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Mobile Ed: BI181 Introducing Bible Translations (2 hour course)

  • Format:Digital
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Bible translation expert Dr. Mark Strauss introduces the philosophies of translation in order to equip students in their selection of a specific version (or versions) of the Bible. Dr. Strauss compares functional and formal equivalence and describes the strengths and weaknesses of each. He discusses elements of language such as gender terminology, idioms, and metaphors to reveal the importance of this often-overlooked but fundamental part of preaching, teaching, and personal Bible study.

Resource Experts

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Define the terms “formal equivalence” and “functional equivalence”
  • Describe key strengths and weaknesses of both formal equivalent translations and functional equivalent translations
  • List examples of formal equivalent, functional equivalent, and mediating translations
  • Describe ways languages can differ and the limitations those differences place on translation
  • Discuss the difficulties of translating idioms, metaphors, and collocations
  • Discuss the issue of grammatical gender versus biological gender and what that means for Bible translation


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: Introduction to Bible Translation

  • Language and Translation
  • Philosophies of Translation
  • Comparing Translations Using the Version River Graph
  • Need for Translations
  • Examining the Various Translations of “Gospel”

Unit 2: Translation Processes

  • Lexical Semantics
  • Studying “Grace” with the Bible Sense Lexicon
  • Gender Language
  • Translating Idioms
  • Helpful Resources for Translating Biblical Idioms
  • Translating Metaphors
  • Using the UBS Handbooks to Help Translate Metaphors
  • Translating Collocations
  • Searching the NET Bible Notes for Collocations
  • The Precedence of Meaning over Form
  • Creating a Parallel Bible Layout in Logos

Unit 3: Translation Philosophies

  • Strengths of Formal Equivalence
  • Using Visual Filters to Highlight Greek Words in English Translations
  • Strengths of Functional Equivalence


  • Comparing Translations Using the Text Comparison Tool
  • Title: BI181 Introducing Bible Translations
  • Instructor: Mark L. Strauss
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Product Type: Logos Mobile Education
  • Resource Type: Courseware, including transcripts, audio, and video resources
  • Courses: 1
  • Video Hours: 2
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Dr. Mark L. Strauss is the professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary in San Diego. He has written several books, including The Davidic Messiah in Luke-Acts, Distorting Scripture? The Challenge of Bible Translation and Gender Accuracy, and Luke in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary series.


Getting the most out of Mobile Ed


Logos Mobile Education is a highly effective cross-platform learning environment that integrates world class teaching with the powerful study tools and theological libraries available in Logos Bible Software. Every course provides links to additional resources and suggested readings that supplement the lecture material at the end of every transcript segment.

This course was produced with screencast videos. These videos provide tutorials showing you how to use Logos Bible Software in ways that are tied directly into the content of the course. We are now producing Activities resources as a replacement for screencast videos. We plan on updating this course to include this additional Activities resource in the future for no extra charge.



7 ratings

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  1. Andrew Heckmaster
  2. Pastor Richard Franklin
  3. Joe Plaso

    Joe Plaso


    What a sleeper! I own several Mobile Ed courses, and this one turned out to be one of my favorites. Great delivery by Dr. Strauss, and much useful information. Goes beyond the basics of specific bible translations and into the considerations of translating in general. Nice course of interest for anyone learning to work with biblical Greek.

  4. Edith



  5. Gregorio Billikopf
    Mark L. Strauss delivers a brilliant seminar on the topic of choosing a Bible translation, or understanding the differences between translations, especially the topic of formal equivalence (more literal translations) vs. functional equivalence (translating the thought or idea so it will be understood). I had recently written in an article that it is impossible to translate a text without interpreting that text, something that Mark does an excellent job in pointing out. This topic of Bible translations is a favorite one for me, and I find myself attracted to seminars and articles on this subject. I would suggest that Dr. Strauss may well have produced the best explanation of any I have studied over the years. Even though I come to a different conclusion than Dr. Strauss (I prefer formal equivalent translations), I also use dozens of translations as I read and study, and like to use translations in other languages at times. The more difficult the verse, the greater the number of total translations I use. Even though I have a different bottom-line take home lesson, Dr. Strauss explains why I prefer the formal equivalence. This is a seminar I will have to listen to again multiple times to truly squeeze out the many wonderful points that Mark makes. Just for those who may be curious, I love the idea of learning the figures of speech and expressions used in olden times. I also prefer to leave ambiguous passages ambiguous rather than choosing the wrong interpretation. There is much more I would like to say, but I will just finish by saying that I would like to purchase a Bible version that is even more literal than the NASB, and is something in between the NASB and an interlinear. And I will continue to use my forty plus versions. Great job!

  6. Arthur Moye

    Arthur Moye


  7. Ray Mills

    Ray Mills


Pastor Appreciation Month


Regular price: $69.99
Save $35.00 (50%)