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Recovery Version

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

This article was originally published as part of International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. This text is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. It is included in the ReligionFacts Library for reference, but please note that its information may be outdated, biased to a particular perspective, or even offensive. We have copied the text as it originally appeared and do not necessarily endorse the content.

What is the Recovery Version?

The Recovery Version is a study Bible with a modern English translation of the Scriptures from their original languages. It is a result of roughly three decades of translation and revision work by the editorial section of Living Stream Ministry, from 1974 to 2003.

The New Testament was published in 1985 and revised in 1991, and the Holy Bible was published in 2003. Text-only editions of the New Testament and of the Holy Bible became available in 1993 and 1999, respectively.

The Recovery Version is a recent translation of the Bible from the revised 1990 edition of the Hebrew Scriptures, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, and the Nestle-Aland Greek text as found in Novum Testamentum Graece (26th edition). The translators believe that Christians' understanding of the Bible has progressed in the past two thousand years, in part due to "philological and exegetical scholarship that makes more precise the meaning of the biblical words or phrases or practices" and in part due to an accumulation of Christian experience.

This understanding forms the basis of this translation, with guidance from the major authoritative English versions. The Recovery Version attempts to avoid biases and inaccurate judgments and to express the message of the Bible in English as accurately as possible. Its translation is essentially literal/word-for-word/formal equivalent, seeking to preserve the wording of the original Hebrew or Greek text and the personal style of each biblical writer.

Its translation is transparent; interpretive ambiguities present in the original text are left unresolved in this translation for the readers to consider. It is comparable to the English Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible. The translators are careful to not impose their own interpretations on the original text. Commentaries are included separately in footnotes.

The Recovery Version conforms to a particular philosophy of Bible translation which is less common in the present day. Every translation of the Bible embodies a philosophy about what the Bible is, about the relation of its writers to God, and even about God Himself.

The trend today is away from a more literal rendering of the ancient text toward a more literary one; newer translations seek to make the Bible easy to read and understand. But while the LSM editorial section did not aim for obscurity, they contend that "the deep things of God are not simple for human language, that the mind of Christ is not shallow or easily explained, and that the content of the Bible comes not merely through our renderings but by the Spirit through spiritual words."

LSM believes that their view about Bible translation reflects Paul's words to the Corinthians concerning the ministry in general: "Which things also we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things with spiritual words" (1 Cor. 2:13). LSM also states that: Our words, our translation, must be with spiritual words, else the Spirit, we maintain, has no way nor any responsibility to bear the spiritual things of the Bible to our readers. We admit that translation of this sort is sometimes not the easiest to read or comprehend, but we are compelled to sacrifice easy reading for deeper truth.

Though we are for the casual reading of the Bible, we maintain that the Bible is to be studied carefully, and we so translate it, attempting to leave in our work the fine points expressed in the original. The New Testament Recovery Version embodies a multitude of decisions on the original form of the Greek text.

While the Recovery Version follows the Nestle-Aland 26th edition for the most part, it has departed in various places based on the study and consideration of the manuscripts by the LSM editorial section. In determining the original form of any verse, the LSM editorial section considered the larger context of chapter and book and similar portions of the Bible, frequently receiving guidance by other major authoritative English versions.

They did not assume that the most recently discovered manuscripts or the manuscripts of oldest date were necessarily the most accurate. Departures from the Nestle-Aland text are sometimes indicated in the footnotes of the Recovery Version. Thus, the Greek text underlying the New Testament Recovery Version is unique, even if it is quite close to the accepted scholastic edition of the day. Following the principle used in translating the New Testament, the translation of the Old Testament is based on the current scholarly text of the Hebrew Scriptures, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS; revised 1990 edition).

Departures from this edition are generally indicated in the footnotes. Frequently the ancient translations of the Old Testament into Aramaic, Greek, Syriac, and Latin were consulted for clarification of the Hebrew text, and in some instances these translations were adopted in the Recovery Version; the reading of the Hebrew text is generally given in the footnotes. As much as possible the poetic structure of the Hebrew text, as indicated by BHS, has been preserved.

LSM expected that readers would quickly note the use of the name "Jehovah" in the Recovery Version. In spite of the historical linguistic arguments against its use, no other rendering of the Tetragrammaton has the same heritage that Jehovah has in classic English literature.

While previous Bible translators, based on a faulty understanding of the Hebrew vowel pointing, might have mistakenly transliterated the name "Jehovah," their great influence has firmly embedded the name Jehovah into the English language, as evidenced by its inclusion in modern dictionaries.

LSM's employing of the name Jehovah is motivated not by linguistic considerations but by a recognition of the heritage of the English language and by the LSM editorial section's desire to be true to their convictions as translators that "the name of God, revealed and delivered to His saints (Exo. 3:16; 20:7), should be deliberately rendered in the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures."

Furthermore, LSM states that "deference to ancient religion and confusion from modern sectarians are no reasons to shrink back from the use and enjoyment of God's personal and revealed name."


  1. Wikipedia, used under GDFL (with minor edits)


Article Info

Title International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Last UpdatedJanuary 25, 2017
URL www.religionfacts.com/library/isbe
Short URLrlft.co/3824
MLA Citation “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.” ReligionFacts.com. 25 Jan. 2017. Web. Accessed 22 Apr. 2019. <www.religionfacts.com/library/isbe>

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