Eugene A. Nida's work in dynamic equivalence translation led to the development of such translations as the New Living Translation and The Message. It is a "meaning-based" approach to biblical translation and focuses on translating "thought-for-thought" rather than "word-for-word."
Nida's career in translation spanned the globe, as he traveled to more than 85 countries throughout his life. He served as executive secretary of translations for the American Bible Society from 1946 until his retirement in 1980, and he was involved with the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) from its founding in 1942, first attending and then teaching there each summer until 1953.
Throughout his career, Nida emphasized the need for multiple translations, as well as a desire to understand and spread the meaning of the Bible. "What is really needed is for people to take the message seriously and share it with other people, focused primarily on what this message has meant to me," he said in a 2002 interview with Christianity Today. "So many Christians love to argue about the Bible rather than take it seriously as a message that is important for their own lives."
Here Bible translation executives reflect on his ministry and legacy:
Bob Creson, President of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA:
"We stand on the shoulders of giants like Dr. Eugene Nida … Bible translation was hugely influenced by [the dynamic equivalence approach] and [Nida] was very influential to our organizations in helping to develop this approach to translation that continues to be used today, giving people opportunities to hear the good news of the gospel in a language and form they relate to best."
Freddy Boswell, CEO/Executive Director of SIL International:
"Nida's influence ...1