Who is behind the 2001 Translation?
We are an independent group of volunteers who communicate via the Internet. We are non-denominational, and not backed by any particular church or group of churches. Our Bible is somewhat like Wikipedia, where anyone can submit corrections, except it is presided over by an editor. At least 200 people have helped since the project began in the late 1990s. We don’t know the names or religious affiliation of most contributors.
Why is it called the 2001 Translation?
Every translation is a product of its time. For example, the King James Version was created between 1604 and 1611, and reflects that era in more than just its wording; it also does so in the manuscripts and historical information available to the translators.
So we want to make it abundantly clear that this translation is a product of late 20th century and early 21st century discoveries in manuscripts, archaeology, and linguistics. What better than to say so in its name? It is often said among Bible scholars that a Bible translation should be updated (or even translated afresh) every 50 years.
What are the qualifications of the translators?
We’ve never asked. We ignore qualifications and only consider evidence and good argument. After all, an appeal to authority is a logical fallacy. Being impressed by someone’s education is not evidence. A truly qualified person should have no problem backing-up their argument with evidence; if they can’t, then what use are their qualifications?
The days of trusting some unknown, distant authority are over. With modern technology, you can easily check the critical editions, dictionaries, and historical records for yourself. You can even see photographic scans of the manuscripts with your own eyes! You don’t need to take someone’s word for it anymore.
However, we do happen to know that many past volunteers are qualified in subjects like theology, history, and ancient languages. In fact, some have even produced their own Bible translations.
Why create this translation?
Our first editor noticed that common Bible translations don’t honestly convey the words of the critical editions (or the most reliable manuscripts). This is because most Bibles are sponsored by a certain Church or a committee of Churches, who will reject a translation if it doesn’t say what they want it to say.
Churches therefore force translators to use misleading traditional terms, to include fake words and verses, and to translate ‘proof texts’ in specific ways to support certain cherished dogmas. So, our first editor created this translation to see if the Bible text would still make sense without all of this tampering. It did.
Also, we found the Greek Septuagint text to be more reliable than the Hebrew Masoretic text used by most Bibles. Yet, there are very few English translations of the Greek Septuagint. This translation provides a public service by providing another modern translation from the Greek. Further, much of the Christian Era books may have been originally written in Aramaic (or were at least very early translations). This is important because the Aramaic text fixes some problems and even solves some mysteries, yet most Bibles pay little attention to it.
Can I help with the translation?
Can I donate?
Currently it costs so little to run the project that we’d rather that you donate to charities like OpenDoors, which gives help and relief to persecuted Christians worldwide.
Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc?
Not at the moment.
If you see any social media accounts claiming to be from the 2001 Translation, these are fake.
Why do you use the Greek Septuagint?
Originally it was because we had no readers of Ancient Hebrew in our project. We now do it for two reasons: as a public service because there are few modern translations of the Septuagint, and secondly, because the text is more reliable than the Hebrew. Learn more.
Is the Greek Septuagint reliable?
While there are errors in the Septuagint, overall, we believe it to be more reliable than the Hebrew Masoretic text in important ways. Also, according to early Christians, the Hebrew text was deliberately corrupted during the late 1st century / early 2nd century CE. However, we still consult the Hebrew text. One does not need to entirely reject one and completely accept the other (that would be a false dilemma fallacy). We need both.
Why doesn’t your Bible include the Apocrypha?
We concluded that while they’re historically important, they aren’t inspired. However, if anyone is interested in volunteering to translate these books, please contact us.
Why do you use the Divine Name?
The Divine Name appears thousands of times in Bible manuscripts, both Hebrew and some Greek. While the tradition arose to replace it with Lord, our project charter specifically forbids removing or censoring words from the Bible. Learn more.
Why do you use ‘Jehovah’ instead of ‘Yahweh?’
We use the traditional pronunciation Jehovah because the King James Version has made it familiar to hundreds of millions of people in the English-speaking world. However, if you prefer Yahweh, you can change it to say this via the preferences feature – you’ll find it at the bottom of every Bible book webpage. You can also change Jesus to Yeshua.
Why do you use the Divine Name in your New Testament?
The Name appears over 100 times in the Greek manuscripts as a euphemism. It’s ‘Lord’ (kyrios) with a missing article (‘the’) beforehand. That was the standard euphemism that the Greek Septuagint used to replace the Name, which Greek-speaking Jews had been using for centuries.
In the Aramaic manuscripts the Name appears as ‘Lord Jah’ (maryah) over 100 times. Therefore we translate these to say just what they mean: the Divine Name.
See our page on the Divine Name in the New Testament for details.
Why did you translate such-and-such that way?
Why don’t you say ‘Old Testament’ and ‘New Testament?’
Our charter specifies that we use neutral terminology to remove centuries of religious baggage. In this case, ‘Old Testament’ implies to some that those books are old and of no use, and need not be consulted in the Christian Era. Yet this is the opposite of what Paul said at 1 Corinthians 10:11.
Why use BCE/CE instead of BC/AD?
The BCE/CE system is standard among Bible scholars, and is recommended by the Society of Biblical Literature’s style guide. We are not dogmatic on this point. Perhaps BC/AD would be better, but we had to choose one, and that’s the one we chose – for better or worse.
What’s the correct way to cite the 2001 Translation elsewhere?
You can do it any way you wish! However, here are some recommendations.
If quoting a book from the Jewish Era, you could say (LXX, 2001translation.org). This is to show that the verse comes from the Greek Septuagint (which may be pretty important). For example:
‘In the beginning, The God created the sky and the land’ –Genesis 1:1 (LXX, 2001translation.org)
If quoting a book from the Christian Era, say (2001translation.org). For example:
‘This is how [much] God loved the world: He gave His one-and-only Son so that all that believe in him might not be destroyed but have age-long life.’ –John 3:16 (2001translation.org)
This is done automatically for you if you use the ‘Copy or share verse’ feature on our website Bible pages. Just click the verse number that you want to copy, and select ‘Copy or share verse’ from the pop-up menu.
Technical translation questions
Which Bible text is the 2001 based upon?
The Jewish Era books are based on the Greek Septuagint (learn why).
The Christian Era books were based on the Greek texts, but we now defer to the Aramaic manuscripts whenever the two languages differ (in all books except Mark, Luke, and Acts – learn why).
From what critical editions or manuscripts is the 2001 translated?
Originally, our primary source text for the Jewish Era books was the critical edition of the Septuagint by Henry Barclay Swete (printed in 1930). However, over time, volunteers began to consult other critical editions. We will soon begin a massive proofreading project of the Jewish Era books, and we will go back to just relying on Swete’s Septuagint to retain consistency.
As for the Christian Era books, our primary source was originally the Greek Westcott and Hort text. However, volunteers consulted others so much when researching corrections, that no single critical edition became more used or trusted.
However, we have since decided to defer to the Aramaic in all Christian Era books except for Mark, Luke, and Acts. This project is currently underway.
Our Aramaic critical edition is the Peshitta published by the British and Foreign Bible Society (1920), cross-checked with the Crawford Codex for 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation, and the Khabouris Codex Transcription by Stephen P. Silver for the other books. English transcriptions are all available from the excellent Dukhrana project.
Is there an app?
Kinda. You can download the website for offline viewing, and if you add it to your device home screen, it will act like an ‘app’. See the Web App section of the download page.
Is there a module for e-Sword?
Not yet, but if anyone wishes to volunteer to create one, please get in touch.
Is a print version available?
Not yet, but it’s an idea for the future. In the meantime, we’ve made it easier to print out individual chapters by clicking the printer icon next to each chapter text. You can also download our Bible text as Word documents.
Will there be an audiobook?