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Analytical-Literal Translation

ALT and Bible Versions Emails

Going through some old emails again. Below are emails exchanges on my Analytical-Literal Translation (ALT) and Bible versions in general. The emailers' comments are in black and enclosed in greater than and lesser than signs; my comments are in red.

>Subject: 1 Kings 21 in KJV

Thank you for your site. I was getting mired in KJV-onlyism, but your site helped me get out of it. I regularly use the NKJV, with the NASB and KJV as backups.

One thing I noticed in the KJV: In 1 Kings 21:21 (and other places), the phrase "him that pisseth against the wall." I'm not tryng to be crude. But if I were a Sunday School teacher reading that to a bunch of sixth-graders, I'd have to wait until the laughter died down to continue. Maybe that word was acceptable in 1611, but it's a vulgarity now. Ironically, the KJV-only people (or the ones I've known) tend to frown upon words like "darn" and "heck."

Once again, thanks for a terrifically informative site.

Yes, I am sure that school-age kids would get a big kick out of that one! And it is such readings that emphasize why the KJV does need "updating." Once acceptable words do tend to become vulgar, and ice-a-versa.

>Subject: the translation

Why did you chose to use the word "hell" since it is never used in the scriptures? Why not translate hades as hades? or tartarus? He;l is an old Norse word, isn't it? I wish I had read this site before I shelled out 25.00 for YOUR PERSONAL TRANSLATION. Oh well, live and learn.


Thank you for your email and for purchasing the ALT. There are actually three different Greek words for "hell" in the Greek NT, and I translated each differently. Specifically:

Greek - ALT
- hell
- the realm of the dead
- the deepest pit of gloom

I also included a transliteration of the Greek word in brackets after each. So the ALT is very specific in delineating these three different words.

>Subject: the "translation"

Do you personally stand behind your "translation?" i am very disturbed with the liberties you took and want a refund. Are you willing to provide this?

In Romans 1:21 you use the term "they were given over to." This is an addition by you, as far as I can tell.

Another, Acts 5: 21, in your desire to be politically correct and include women you state "high council sons (and daughters) of Israel!!!!!!! You imply there were women in this council!!!!!!!!! of Jewish men!!

I have already written you about using the old English word hell for hades—a clear addition and cultural prejudice on your part. I don't even want this translation in my home. How can you dare take such personal liberties with the NT? I am not questioning your faith in our Lord, just your judgment in this matter of the "translation."

P.S. If I am wrong in the above examples, show me, or I want a refund. Thanks


In regards to Romans 1:21, the words "they were given over to" are a translation of the Greek passive verb in this verse. So the phrase is in no sense added. In most versions, this verb is rendered "they became futile" since this particular passive verb can also have an active sense, hence why I gave an alternate translation as well. So I am very specific in giving both of the possible renderings.

    "they were given over to deception in their thought processes [or, they became futile in their speculations]"

As for Acts 5:21, the words "and daughters" are bracketed. This indicates they are added. As such, they can be ignored by the reader. But as for your comments, the verse with the words does not mean that there were "daughters" on the High Council but that the elders were "over" (as in, "who rule over") the sons and daughters of Israel.

    "council of the elders of the sons [and daughters] of Israel"

Note: The above discussion was in regards to ALT1. But because of this discussion, for ALT2 and ALT3, I added a bracketed note to keep anyone else from making the same misreading. Frankly, I didn't really think this was necessary as I doubt anyone else would so misread the text. But just to be sure, the text now reads:

    "council of the elders of [fig., who rule over] the sons [and daughters] of Israel"

As for "hell," it is not an "old English word." It is a common word that is used frequently today by people in both the theological sense of the place of the damned, and of course, in a vulgar sense. Moreover, as I tried to explain to you before, I did not use "hell" to translate hades. I use it as a translation of gehenna. The word hades is translated by "the realm of the dead."

As for a refund, since you purchased the book from my publisher, I cannot give you a refund. You will have to contact them as them as to what their refund policy is. But you have yet to mention anything to me that in any way shows that there is a problem with the translation.

As for the rest of your comments they are completely uncalled for and unjustified.

>Subject: RE: the "translation"

According to Random House College Dictionary, hell comes from the Old English word "hel."


    "hell *comes from* the Old English word ‘hel.'"

It does not say hell *is* an Old English word.

The dictionary is simply giving the etiology of the modern-day word hell. Most modern-day English words come from either old English words or from foreign words.

>Subject: RE: the "translation"

Agreed. Please forgive my nasty comments. I still read your admirable effort every a.m. I do battle with a critical spirit, and am seeking God for grace. Please pray for me...God bless your service to His kingdom.

P.S. Thanks for your time; wish I had more friends locally, like you, who I could talk Scripture with.


>Subject: Hello!

Hello Gary,

Sorry I have not written in a while. Life has been very busy.

Something interesting happened recently. My mama has used the KJV for the last couple of years since she became a Christian. She finally admitted that the KJV was hard too understand. To fix this, she used a copy of the NLT I had. One day, she gave the NLT back to me saying that she felt something was missing. I told her about the NKJV and gave her a copy. She uses that now.

I have a small question. In the LITV, Green has cross references in the NT to the OT. Am I correct to assume that if a cross-reference has LXX and MT that it's a reference to the original texts? For an example, see Acts 28:28.


Interesting to her about your mom. As for the abbreviations, LXX refers to the Septuagint, a third century Greek translation of the Hebrew OT. MT when referring to the OT generally refers to Masoretic Text, the standard Hebrew text used in translating the OT.

>Subject: Re: Hello!

Thanks as always, Gary!

So, if an NT verse has an OT quote with LXX or MT, Green is saying that a parallel is in the LXX/MT?


Yes. But the important point is, if it only has LXX then the referred to verse probably will not read the same in your Bible, which most likely is based in the Hebrew Text. The LXX notation is generally only used when the LXX differs significantly from the Hebrew, but the NT seems to be referring to the LXX.

Note: In the ALT, I also use the LXX notation when an OT quotation in the NT is clearly from the Septuagint. For ALT3, I more carefully studied this issue and many more such notations. I also added the notation "Heb." for "Hebrew" to indicate when the NT writer was clearly quoting from the Hebrew text.

Out of the 303 OT quotations in the NT, 71 are from the LXX, 10 are from the Hebrew, and the rest could be from either text as the LXX and the Hebrew are basically the same.

The above emails was first published in the free Darkness to Light email newsletter.
They were posted on this site August 1, 2008.

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