Overview of Bible Study

Good News


Bible Store


The Good News Bible

In 1966, the American Bible Society published a new modern language translation of the New Testament. Entitled Good News for Modern Man: The New Testament in Today's English Version (TEV), it quickly became more popular even than the NEB. A second version was published in 1967, with changes in style and substance. A third edition was released in 1971.

The translation was done by Robert Bratcher, who had previously published a translation of the Gospel of Mark.

In 1976, after a translation of the OT was completed, the two were combined to form the Good News Bible (GNB). This fourth edition of the NT translation more closely adhered to the Greek text, and included footnotes.

The basis for the Good News Bible translation was one of dynamic equivalence, intended to stimulate in the new reader the same reaction to the text that the original reader would likely have experienced. In this, the translators were less concerned with a literal translation as with translating the meaning of the text in common English, understood by people of all walks of life and levels of education.

Wherever possible, the Good News Bible avoids the use of technical terms. The Antichrist, for example, is referred to as "the enemy of Christ." Wherever this is not done, the term is explained in an included word list.

The GNB Old Testament translation was completed by a committee of six, who were instructed to adhere to the principles that produced the NT translation. As with the NT translation, simplicity and readability were more important than adherence to a literary translation. In the interest of simplicity, much of the figurative language of the OT is lost. This is most notable in the poetic text of the Psalms and in Proverbs. Compare Psalms 5:9 in the KJV and in the GNB:

    For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; Their inward part is very wickedness; Their throat is an open sepulchre; They flatter with their tongue.

    What my enemies say can never be trusted;
    they only want to destroy;
    Their words are flattering and smooth,
    but full of deadly deceit.

The Good News Bible has its purpose. Readers who are not familiar with other versions of the Bible will find it to be an easier read, but those who are familiar with the traditional language of the KJV, RV, and ASV might be challenged by the changes to the text made in the name of simplicity. It is an honest and reasonably accurate attempt to present the Bible in language that is simple and meaningful to regular people of today.

    In the beginning, when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the power of God was moving over the water. -- Genesis 1:1-2


Overview of Bible Study