Wednesday, November 20, 2019

NET Bible 2nd edition: Online and now available in Accordance

I have my students regularly consult the New English Translation = NET Bible. It's not necessarily the best translation, and since it initially arose out of individuals working on books instead of a committee, there is some unevenness across the Bible. Still, it is an excellent translation to consult because of its attention to the Hebrew and Greek texts. Even more importantly, the textual notes that are provided are a great aid to beginning language and Bible students. There are three sets of notes.
  • tc = Text-critical Note: These notes cover most every significant text variant with a good explanation of the issues involved. Important variants receive lengthy comments. (E.g., "God's Son" in Mark 1.1 or the endings of Mark) I give my students a basic introduction to text criticism, but I don't have time, and they don't have the interest to get into the weeds of the NA28. So, I basically tell them just to look at the NET Bible for a tc note, and that's really all they need. The NET does indicate instances where they differ from NA28.
  • tn = Translator's Note: These provide explanations for the translation choices, and they are extremely helpful drawing attention to grammatical, syntactical, or lexical issues in the original language. It includes such things as discussing the function of a genitive or the force of a tense. Alternatives are noted and discussed as well.
  • sn = Study Note: These notes provide some basic commentary on context or historical / cultural matters. They are useful, but sometimes theological bias is expressed.
The NET Bible was initially conceived as a work in progress, and they recently updated to a second edition. They note the changes from the first edition HERE and summarize:
The most substantial editing work for this Second Edition centered on the essential task of creating an updated Strong’s Hebrew/Greek to English mapping of the entire translation. This allowed the discovery of discrepancies and inconsistencies as well as creating a collating base for comparing consistency across the entire Bible. We completed many items on our list of initiatives for the Second Edition:
  1. Both OT and NT have updated Strong’s tagged using phrase tagging as well as multiple number tagging.
  2. This detailed Strong’s tagging was used to detect and correct inconsistencies across the OT.
  3. Divine names in the OT have been made more consistent.
  4. Technical terms related to geography, feast names, and the tabernacle have been made more consistent.
  5. References to explicit sexual body parts or sexual acts have been made more euphemistic like it is in the Hebrew and Greek. Sometimes a more transparent translation isn’t always better, such as reading the Christmas story with young children.
  6. Awkward/unidiomatic renderings were revised, and
  7. Hebrew references in footnotes were corrected and standardized.
  8. We did delete about 3300 footnotes which were deemed unnecessary and superfluous such as “δε has not been translated” or “και has not been translated due to differences in Greek and English style.”
About 3000 verses were changed in the updated translation, and they are all noted on their summary page. The biggest change is the Strong's tagging. You can see it at work at their excellent online site, the Lumina Bible, HERE.

I am also happy to report that Accordance has just incorporated the new edition with the Strong's tagging and made it available as a free update (for those who owned the 1st NET).

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