Translation Process

For the Tree of Life Version

Translation Process Explained

by Dr. Jeffrey Seif

At the completion of the Tree of Life Version of the Holy Scriptures in 2015, Dr. Jeffrey Seif presented the TLV during his time at King of Kings in Jerusalem. Please enjoy this video walk-through of the TLV Translation Process!

© 2008-2018 TLV Bible Society - Tree of Life Version Translation Process. All Rights Reserved.

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1. TLV Key Principles

The Tree of Life Version (TLV) process started with 16 Key Principles that was put in place by the Board of Directors of the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society. These Key Principles, developed in 2009, would help to guide the continuing process.

Click Here to read the Key Principles for yourself!

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2. Translation via original Manuscripts

Each book of the Bible was assigned to a specific scholar, specializing in their respective book, who began translating into contemporary English from the original manuscripts —  the original Hebrew being the Masoretic Texts for the TANAKH or Old Testament and the original Greek using the 27th Nestle-Aland Novum Testamente Graece for the New Covenant.

Click Here to find out who was part of the the Translation Team.

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3. Text Managers

Once the translator felt comfortable with the rendition of the Biblical text, they submited their rendering to the appropriate text manager — one for each section of Scripture (Torah, Prophets, Writings, and the New Covenant.)

Once the text manager had time to review the translator's rendering, both the translator and text manager went over any suggestions or critiques that the text manager believed did not adhere to the Key Principles.

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4. Theology Committee

Occasionally, there are words or phrases that are particularly hard to translate due to ambiguity, lack of an english equivilant or concern over the cultural implications of certain renderings. Thus, in times of critical review the theology committee made the final decision.

Each member on the theology committee represented a major Messianic Jewish organization such as the MJAA, UMJC, Jews for Jesus, and others. Once the theology team made their decision the appropriate text manager applied the revision.

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5. Language Experts

Once the Biblical text was at a point in which the translation team felt comfortable with the translation it moved onto a Language Expert — one for the TANAKH or Old Testament (Hebrew) and one for the New Covenant (Greek).

These Language Experts looked at the whole text and critiqued areas in which they felt the rendering was not true to the intent or meaning of the original language itself. When these instances arose the text manager was again required to apply the revision.

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6. Literary Editor

After all translation was complete it was sent to the Literary Editor who looked over the entire text with the style guide established by the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society so that each book would sound and read like the Tree of Life Version (TLV).

This was especially difficult as it was important to respect the rendering of the translation while also adhering to the TLV style guide and English language standards.

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7. Copy Editing & Pagination

Finally, the full Tree of Life Version translation was finished and moved on to copy editing and pagination organized by the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society bringing together numerous volunteers who found all too often that Scipture does not always say what you think it says.