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Good News Translation

The Good News Translation (GNT for short; also known as Good News for Modern Man: The New Testament in Today's English Version or Good News Bible: The Bible in Today's English Version or Good News Bible: Today's English Version with Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha) is an English language translation of the Bible by the American Bible Society.

Table of contents
1 Beginnings
2 Popularity
3 Features
4 Criticism
5 References
6 External Links


The beginnings of the Good News Translation can be traced to requests made by people in Africa and the far east for a version of the Bible that was friendly to non-native English speakers. In 1961, a home missions board also made a request for the same type of translation. Besides these requests, the GNT was born out of the translation theories of Eugene Nida, the Executive Secretary of the American Bible Society's Translations Department. In the 1960s, Nida envisioned a new style of translation called Dynamic equivalence. That is, the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek would be expressed in a translation. The dynamic theory was inspired by a Spanish translation for Latin American native peoples. The American Bible Society, impressed with Nida's theories, decided to use them. Due to these requests and Nida's theories, Robert Bratcher (who was at that time a staffer at the American Bible Society) did a sample translation of the Gospel of Mark. This later led to a translation of the full New Testament. The result, titled Good News for Modern Man: The New Testament in Today's English Version, was released in 1966. In 1976, the Old Testament was completed and published as the Good News Bible: The Bible in Today's English Version. In 1979, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books was added to the Good News Bible and published as Good News Bible: Today's English Version with Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha. In 1992, the translation was revised. In 2001, the Good News Bible was renamed to the Good News Translation in North America.


The GNT has been a popular translation. By 1969, Good News for Modern Man had sold 17.5 million copies. By 1971, that number had swelled to 30 million copies. It has been endorsed by Billy Graham and Christian groups such as the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. The GNT is one of the authorized versions to be used in the Episcopal Church. Excerpts from the New Testament were used extensively in evangelistic campaigns, such as the Billy Graham crusades and others, from the late 1960s right through to the early 1980s. In 1991, a Gallup poll of British parishioners showed that the GNT was the most popular Bible version in that nation. In 2003, the GNT was used as the basis for a film version of the Gospel of John.


The GNT is written in a simple, everyday language, with the intention that everyone can appreciate it, and so is often considered particularly suitable for children and for those learning English. Unlike most other translations, the GNT contains line drawings of Biblical events with a snippet of text. An example of these drawings, which shows animals entering Noah's Ark, is below:

The line drawings were done by Annie Vallotton. However, Vallotton is not credited with doing the drawings in the GNT. They are credited to "a Swiss artist". There are introductions to each book of the Bible.


The GNT is often criticized for being a translation into modern English from the King James Bible. It has also been criticized for denying the Virgin Birth in such passages, such as Luke 1:27. In March 1981, Robert Bratcher made comments that questioned the inerrancy and inspiration of scripture. Because of these remarks, donations to the American Bible Society slowed down, mainly from conservative Christians. In June 1981, Bratcher was later forced to apologize and later took a job at the United Bible Societies as a translation consultant. These comments have used by some to question the GNT based on the assumption that the translation might reflect Bratcher's viewpoints.


External Links