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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Greenberg

Hebrew Terminology

Our next stop along the journey of exploring the translation principles of the Tree of Life Version is Restoring more universal Hebrew terminology previously overlooked in most translations.

We don’t want to overdo it, but we did want to include select terms in the translation used beyond the pale of standard English practices. We use italicized Hebrew transliterated words to add depth of meaning while avoiding explanatory paraphrasing. Happily, Hebrew words like “amen” and “halleluyah” have found a place in non-Hebrew speakers’ hearts and heads and vocabularies. Most don’t realize they are vocalizing Hebrew, however.

Not only do we remind of that, here, but we selectively add to individuals’ Hebrew vocabulary through our very selective employment of other words–ones deemed by us to be worth acknowledging. Though this will likely take a little getting used to for some, we think it’s worth getting people used to reading and hearing a little more Hebrew, because of the value of the meaning of the words themselves and because of the value associated with reading a Bible that gently leads readers back to the host culture from which the biblical narratives emerged. The glossary can be consulted as an invaluable aid.

That said, we designed this to insure you don’t need much aid.

The Tree of Life is designed for adults and youth to experience and enjoy together. We put the reading level at about the 10th grade reading level. Our goal was to provide a reasonable reading range: from personal devotional and family devotional readers to advanced scholars. To assist with comprehension, storytelling headings are employed, ones that are especially interesting. We believe good headings help by serving as road markers on the highway of the religious life. We trust they will help readers more easily navigate their way through the recorded biblical drama(s).

On a limited basis, we also use footnotes to indicate petty variances in the original manuscripts, leaving our preference in the main text and noting the other option in the sub-text, the footnote. Additional cross-references have been added throughout the course of publications and releases.

Here are some examples:

Then Jacob made a vow saying, “If God will be with me and watch over me on this way that I am going, and provide me food to eat and clothes to wear, and I return in shalom to my father’s house, then ADONAI will be my God. – Genesis 28:21 TLV
Blessed be ADONAI, the God of Israel,from everlasting even to everlasting!Let all the people say, “Amen!”Halleluyah! – Psalm 106:48 TLV
Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil, but those promoting shalom have joy. – Proverbs 12:20 TLV
“Amen, amen I tell you, he who puts his trust in Me, the works that I do he will do; and greater than these he will do, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12 TLV

Here are the 16 Key Principles of translation that guided the entire process of creating the TLV. We’ll journey together to unpack, unveil, and understand them so that YOU can understand the miracle that ADONAI has placed in our midst: The Tree of Life Version.

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