Theory for Bible Translation

Author: Price, James D.
This study provides a theory of Bible translation known as Optimal Equivalence. The author provides a general description of the theory is provided followed by a formal description of Biblical Hebrew grammar and syntax based on a text-linguistic model of the language employing transformations at the phrase, clause, and text levels. Seven appendices provide more advanced discussions of various phases of the theory. A glossary of terms, a subject and author index, and a Scripture reference index are provided.


“Since the Bible is God’s Word and the peoples of the world are each important to God, it is essential to have a methodology for excellence in translating the Bible into the heart languages of these people. In the pages to follow James D. Price sets forth a method for computer-aided translation according to optimal equivalence translation theory.” – Dr. David L. Brooks, Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament, Criswell College, Dallas, Texas

“This is a welcome alternative to translation theories that deal almost exclusively with semantics and ignore the structural equivalence issues. Brace yourself for the long haul, but dig in with interest.” – Dr. Glenn J. Kerr, Chief Translation Consultant, Bibles International

“Professor Price’s work combines generative transformational grammar and text linguistics, with detailed computer analysis. I personally do not know any work quite like it. This work will be appreciated by many and should be read by those who follow and apply linguistic approaches to Hebrew.” – Dr. Russell Thomas Fuller, Professor of Old Testament, The Southern Baptist Seminary

Table of Contents

List of Symbols and Abbreviations
Foreword by David L. Brooks
1 A Generative Transformational Grammar of Hebrew Discourse
2 A Generative Transformation Grammar of Hebrew Clauses
3 A Generative Grammar of Hebrew Quantifiers
4 A Generative Transformational Grammar of Hebrew Phrases
5 A Generative Transformational Sequence Grammar of Hebrew
6 An Analytical Grammar of Hebrew Discourse
7 An Analysis Grammar of Hebrew Quantifiers
8 The Analytical Phrase Grammar of Hebrew
9 The Analytical Clause Grammar of Hebrew
10 The Analysis Sequence Grammar of Hebrew
11 Creating a Knowledge Base for Hebrew
12 Creating an Equivalency Map
13 A Computer Aid for Translating Hebrew to English
Appendix A: A Simplified Transformational Grammar of English
Appendix B: Hebrew Propositions
Appendix C: Hebrew Negatives
Appendix D: Hebrew Verbs vs. Aspect
Appendix E: The Syntax of Hebrew Discourse
Appendix F: Hebrew Conjunctions and Discourse Structure
Appendix G: Catalog of Hebrew Idioms
Glossary of Terms
Index of Subjects and Authors
Index of Scripture References