The Lexham English Bible (LEB) is a new translation of the Bible into English. It clearly communicates the meaning of the original languages and gives you a clear English translation, and shows you how it gets there. It is one of the components in a suite of resources from Lexham Press which connect the original language texts to formal translations.
New translations of the Bible emerge from a quest for greater accuracy, from new scholarly discoveries in linguistics and semantics, from recent advances in lexicography, from new archaeological discoveries, and from a greater understanding of the evolution of the English language. In the case of the LEB, the answer to this question is much simpler.
First, the LEB achieves an unparalleled level of transparency because the LEB has as its starting point the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament, available separately from Logos Bible Software.
Second, the LEB makes extensive use of the most up-to-date lexical reference works available, Frederick Danker's A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BDAG) and Louw and Nida's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains.
The Lexham English Bible, used with an interlinear, reveals the entire translation process. Follow the path from the original language, to the interlinear, to the English translation, and then back again with a reverse interlinear. You'll never find yourself wondering why the LEB translates a word or phrase a certain way. Identify idioms. Discover the tricky texts. See the difficult lexicographical choices. It's all right there.
The entire translation process is focused and transparent. It was developed through an interlinear process using Logos Bible Software. At any point, you can work from the original languages to the LEB, or from the LEB back to the original languages.
The LEB closely follows the original while remaining readable in contemporary English. The style of the translation is relatively literal, which stems from the desire to have the English translation correspond transparently to the original language text. The translators attempt—within these constraints—to produce a clear and readable English translation instead of a woodenly literal one.
Some words and phrases are difficult to translate, and the LEB is careful to mark these instances:
Every time the LEB encounters a difficult word or phrase, you'll know—and you'll be able to dig deeper behind the translation itself to find the meaning in the text of the original language.
Genesis 1:26–28: And God said, “Let us make humankind in our image and according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every moving thing that moves upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the likeness of God he created him, male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of heaven, and over every animal that moves upon the earth.”
Proverbs 3:4–10: And you shall find favor and good sense in the eyes of God and humankind. Trust Yahweh with all your heart; do not lean toward your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will straighten your paths. …
Jeremiah 29:11–14: For I know the plans that I am planning concerning you,’ declares Yahweh, ‘plans for prosperity and not for harm, to give to you a future and a hope. Then when you call me, and you come and pray to me, then I will listen to you. When you search for me, then you will find me, if you seek me with all your heart. …
Matthew 4:3–4: And the tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, order that these stones become bread.” But he answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man will not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’ ”
Matthew 11:28–30: Come to me, all of you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to carry and my burden is light.”
John 13:34–35: “A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another—just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.”
John 14:6–7: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you know him and have seen him.”
1 Corinthians 10:12–13: Therefore, the one who thinks that he stands must watch out lest he fall. Temptation has not come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will also make a way out together with the temptation, so that you may be able to endure it.
Philippians 1:6: convinced of this same thing, that the one who began a good work in you will finish it until the day of Christ Jesus,
2 Timothy 3:14–17: But you continue in the things which you have learned and are convinced of, because you know from whom you learned them, and that from childhood you have known the holy writings that are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, …
W. Hall Harris III is Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. During his long tenure as a member of the Seminary faculty, Dr. Harris has traveled and ministered extensively in Western Europe, especially in Germany and Italy. His wife is from Germany and he has close ties to the German Bible Society (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft), including work as editor of the New English Translation—Novum Testamentum Graece New Testament. Dr. Harris serves as project director and managing editor of the NET Bible. He recently has published a commentary on the letters of John, 1, 2, 3 John: Comfort and Counsel for a Church in Crisis. Dr. Harris teaches classes in the use of computer tools and Internet resources for biblical study and exegesis and currently is involved in a project to create a syntactical database for the Greek New Testament. In addition, he has remained active in local church ministry. As an ordained minister he has served as a pastor of single adults, elder, and adult Sunday school teacher.
Elliot Ritzema is an editor for Lexham Press. He has an MDiv from Regent College and served as a copy editing intern at the Los Angeles Times. Previously, he was an editor of—and frequent contributor to—the Et Cetera.
Rick Brannan is Information Architect for Faithlife Corporation, the makers of Logos Bible Software. In his role at Faithlife, he is responsible for linguistic databases of the Greek New Testament, the Septuagint, and other Greek writings of the Hellenistic era. He is also Product Manager for the Lexham English Bible and the Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. He resides in Bellingham with his wife, Amy, and their daughter, Ella.
Douglas Mangum is an academic editor for Lexham Press and a contributor to Bible Study Magazine. He holds a PhD in Hebrew (University of the Free State in South Africa), and is capable of translating Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Syriac, Ugaritic, Moabite, Ammonite, Phoenician-Punic, and Philistine Canaanite.
John Dunham is a writer and editor who is passionate about language and translating the biblical story and its implications into contemporary settings. He also specializes in Bible formatting and serves on Biblica's Bible Design Group. John and his wife Susan live in Colorado with their two daughters, Evadel and Sophrona.
Jeffrey A. Reimer holds a master's degree in systematic theology and is a freelance editor based in Newton, Kansas.
Micah Wierenga is an editor for Bible Publishing at Biblica.