Computers are great, mobile devices are terrific and cell telephones are work-saving, time-saving and nearly indispensable for much of modern society these days. They make work faster and more accurate. It’s easier to coordinate with others for both work and personal interests. They throw open the office door to allow work, communication and interaction virtually anywhere and they allow distribution of information quickly.
Even the Bible is now part of the computer world, with the International Standard Version the first English Bible “conceived, designed, translated, and formatted primarily for a computer-literate generation. It was produced entirely in a computer aided media format. In its electronic format, the ISV became the first Bible translation ever published with version numbers, reminiscent of fine software.”
It’s available in electronic form in the Kindle MOBI file format as well as the Barnes and Noble Nook EPUB format, which also is compatible with the Apple iPhone and iPad devices, as well as a number of versions for various smart phone devices.
But, it appears, the Bible is one of few things that computers cannot fully contain.
In fact, the ISV Foundation, which not many years back assembled a top-flight team of scholars and experts to create a completely new translation “to embody the best results of modern scholarship as to the meaning of Scripture” in “clear and natural English,” has had so many requests for printed copies of its now-available online version, it has launched a crowd-funding campaign to assemble the equity needed to get going.
William Welty, Ph.D., one of the translators, holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Louisiana Baptist University, and taught New Testament Greek at what is part of Trinity Law School.
He told WND that he was getting so many emails asking for access to traditional printed, even leather-bound, copies, that something had to be done.
But typesetting and hard-copy printing processes are expensive, so he looked around until he found a crowd-funding procedure for nonprofits, Generosity, run by Indiegogo, specifically for such work.
The campaign, just launched days ago, already has passed $6,200 in support for an initial goal of $250,000.
“We have made arrangements with our publishing house, Koechel-Peterson of Minneapolis, Minnesota, to have 100 percent of all funds that we collect from our efforts to be deposited directly with their firm so that typesetting and design can begin immediately,” the Generosity site page explains.
It also promotes the translation, which is described as the best of both literal and idiomatic translation standards.
“In some cases, the translations examined were deemed to be excessively literal; many of the phrases were found to be unnatural and heavy, and the language used was in many cases archaic. In other cases, the general language and style of the translation were found to be fully adequate, but the level of paraphrasing was so high that people had difficulty using the translation in preaching, teaching and personal study.”
In fact, the ISV translators who originally worked on the project, found “the paraphrase of some of the sample texts examined in our initial review was actually the opposite of what the original language said.”
They set to work with the goal of creating a translation that stayed as close to the source text as possibly without losing communication, and to be fair and non-interpretative, without theological biases or preferences.
It also features a recognition of the fact that some of the original biblical passages appear to have been delivered in poetic form by their authors. The translators decided to craft those as true poems, to convey the sense of their original literary form as well as the original intent of the author.
For example, one New Testament verse that routinely is presented as “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, and lazy gluttons,” now appears as a doublet, “Liars ever, men of Crete, savage brutes that live to eat.”
The translators explain, “The meaning is clear and familiar: Paul’s opponents in Crete – false teachers all – have sunk to the level of beasts, unrestrained in their brutality, always on the prowl for prey. By quoting a Cretan poet, Paul ingeniously underlines the authority of his own judgment without exposing himself to the charge of being anti-Cretan.”
The translation’s appearance sparked praise from such luminaries as Dr. Chuck Missler, of Koinonia House Ministries, who said, “I have not been a fan of the modern translations, but the ISV is a refreshing exception. … It is truly the most readable and accurate English language translation of the Bible ever produced.”
The Bible foundation earlier produced a video describing its work:
Welty described it as an “Israel-friendly” translation and said readers will find a multitude of subtle nuances not usually revealed in a traditional rendering of the text.
It’s already reached a distribution mark of more than five million in digital formats, but the demand for printed copies has been surging, so the decision was made to seek funding.
In the foundation’s email to its own supporters, officials said the direct inquiries about printed copies convinced them to try to assemble the funds for the “high costs associated with typesetting and a press run of both hardback and leather editions.”