Author Archives: Iver Larsen

How far can we trust our translations?

LNE ends his many questions by asking: Are some things in Scripture inverted simply to make them theologically correct? Are there places in Scripture which should, simply based on the Greek language and not on theology or Church history, be changed? That is a legitimate question from a “humble layman”. When Greek scholars and theologians […]

A question in 1 Cor 11:14-15?

LNE asked on the SHARE page whether the question in these verses could be understood as a statement. The ISV translation takes it as a statement, but everybody else take it as a question. (The Wycliffe Bible is unclear, the only other contender to the statement option.) It is quite true that it can be […]

Isaiah 7:14

Few verses have been disputed more that this verse when it comes to Bible translation and theology. I’ll try to keep myself to linguistics. One of the ways to study the range of meaning of any word or phrase is to look at how it is used in context. When the dictionaries say one thing […]

John 4:16-18

In the previous post there were some good and insightful comments on how to translate emphasis, and I thought it worthwhile to take the example from John 4 out from the general thread on theory. The text of these 3 verses is in the middle of a conversation between Jesus and an unnamed Samaritan woman. […]

Breaking things apart

Translation has two separate steps. One: interpretation, i.e. studying the original text in its linguistic and cultural context. Two: translation, i.e. choose words in another language and put those words together in a certain order with the intention of communicating as clearly and accurately as possible the assumed intended meaning to a new audience. The […]

Measurements and money

Jonathan Morgan asked on the Share page: Another thing I have noticed is the translation of weights and measures in Bibles. Some Bibles will try to stick to the original units (e.g. “cubits”, “talents”, “denarii”, “ephah”, “bath”, etc.). Others will try to render them into modern units. Both lead to problems. Any thoughts on which […]

1 Cor 13:7 – the language of love

One of the most famous and beloved passages in the NT is 1 Cor 13. I have been digging into the Greek text of verse 7 recently and thought I might share my thoughts with you. The Greek words are: πάντα στέγει, πάντα πιστεύει, πάντα ἐλπίζει, πάντα ὑπομένει. RSV provides a fairly literal translation: Love […]

2 Thessalonians 2:6-7

How does one go about interpreting such a difficult passage? I suggest that the best way is to look at context, first in this chapter, secondly in the whole of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and thirdly in other NT passages that appear to touch on the same topic. Rather than quote the Greek text, I’ll […]


Shoeb Raza asked on the Share page: I would like to know [your] opinion on the word “bank” & “bankers” used in various english versions of the Bible; is this usage anachronistic? By this word one might take as we deposit in banks nowadays, same were the practice back then. How would a common person […]

Use of footnotes

Russell Allen asked on the Share page: What is the proper role for footnotes in a translation? Since I presented an article  last year on how we used footnotes in our Danish Bible translation, let me just copy the 10 usages we had: When terms for measurements or money are used in the translation which […]


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