About the Good News Translation
The Good News Translation (GNT), formerly called the Good News Bible or Today’s English Version, was first published as a full Bible in 1976 by the American Bible Society as a “common language” Bible. It is a clear and simple modern translation that is faithful to the original Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Aramaic texts.
This Bible uses simple everyday language and vocabulary shared by everyone regardless of age or background. The “dynamic equivalence” in translation communicates the meaning and style of the original in a unique way.
Excerpts from the Good News Bible: The Bible in Today’s English Version
The Good News Bible in Today’s English Version is a new translation which seeks to state clearly and accurately the meaning of the original texts in words and forms that are widely accepted by people who use English as a means of communication. This translation does not follow the traditional vocabulary and style found in the historic English Bible versions. Rather it attempts in this century to set forth the biblical content and message in the standard, everyday, natural form of English.
The aim of this Bible is to give today’s reader maximum understanding of the content of the original texts. The preface explains the nature of special aids for readers which are included in the volume. It also sets forth the basic principles which translators followed in their work.
The Bible in Today’s English Version was translated and published by the United Bible Societies for use throughout the world. The Bible Societies trust that the reading and study of this translation will result in a better understanding of the meaning of the Bible. We also earnestly pray that readers will discover the message of saving faith and hope for all people which the Bible contains.
In September 1966 the American Bible Society published The New Testament in Today’s English Version, a translation intended for people everywhere for whom English is either their mother tongue or an acquired language. Shortly thereafter the United Bible Societies requested the American Bible Society to undertake on its behalf a translation of the Old Testament following the same principles. Accordingly the American Bible Society appointed a group of translators to prepare the translation. In 1971 this group added a British consultant recommended by the British and Foreign Bible Society. The translation of the Old Testament, which was completed in 1976, was joined to the fourth edition New Testament, thus completing the first edition of the Good News Bible.
The basic text for the Old Testament is the Masoretic Text made available through printed editions, published by the UBS, and since 1977 under the title of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. In some instances the words of the printed consonantal text have been divided differently or have been read with a different set of vowels; at times a variant reading in the margin of the Hebrew text (qere) has been followed instead of the reading in the text (kethiv); and in other instances a variant reading supported by one or more Hebrew manuscripts has been adopted. Where no Hebrew source yields a satisfactory meaning in the context, the translation has either followed one or more of the ancient versions (e.g. Greek, Syriac, Latin) or has adopted a reconstructed text (technically referred to as a conjectural emendation) based on scholarly consensus; such departures from the Hebrew are indicated in footnotes.
The basic text for the translation of the New Testament is The Greek New Testament published by the United Bible Societies (3rd edition. 1975), but in a few instances the translation is based on a variant reading supported by one or more Greek manuscripts.
Drafts of the translation in its early stages were sent for comments and suggestions to a Review Panel consisting of prominent theologians and Biblical scholars appointed by the American Bible Society Board of Managers in its capacity as trustee for the translation. In addition, drafts were sent to major English-speaking Bible Societies throughout the world. Final approval of the translation on behalf of the United Bible Societies was given by the American Bible Society’s Board of Managers upon recommendation of its Translations Committee.
The primary concern of the translators has been to provide a faithful translation of the meaning of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. Their first task was to understand correctly the meaning of the original. At times the original meaning cannot be precisely known, not only because the meaning of some words and phrases cannot be determined with a great degree of assurance, but also because the underlying cultural and historical context is sometimes beyond recovery. All aids available were used in this task, including the ancient versions and the modern translations in English and other languages. After ascertaining as accurately as possible the meaning of the original, the translators’ next task was to express that meaning in a manner and form easily understood by the readers. Since this translation is intended for all who use English as a means of communication, the translators have tried to avoid words and forms not in current or widespread use; but no artificial limit has been set to the range of the vocabulary employed. Every effort has been made to use language that is natural, clear, simple, and unambiguous. Consequently there has been no attempt to reproduce in English the parts of speech, sentence structure, word order and grammatical devices of the original languages. Faithfulness in translation also includes a faithful representation of the cultural and historical features of the original. Certain features, however, such as the hours of the day and the measures of weight, capacity, distance, and area, are given their modern equivalents, since the information in those terms conveys more meaning to the reader than the Biblical form of those terms.
Celebrating 50 Years of the Good News Translation
Remembering Annie Vallotton (illustrator of the iconic images in the Good News Bible)
Dr. Eugene Nida (Nov. 11, 1914 – Aug. 25, 2011)
Good News Translation® (Today’s English Version, Second Edition)
© 1992 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
Bible text from the Good News Translation (GNT) is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by American Bible Society, 101 North Independence Mall East, Floor 8, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2155 (www.americanbible.org).