What if you were responsible for translating God's Word into a language that never had a Bible before? Can you imagine the burden you would feel to do a good job?
God takes His Word pretty seriously, and you would certainly do everything in your power to make sure that you were not putting words into God's mouth, but that you were providing a text that clearly communicated God's Word as closely to the original as possible.
This challenge to understand the heart of the original Scriptures, in order to put the original text into a new language, was the impetus for the United Bible Societies to create handbooks for Bible translators working on this very thing.
Perhaps you have heard this series referred to as the UBS Translators Handbook Series, or Helps for Translators Series? Regardless of what name you know it by, The United Bible Societies' New Testament Handbook Series is a comprehensive verse by verse guide to understanding exactly what is being communicated by the author in the original Scriptures.
(See also the UBS Old Testament Handbook Series)
This twenty volume set of detailed commentaries provides valuable exegetical, historical, cultural, and linguistic information on the original text. The series has been instrumental in shedding light on the Scriptures so that translators all over the world could complete the important task of putting God's Word into the many languages spoken in the world today.
Over the years church leaders and Bible readers have found the UBS Handbooks to be useful for their own study, since many of the issues Bible translators must address when trying to communicate the Bible's message to modern readers are the ones Bible students must address when approaching the Bible text as a part of their own private study and devotions.