The NTV team has always worked from the motto “as literal as possible and as free as necessary.”
This motto can be summarized in three underlining principles:
1. Give a good representation of the sense of the original texts and do not deviate from them.
2. Convey as much as possible of the author’s spirit and manner through the careful selection of language.
3. The translation should appear natural and flow easily to reflect the flow of the original.
The original authors of the Bible wrote in clear natural language that people could understand. They used words, phrases, and sentences that were easily understandable by both common and educated people. The Bible is for all peoples regardless of their background and the NTV has used language that flows naturally, yet accurately reflects what the original authors of the Bible were trying to say. We tried to use consistent words and phrases throughout the whole translation. This in many ways is unique for Thailand. The translation team carefully researched in both Hebrew and Greek (the original languages of the Old and New Testaments) to find appropriate Thai words that accurately reflected the original authors intent. Biblical names and places have been consistently spelled and usually following the Hebrew and Greek pronunciations. For example, the English word “Hittites” is translated from English directly in other Thai versions of the Bible, but the NTV did not follow the English word which means, in English, “the Hitt people.” Our translation calls them “the Hitt people” in Thai. We left the English “ites” off. We have also tried to be very careful with parallel passages in the Bible. Some verses are exactly the same in various books of the Bible and we have kept them the same as they appear in various locations. Also, some verses are quite similar in different books and we have reflected that as well.
We have avoided what many call “looseness” in our translation. We have not added words unnecessarily and have made every effort to stay close to the original text with a consistent stress on accuracy. There has also been a constant stress between form and meaning. At times we have had to change the form slightly to reflect an accurate meaning in Thai. At times a literal translation would be totally meaningless in Thai so we have had to make minor alterations so the Thai reader understands what the original author was trying to say.
The Hebrew Old Testament has a special word for God that is used over 5500 times and is known as the Tetragrammaton. It consists of 4 Hebrew consonants (YHWH). No one is certain how it is pronounced because when the original authors of the Hebrew Bible wrote they did not use vowels. They knew how to pronounce a word because of oral tradition. There is no oral tradition for pronouncing YHWH. When translators added vowels to the Hebrew Bible thousands of years later they substituted the vowels of Adonai (My Lord) into the word YHWH because they did not want to accidentally pronounce the sacred name of God. The translators of the NTV have followed the English language tradition and have used the same word for Adonai and YHWH (พระผู้เป็นเจ้า), and made YHWH in italics to differentiate it from Adonai.
Finally, our hope is that you will enjoy reading the New Thai Version. Serious students will understand the great care that has gone into this accurate and readable translation. You will experience the joy of reading the Bible without having to depend on someone else telling you what the meaning is. The meaning will be clear to you. Again it is available at Kanok Bannasan and bookstores around Thailand. The complete NTV is also available on Bible Gateway and on YouVersion.
May God bless you as you develop a love for God’s Word.
Dr. Jerry and Chareeraat (Charee) Crow
New Thai Version Foundation