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Analytical-Literal Translation

Questions on the ALT:


The following e-mails I received in 1999 asking questions about the Analytical-Literal Translation (ALT). The e-mailers' questions and comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My responses are in red.

>Greetings Gary,

I have a question on the ALT translation of Mt 28:1.

28:1 Now after [the] Sabbaths, at the dawning into [the] first [day] of the week [i.e. early Sunday morning], Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, WENT to see the grave.

Why not came to see the grave. That is, arrived at the tomb to see the grave? (Came to see the grave would harmonize well with John)

God Bless,
Joe David.

Very perceptive reading! I didn't think anyone would notice that one. It comes about as a result of the Easter Harmony I did a while ago:

First, let me say, the Greek word is erchomai which can mean "to go" or "to come." So here, in the aorist (simple past) tense it could legitimately be translated as "went" or "came." The same word is used in John, as well as in the Lukan and Markian parallel passages.

However, in doing my harmony of the four Gospels, I found it necessary to take Matthew as indicating the time the women "went" or left for the tomb. In John I use "goes" (the word is present tense there), again indicating the time the woman left.

But in Mark and Luke, to get the timeline to work properly, I found it necessary to take them as indicating the time the woman arrived at the tomb. So in the ALT I use "come" and "came" respectively for the different tenses used.

So the translation of the parallel passages was affected by the timeline I developed. But I must emphasize, either translation is possible, it could be rendered as you suggest. But a translator must make a decision. And using my timeline I thought was a legitimate way to make the decision.

>"1:1 James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the Twelve Tribes who are in the dispersion [i.e. the scattering of Jews outside of Judea]: Greetings!"

I question the accuracy of calling all "Twelve Tribes who are in the dispersion" Jews. The Jews as we know them today are not all Twelve Tribes of Israel. After the split in the kingdom the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi became known as the Southern Kingdom, House of Judah, and also as "Jews". Could you please explain what group you are calling "Jews".


Interesting. I hadn't thought of the "lost tribes" debate. When I use and hear the term "Jew" today I am thinking of any of the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. But I guess there are those who don't see it that way.

Maybe "Hebrews" or "Israelites" would be a better term to use in the explanatory note. I'll have to think about it.

Note: I e-mailed an Internet friend who is a Jewish Christian and asked her about the accuracy of using "Jews." She said "Of course" in response to my definition of "Jew" above. Then she added:

>"Jews" is fine. That's what we were called then, and that's what we're called now. If you notice, it's always the Gentiles who bring this up!

4/27/1999 <

So I decided to leave the explanatory note just as it is, using "Jews."

>Gary, Would you please explain to me why the difference between 1Cor 13:5 in the LITV and the ALT, especially the word "easily" that is in the LITV and not in the ALT.

Thank for the info and once again, may God bless you in your projects.


I just checked the text. The ALT currently has "Love ... is not provoked" while the LITV has "Love ... is not easily provoked." I did a word study on the word for "provoked" and see no basis for the word "easily" used in the LITV. The verb simply means to be "provoked" or "irritated." So the word "easily" will not be added to the ALT. But I will use the alternative translation of "irritated" in brackets.

>May the Lord bless and keep you in your work with the ALT.<

Thank you very much.

> I have just two questions - have you considered using the LITV [Literal Translation of the Bible] rather than Young's & would there be any advantage in using the LITV?<

The LITV is copyrighted so it would not be permissible to do a "derivative" work of it. Meanwhile. YLT is in the public domain. Also, I would not want it to appear the ALT was attempting to "improve" Green's excellent work. When it is finished the ALT will differ from, but not necessarily be better than, the LITV.

The main advantage to using the LITV would be I would not have the archaic language of YLT to deal with. But I do like some features of YLT that will be retained in the ALT which are not found in the LITV (such as in the rendering of tenses and translating rather than transliterating certain terms).

> I feel this effort is a glorious undertaking and I pray the lord will strengthen you and help you to stay focused. Thank you for taking the time to reply.


And thank you for the prayers.

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