Who is behind the 2001 Translation?
We are an independent group of volunteers who communicate via the Internet. We are non-denominational, and not backed by any particular church or group of churches. Our Bible is somewhat like Wikipedia, where anyone can submit corrections, except it is presided over by an editor. At least 200 people have helped since the project began in the late 1990s. We don’t know the names or religious affiliation of most contributors.
Why is it called the 2001 Translation?
Every translation is a product of its time. For example, the King James Version was created between 1604 and 1611, and reflects that era in more than just its wording; it also does so in the manuscripts and historical information available to the translators.
So we want to make it abundantly clear that this translation is a product of late 20th century and early 21st century discoveries in manuscripts, archaeology, and linguistics. What better than to say so in its name? It is often said among Bible scholars that a Bible translation should be updated (or even translated afresh) every 50 years.
What are the qualifications of the translators?
We’ve never asked. We ignore qualifications and only consider evidence and good argument. After all, an appeal to authority is a logical fallacy. Being impressed by someone’s education is not evidence. A truly qualified person should have no problem providing sufficient evidence for their argument; if they can’t, then what does that say about their qualifications?
The days of trusting some unknown, distant authority are over. With modern technology, you can check the manuscripts, dictionaries, and historical records for yourself. You do not need to take someone’s word for it. However, we do happen to know that many past volunteers are qualified in subjects like theology, history, and ancient languages. In fact, some have even produced their own Bible translations!
Why create this translation?
Our first editor noticed that common Bible translations don’t honestly convey the words of the critical editions (or the most reliable manuscripts). This is because most Bibles are sponsored by a certain Church or a committee of Churches, who will reject a translation if it doesn’t say what they want it to say.
Churces therefore force translators to use misleading traditional terms, to include fake words and verses, and to translate ‘proof texts’ in specific ways to support certain cherished dogmas. So, our first editor created this translation to see if the Bible text would still make sense without all of this tampering. It did.
Also, we found the Greek Septuagint text to be possibly more reliable than the Hebrew Masoretic text used by most Bibles. Yet, there are very few English translations of the Greek Septuagint. This translation provides a public service by providing a modern translation from the Greek. Further, much of the Christian Era books may have been originally written in Aramaic (or were at least very early translations). This is important because the Aramaic text fixes some problems and even solves some mysteries, yet most Bibles pay little attention to it.
Can I help with the translation?
Can I donate?
Currently it costs so little to run the project that we’d rather that you donate to charities like OpenDoors, which gives help and relief to persecuted Christians worldwide.
Why do you use the Greek Septuagint?
Originally it was because we had no readers of Ancient Hebrew in our project. We now do it as a public service, because there are few modern translations of the Septuagint. See our other reasons for using the Septuagint.
Is the Greek Septuagint reliable?
While there are errors in the Septuagint, overall, we suspect that it may be more reliable than the Hebrew Masoretic text in important ways. Also, the Hebrew Masoretic may have been deliberately corrupted in important places. However, we still consult the Masoretic at times. One does not need to entirely reject one and completely accept the other (that would be a false dilemma fallacy). We can, and do, learn from both.
Why doesn’t your Bible include the Apocrypha?
We concluded that while they’re historically important, they aren’t inspired. However, if anyone is interested in volunteering to translate these books, please contact us.
Why do you use the Divine Name, and why “Jehovah” and not “Yahweh” or something else?
The Divine Name appears thousands of times in Bible manuscripts, both Hebrew and some Greek. While many Bibles replace it with Lord, our project charter specifically forbids removing or censoring words from the Bible. We use the common pronunciation Jehovah because the King James Version used it, making it familiar to hundreds of millions of people in the English-speaking world. To learn more, please see our page on why we use the Divine Name.
Why do you use “Jehovah” in your New Testament?
It appears over 100 times in the Greek manuscripts as a euphemism. It’s “Lord” (kyrios) with a missing article (“the”) beforehand. That was the standard euphemism used in the Greek Septuagint to replace the Name. In the ancient Aramaic manuscripts of the New Testament, the Name appears as “Lord Jah” (maryah) over 100 times. We translate these to just say what they mean, the Divine Name.
Please see our page on the Divine Name in the New Testament for details.
Why did you translate such-and-such that way?
Why say “Jewish Era” and “Christian Era” instead of “Old Testament” and “New Testament”?
In accord with our charter, we use neutral terminology to remove centuries of religious baggage. In this case, the term “Old Testament” implies to some that those books are old and of no use, and need not be consulted in the Christian Era. Yet this is the opposite of what Paul said at 1 Corinthians 10:11.
Why use BCE/CE instead of BC/AD?
The BCE/CE system is standard among Bible scholars, and is recommended by the Society of Biblical Literature’s style guide. We are not dogmatic on this point. Perhaps BC/AD would be better, but we had to choose one, and that’s the one we chose – for better or worse.
What’s the correct way to cite the 2001 Translation elsewhere?
If quoting a book from the Jewish Era, we recommend saying (LXX, 2001translation.org). This is to show that the verse is taken from the Greek Septuagint texts (which may be pretty important). For example:
‘In the beginning, The God created the sky and the land’ –Genesis 1:1 (LXX, 2001translation.org)
If quoting a book from the Christian Era, say (2001translation.org). For example:
‘This is how [much] God loved the world: He gave His one-and-only Son so that all that believe in him might not be destroyed but have age-long life.’ –John 3:16 (2001translation.org)
This is done automatically for you if you use the ‘Copy or share verse’ feature on our website Bible pages. Just click the verse number that you want to copy, and select ‘Copy or share verse’ from the pop-up menu.
Technical translation questions
What Bible text families is the 2001 based upon?
Our ‘Old Testament’ is based on the Greek Septuagint (learn why). Our ‘New Testament’ is based on the Greek texts, but we defer to the Aramaic texts in all books except Mark, Luke, and Acts (learn why).
What critical editions or manuscripts is the 2001 based upon?
Originally, our primary source text for the Old Testament was the critical edition of the Septuagint by Henry Barclay Swete (printed in 1930), which is primarily based on the Codex Sinaiticus. However, today we consult all three Septuagint families (Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus, and Vaticanus).
As for the Christian books, our primary source was originally the Greek Westcott and Hort text, however, volunteers consulted others so much when researching corrections, that no single critical edition is used or trusted more than any other today. In Aramaic, we consult the Peshitta published by the British and Foreign Bible Society (1920), and the Khabouris Codex Transcription by Stephen P. Silver. Further, the Crawford Codex may be descended from the original Aramaic copies of 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. English transcriptions are all available from the excellent Dukhrana project.
Is there an app?
Kinda. You can download the website for offline viewing, and if you add it to your device homescreen, it will act like an ‘app’. See the Web App section of the download page.
Is there a module for e-Sword?
Not yet, but if anyone wishes to volunteer to create one, please get in touch.
Is a print version available?
Not yet, but it’s an idea for the future. In the meantime, we’ve made it easier to print out individual chapters by clicking the printer icon next to each chapter text. You can also download our Bible text as Word documents.
Will there be an audiobook?