Announcing: The Scripture Version Decision Is In!
The World Bible Quiz Association is excited to announce that a Scripture version decision has been made. After a careful and thorough review, the Berean Study Bible has been selected to be the version used by WBQA starting with the 2016-2017 quiz year.
There were four main characteristics that were considered to be key as the five-member “Version Task Force” appointed by the WBQA Board of Directors conducted their research. The strength of the Berean Study Bible in each of these categories made an excellent basis for its selection, as listed below.
1. THEOLOGICALLY SOUND. From an evangelical perspective, the text must be sound from a textual and a scholarship basis.
The translation committee for the Berean Bible started with an interlinear gloss which was a word for word rendering based on the most reliable Greek and Hebrew sources. This text also contains complete parsing tags as well as Strong’s numbers to for easy reference to lexicons, and these links are maintained through all phases of translation.
The second step in the translation process was the development of a word for word English word order text. In most instances, this literal text closely follows the interlinear.
As the interlinear and literal versions were refined, they were strenuously transformed into the third phase, a modern English text. The goal was to maintain a high level of readability and literary quality, along with core meaning integrity. The end result is a text that is both smooth and accurate.
Thus the Berean Study Bible is based on three tiers of translation to connect the English text directly to the best original language sources. Since data will be available to connect each of the tiers, the translation is considered an “open translation” where readers can connect directly to the Greek and Hebrew roots. Further information about the process and structure of the committee is available at http://berean.bible/
2. READABILITY AND TEACHABILITY. The text must be at a level that can be read and understood by quizzing-age children and youth.
Berean Bible states an objective of the Berean Study Bible as: "A modern English translation, effective for public reading, memorization, and evangelism." Readability is an express goal of the Berean Study Bible.
3. QUIZZABILITY. This refers to the ease of writing and studying questions. Clarification of pronouns in the text is an important aspect of this. Having to “trace” pronouns up many verses to find out who is referenced by the pronouns is difficult from a readability standpoint, but extremely challenging from a quizzing standpoint.
As the versions were narrowed down from 8 to 3 finalists, this item was a major reason why the other two finalists were not chosen. The Holman Christian Standard Bible and the New King James Version had a comparatively small number of pronoun clarifications (192 and 143, respectively) in portion of Scripture from the New Testament. By contrast, the Berean Bible had 590 clarifications in the same Scripture portion. This number of clarifications is between the amount used by the NIV 2011 (495) and the New Living Translation (590).
4. SUSTAINABILITY. Ideally, the selected version would not have plans for continuous updates, in contrast to the New International Version. Also, it would be optimal if there were minimal to no fees to obtain rights for publishing the version.
The Berean Study Bible is being created to be a free version, available without licensing and publishing constraints.
Other benefits of the Berean Study Bible include:
Independent of any specific denominational connection
Not controlled by major secular publishers
"Open translation" where the underlying sources will be freely available and connected to the text
Our thorough Scripture version review has resulted in confidence by the WBQA in the Berean Study Bible and its appropriateness as a version for Bible study, memorization and quizzing. It is our hope and prayer that quizzing groups will also take time to review the version and its merits.
Please use the resources included below to find out more about the Berean Study Bible! You are welcome to reach out to the WBQA board with questions, as well, at firstname.lastname@example.org.