1. History of the Easy-to-Read™ Bible translations
  2. Important Facts
  3. Translation Method
  4. Translation Projects
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

History of the Easy-to-Read ™ Bible translations

An Easy-to-Read Version presents Scripture in everyday language. We make it possible that the first Bible people receive is one they can understand.

Billions of people are starving for the message of Christ, but most do not have the Bible in a language they can easily understand. Bible League International is committed to producing Easy-to-Read translations in each of the world's 100 most-spoken languages, which would then be available to nearly 90% of the world's population. We've already completed 30 languages.

But we can't do this on our own. We depend on people like you--people who love God's Word and have a passion to share it-to support this ministry. Our partners in the field-local churches and Christian organizations-use these Bibles for evangelism and discipleship. People grow in their faith. God's Church grows in numbers and commitment. All because we work together.

Your ongoing support will make sure more Easy-to-Read Bible translations are available to those in the far reaches of our world. Through your gift, the very first Bible people access will be one they can understand! Together we can plant God's word so more people meet Jesus.

Important Facts

UnderstandableEasy-to-Read Bible translations are written in everyday language that makes God's Word understandable.

Basic Reading Level—Many people in the world do not have an education beyond the third grade level. Easy-to-Read translations make God's Word more accessible to people who read at this basic level.

Helpful to New BelieversEasy-to-Read Scriptures, written in everyday language, are especially helpful to seekers and new believers as they apply God's message to their lives.

Serves the Church—When a body of believers has a clear understanding of God's Word, they are prepared to share the story of Jesus within their community.

Worldwide impact—Since 100 of the world's most-spoken languages represent 90% of the world's population, imagine the impact if an Easy-to-Read Bible was available in all 100 languages!

We are not translating the ERV, the Easy-to-Read English translation; but rather, producing easy-to-read type translations in other languages.

Translation Method

Step 1.

Translation Resources and Training -Every translation begins with selecting and training a team of mother-tongue translators who fit Bible League International's translation goals. The translation team is provided the Translator's Source Text (TST). Specifically designed with the mother-tongue translator in mind, the TST allows the translators to see the form and meaning of the original Greek or Hebrew simultaneously. The TST also provides notes within the text and explanatory footnotes. Additional resources include the Translator's Model Text (TMT), which is a special version of our Easy-to-Read English Bible designed for translators, as well as the communication and support of the Bible League translation consultants. With these resources, the translation team produces an accurate and meaningful first-draft translation.

Step 2.

First-Draft Translation -Working from the translation resources provided, especially the Translator's Source Text and the Translator's Model Text, each team member produces a first draft translation in the target language. At this point the translation is ready for "team check," where the translation team meets together to listen to each translator read his or her draft. The resulting feedback and discussion helps ensure that the translation is natural, clear, and understandable to the intended audience.

Step 3.

Back-Translation, Evaluation, and Editing -After a first-draft translation is judged to be of acceptable quality, another team member back-translates the text into English. Using this back-translation, a Bible League translation consultant compares the meaning of the target-language translation against the original Hebrew or Greek text. The resulting questions and notes begin a long and difficult process of correction and improvement that usually involves other translation consultants, the original translator, and the project editor.

Step 4.

Testing -As certain portions of the text are completed, a limited number of copies are printed and tested for readability, and linguistic and cultural suitability among mother-tongue speakers. The testing group has a broad range of educational and social backgrounds as well as experience with the Biblical text to further ensure the accuracy of the translation work.

Step 5.

Publication -After field-testing and revision, the text undergoes careful proofreading and editing to prepare it for typesetting, printing, and mass distribution. The completed Easy-to-Read Bible translation is then used by churches and ministries to help people understand God's Word in their own language.

Translation Projects

Completed Whole Bibles

Arabic Gujarati Marathi Spanish
Awadhi Hindi Nepali Telugu
Bengali Hungarian Oriya Tamil
Chinese Kannada Punjabi Urdu
English Malayalam Russian Vietnamese

In Progress

Assamese Japanese Romanian Ukranian
Bulgarian Korean Serbian Turkish
Croatian Myanmar/Burmese Swahili
Haitian Creole Portugese (For Brazil) Thai

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is there a need for yet another translation? And what makes the Easy-to-Read Version better, or preferred, than all the rest?
  2. Bible League International believes that the Scriptures should be understood by the reader, even if the reader is limited in education or not fully fluent in the language of the text. In many languages, the only Bible translation that exists was prepared for those with strong literacy skills or mother-tongue readers. For other languages the only translation was completed decades ago and has never been updated to reflect current language. The Easy-to-Read Bible presents the Good News in ordinary language that is easy to read to help people understand the Gospel.

  3. What audience does the Easy-to-Read Bible appeal to most?
  4. Our goal is to reach those with little Biblical knowledge, limited education, or are reading in a language that is not their mother-tongue. The Easy-to-Read Bible is also popular among children and young readers. However, even long-time Christians with post-graduate education often tell us how refreshing this translation is for them.

  5. How are the languages to be translated determined, and in what language order?
  6. The focus of our translation department is to complete Bible translation in the 100 most-spoken languages. The translation department works on languages that have the largest audiences of readers. The goal is to provide the gospel to the most people as quickly as possible.

  7. What is the name used for God? Jesus Christ? the Holy Spirit? ...in the various translations of the Easy-to-Read Bible?
  8. God ('elohim, 'El) = Allah, which is the name of God in Arabic, and it has its background in the Semitic Elohim. It is the common word used all over the Arab world. Sometimes the form would be Al-Elah; that is, The God. The Easy-to-Read Bible describes Jesus as the "Son of God". Holy Spirit is rendered as God's Spirit, or the Spirit, or Holy Spirit.

  9. Who is doing the translating and how are they chosen? Are those translating the Bible born again Christians?
  10. We have five translation consultants on staff who are Bible scholars and translation experts. These consultants review all translations for accuracy in communicating the meaning of the ancient text and original authors. In addition, we contract with trained translators who are mother-tongue speakers to review the texts for clear and natural communication. These translators are recommended by their local churches or other ministries who are able to provide insight into the individual's character. They typically have proven experience in translation, a thorough grasp of the everyday use of the target language, strong communication skills, and have been recommended by a local church, ministry, or mission agency.

  11. How long, on average, does it take to do a Bible translation?
  12. Translation projects vary greatly depending on factors such as availability of workers, access to resources, political stability, and funding. A whole Bible may take from seven to twelve years to complete. Therefore we publish Scripture portions and often the entire New Testament as soon as they become available.

  13. Which Hebrew and Greek texts are used translation of Easy-to-Read Bibles?
  14. Easy-to-Read Bible translations are based on the original languages of Scripture. In the case of the Old Testament, the translators follow the Hebrew Masoretic Text as it is found in the latest printed edition of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1984), while referring occasionally to some earlier readings in the Dead Sea Scrolls. In some cases, they also follow the Septuagint (LXX)-the Greek translation of the Old Testament-where it has readings that are actually earlier than any known Hebrew manuscript. For the New Testament, the source text is found in both the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament (fourth revised edition, 1993) and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (twenty-seventh edition, 1993). The occasional variation from these printed editions is guided by reference to the findings of more recent scholarship.