The 2001 Translation AboutProject Charter

The Apostle Paul sitting at a table, writing on parchment with scrolls and books laid out in front of him.
Saint Paul Writing His Epistles, attributed to Valentin de Boulogne, c.1620

Purpose

The purpose of the 2001 Translation Project is to provide a Bible translation which is:

  1. As accurate as possible.
  2. In easy-to-read contemporary American English.
  3. Open to correction.
  4. Accessible in a variety of formats.
  5. Transparent about translation difficulties and alternative translations.
  6. Independent from denominational bias.
  7. Available free-of-charge electronically.
  8. Free of copyright.
  9. Accessible to non-academics, so ordinary people can even understand the translator notes.

Translator notes and commentaries

  1. Translator notes should be about what the text says, while commentaries are about what the text means.
  2. Commentaries may express various Bible-related views, and they may even contradict each other.
  3. Commentaries cannot base their arguments on spurious texts or mistranslations we have rejected.
  4. Commentaries should offer some unique insight or viewpoint that adds value to the 2001 Translation and should not seek to become a Bible encyclopedia.

Transparency

  1. Verses with uncertain translations or possible alternative renderings must have a translator note to inform the reader.
  2. Corrections must be publicly listed, along with an explanation of what changed, when it changed, and the reason(s) why.

Accuracy

  1. Our Old Testament’s main source text is the Greek Septuagint due to corruption in the Hebrew Masoretic text.
  2. Our New Testament uses both Greek and Aramaic texts since much of it may have been first penned in Aramaic.
  3. Our translators can make use of any manuscript in addition to the above to seek accurate translation.
  4. Our Bible will exclude known spurious words and verses.
  5. Our Bible will translate the text from a neutral standpoint with no pre-existing bias toward or against a particular denomination or doctrine.
  6. Our Bible will aim to restore the original Bible text.
  7. Our Bible will provide translator notes on verses that usually invite controversy to explain our rendering logic and/or to show alternative renderings.
  8. Our Bible will not remove YHWH, or any other words, because of some custom or tradition.
  9. All insertions of YHWH in the New Testament must have a linked translator note to provide the reason(s) for it.
  10. Our Bible will aim to replace loaded terms, such as angel, soul, spirit, with more accurate, descriptive, and neutral terms, to free readers from centuries of religious baggage.

Volunteers

  1. Our translation will always be open to correction.
  2. Anyone may propose corrections to the translation, alternative translations, translator notes, and commentaries.
  3. The editor decides which to include or reject.
  4. The editor’s decision is entirely at his or her discretion.

The editor’s role

  1. The editor makes all final decisions on matters of translation and content of the website.
  2. The editor must fairly weigh up the evidence and argumentation on both sides of an issue before deciding.
  3. Decisions of the editor must be based purely on evidence and argumentation, not on their personal opinion.
  4. When the editor reaches a decision, he or she must publish all the reasons for doing so, plus any contrary evidence and argumentation.
  5. The editor must not be dogmatic about any issue.
  6. The editor will only accept corrections based upon internal evidence, manuscript evidence, historical evidence, and archaeological evidence.
  7. Evidence from the Bible itself trumps all other evidence.
  8. The editor will not accept any logical fallacies (including arguments from emotion, tradition, or authority), or make decisions based upon whether something is politically correct. The editor will likewise not bow to personal, professional, financial, political, or commercial pressures.

Scope

  1. As resources allow, the project may expand to the translation of non-Biblical ancient writings that are in some way directly relevant to translating or interpreting the Bible (e.g. the Apocrypha, early Christian writings, etc.).

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