A New Translation
The NET is the newest complete translation of the original biblical languages into English. In the mid-1990s, a multi-denominational team of more than twenty-five of the world’s foremost biblical scholars gathered around the shared vision of creating an English Bible translation that could overcome old challenges and boldly open the door for new possibilities. With the first edition completed in 2001, ongoing revisions based on scholarly and user feedback in 2003 and 2005, and a major update reaching its final stages in 2019, the NET’s unique translation process has yielded a beautiful, faithful English Bible for the worldwide church today.
What sets the NET Bible apart from other translations?
Transparent and Accountable
Have you ever wished you could look over a Bible translator’s shoulder as he or she worked?
Bible translation usually happens behind closed doors—few outside the translation committee get to see the complex decisions underlying the words that appear in their English Bibles. Fewer still have the opportunity to review and speak into the translators’ decisions.
Throughout the NET’s translation process, every working draft was made publicly available on the internet. Bible scholars, ministers, and laypersons from around the world logged millions of review sessions. No other translation is so openly accountable to the worldwide church or has been so thoroughly vetted.
And yet, the ultimate accountability was to the biblical text itself. The NET Bible is neither crowdsourced nor a “translation by consensus.” Rather, the NET translators filtered every question and suggestion through the very best in biblical linguistics, textual criticism, and their unswerving commitment to following the text wherever it leads.
See the Forest and the Trees
The NET’s uniquely transparent, accountable translation process has been crystalized in the most extensive set of Bible translators’ notes ever created. More than 60,000 notes highlight every major decision, outline alternative views, and explain difficult or nontraditional renderings.
A New Translation
The benefit to you? The NET overcomes one of the biggest challenges facing any Bible translation: the tension between accuracy and readability.
If you’ve spent more than a few minutes researching English versions of the Bible, you’ve probably come across a “translation spectrum”—a simple chart with the most wooden-but-precise translations on the far left (representing a word-for-word translation approach), and the looser-but-easier-to-read translations and paraphrases on the far right (a thought-for-thought translation approach).
The NET Bible moves beyond that old dichotomy. Because of the extensive translators’ notes, the NET never has to compromise. Whenever faced with a difficult translation choice, the translators were free to put the strongest option in the main text, with the notes documenting the challenge, their thought process, and the solution. In other words, the translators’ notes lift the NET into a class of its own and invite you to see both the forest and the trees. With its balanced, easy-to-understand English text paired with translators’ notes that reveal phenomenal detail at a precise grammatical level, the NET ensures you can forever leave behind the choice between “readable” and “accurate.”
Come for the Notes—Stay for the Translation
While the 60,000 translators’ notes lift the NET into a class of its own, the NET Bible text alone, apart from the notes, is beautifully balanced and reliable. Spend some time with the NET, and you’ll find an English language Bible you can embrace as your own: clear and readable, elegant and accurate.
Our prayer is that the NET will be a fresh and exciting invitation to Bible readers everywhere to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:16).
“The NET Bible strikes a delicate balance between being accurate to the original biblical texts and understandable to the modern English reader. The translators have accomplished this both through their choice of words and grammatical structure and through the extensive set of footnotes they have provided. I heartily recommend it to all students of the Bible.”
Princeton Evangelical Fellowship