The Emphasized Bible, by Joseph Bryant Rotherham, is a unique translation which helps English-only Bible readers to understand the linguistic and literary nuances of the Greek and Hebrew texts. This translation aims for a literal rendering of the original languages, and adds markings to the English text to indicate emphases, parallel structures, and the other linguistic features. It also includes accent marks, brackets, indentations, and other markings within the text itself, to help communicate the features in Greek and Hebrew which are lost in translation.
The New Testament text—entitled The New Testament Critically Emphasised—first appeared in 1872, after Rotherham devoted nearly a decade to translation work. During the subsequent years after the initial publication, Rotherham kept abreast of the advances in biblical scholarship, and began translating the Old Testament. The combined edition first appeared in 1902 as The Emphasized Bible—the same edition which underlies the Logos edition, along with numerous reprintings throughout the twentieth century, most recently by Kregel in 1994. This edition uses the Ginsburg edition of the Masoretic text for the Old Testament, and Westcott and Hort’s Greek text for the New Testament.
Matthew 5:48: Ye therefore､ shall become perfect: As your heavenly Father is—perfect.
Matthew 7:7: Be asking､ and it shall be given you, Be seeking､ and ye shall find,— Be knocking, and it shall be opened unto you.
Matthew 7:26–29: And every one who heareth these my words, and doeth them not Shall be likened unto a foolish man､ who built his house upon the sand; And the rain descended､ and the streams came､ and the winds blew, and dashed against that house, and it fell; and the fall thereof was great. And it came to pass when Jesus ended these words with astonishment were the multitudes being struck at his teaching; …
Romans 1:16–17: For I am not ashamed of the joyful message; For it is God’s power unto salvation､ to every one that believeth, Both to Jew first and to Greek; For a righteousness of God is therein､ revealed,— By faith unto faith: Even as it is written— But he that is righteous by faith shall live.
Romans 3:28: For we reckon that a man is to be declared righteous by faith apart from works of law.
Romans 4:2–5: For if Abraham by works was declared righteous he hath whereof to boast;— Nevertheless､ not towards God,— For what doth the Scripture say? And Abraham believed in God, And it was reckoned unto him as righteousness. Now unto him that worketh the reward is not reckoned by way of favour､ but by way of obligation, …
Romans 5:17: For if by the fault of the one death reigned through the one Much more they who the superabundance of the favour and of the free-gift of the righteousness do receive In life shall reign through the one, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:18: Hence､ then as through one fault the sentence was unto all men unto condemnation So also､ through one recovery of righteousness the decree of favour is unto all men for righteous acquittal unto life;
Romans 13:14: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, And for the flesh take not forethought､ to fulfil its covetings.
2 Peter 2:20–22: For if having escaped from the defilements of the world by a personal knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ but by the same having again become entangled､ they are defeated The last state hath become､ for them､ worse than the first; For better had it been for them— Not to have obtained a personal knowledge of the way of righteousness, Than having obtained such knowledge to turn back out of the holy commandment delivered unto them. There hath befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb— A dog turning back unto his own vomit, And— A sow､ as soon as washed unto wallowing in mire.
The Emphasized Bible is one of the most innovative and thoroughly researched translations ever done by a single individual. Its presentation of emphases and grammatical features of the original language still reward careful study. And, because its language is less than a century old and because its textual base and footnotes are quite modern, it can be used as a companion text to any contemporary translation.
—John R. Kohlenberger, III
Joseph Bryant Rotherham (1828–1910) was a British biblical scholar and minister of the Churches of Christ. He was a prolific writer whose best-known work was the Emphasized Bible, a new translation that used “emphatic inversion” and a set of diacritical marks to bring out shades of meaning in the original text.