Another New Testament translation? This one makes some pretty big claims. More accuracy, easier to understand, replacing misunderstood words with new ones, and correcting problems with other versions.
The Breakthrough Version of the New Testament is definitely a contemporary literal translation. Geide argues that many translations use words that mean something different to contemporary readers than they did to readers hundreds of years ago. He uses words contemporary readers can understand. For example, “repentance” becomes “saddened into changing your ways.” “Grace” becomes “generosity,” “salvation” becomes “rescue” and “mercy” becomes “forgiving kindness.
Here is how Geide explains 2 Tim. 2:15. (See the chart below.) He was teaching about studying the Bible in Russia when his interpreter told him their Bible did not say “study.” Checking that out in his Greek New Testament when he got home confirmed it. He realized that hundreds of years ago, “study” meant to make every effort, so that is how he translated the verse. He spent over thirty years studying word usage, Greek, etc., to come up what he feels is an easy and accurate rendering of the New Testament message.
In reading passages from this version, as a long time Christian, I had a feeling of losing the sacred words. “Grace” means something special to me that “generosity” does not come close to conveying. However, for the unchurched today, “grace” probably has no meaning whatsoever so “generosity” is a much better word to use.
A couple of features I really like in a translation include the use of italics to denote words not in the original but have been added for clarity or sentence structure. I also like that the words Jesus spoke while on earth are not in red.
This is definitely a translation worth checking out. It would be an especially good translation to give to people not familiar with the Bible. But it's good for long time Christians too. I do like reading a new translation because I often receive insight from the fresh rendering of a verse.
You can go to http://www.breakthroughversion.com/ to watch a video, check out comparison charts, and read a free sample of the text. You can follow @NewBibleVersion on Twitter and receive one Bible verse in the morning and another in the evening. You can read his blog, including articles about translation at http://regvac.com/RayOnTheBible/b-newray/.
Ray Geide is president of Mission Churches International Inc. (http://mcii.org/), a ministry to Russia. He has a Master's Degree from Temple Baptist Seminary and is a life long Bible student.
Breakthrough Version Publishing, 337 pages. You can buy it here.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.