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Demonstration version—prototype quality only—still in development


Key to the OET

The Open English Translation of the Bible is not tied to tradition (and especially not to traditional mistakes or misunderstandings) so it has a number of changes from more common Bible translations.

We also aim to educate our readers better about how our Bibles get to us and we have many different kinds of links on the site, so that’s a second reason why it differs from usual, and hence requires this key to explain some of the features.

The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)*

We are experimenting in the OET-RV with marking parallel Hebrew poetry lines with the symbol . English tends to use rhyming for poetry (and rap is extreme rhyming), but we can also use things like shorter line/sentence lengths instead. Hebrew poetry tends to use parallelism—shortish pairs of lines where the second line might say almost the same thing using synonyms, etc., or it might say the opposite thing (or it might just conclude the thought/argument). Wherever, we believe that we have a retelling of almost the same thought in poetry, we try to assist the reader to see this by preceding the second line with the character (the mathematical ‘approximately equal’ sign).

More to come...

The Messianic Update (New Testament)

Still coming...


The OET uses a unique set of characters for transliterating Hebrew and Greek characters, taking advantage of the modern Unicode character set which is now available to us. This has the disadvantage of being different from the transliterations commonly used in academia, but the advantage of being designed with the less technical reader in mind, i.e., we’ve tried to make it easier for the non-expert who's familiar with the English alphabet to guess at the sound of the letter. We’ve also tried to take advantage of single Unicode characters like æ and ʦ to represent two English letters as a match for the single letters in the other languages.

Long vowels are indicated with the macron over the vowel, i.e., ‘ā ē ī ō ū’ versus the normal ‘a e i o u’.

More to come...

Names of people and places

Imagine that your mother named you ‘Charlotte’ (pronounced shar-lot) after your grandmother, but when you moved to another country where they weren’t so familiar with the name, people there read it and pronounced it as char-lot-tee. You’d basically have two choices:

  1. Correct them and tell them that you are shar-lot not char-lot-tee, or
  2. Just put up with it and hope your mother never visits that place or she’d be horrified.

If you’d choose #1 above, imagine that your name was Yacobos but all English Bible readers called you James, which is totally and utterly different from your real name. Would it bug you? If it would, hopefully you’ll appreciate the OET more than those people who’d have chosen #2.

The OET can make us uncomfortable if we’re happy to continue to mispronounce people’s names. If that’s you, please just continue to enjoy your old Bible. But if you’d prefer to be more considerate to others, then make the effort to pronounce their names better, even if it’s hard for us now to get those old, wrong names out of our minds.


Omitted verses are marked with the character ◘ (with a link to our missing verses page) to indicate that we didn’t accidentally miss translating it. The reason why such verses are not included is usually because the original language text was missing in the oldest manuscripts and thus believed to be a later addition in later copies.

More to come...

* The OET avoids the word ‘Testament’ because it’s not used in modern English (except perhaps by lawyers), plus we dislike ‘Old’ and ‘New’ because ‘new’ might (wrongly) imply that the ‘old’ is no longer required. Note that the terms ‘Old Testament’ and ‘New Testament’ don’t occur in any ancient manuscripts.