>As most biblical scholars and translators know, translating the Bible from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into English or any other language is not easy. How does a translator clearly communicate the meaning of Hebrew words to English speaking people? Because the task is difficult, the result is that today we have many different translations of the Bible.
Now the problem has been solved. Let us welcome a new translation of the Bible: the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible. The aim of the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible is to solve the problem that different translations of the Bible create for the average reader.
The following press release explains the aim of the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible:
The “Ancient Roots Translinear Bible (ARTB)” is a completely new concept designed and patented by a scientist and bible-lover who asked the basic question: Why do we have to interrupt our reading of the bible to look up the original meaning of the Hebrew text in a separate book or footnote? Why don’t English bible translations match the ancient text?
Author and scientist A. Frances Werner has done her homework. She has documented exactly why you have required to have the extra (and sometimes expensive) tools such as concordances, bible dictionaries and cross-referenced study bibles to decipher most English bible translations. By counting up all the word variations in the Old Testament in over 20 bibles, Werner has demonstrated that translators have unnecessarily complicated matters by not keeping the English consistent with the original Hebrew.
A. Frances Werner designed the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible (ARTB) to be 100% consistent with the ancient texts to simplify bible study. “The word “translinear” has been created to let you know that it is completely consistent between Hebrew and English. Thus, every unique English word matches every unique Hebrew word. Even thought the concept seems incredibly obvious and simple, it hasn’t been done in 1500 years of English bible translations. That’s why the ARTB is patented. Now you can save some time and money. You don’t need to stop and reach for expensive reference books to be assured you finding the accurate word of God.”
How did this translator produce a Bible that solved the problems translators have struggled for centuries to solve? How was this done? It was easy! The translator, A. Frances Werner, used Strong’s Concordance to make sure that every Hebrew word was translated in the same way in English. Here is what she says about the Strong’s words number 120 [adam] and 376 [ish]:
What you see is that there are two very distinct words in Hebrew designated by two different Strong’s numbers 120 and 376. The major versions primarily reuse the word man for both. The ARTB utilizes the word human for 120 and man for 376 because they are different words.
But the confusion goes deeper. If you look up Strong’s number 376 for the NASB, you’ll find that not only did the NASB utilize the word man in 66% of the cases, but also words like husband, one, persons, and each, to words like tiller, soldier, tradition, and father for the remaining 33% of the cases–close to 1500 references. This is typical of all modern bible translations.
The Ancient Roots Translinear Bible (ARTB) began as a project to see what the Old Testament really looked like with all the missing words restored. But as they were restored, they were always applied with the rule of 1:1 correspondence to the ancient word. So in ARTB, the word human is utilized 100% of the time for Strong’s number 120 [adam] and no other Strong’s number.
Any one who has translated from Hebrew to English will agree that the approach taken by Ancient Roots Translinear Bible is very simplistic. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible was first published in 1890. Strong’s Concordance is an index of the Bible based on the translation of the King James Version. The index is designed to help students find a phrase or a word and compare how the same word was used in another section of the Bible.
The major weakness of the Ancient Roots Translinear Bible is its dependence on Strong’s Concordance:
Since Strong’s Concordance identifies the original words in Hebrew and Greek, Strong’s Numbers are sometimes misinterpreted by those without adequate training to change the Bible from its accurate meaning simply by taking the words out of cultural context. The use of Strong’s numbers does not consider figures of speech, metaphors, idioms, common phrases, cultural references, references to historical events, or alternate meanings used by those of the time period to express their thoughts in their own language at the time. As such, professionals and amateurs alike must consult a number of contextual tools to reconstruct these cultural backgrounds.
It seems to me that this new Bible will be consistent in translating the same Hebrew words into English, but it will be a Bible which will fail to communicate the beauty of the biblical message and the intricacies of the Hebrew language to its readers.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary