The Today’s English Version of the New Testament, popularly known as Good News For Modern Man, has carved out an important niche for itself in the history of Bible translation. It has been widely acclaimed by scholars and lay people alike since its appearance ten years ago. Tens of millions of copies have been sold or distributed here and abroad. Its popularity is due not only to the overall fidelity of its translation of the Greek text but also to the felicity of its style and the clarity of its language.
Now the American Bible Society is to be commended and congratulated for the recent publication of the corresponding Old Testament. The combination of the two testaments will be marketed as the Good News Bible; hence we will here refer to this Old Testament as the GNB. (For now, this Bible is available only through the American Bible Society.)
The manner in which the ABS translating team went about its work is interesting. A member of the team would do a first-draft translation of an Old Testament book and circulate copies to the other members. After they read it and made suggestions, he would do a second draft. Then in a series of full committee sessions the team would discuss and modify the second draft. The results of that work would become the third draft, which would be circulated to a review panel, which consisted of members of the translations committee of the ABS board, a broad range of churchmen, and United Bible Societies colleagues overseas. The translating team would then make whatever adjustments it considered appropriate and submit the manuscript to the ABS board. In the final stage of the process, Eugene Nida, head of the ABS translations department, and two members of the board’s translation subcommittee would ...1
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