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Evangelical Heritage Version EHV

Publisher: Wartburg Project

Version Information

What is the Evangelical Heritage Version?

Our translation is called Evangelical because its highest goal is to proclaim the good news of the gospel of salvation through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son. Though there are many topics in the Bible, all of them are there to serve the gospel of Christ. All of our work in producing and distributing this translation is directed to the glory of God and to the eternal salvation of people’s souls.

Our translation is called Heritage because this word heritage looks to the past, the present, and the future.

Heritage expresses our respect for the generations of Christians and for the faithful translators who have passed the Bible down to us. We are aware that we in the present are building on the foundation which they have laid for us. As the old saying goes: We can see so far because we are standing on the shoulders of giants.

The term Heritage also looks to the future. The gospel is a precious inheritance that is to be passed from generation to generation until Christ returns. It is our prayer that this translation will have a part in that great mission which the Lord has left for his church. Our goal and motto is expressed in the hymn verse:

God’s Word is our great heritage
and shall be ours forever.
To spread its light from age to age
shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life it guides our way.
In death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
we keep its teaching pure
throughout all generations.

To this end, our goal is to produce a balanced translation, suitable for all-purpose use in the church.

We seek a balance between the old and the new. We debated whether our translation should be called new or revised. Neither term tells the whole story. Our translation can be called revised or traditional insofar as it builds on the tradition of Bible translation that goes back to the King James Version, to Martin Luther, and beyond. It is new in that it is not based on any one template, and it introduces new terms in those places where the traditional terms no longer communicate clearly.

We seek a balance between the poles of so-called literal and dynamic equivalent theories of translation. A translator should not adhere too closely to any one theory of translation because literalistic, word-for-word translations sometimes convey the wrong meaning, or they do not communicate clearly in the receiving language. Overly free translations deprive the reader of some of the expressions, imagery, and style of the original.

We seek a balance between formality and informality. The Bible contains many types of literature and different levels of language, from the very simple to the very difficult. For this reason, the translator should not be too committed to producing one level of language but should try to reproduce the tone or “flavor” of the original.

The Evangelical Heritage Version is designed for learning and teaching. Our translators assume that their readers have the ability and the desire to learn new biblical words and to deepen their understanding of important biblical terms and concepts. Translators should not be condescending or patronizing toward their readers but should be dedicated to helping them grow. The Bible was written for ordinary people, but it is a literary work with many figures of speech and many rare words. The Bible is a book to be read, but it is also a book to be studied. Our footnotes are designed to assist in the process of learning and teaching. Our translation is in that sense a textbook.

The Evangelical Heritage Version is not an interpretative translation. On one level, every act of translation involves interpretation, but when we say that the Evangelical Heritage Version strives to avoid importing interpretation into the translation, we mean that our duty and goal is to understand and to reproduce as closely as possible what the original text says and to say no more and no less than what the text says.

We offer this translation to the church as a balanced translation, suitable for all-purpose use in the church.

Copyright Information

The Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV), New Testament & Psalms ©2017

The Wartburg Project is an association of Lutheran professors, pastors, teachers, and lay people who worked together to produce a new translation of the Bible.

For each book of the Bible, a lead translator produced a draft translation, using the best sources available to produce a translation that aims to preserve the heritage of English Bible translation and also to offer fresh insights.

Each book was then reviewed by several technical reviewers on the basis of the Greek or Hebrew text. These reviewers worked independently of one another, and their reactions and preferences were collated by the testament editor. Based on discussions between the editor and translator and reviewers, a second-stage draft of the translation was then prepared.

Next the translation went through popular review by pastors, teachers, and lay people for clarity and readability. After this input was collated, the final draft was prepared for publication.

The Wartburg project website contains more detailed descriptions of our procedure.

The Wartburg Project is collaborative. No book was produced by or identified with the name of one individual.

The project is grassroots. The Evangelical Heritage Version is not the official product of any church body or publishing business (though it is being published and distributed by Northwestern Publishing House). The project has been blessed with a heavy involvement of parish pastors who work with the Word in the daily life of the church. Lay people and congregations were involved in testing and giving feedback on the translation. For example, many congregations had the opportunity to test the translation of the gospels through their use of our Lenten Passion History, which is available at our website or from Northwestern Publishing House, and by using the free EHV lectionaries, which are posted on our website.

This work of testing and improving the translation of the full Bible will continue with occasional revisions. Our goal, however, is to maintain a stable translation.

The Evangelical Heritage Version is a translation addressed to the church. Though the Bible is intended for the whole world, for the most part the original books of the Bible were addressed to the church, to the body of believers. Some of the books were first addressed to specific congregations or individuals. Although the Evangelical Heritage Version is designed to be useful for the evangelism efforts of the church, like the original books of the Bible, it is addressed to the preaching, teaching, worship life, and devotional use of the church. The EHV aims to be an all-purpose Bible for the church. (God willing, a study Bible will follow, as well as specialized products, such as a simplified Bible, a children’s Bible, and various levels of commentaries.)

Working on this project has been a great blessing to all the participants. We pray that it will also be a blessing to all its users.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

See our website wartburgproject.org and follow our communications on Facebook.

Principles, Rules, and Rubrics: Our website offers a copy of the principles, rules, and rubrics for our translation. This document at this time consists of more than 50 pages of guidelines used in the EHV.

FAQs: A collection of responses to frequently-asked-questions is posted on our website. It is designed to address questions and concerns that our readers have about general principles of Bible translation and about specific translation decisions for the Evangelical Heritage Version. Two especially important FAQs are FAQ 8, “Is the Evangelical Heritage Version a sectarian translation?” and FAQ 11, “Is the Evangelical Heritage Version a literal translation?”

Papers: The library section on our website includes many studies on translation principles and on specific translation issues. Many of these are technical studies that may not be of interest to all readers. Others are popular summaries of translation topics.

Evangelical Heritage Version® and EHV® are trademarks of the Wartburg Project.

About Wartburg Project

The Wartburg Project is an association of Lutheran professors, pastors, teachers, and lay people who worked together to produce a new translation of the Bible.

For each book of the Bible, a lead translator produced a draft translation, using the best sources available to produce a translation that aims to preserve the heritage of English Bible translation and also to offer fresh insights.

Each book was then reviewed by several technical reviewers on the basis of the Greek or Hebrew text. These reviewers worked independently of one another, and their reactions and preferences were collated by the testament editor. Based on discussions between the editor and translator and reviewers, a second-stage draft of the translation was then prepared.

Next the translation went through popular review by pastors, teachers, and lay people for clarity and readability. After this input was collated, the final draft was prepared for publication.

The Wartburg project website contains more detailed descriptions of our procedure.

The Wartburg Project is collaborative. No book was produced by or identified with the name of one individual.

The project is grassroots. The Evangelical Heritage Version is not the official product of any church body or publishing business (though it is being published and distributed by Northwestern Publishing House). The project has been blessed with a heavy involvement of parish pastors who work with the Word in the daily life of the church. Lay people and congregations were involved in testing and giving feedback on the translation. For example, many congregations had the opportunity to test the translation of the gospels through their use of our Lenten Passion History, which is available at our website or from Northwestern Publishing House, and by using the free EHV lectionaries, which are posted on our website.

This work of testing and improving the translation of the full Bible will continue with occasional revisions. Our goal, however, is to maintain a stable translation.

The Evangelical Heritage Version is a translation addressed to the church. Though the Bible is intended for the whole world, for the most part the original books of the Bible were addressed to the church, to the body of believers. Some of the books were first addressed to specific congregations or individuals. Although the Evangelical Heritage Version is designed to be useful for the evangelism efforts of the church, like the original books of the Bible, it is addressed to the preaching, teaching, worship life, and devotional use of the church. The EHV aims to be an all-purpose Bible for the church. (God willing, a study Bible will follow, as well as specialized products, such as a simplified Bible, a children’s Bible, and various levels of commentaries.)

Working on this project has been a great blessing to all the participants. We pray that it will also be a blessing to all its users.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

See our website wartburgproject.org and follow our communications on Facebook.

Principles, Rules, and Rubrics: Our website offers a copy of the principles, rules, and rubrics for our translation. This document at this time consists of more than 50 pages of guidelines used in the EHV.

FAQs: A collection of responses to frequently-asked-questions is posted on our website. It is designed to address questions and concerns that our readers have about general principles of Bible translation and about specific translation decisions for the Evangelical Heritage Version. Two especially important FAQs are FAQ 8, “Is the Evangelical Heritage Version a sectarian translation?” and FAQ 11, “Is the Evangelical Heritage Version a literal translation?”

Papers: The library section on our website includes many studies on translation principles and on specific translation issues. Many of these are technical studies that may not be of interest to all readers. Others are popular summaries of translation topics.

Evangelical Heritage Version® and EHV® are trademarks of the Wartburg Project.

Versions

Language Version Available Versions
English (EN)1 EHV Bible (EHV)
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