Bible Readers Want Accuracy

When we were drawing up plans for What He Said, there were a number of paths we could have taken. There are plenty of books out there that take Jesus’ quotes in the Bible and package them in a myriad of ways. We chose an alternate route: to present them unedited, word-for-word, and in context. We used design to improve the usability and readability, not editorial edict.

A new survey from LifeWay Research seems to confirm our approach. They asked 2,000 people who read the Bible by themselves (outside of church) or as part of a family activity a number of questions about the Bible.

When asked whether they prefer “word-for-word translations, where the original words are translated as exactly as possible” or “thought-for-thought translations, where the translators attempt to reproduce the intent of the original thought rather than translating the exact words,” 61 percent chose word-for-word.

Other findings:

  • 68 percent want language to be simpler to understand while 7 percent want it to be more difficult to understand.
  • 81 percent say it should be more enjoyable to read while 4 percent prefer it to be more of a chore to read.
  • 27 percent favor contemporary language while 46 percent want traditional language.
  • 36 percent want more modern language while 37 percent favor more old-fashioned language.
  • 19 percent feel understanding the language should require a higher level of education while 49 percent say it should not require a higher level of education.
  • 63 percent believe it should be simple for anyone to understand while 14 percent say the language should be meant more for people who have a lot of experience with the Bible.
  • 40 percent prefer more formal language while 26 percent say should be more informal.
  • 22 percent want language more for casual reading while 44 percent say it should be designed more for in-depth study.

Easy to read and word-for-word accurate: What He Said.

 

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