OET translation up until this point have come from a ‘Western’ protestant background. More particularly, the founder comes from a conservative Pentecostal background, also believing that if Genesis isn't accurate, then the rest of the Bible isn't worth believing either, i.e., from a six-day creation background.
However, please don’t wrongly take this statement to imply that we have deliberately gone out of our way to insert or even reinforce our own theology in the OET translation. We believe that every person should have access to a Bible that they can easily understand, and would be very happy if both believers and non-believers found this translation interesting to read and worthy of study, no matter their background and how similar or different it is from ours.
It’s sort of covered in other places like the Overview, but hey, let’s say it again in point form here (so no one can accuse us of having a hidden agenda):
- to make the Bible available in the English that many of us actually speak (so we don’t have to speak with backwards grammar and sound like ‘religious nutters’)
- to make a high-quality English Bible translation (well, two translations) that’s free and open-licensed so that the source files can actually be downloaded and the text used on your own church or Bible-study website, etc.
- to have a channel to educate Bible-readers more about how our Bibles get to us (with the totally transparent and traceable chain from the Readers’ Version to the Literal Version to the Greek text to the manuscript photographs)
- to have an opportunity to correct some long-continued mistakes in English translations (like the name ‘James’) and to update some other traditions simply by doing things better (like Bible book orders and Biblical names in general)
- by doing such things, to make the OET a new and fresh read for those who may have already read their other English translations many times over