Pros and Cons of Good News Translation Bible

Everyone should try their best to understand and follow the message of God. The Bible is the ultimate source of redemption for everyone. The Good News Translation Bible is a great attempt at translating the Bible for the masses. 

This article explains the key features of the Good News Translation Bible. We also summarize the pros and cons of this Bible translation so our readers can have an opinion about this book. 

Introduction to the Good News Translation Bible

The Good News Translation Bible, also known as the Good News Bible, is a popular translation of the Bible made by the American Bible Society. In 1966 the Good News Translation Bible was published as the New Testament under “Good News for Modern Man.” The British and Foreign Bible society anglicized this book into British English. They used metric measurements for the commonwealth market. 

Before 2001, the book was named “Today’s English Version.” The American Bible Society renamed it to the Great News Bible. Society wanted to give this book a public perception of a paraphrase. Even though the book is officially called the Good News Translation Bible, it is more commonly known as the Good News Bible in the United States.

Creation of the Good News Translation Bible

The main reason behind the Good News Translation Bible is the huge demand people had for making a version of the Bible easier to read. Most of these requests were from Africa and Asia. In 1961, a similar request was made by the home missions board where they wanted a translation of the Bible that was not difficult to understand.

Much credit for the Good News Bible also goes to Eugene Nida, the Executive Secretary of the American Bible Society’s Translations Department. The basis of the Good News Bible relies on the linguist’s translation theories. 

In the 1960s, Nida presented the idea of “dynamic translation” ; this form of translation is used in many famous translations of the Bible, such as the HCSB and CEB. In dynamic translation, the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek text is presented as thought-for-thought and not Word for Word. This translation is also used in Spanish translations for Latin American natives.

The aim behind the Good News Translation Bible

The Good News translation was first published in “In Common Language” by the American Bible Society. Simple everyday words are especially popular with children and those who learn English.

This modern version of the American English Bible, created by a group of American biblical scholars in the mid-20th century, is known as the Gospel of the Good News. Drawing on numerous archaeological discoveries and manuscripts from the sixteenth century, as well as knowledge of linguistics and biblical studies, he intended to meet the needs of spreading evangelization in the secular English-speaking world for the people who are not always familiar with world language and traditional theological terminology. His style avoids loose paraphrasing when translating the deep structure of the text into the original language. 

This historic edition has set the model for countless new translations and revisions of the Bible, not only in English but also in other languages. The Good News Bible has sold over 40 million copies worldwide since its first printing. 

Some Examples from the Good News Translation Bible

Here are some examples from the Good News Translation Bible that will help our readers have a little taste of the dynamic translation that this version of the Bible has to offer.

Reference ScriptureGNBKJV
John 1:1, 14“In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son.”“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
John 3:16“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.”“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”
John 8:58“‘I am telling you the truth,’ Jesus replied. ‘Before Abraham was born, I Am.’”“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

Contradiction in the Good News Bible 

There is one specific passage in the GNB “What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like man’s sinful nature, to do away with sin” Romans 8:3

In the above passage, the poorly translated words suggest that Jesus had a sinful nature. This goes against several other scriptures in the New Testament and is against a basic understanding of who Jesus is and why he came to earth.

Critics of the Good News Bible say that it is full of contradictions. They claim that the Bible cannot be trusted because it is full of errors and inaccuracies.

However, upon closer examination, many of these supposed contradictions can be easily explained. In some cases, the Bible is simply stating two different perspectives on the same event. In other cases, the Bible is deliberately vague in order to leave room for interpretation. And in still other cases, the Bible is making a theological point that does not need to be taken literally. Some also believe that the contradictions in the Bible are not a reason to reject it outright. Rather, they should be seen as an invitation to dig deeper and to understand the text in its proper context.

Pros and Cons of the Good News Translation Bible

Here are some things that the Good News Bible gets right and some drawbacks of this translation. Let’s explain these.”

Pros of the Good News Translation Bible

  • Easy English language that most people can understand
  • Modern English language
  • Accurate translation 
  • A good translation for students and new English speakers
  • A good attempt at dynamic translation

Cons of Good News Translation Bible  

  • There are some contradictions in the translation
  • In some places the translation seems a bit too dynamic

Summary 

The Good News Translation Bible is a great attempt at translating the Bible into an easier language. It uses simple and modern language that most people can easily understand. However, the translation can be considered slightly flawed for when it overreaches with its “dynamicism.” Overall it is still a good option for new English speakers and students. 

When was the Good News Translation Bible published?

The Good News Translation Bible was originally published in 1966. However, it was only published as a New Testament. The Old Testament was published in 1976, completing the entire Bible.

Who wrote the Good News Translation Bible?

Robert G. Bratcher wrote the New Testament version of the Good News Translation Bible. The Old Testament version was written by a committee including; Bratcher, Roger A. Bullard, Keith R. Crim, Herbert G. Grether, Barclay M. Newman, Heber F. Peacock, and John A. Thompson.

Is the Good News Translation Bible a good Bible?

The Good News Translation Bible is a great Bible if you are looking for simple to understand Bible. However, it is not an academic Bible or good for studying. Mostly, it is great for a simple understand and easy reading.

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