The ISV is a totally new work translated directly from the original languages of Scripture and derived from no other English translation.
The ISV was produced by Bible scholars who believe that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16 ISV) It takes advantage not only of the most ancient manuscripts available, but also of the most recent archaeological discoveries. The ISV is the first English Bible conceived, designed, translated, and formatted primarily for a computer-literate generation. It is being produced entirely in a computer aided media (CAM) format.
The ISV is Sensitive to Poetic Literary Forms in the Original Text. It treats subtle nuances of the original texts with special care. For example, several passages of the Bible appear to have been rendered in poetic form when first penned by their authors. The ISV has meticulously crafted these original passages as true poems—thus communicating a sense of their original literary form as well as translating the original intent of the New Testament author.
The ISV is a Literal-Idiomatic Translation
The translation theory behind the ISV is different from theories employed in previous Bible translations. Traditionally, two basic methods of Bible translation have been used. The older method (and for many centuries practically the only method used) has been labeled “literal” or “formal equivalent.” This type of translation allows readers to identify as fully as possible with the source languages of Scripture and to understand as much as they can of the Bible’s customs, manners of thought, and means of expression.
The other method is termed “idiomatic” or “functional equivalent.” The goal of an idiomatic translation is to achieve the closest natural equivalent in modern language to match the ideas of the original text. Idiomatic translations have little or no concern for maintaining the grammatical forms, sentence structure, and consistency of word usage of the source languages.
A good translation will steer a careful course between word-for-word translation and interpretation under the guise of translating. In other words, a good translation will be both reliable and readable. The best translation, then, is one that is both accurate and idiomatic at the same time. It will make every effort to reproduce the culture and exact meaning of the text without sacrificing readability. The ISV Foundation calls this type of translation “literal-idiomatic.”
Of these three basic types of translation—literal, literal-idiomatic, and idiomatic—the translators of the ISV have, without hesitation, opted for the second. This is not because it happens to be the middle option, simply avoiding extremes, but because the literal-idiomatic translation is the only choice that avoids the dangers of over-literalness and of over-interpretation discussed above. Teaching biblical truth demands extreme fidelity to the original text of Scripture. However, a translation of the Bible need not sacrifice English clarity in order to maintain a close correspondence to the source languages. The goal of the ISV, therefore, has been both accuracy and excellence in communication.
“ A truly excellent version, combining both dignity and fine taste. Personally, I think it has succeeded in achieving what the most recent translations have attempted. Hearty congratulations. This should be adopted for Sunday School purposes. It’s very reliable and I think it’s almost brilliant in the way the things are expressed. I can go page after page and say, “Bravo, bravo, that’s well put.” Personally, I think it easily equals the NIV [and NAS] and I look forward to seeing what can be done in the way of the Old Testament as well. Really, this is an important event in the history of Bible translation. .”
Dr. Gleason Archer, Professor of Old Testament emeritus
“ After perusing the ISV, I was agreeably surprised and impressed. The goal of making the translation “literal and idiomatic” has certainly been achieved. The readability and reliability is delightful. I believe this translation should be well received and appreciated. .”
Dr. Jack MacArthur, Voice of Calvary
“ In the midst of a flood of erroneous so-called new translations of the Bible, it is refreshing to find the International Standard Version of the New Testament. It is up-to-date in modern research and Greek syntax and grammar, yet it is easy to read. I recommend this translation to anyone who wants a reliable study Bible. .”
Dr. Robert A. Morey
“ I have not been a fan of the modern translations, but the International Standard Version New Testament is a refreshing exception! Terrific! In my opinion, the ISV truly is the most readable and accurate English language translation of the Bible ever produced. When the Old Testament is completed, I plan to undertake a Prophecy Bible using the ISV. .”
Chuck Missler, Author and Speaker, Koinonia House Ministries
“ The International Standard Version has solved a longstanding problem for me. For years I have had two Bibles, one for study and one for public use, such as speaking. My study Bible was reliable, but not very readable, even out loud. My preaching Bible was wonderful, but not a completely reliable translation. The International Standard Version is a perfect blend of the two. Now I can have readability for preaching or personal devotion, but with a reliable and up to date translation from Evangelical scholars who believe in the inspiration of the Scripture. Bravo to Davidson Press. .”
Rich Buhler, Talk Show Host and Speaker, Branches Communications