This is the charter of the 2001 Translation. All decisions of the editor and volunteers must conform to this charter.
The purpose of the 2001 Translation Project is to provide a Bible translation which is:
- As accurate as possible.
- In easy-to-read contemporary American English.
- Open to correction.
- Accessible in a variety of formats.
- Transparent about translation difficulties and alternative translations.
- Independent from denominational bias.
- Available free-of-charge electronically.
- Free of copyright.
- Accessible to non-academics, so ordinary people can even understand the translator notes.
Translator notes and commentaries
- Translator notes should be about what the text says, while commentaries are about what the text might mean.
- Commentaries may express various Bible-related views, and they may even contradict each other.
- Commentaries cannot base their arguments on spurious texts or mistranslations we have rejected.
- Commentaries should aim to add a unique value to the 2001 Translation, and should not seek to become a Bible encyclopedia, or a repository for arguments commonly found in many places.
- Verses with uncertain translations or possible alternative renderings must have a translator note to inform the reader.
- Corrections must be publicly listed, along with an explanation of what changed, when it changed, and the reason(s) why.
- Our Old Testament’s main source text is the Greek Septuagint; this is due to suspected corruption in the Hebrew Masoretic text, and also to provide a public service by creating a translation of the Bible which was used by the Early Christians in the West.
- Our New Testament uses both Greek and Aramaic texts since much of it is suspected to have been first penned in Aramaic.
- Where the Greek and Aramaic source texts conflict, we will usually defer to the Aramaic.
- Our translators can make use of any critical text or manuscript to seek accurate translation.
- Our Bible will cross-out suspected spurious words and verses, or highlight suspicions in a translator note.
- Our Bible will translate the text from a neutral standpoint with no bias toward or against a particular denomination or doctrine.
- Our Bible will aim to restore the original Bible text.
- Our Bible will provide translator notes on verses that usually invite controversy to explain our rendering logic and/or to show alternative renderings.
- Our Bible will not censor, change, or remove any authentic word, sentence, verse, chapter, or passage because of some custom or tradition.
- Any insertions of YHWH in the New Testament must have a linked translator note to provide the reason(s) for it.
- Our Bible will aim to replace loaded terms, such as angel, soul, or spirit, with more accurate, descriptive, and neutral terms, to free readers from centuries of religious baggage.
- Our Bible will aim to identify all euphemisms and translate them in order to be clearly understood by modern readers.
- Our text will not be translated a certain way merely to conform to the decisions made by Church councils, or to agree with the doctrinal statements of any religious group.
- Our translation will always be open to correction.
- Anyone may propose corrections to the translation, alternative translations, translator notes, and commentaries.
- The editor decides which to include or reject.
- The editor’s decision is entirely at his or her own discretion.
The editor’s role
- The editor makes all final decisions on matters of translation and content of the website.
- The editor must fairly weigh up the evidence and argumentation on both sides of an issue before deciding.
- Decisions of the editor must be based purely on evidence, argumentation, and compliance with this charter, not on their personal opinion.
- When the editor reaches a decision, he or she must publish all the reasons for doing so, plus any contrary evidence and argumentation.
- The editor must not be dogmatic about any issue.
- The editor will only accept corrections based upon internal evidence, manuscript evidence, historical evidence, and archaeological evidence.
- Evidence from the Bible itself trumps all other evidence.
- The editor will not accept any logical fallacies (including arguments from emotion, tradition, or authority), or make decisions based upon whether something is politically correct. The editor will likewise not bow to personal, professional, financial, political, or commercial pressures.
- As resources allow, the project may expand to the translation of non-Biblical ancient writings that are in some way directly relevant to translating or interpreting the Bible (e.g. the Apocrypha, early Christian writings, etc.).