FBT Free Bible Translation Version
A project to translate the Bible into English from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) and the Robinson Peirpoint Byzantine Majority text under public domain.
View a table comparing the Free Bible Translation to other translations and consider the following major differences.
The Free Bible Translation is free
The Free Bible Translation is released under public domain. You will always be able to download the FBT for free, modify it as you wish, and redistribute it.
The King James Version is under copyright in England.
Use of the Greek Septuagint (LXX)
The FBT will use the Greek Septuagint (LXX), the oldest and most accurate copy of Old Covenant scripture. Jesus and the Apostles quoted from the Septuagint. The Christian church used the Septuagint exclusively. It is for these two principle reasons that the FBT will use the Septuagint. Most Bible translations use the vastly inferior Masoretic Hebrew text. This Masoretic Hebrew text was produced during the era of the New Covenant when God no longer maintained a relationship with any people based purely on lineage. Therefore the Masorites can make no claim to inspiration. Their revision of the original old Hebrew was not inspired and is not authentic.
Many Bible versions today consult the Septuagint when translating and make corrections to the text from the Septuagint. Such versions as the English Standard Version (ESV) and many others are forced to turn to the Septuagint when the meaning of a Masoretic Hebrew word is uncertain. The ESV references the Septuagint 318 times and the Holman Christian Standard Bible references the Septuagint 763 times. However, the ESV is deceptive in that the translators conformed passages in the Old Covenant which the New Covenant quotes to the New Covenant quotation. Therefore when one compares the quotations in the New Covenant with those in the Old one will not notice the striking differences in the Masoretic text.
An additional problem with using the Masoretic Hebrew text is that one of the very few other sources for Masoretic Hebrew word usage is the Talmud which the scriptures warn against. Titus 1:14 "Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth." Using the Septuagint relieves the Christian from Jewish fables such as the Talmud. Jesus also disapproved of the "Traditions of the Elders" (see Matthew 15:2 and Mark 7:3-5), which is now known as the Talmud.
The early church also clung to the Septuagint because the Septuagint clearly preserved passages which spoke of the Messiah. Justin Martyr, who used the Septuagint, expressly discussed the issue of the tampering of the Hebrew text in his Dialog with Trypho the Jew. When Trypho challenged him to give specific examples he used passages in Esdras (Ezra) and Jeremiah.
The Complete Apostles Bible uses the Greek Septuagint and the Robinson Pierpont Greek New Testament but is copyrighted. The Apostolic Bible Polyglot, though an extremely useful tool, is also copyrighted. The Apostolic Bible Polyglot is also an interlinear which makes it difficult to read casually. Brenton's translation of the Septuagint is in the public domain and could use improvement. Charles Thomson's translation of the Septuagint is today published separately from his translation of the New Covenant. Thomson did a remarkable job in his translation and it will be used along with Brenton's translation.
Use of the Robinson Pierpont Greek New Testament
Most translations today are from the United Bible Societies 4th ed./Nestle-Aland 27th ed. Greek New Testament. However there are many problems with the choice of textual variants in the NA27/UBS4 Greek NT. The so-called Textus Receptus, or rather Scrivener's text underlying the King James Version, has many problems as well. The Robinson Pierpont Greek New Testament strikes a good balance between the two. Read Maurice A. Robinson's paper "New Testament Textual Criticism: The Case for Byzantine Priority."
Maurice Robinson's article "Rule 9, Isolated Variants, and the "Test-Tube Nature of the NA27/UBS4 Text: A Byzantine-Priority Perspective" in the book Translating the New Testament: Text, Translation, Theology shows how the NA27/UBS4 text violates Aland's rule 9 of textual criticism.
Using the evidence presented in both the positive and negative apparatuses of the NA27 edition, it can be demonstrated with success that more than 100 whole verses as printed in NA27 have no apparent support within the Greek manuscript tradition; in most (if not all) cases, no support exists for such whole verses even within the versional or patristic traditions. (pg. 33, Translating the New Testament: Text, Translation, Theology)
Only a few translations are available of the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Majority text type. The English Majority Text Version and the Analytical Literal Translation both use the Majority text but are both copyrighted. The New King James Version, while keeping the King James Version textual readings, at least includes a few footnotes referencing the Majority Text.
The FBT will also consult William Tyndale's translation.
Vocabulary Choices different from other translations
Because of the influence of the King James Version certain vocabulary became entrenched in later translations. Unfortunately the KJV has many translation errors both in vocabulary choice and in incorrect tenses. The FBT is one of very few translations correctly translating a few important Greek words commonly translated in English as hell, eternal, everlasting, for ever and ever, Jew, and Gentile. There are many translations that correctly translate the Greek words underlying hell, eternal, everlasting, and for ever and ever, but these translations fail in rendering properly the words underlying Jew and Gentile.
The FBT will also seek to differentiate between the Greek words translated stranger, sojourner, alien, and foreign.
The fine Old English word hell, which means to cover up or conceal, is now misunderstood, thanks to the corrupting influence of theologians and pagans, to refer to a place of torture apart from God where all who fail to meet a certain criteria are banished for ever. The FBT seeks to correctly translate Hades and Gehennah(the two words translated hell). Fortunately Hell is leaving the pages of modern Bible translations.
... com. (m. Job 26:6; f. Isa. 5:14; 14:9); orcus, hades, a subterranean place, full of thick darkness(Job 10:21,22), in which the shades of the dead are gathered together ..., and to which are attributed both valleys [rather depths] (Pro. 9:18) and gates (Isa. 38:10); Gen. 37:35; Num. 16:30, seqq., Psa. 6:6; Isa. 14:9, seqq., 38:18; Eze. 31:16, seqq., 32:21, seqq. (... hell purgatory, limbus Patrum. I think that I have lighted on the true etymology of the word. For I have no doubt that ... is for ... a hollow, a hollow and subterranean place, just as the Germ. holle is of the same origin as hohle, and Lat. caelum is from the Gr. koilos, hohl, hollow. It is commonly derived from the idea of asking, from its asking for, demanding all, without distinction; hence orcus rapax, Catull. ii. 28, 29.)
See Francois Lenormant's extensive footnote on sheol in his translation of the book of Genesis.
The usage of hades in the Old and New Covenant Scriptures prove that hades was the place of all the dead(saved and unsaved), that hades is a place of unconsciousness, and that all souls remain in hades until the resurrection.
Eternal, Everlasting, For Ever and Ever
The Greek words aion(Strong's #G165) and aionios(Strong's #G166) have been butchered by the popular English translations. They have been translated as world, age, everlasting, eternal, for ever, and for ever and ever. Aion is properly translated age or eon. Its adjective form aionios is properly translated age-during, age-abiding, or eonian. The two never should be translated as everlasting, eternal, or for ever. There is however, a Greek word that should be translated as such. It is aidios, Strong's #126. It is used in Romans 1:20, and Jude 1:6.
The Gothic Bible, translated by Wulfila, preserves the idea conveyed by the Greek aion and aionios of limited duration. It sometimes translates aion as "alds" of which the German definition is Zeit fi menschenalter. Zeit fe menschenalter would therefore mean time or period of a lifetime or generation. The Gothic Bible also translates aion as aiws or aiweins.
See how aion should be translated in the Old Covenant Scripture.
Young's Literal Translation, 2001 Translation - An American English Bible, the Concordant Literal Translation, Rotherham, the Emphatic Diaglott, and Weymouth all correctly translate aion and aionios. The Apostolic Bible Polyglot translates aion and aionios/aionion correctly a few times, but fails in a few places.
A Greek-English Lexicon by Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott
Jew and Gentile
The Greek word underlying Gentile, is Strong's #1484, ethnos, and could be translated as nation, people, or tribe. See the definition of ethnos given in A Greek-English Lexicon by Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott. Robert Young, the author of Young's Literal Translation and Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible, consistently translated ethnos as nation. Some people build popular doctrines on the belief that "Gentiles" always refers to a certain specific group of people, more specifically, that "Gentile" always refers to non-Israelites.
Additionally Strong's #G1672, Hellen, is incorrectly translated as "Gentile" several times in the King James Version when it should be translated as "Greek."
The word Jew is now a pejorative term used to refer to a group of people who today claim to be the exclusive descendants of all of Israel. It is a shortened form of Judean, which is how Strong's #G2453, Ioudaios, should be translated. Confusion arises because this group referred to as Jews today claims that the terms Jew and Israel are synonymous. Judean refers to those of the land of Judea, descendants of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, or those from the tribe of Judah. Israel, the name God gave to the patriarch Jacob, refers either to the whole House of Israel or the Northern Kingdom. The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, cannot be referred to as Jews or Judeans because ancestors are not named by their descendants. Consequently, Jacob's son Judah was the first person to whom the term Judean or Jew could be applied. Therefore, "Jew," is not necessarily an incorrect translation of Ioudaios. However, Judean is more consistent with Judah, the translation of Strong's #G2448, Iouda, and is clearer than the confused usage of "Jew."
The King James Version - Corrected Edition by R. P. Carrol correctly translates Ελλην, εθνος, Ιουδαιος, εκκλησια, and αδης.
For a more detailed explanation of Jew and Gentile see The Christian Faith in Historical Perspective by Russell L. Harris.
Although William Tyndale who made the first translation of the Greek New Covenant Scriptures into English translated ekklesia(or ecclesia), Strong's #G1577, as congregation, the translators of the King James Version under the direction of Richard Bancroft reverted to translating ekklesia as church.
- Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon
- Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon
Christ is a transliteration of the Greek Christos (Strong's #G5547) which according to "A Greek-English Lexicon" means "to be rubbed on, used as ointment or salve." Christos also means "of persons, anointed." By transliterating instead of translating the continuity of the symbolism from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant is lost. David frequently spoke of his anointed one.
Psalm 2:2-3 "The kings of the earth stood by, and the rulers gathered together against the Lord and against his anointed one, saying, We should tear up their bounds, and we should throw away from us their yoke." (ABP)
Psalm 18:49-50 "On account of this I shall make acknowledgment to you among the nations, O Lord, and to your name I shall strum; the one magnifying the deliverance of the king; and appointing mercy to his anointed one, to David and to his seed unto the eon." (ABP)
Consider the praise of Hannah recorded in I Samuel 2:10 "The Lord shall make his opponent weak. The Lord is holy. The Lord ascended into heavens, and he thundered. He shall judge the extremities of the earth being just; and he shall give strength to our kings, and he will raise up high the horn of his anointed one." (ABP)
The usage of Chrio (Strong's #5548), which means to anoint, proves that Christos should be translated consistently as anointed one.
Acts 4:27-28 "for gathered together of a truth against Thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, were both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with nations and peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy counsel did determine before to come to pass." (YLT)
Historical Precedence for the Free Bible Translation
The Authorized King James Version of 1611The title page of the KJV states "Newly Translated out of the Original tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by his majesties special commandment." Unfortunately the King James translators often failed in their duty. Many times the King James Version is actually a regression from the former translations. Specifically it used words which preserved the ecclesiastical traditions of the Roman and Anglican churches. The KJV also continued the regression of incorrectly translating aion and aionios. Whereas Wycliffe had consistently translated from the Latin Vulgate, seculum as "world" and aeternus as "without end" and "everlasting", the KJV furthered the confusion of translating aion as world. Wycliffe can be commended for translating faithfully what he had access to, whereas the King James translators are guilty of not truly translating from the Greek.
Noah WebsterWebster's Revision of the KJV (1833)
Robert YoungYoung's Literal Translation
The FBT aims to provide an online software tool for translating the Bible. The text will also be keyed to Strong's numbers so that modules for various Bible programs can be easily produced. The FBT when having reached a stable state will seek to be published, perhaps through a venue such as Lulu.com.
The FBT is only in the planning stages and no translation work has been done yet. In the meantime, check out the Apostolic Bible Polyglot, Plowshare Misson, Kata Biblon Wiki Translation, and Open Scriptures.
- Text of Charles Thomson's Septuagint Translation
- The Septuagint - translated by C.L. Brenton
- Septuagint: Large-Print English Edition (Brenton)
- Apostolic Bible Polyglot
- New English Translation of the Septuagint
- Peter Papoutsis: The Holy Orthodox Bible
- 2001 Translation - An American English Bible
- The Orthodox Study Bible - Old Testament Project
- Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible - based on the Septuagint and Patriarchal text
- Kata Biblon Wiki Translation - interlinear Septuagint and NT
- Masoretic Text
- Open Scriptures
- Scientific Greek New Testament Interlinear
- John Wycliffe Translation
- William Tyndale Translation
- Plowshare Misson
- Concordant Literal Translation
- Jonathan Mitchell's New Testament Translation
- Accurate New Testament
- The Gothic Bible translated by Wulfila
- Gotisch-Projekte - Gothic manuscripts
- Old English Bibles - Wiclif, Tyndale, Cranmer, Geneva, Douay-Rheims, and KJV.