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DAVID'S REVIEW OF THE LEXHAM ENGLISH BIBLE



Before it was a Bible, the LEB was an interlinear. The greatest difference from the interlinear and the Lexham English Bible is that the LEB rearranged the interlinear's Hebrew or Greek language sentence structure to that of the English language, avoiding the choppy and wooden readings of many literal translations, and creating better transparency between the original documents and the modern English reader. Using Hebrew/Greek word order as much as possible is a goal of many literal translations, but I don't see how that helps an average English reader.

I find the LEB to be the most readable literal translation. I find most literal translations to be wooden, mainly because they try to retain the Heb/Gr word order, creating awkward sentences in English. The LEB manages to take their interlinear, which is totally in Heb/Gr word order, and creates a very literal, but extremely readable translation which preserves the literary beauty of the original Scriptures.

All languages have idioms (figures of speech). For example, one may say that one is "hitting the sack". But to someone in China, they may not understand that you mean you are going to bed. Same goes for Hebrew and Greek. At least twice in the Old Testament, it is said that one "covered his feet." That's a case where a clearer rendering is better than a strictly literal one. We may think that he is warming his feet with a blanket. The covering of his feet is a Hebrew idiom, an euphemism meaning "dropping his garments to his feet in order to relieve himself." Translating that idiom as "relieving himself" into the text is preferred, and placing the Hebrew idiom in the footnotes. The LEB places literal translations of the idioms in the footnotes several hundred times when it would be confusing to English readers if placed in the text itself, and places the English meaning of the idiom in the text and the LEB still retains the properties of a literal translation.

There are several passages that the LEB does better than any other translations. One is John 3:16. Most Bibles read "For God so loved the world..." The LEB renders it as "For in this way God loved the world..." The Greek word houtos, commonly translated in Jn 3:16 as "so" or "so much" occurs over 200 times in the NT. Almost without exception it is an adverb of manner, not degree (for example, see Mt 1:18). It only means "so much" when modifying an adjective (see Gal 3:3; Rev 16:18). Manner seems primarily in view in Jn 3:16. The best lexicons agree with the LEB's rendering. Some may think "so loved this world" as "God sooooo loved the world," while the Greek is referring to the manner that God loved the world. The New Living Translation, Holman Christian Standard Bible and New English Translation also supports the LEB rendering.

Ephesians 5:19 is another place where that LEB shines. Instead of "...making melody" (King James Version) or "making music" (New International Version), the LEB uses "singing." The Greek word psallo meant "making music, to pluck" in Old Testament times, but the definition changed to just "singing" in NT times. Several lexicons confirm this change.

Another thing I like about the LEB is that the translators of the New Testament considered the Westcott-Hort Greek text behind the American Standard Version of 1901, the Greek text behind the 1984 NIV, and the Greek Majority text that is often (but not always) used by the New King James Version.

The only flaw I find with the LEB is that it is not available in a printed edition. It is only available online and in Logos Bible Software.

This is just my opinion, but the only Bible translations that I fully trust and have the least translation errors are the LEB and the English Standard Version. I have a LEB/ESV parallel Bible at https://biblemegasite.com/outline-leb-esv.html

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