Response To Questions On The "Pure Word" Translation
by James Jacob Prasch
Frankly, it is a ridiculous piece of junk that is hard to believe anyone literate in Greek could defend or endorse.
It interpolates translated terms not found in the original Greek manuscripts as if they were included in the original.
It is sort of like 'The Amplified' Bible in that it tries to represent the nuances or possible meanings to the original text, except that the Amplified sticks to the text as a valid 'study bible' and places the expanded possible meanings grammatically and linguistically into brackets etc. This hideous thing goes beyond the original text and fails to make parenthetical, italicize, or footnote, but re-writes the text into English as if the insertions were found in the ancient manuscripts.
For instance, no Greek manuscript contains the terms "Satan" or 'Resurrection" in John 3:16 (the example verse they highlight in their promotional advert)). The only other translation that engages in this kind of textual misrepresentation by means of corrupted translation is the Jehovahs Witness (JW) 'New World Translation'. Arguably the Roman Catholic 'Jerusalem Bible' does something similar by annotation and deliberate mistranslation. Bad paraphrases like Eugene Peterson's 'The Message' are no good (in fact they are bad), but they do not claim to be the "PURE" meaning of the original text. Neither do the also bad 'Inclusive' Bibles. This thing is awful.
'PURE WORD' should rather be called the "IMPURE WORD". It is an idiotic gimmick with no fidelity to the Majority Text (or for that matter Textus Receptus). Put a match to it. They are in effect adding to The Word of God. They conflate translation with interpretation as if it were a unified fluid text emanating from the original which it patently is not. Even if their interpretations are correct (a big 'If'), their translations are not. This is "taking liberties with the original text" on steroids.
The best is always to learn Hebrew and Greek. There is really no short cut or substitute for knowing the original languages (Nehemiah 8:8).
Next best - if someone who does not know Hebrew and Greek wants a good study Bible helping to better elucidate the more precise meaning of the original languages, obtain a valid one such as Young's Literal or The Amplified or a good interlinear or the Zoroates material, or learn a basic amount of Hebrew and Greek to use interlinear software. But please don't resort to idiotic gimmicks. The real purpose of gimmicks is not to help Christians more accurately understand God's Word but to either push an erroneous theological agenda doctrinally, or to simply sell books, or both.