Retranslating the Bible, One Word at a Time

The Texas Bible in action.

Or, Just retranslating one word.

Jon Dyer had a problem. There was no word in standard English translations of the book that accurately capture plural form of “you” in the original text. In his words:

[Just] about any time I teach from the Scriptures I have to point out a place where the English Bible says “you,” but the original Hebrew or Greek indicates you plural rather than you singular. This means the original author was addressing to a group of people, but a modern English reader can’t detect this because in common English we use “you” for both singular (“you are awesome”) and plural (“you are a team”). This often leads modern readers to think “you” refers to him or her as an individual, when in fact it refers to the community of faith.

Here in Texas (and in the Southern US more generally), I tell my audience that we have a perfect equivalent to the original Greek/Hebrew second person plural: “y’all” the contraction of “you all.” This of course always gets me a good laugh. And this is not unique to the Southern US – many other areas of the English speaking world also have spoken forms of you plural such as “you guys,” “yinz,” and “you lot.”

So, like any other enterprising web developer/former youth pastor, he created a Chrome plugin to fix the problem. With the Texas Bible, Chrome will automatically retranslate appropriate “you”s on a bunch of Bible websites to “y’all,” “yinz,” or “you guys.”

<h/t: First Things>

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