This is a new bible translation in normal, 21st century English avoiding any form of archaic grammar or words. It is based on the public domain World English Bible, and follows the semantic force of this translation. Alterations a purely grammatical or a matter of word choice; if there is an idiom in the WEB, the same idiom will come through in this translation.
I am not including footnotes. Note that the WEB is based on the Majority Text. I have no understanding of this matter, and follow the Majority Text simply because the WEB does.
I get a chapter of the New Testament each day in my email. I update that chapter, and post it here. I’m starting from Acts chapter 5, because that’s where I was up to when I decided to do this. I might fill in some other ones at some point. (I also get three OT chapters, but I’m not including them yet for various reasons.)
This translation is meant to be spoken aloud as easily and as literally as possible. This means that it has more contractions than written English usually does, even when quoting people’s speech.
In particular, the pronoun “them” is usually transcribed as “em” instead, to speed up the text to more natural and relaxed pace. It’s my opinion that this will help you understand the text like you understand spoken text. Also, whenever the word “for” means “because” in the WEB text, I’m replacing it with “cos”. Of course, it doesn’t refer to the mathematical function; it’s just to allow it to be normal but still as literal as possible.
Another pronoun that might be surprising is the frequent use of “youse”, “yas” and “you-guys”. No distinction is implied by either of these three words, but the singular and plural second person pronouns are regularly kept distinct using them. I do this by consulting the King James translation. So whenever the word “you” is used, excepting conjointly with a plural noun (as “you guys” or “you men”), you may be sure that only a single person is being addressed, and never a group. This can have important interpretational significance! Note that this can’t be used with the 2nd person possessive pronoun/determiner, so “your” and “yours” can be singular or plural. No distinction is made either in the imperative so “Go and tell everyone” might be addressed to one person, or to many.
Furthermore, the word “behold” I usually alter either to “look” or “y’see” according to the context. These correspond closely to the literally meaning of the original word, and have a similar contextual force, too, so it seems good to me to update them like this. But sometimes this means I’ve had to change the tense of a simple past tense verb in the following clause into a present or past perfect. I think this is a fair cost.
Finally, the first use of “unusual names” in each chapter will have accents and other diacritics to help you work out the traditional pronunciation. This is especially important in a modern Bible, because the normal way to guess the pronunciation of names has changed, so if you’ve never seen a word before you might guess the pronunciation wrongly. My source for as many of the pronunciations of these words as possible is my sixty-year-old copy of King James’ Authorised Version of the Bible, published by Collins Cleartype Press in Great Britain. This copy of the bible attributes them to Mr H. A. Redpath, MA. But I’ve altered the transcription to make it easier to digitise, while (as he did) avoiding any “respelling”.
How syllables are broken up in words
An apostrophe is used before a stressed syllable. A hyphen is used before an unstressed syllable. If there’s two vowels within one syllable, they’re usually a “digraph” (if they’re together), like the “ai” in ˈrain or the “eu” in ˈeu-caˈly̆p-tus. Alternatively, if they’re separated by a consonant, the second one is silent, like the “e” in rāce or the first “a” and the second “e” in the adjective ˈsĕpa-rate.
How vowel length is marked
A vowel without an accent is an unstressed vowel. Just relax when you pronounce it.
But stressed vowels are always marked (except for digraphs). A macron makes a long vowel—the letter “says its name”—but a breve makes a short vowel: “băt bĕt bĭt bŏt bŭt”.
When y is a vowel, it should be treated like an i.