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Second Edition of the ALT
By Gary F. Zeolla
The first edition of the Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament (ALT) was published in the summer of 2001. However, preparations are already underway to publish a second edition. My reasons for doing so are as follows.
Improvements and Corrections
I have gone over the text of the ALT several times since the first edition was published. And with each reading I have found ways to improve the translations. These improvements increase the accuracy and consistency of the translations and the readability of the text.
In addition, many minor mistakes have been found in the ALT text since the first edition was published. They are mostly relatively minor, but I still want the opportunity to correct them. For instance, most of the new needed corrections I have found are due to my double-checking to be sure that the article ("the") is bracketed as need be (indicating it is added for clarity). I especially have reviewed the text to be sure the article is bracketed where necessary with every occurrence of "Spirit" (or "Holy Spirit") and "Lord."
The above improvements and corrections are listed on the ALT: Errata pages and have been made to the ALT text as it is posted on this site. They have also been made in the Microsoft Reader® version of the ALT available for download on this site. However, I cannot, of course, make corrections to first edition of the paperback or hardback versions of the ALT or to the Acrobat Reader® eBook version, which are available from the publisher AuthorHouse. But a second edition of the ALT will provide the opportunity to make these changes to these versions of the ALT as well.
Size and Cost
Due to the way it is formatted, the first edition of the ALT is a rather large book, with a total of 583 pages. In a couple of ways this is nice. The print is large enough for most anyone to read, and there is plenty of empty space in the margins and within the text to allow for writing notes. However, due the large number of pages, the book is rather expensive. And this expense is probably keeping many people from attaining the ALT.
So the second edition will be reformatted so that it has fewer pages and thus will cost less. The first way this will be done will be to use smaller print. The first edition uses Times New Roman 11. The second edition will use Times New Roman 10. For those who have the first edition, the print size for the second edition will be the same as that used for the textual variants appendix in the first edition. It’s small, but plenty readable. In fact, that print size will still be larger than found in most Bibles that are produced today.
The second way the size of the book will be reduced will be to have less empty spaces throughout the text. The main formatting change to accomplish this will be to convert the text to regular paragraph format instead of the current verse-paragraph format. And with the new format, verses will be indicated by superscript single numbers rather than full references (e.g. 7The … vs. 2:7 The …).
There are pros and cons for each paragraphing format. The main benefit of a regular paragraph format is that is easier to read. The main benefit of a verse-paragraph format is it makes it easier to find a particular verse. However, another change in the second edition will be to place chapter references in the upper margins of each page for whatever chapter(s) appear on that page So it should be easy to find a particular verse even with the regular paragraph formatting. Moreover, there will still be margin space to write in. In fact, the margins will probably be as large as if not larger than the margins in most current Bibles.
The third way the size of the book will be reduced will be to change the textual variants appendix. The first edition of the ALT included an appendix listing significant textual variants between the Majority Greek Text the ALT is based on and the Textus Receptus and the Critical Text. That appendix occupied 35 pages. That is quite a few pages for an appendix that is probably mostly ignored.
However, I do feel that it is important to include some indication of the differences between these Greek texts so as to avoid confusion for those who are comparing the ALT to a version based on another Greek text. This is especially so for those few places where an entire verse or significant portion of a verse is omitted in the ALT as compared to say the King James Version (e.g. Acts 8:37, 9:5,6).
So for the second edition, I will include in an appendix the list of The Most Important Textual Variants that is seen on this Web site. This will make for a considerably shorter textual variants appendix (probably about 10 pages), but one that will still suffice to explain important differences between the ALT and other versions. Also, the full list of significant textual variants will remain posted on this Web site, and this will be indicated as such in the appendix.
And finally, the current ALT text uses underscores before and after pronouns to indicate when they are emphasized in the Greek text. The second edition will simply underline these pronouns (e.g., you instead of _you_). Similarly, the strong adversative is currently preceded and followed by underscores to distinguish it from the weak adversative, but in the second edition the strong adversative will be underlined (e.g., but instead of _but_). This change will save two spaces for each such pronoun and adversative and will make the text easier to read.
So the second edition will still be formatted in such a way that should be appealing to most readers. And all of the above changes reduced the number of pages to 371. And with over 200 fewer pages, the cost should be considerably less. And hopefully, this will broaden the appeal of the text.
Summary of Changes
To summarize, the second edition of the ALT will differ from the first edition in the following ways:
- Improvements will be seen in the translations. These include increased accuracy and consistency and improved readability.
- All needed corrections from the first edition will be made in the second edition.
- The print size will be smaller (Times New Roman 10 vs. Times New Roman 11)
- There will be less "empty space" throughout the text.
- The formatting will be regular paragraph rather than verse-paragraph.
- Verses will be indicated by superscript single numbers rather than full references (e.g. 7The … vs. 2:7 The …)
- Headings in the upper margins of each page will indicate the chapter(s) contained on that page.
- The first appendix will include a shorter list of “Important Textual Variants” rather than the longer list of “Significant Textual Variants.”
- Emphasized pronouns will be underlined rather than preceded and followed by underscores (e.g., you instead of _you_).
- The strong adversative will be underlined rather than preceded and followed by underscores (e.g., but instead of _but_).
All of these changes should make for an updated, less expensive, and easier to use text.
Points to Note
There are a few additional points to note in regards to these plans. First, the cover size of the second edition will be the same as the first edition, 6"x9". I had considered reducing the cover size to 5"x8". But my publisher said the number of pages more determines the cost of their books than the size of the pages. So to keep the number of pages as low as possible, the 6"x9" size would be preferred.
Second, my publisher still does not have the ability to publish text in color. So it will not be possible to produce a “red-letter” edition of the ALT.
Third, the first edition should remain available even after the second edition is published. So those who prefer the features of the first edition will still be able to attain that text.
My publisher was increasing its prices the first of February, 2004. Also, including the first edition of the ALT, I have four books published through AuthorHouse, so they said they would give me a repeat customer discount for a new book. To reserve the current pricing and take advantage of this discount I sent them a check on January 19th for the publication of the second edition of the ALT. So the plans are definite about publishing a second edition.
I submitted the text to AuthorHouse on April 19, 2004. It will probably take a couple of months for them to send what is called the "gallery" to me. This is a hardcopy printout of the entire text. The gallery will give me another opportunity to proofread the entire text, which again will take about a month.
Then the publisher will need another couple of months to produce the new edition. Altogether, it will probably take at least six months. So my best estimate is that the new edition will be available in the fall of 2004.
I received the gallery from my publisher on June 28th. I have proofread the entire text once already, but I am planning on proofing it one more time just to be sure there are no typos. And I must say, it looks very good. Converting the text from a verse paragraph to a normal paragraph format was a good move. It makes the text so much easier to read.
And if I can say so myself, even more than other Bible books, I would say the Book of Acts reads better in the new ALT than in any other version I have read it in. It just seems that the excitement of the book comes through better in the ALT than in other versions. So be sure to read Acts when the second edition comes out.
The gallery arrived shortly before I had to leave for a powerlifting contest the second week of July. And it took a while to get caught up on things when I got back. So I got behind in proofing the gallery. And with wanting to read through it a second time, there will be a further delay in getting it back to my publisher. But hopefully, I'll finish it by the end of July. And if I do, the schedule should still be on target for it to be published in the fall if this year. And it looks like both the paperback and hardback versions will be a little less expensive than the first edition.
In the above update, I said I was still proofreading the "gallery" (hardcopy printout) for the second edition of the ALT. As I read through the text, I found many needed corrections. Most of these were very minor, mostly dealing with punctuation, and especially quotation marks. The reason for this was, when I converted the text from a verse-paragraph format to a regular paragraph formatting, this required changing all of the quotation marks, and I missed quite a few of the needed changes. But I am glad I made the change in paragraph format as it is so much easier to read with the new formatting.
As for the text itself, the only needed corrections were very minor, such as in about half a dozen places making a mistake like having "his" where it should have been "this." But overall, I am very glad I have finally gotten the text to the point where there are no important typos. But still, I wanted to correct all of these minor mistakes so the text is as accurate as it can be. But this required doing what my publisher (AuthorHouse) calls a "Re-Tech." This basically refers to re-submitting the text and having them start over with preparing it for publication. I sent the updated text in on August 3, 2004.
I was afraid having to do the Re-Tech would cause a significant delay in publication. However, I received an email dated August 20 that the new gallery had been sent. It should arrive a few days after this. When it does I want to proofread the text yet one more time just to be sure it is typo free. Hopefully, this will only take me a couple of weeks or so, and then I will send a list of any needed corrections to my publisher. It will probably be a couple of months after that when the new ALT is ready for purchase. So my best guess at this point is it will be ready around November of this year.
Doing the Re-Tech did work out for the best. It let me know exactly how many pages the text would be. I also found out that the pricing for books was such that I could add quite a few pages to the text without it increasing the cost of the book. So I did some reformatting of the text (like block-quoting extended OT quotations) that should improve the readability and look of the text. I also made some additional last-minute updates to increase the accuracy and readability of the text.
In addition, I added a new five-page appendix on "Translation Decisions and Meanings of Notations." Many Bible versions often include a section where the translators give their thoughts on their work. This new appendix gave me the opportunity to include such a section for the new ALT. In the process, I gave more detailed explanations for the notations used in the ALT than is seen in the "Abbreviations and Notations" page found at the beginning of the text.
With all of the above, I must say I am very excited about the new ALT, and I am very much looking forward to its final publication later this year. With all of the needed corrections taken care of and with the final updates to the text, I truly believe the ALT-2 will be the most literally accurate translation of the NT available. And with the new formatting and updates, it should be rather easy to read as well.
Good News; Bad News
I have some good news and some bad news in regards to the forthcoming second edition of the ALT. First the bad news. In my last update, I had mentioned that I was waiting for the second "gallery" (hardcopy print-out) of the ALT. When I got it, my publisher really messed up the formatting on the book. All of the double spaces had been lost, some of the bolding, and other such mistakes. So they were going to have to basically start over to get the formatting right, and this would delay the publication of the text.
However, these problems led to the good news. During the time I was waiting for the gallery to come, Maurice Robison had contacted me. Robison is one of the two editors of the Byzantine Majority Text. The ALT was translated from the first edition of this Greek text. That first edition had been published in 1991.
Now, in 2001, while I was still working on the first edition of the ALT, Robinson, along with William Pierpont, had been hard at work reviewing and updating their text. So at that time, Robinson had sent me the text as it had been updated up until that time. They were hoping that a second edition would be published soon.
But for various reasons, things got delayed. One of these was that William Pierpont went to be with the Lord in February of 2003. But Robinson continued working on reviewing the text. And it was finally ready for publication. So that was when he contacted me. And when he did, he sent me a list of all of the changes that had been made to the text from the first edition to the forthcoming second edition. He also sent me a list of what will be footnoted, alternate readings in the new text. These represent places where the Byzantine, Greek manuscripts are closely divided.
However, since I had already resubmitted the ALT text to the publisher, there was no way I could update the ALT to include these changes and alternate readings. But then, when I received the new gallery with all of the mistakes, I figured since they were going to start over anyway, I asked them if there was some way I could re-submit the text first. That way, it would give me a chance to update the text to the second edition of the Byzantine text, and they said it would make sense to do so. So I updated the ALT text to the new Byzantine text and re-submitted it. So once again, I am awaiting the new gallery for me to proofread (hopefully!) one last time.
So what this means is, the new ALT will be based on the most up-to-date and accurate Greek text possible. I am very excited about this. It will add to the overall accuracy of the ALT.
A list of the changes made to the ALT text in updating it to the new Byzantine text has already been posted on the Web site. I also posted a short article concerning the title of the new Byzantine text and how I generally refer to it. These new items are listed at: Byzantine Majority Text: Changes and Alternate Readings.
The latter refers to footnoted, alternate readings that appear in the new Byzantine text. These indicate places where the Byzantine Greek manuscripts are closely divided. It was not possible to include this information in the new ALT, but it is mentioned twice in the text that the list of alternate readings is posted on the Web site..
And for those who are interested, Robinson told me that he had hoped that the second edition of the Byzantine text would be published this year. But his publisher also ran into problems with formatting the text. So its publication has been delayed, and he's not sure if it will be ready this year or not. As for the new ALT, I am still hoping that it will be ready before the end of this year, but it might not be until early next year.
Many thanks to Maurice Robinson for providing the list of changes and alternate readings before the new Byzantine text was even published. I really believe these last minute updates will a big plus for the new ALT.
And finally, Robinson wrote an obituary for Pierpont that is posted on the Web. It is interesting reading for those of us who believe in the priority of the Byzantine Textform. It is located at: William Grover Pierpont: 26 January 1915 - 20 February 2003.
The publication of the second edition of the ALT has once again been delayed. My publisher messed up the formatting once again, and I am still awaiting the final "gallery" (hardcopy print-out). Once I get it, hopefully sometime this month (November 2004), I want to proofread the text one last time. That will probably take me a couple of weeks. I'll then send them any needed corrections and they will do the final preparations for publication. That will probably be another month or so. So from the looks of it now, I doubt that the new ALT will be ready before the end of this year.
Despite all of the delays, I am still very excited and anxious for this second edition to be published. Part of the reason for the delays is I have been very "picky" about being sure everything is exactly the way I want it and that the text is as accurate as possible. All of this attention to detail should ensure that the new ALT will truly be one of the most reliable and accurate New Testaments available, and it should look very good as well.
I received the gallery (hardcopy print-out) for the new ALT in November. And this time, the formatting all looks good. The headers on each page look good as well. They indicate the first and last verses on that page (e.g. 1st page: Matthew 1:1-23; 2nd page: Matthew 1:24-2:16, etc.).
I then proofread the entire text one last time and sent in the final needed corrections on December 5, 2004. The next step will be for my publisher to make available a "Web gallery" that I will view online. I'll simply check to be sure they made all the needed corrections. Then, hopefully, I'll be able to sign-off of on the gallery, and it will go to final production.
My best estimate is that these final stages will take a couple of months. So the new ALT should be available in hardcopy and Acrobat Reader format from Author House's Web site around the beginning of February 2005. However, I will now work on updating the Microsoft Reader version of the ALT that is available for download on the site. And I should have that finished before the hardcopy version is available for those who are anxious to get the new ALT.
My publisher had the “Web gallery” for the second edition of the Analytical Literal Translation ready for me to download on the last day of 2004. I was hoping to just “sign-off” on the gallery so that the ALT2 could go into final preparation for publication. But I began double-checking one last area--the verse references for Old Testament quotes that are indicated in the ALT text. And I began to find a few that were inaccurate. So I wanted to correct these. I also began checking the references for where I needed to add the "LXX" notation, and I found quite a few that needed to be added So I wanted to correct these as well. This will delay things some, but I think it is important (see The Septuagint and the ALT2 for details).
On another point, I was not able to add an appendix listing the Byzantine Majority Text Alternate Readings as I hoped to. As things turned out, doing so would have pushed the page count into the next pricing range. And I didn’t think this information would be of sufficient interest to warrant increasing the cost of the text to the consumer. But it will be mentioned in the preface and in an appendix that this information is available on the Web site.
All that said, I had already started working on the Microsoft Reader® version of the ALT2 before the Web gallery was available. But I ran into some problems. It looks like I’ll need to do a lot more reformatting than I had hoped to get it ready. But once I am done with the above corrections, I will begin working on it again. I hope to have it available by February.
I’ve also been asked if I will make the ALT2 available to be used in freeware Bible programs. With the new paragraph formatting, the ALT is no longer in the format needed for it to be included in software programs. So the entire text would need to be reformatted. So it will be a quite some time before it would available in such formats.
But as for the hardcopy version, my hope is now that the ALT2 will be available in time for Easter. It is rather early this year, on March 27, which just happens to be my birthday. This is the first time I can remember Easter being on my birthday, but my mom says I was born on Good Friday.
The second edition of the ALT is now available in Microsoft Reader® eBook format! Click her for details. The paperback and hardback editions should be available by April 2005.
Special upgrade offer! If you purchased any version of the first edition of the ALT, for a limited time, you are eligible for a special "upgrade" price of 1/3 off for the second edition in the Microsoft Reader® eBook version. Click here for details.
I received the final "gallery" for the second edition of the ALT on February 20, 2005. It only took me a couple of days to review the text and be sure all of the final corrections I wanted to be made were made and that everything looked just the way I wanted it to. I then mailed a signed "Gallery Sign-Off" to my publisher, AuthorHouse. They received it on February 25 and told me that the new ALT would be ready within four weeks after that date. So it looks like my previous hope will work out. The new ALT should be available in paperback and hardback formats by Easter (March 27).
3/16/05 - Update
The Second Edition of the Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament is now available in paperback, hardback, and Acrobat Reader® eBook formats! It can be ordered from the publisher via their Web site AuthorHouse or by calling toll-free: 1-888-280-7715.
5/2/05 - Update
The Second Edition of the Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament is now available from online bookstores like Books-a-Million, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
Second Edition of the ALT Copyright (c) 2003-2005 by Gary F. Zeolla.
The above article was posted on this Web
site December 19, 2003.
It was last updated May 2, 2005.
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