Choosing Your Translation
One of the questions we often receive here at Hosanna Revival is, “What are the differences between the Bible translations you offer?” Sometimes, what people really want to know is, “Which Bible translation is best?” The truth is, there’s no one right answer to that question. In fact, we think a better question is, “Which Bible translation is best for me?” Before we can answer that question, we need to understand a little bit more about how the Bible is translated. There are two main translation philosophies when it comes to translating the Bible:
1. Word-for-Word translation (also known as “essentially literal” or “formal equivalence”)
2. Thought-for-Thought translation (also known as “functional equivalence,” or “dynamic equivalence,” or “meaning-based”)
Bible Translation Spectrum
In recent years, some Bible translations have attempted to fall somewhere between these two philosophies, forming a “natural equivalence” or “optimal equivalence” translation philosophy. In addition to these three translation philosophies, some have chosen a different method altogether, resulting in a paraphrased retelling of Scripture.
Hosanna Revival Bibles are available in three translations: English Standard Version (ESV), New Living Translation (NLT), and Christian Standard Bible (CSB). The ESV is an “essentially literal” translation (sometimes called “functional equivalence” or “word-for-word”), which attempts to retain as much of the original sentence structure and idioms as possible. The NLT is a “meaning-based” translation (sometimes called “dynamic equivalence” or “thought-for-thought”), a which attempts to render the original meaning of the text in clear, modern English. The CSB attempts to find a balance between functional and dynamic equivalence, balancing the readability of the text with the original meaning. Click here to learn more about each translation.