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It’s a well known fact that the Holy Bible is the world’s most translated book. When it comes to translating the Bible, there are certain principles to be followed.

  • The translation must be made without loss, change, distortion or embellishment of the meaning of the original text.
  • It must be extremely accurate when it comes to the meaning of the Scriptures.
  • The translation must not only convey the meaning of the original, but also capture its underlying emotions and attitude.
  • The translation must maintain the variety found in the original – the receptor language must adhere to the same literary forms like poetry, prophecy, narrative and exhortation as in the original.
  • There should be no loss or embellishment of historical and cultural information.
  • The translation must be understandable to the audience that it is meant for – people whose native tongue is the receptor language.
  • The translation must not be influenced by any political, ideological, social, cultural or theological bias.
  • The translation must use the most reliable original language Scripture as the basis for the transference from one language to the other so as to retain the maximum accuracy.
  • The translator is allowed to use reliable Bible translations in other languages as intermediary source texts.
  • The translator is allowed to change grammatical and syntactical structure according to the receptor language so as to achieve accuracy and ensure that the target audience understands the translation.
  • The translator must remember to use as few words or sentences possible to achieve the desired translation.
  • The translator must do sufficient research of the target audience to decide on the most appropriate translation for them. It is up to him/her to decide on whether to go for a formal or informal translation based on the linguistic and social characteristics of the target audience.
  • The translation must be done by people who are trained and who are competent in both the languages – the original and the receptor.
  • Preferably, one of the languages must be the native tongue of the translator.
  • The translation must be tested among the target audience to make sure that it is accurate, has clarity, and is natural and not contrived.
  • The media for the translation – text, audio or a combination of these – must be chosen with the target audience in mind.
  • And finally, the translation must be reviewed periodically to check if revisions or new translations are needed.