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Analytical-Literal Translation

General Comments on the ALT:


The following are e-mails I have been receiving in 2002 commenting on the Analytical-Literal Translation (ALT). The e-mailers' comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.

>Subject: Outstanding NT translation!

Mr. Zeolla,

My name is Jerry _____. I am an aspiring pastor-elder of the Reformed Baptist stripe. I have been a student of the textual/translation issue for some time, as for a long time I was in a church with neo-fundamentalist leanings (i.e. KJV/TR-only bent). A few years back I was able to acquire Robinson and Pierpont's first edition of the Byzantine NT. I quickly concluded that their introduction to the Greek text was worth the price of the book.<

I agree with that. The intro is truly excellent. But do note that Dr. Robinson has changed his position on point point raised in that article. You will see this discussed in the chapters on the MT vs. the CT in my Bible versions book.

>I also have access to John W. Burgon's work, and my own textual position has come to be Masoretic/Byzantine/Formally equivalent. I was searching the internet recently when I came across your web site. I have been extremely pleased with what I have seen thus far, and I just recently purchased your book on Bible versions as well as the ALT translation.<

Thank you for purchasing my books.

>I have never run into anyone who held my same views on this subject (and was a Reformed Baptist to boot!) <

That is rare. But Jay Green, translator of the LITV and MKJV, also holds all of these positions.

>By holding more to a Majority Text view, the KJV-only crowd wouldn't like me, but neither would the Critical Text people, in some ways.<

True. I have often felt "caught in the middle" myself.

>Anyway, I have been very encouraged by your stance, and as I have looked through your translation, I have been extremely impressed. You translate the present tense as a present tense (even in the historical present tense), and emphasize the strong adversatives and imperatives! I have longed for just such a version.

In your introduction you mention that you have considered publishing the ALT-DV. I would strongly encourage you to do so, and perhaps consider having it published not only in hardback and paperback, but also in a gilded edge, genuine leather edition. I must confess that I would be mighty tempted to preach out of just such a version!<

Thank you for your enthusiasm. And if the ALT had sold at all reasonably well I would have already started the ALT-DV. But as it is, it simply would not be worth the time or expense.

As for formats, my publisher AuthorHouse only has the capability of producing paperback and hardbacks. The only way the ALT or ALT-DV would be in leather-back would be if a "regular" publisher, like Nelson, would pick them up. That would be great if it would ever happen, but I seriously doubt it will.

>If I could make two suggestions on it, though. I noticed that in the ALT you often translate anthropos as "people" rather than the more literal "man". Now granted, I realize that the NT often uses "man" as a sort of shorthand for "mankind" in general. However, it concerns me a bit with the recent publication of the "TNIV", gender-inclusive edition.<

I discuss this translation in the ALT Companion Volume. But in a nutshell, I do believe it is just as literal to use "people" as "man." But I understand your concerns. My basic position was to be as gender inclusive as the Greek text allowed but under no circumstances to force the text to be inclusive when it is not. This is a far cry from what the TNIV has done.

>I have begun reading your Bible versions book, and I noticed that you mentioned that you would translate such areas differently in a literal translation, such as the ALT, than you would in a formal translation, such as the ALT-DV. Perhaps you could explain this difference a little more. (Maybe you do in your book, I have just started it.)<

This issue I don't think I would do differently. What I would do is be a bit less literal, while putting any significant deviations from a strictly literal translation in a footnote.

>My second suggestion is to make the emphatic double negative very clear in your formal equivalent translation. You may have done this in the ALT already, I just appreciate reading "by no means" in my NKJV.<

I also use "by no means" in the ALT.

>The NKJV is my translation of choice, but I wish that it would translate present tense verbs as present tense verbs, instead of making them past tense (I know it makes poor English, but it is great Greek!) The other thing I wish is that, for the sake of readability, the NKJV would not "round off the edges" by removing "extra" conjunctions and such. Anyway, keep up the great work. I would love to see a formal equivalent translation, as well as your companion book to the ALT and the concordance published in hardcopy form!

Thank you for your time!

In Christ,

Thanks for the encouragement. But again, I see no need for the ALT Companion Volume and ALT Concordance to be published in hardcopy given the lack of the sales of the ALT to date.

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