In my writings (and in my preaching) I usually offer a Biblical text or two to illustrate the point I am making to demonstrate the Biblical backing for the view being addressed.
If I quote from a popular version like NIV or GNB, I often have to adjust the quotation using a literal translation so that it better reflects what the Biblical writer is trying to say. Sometimes I actually quote the text from a literal translation like Young's or Rotherham's or the Concordant Version even though they use older King James style English and their expression is not usually free-flowing, quite wooden in fact.
Now some really good news.
Last week I was introduced to a brand new literal translation of the New Testament that was published just over 12 months ago. It is "The New Testament - A Translation" by David Bentley Hart.
My copy arrived in the post two days ago and I haven't been able to put it down since. I haven't read it all the way through yet, but I have read sizable chunks of it and especially chunks that include chapters containing the poor translations I have to keep adjusting.
And I am delighted!
If I can quote from this translation in my writings (I am inquiring about any copyright restrictions at the moment) I will never have to make those adjustments again because the translation is already literal and the English style and expression is very acceptable for written works.
David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion and a fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. He set out to translate the New Testament etsi doctrina non daretur (as if doctrine is not given), and has produced a brilliant (IMO) 500-page translation that contains copious footnotes explaining the reasoning behind many of his translation decisions.
Some people will criticise a translation by one person rather than by a committee, just because it is a single person.
But I find a literal translation by an eminent scholar is more likely to be true to the original manuscripts and thus avoid doctrinal biases than a popular translation by a committee formed from a particular doctrinal persuasion on the one hand or by a committee representing many different doctrinal positions whose work needs to be smoothed over to keep all committee members on board.
Here is my signature Bible text from this new translation (sorry for the US spelling):
"For we labor and struggle to this end, because we have hoped in a living God who is the savior of all human beings, especially those who have faith. Enjoin and teach these things."If there are no copyright problems, you will see this translation used most (maybe all) of the time from now on.
[1 Timothy 4 : 10,11 DBH]