The NET (or New English Translation) is a relatively new Bible version, but it has quickly become one of my favorites. It is completely unlike any other translation before it. Perhaps the word openness best describes what makes this Bible so special.
Open translation process
When the NET Bible was being translated, the drafts were put on the web for beta testing. Many people, from professors to junior high students, submitted suggestions. The translators (themselves highly qualified scholars) used that feedback to improve their translation. This resulted in a unique Bible version that is highly readable while remaining faithful to the original texts.
Open licensing model
Most Bible versions today have heavy copyright restrictions. This often makes it difficult to quote the Bible legally in a new publication. The NET Bible, however, operates on a “ministry first” model. The goal is to make it easy to secure the proper permissions by eliminating as many obstacles as possible. In most cases, authors can use the NET Bible in their books without having to pay any licensing fees.
Open translators’ notes
My favorite aspect of the NET Bible is the wonderful set of notes it comes with. The translators provided detailed explanations for every major decision they made, giving us an inside look at the translation process. The notes cover the text-critical issues surrounding any given text, including alternate readings. They discuss different meanings a word can convey, comparing their translation with other versions. And they explain what the idioms and figures of speech in the Bible would have meant to their original audience.
There are over 60,000 notes in total, and they are truly an invaluable resource. I would not want to be without them. The NET Bible notes are so helpful that they have actually been used by other Bible translators and editors:
The extensive and reliable notes in The NET Bible were a wonderful help to our translation team as we worked to prepare the English Standard Version.
—Wayne Grudem, member of translation oversight committee, ESV
The translators’ notes, study notes, and text-critical notes (over 60,000 notes altogether) alone are worth the price of the NET Bible. In our work on the fully revised NIV Study Bible of 2002, the TNIV, and the TNIV Study Bible, we consulted the NET Bible notes and were often helped by them. Kudos!
—Kenneth L. Barker, general editor, NIV Study Bible and TNIV Study Bible
What are you waiting for?
You can add the NET Bible—along with the incredible translators’ notes—to your Faithlife Study Bible for only $10. I don’t know of a better Bible study resource for that price!
Still not convinced? Here are just a few more endorsements the NET Bible has received:
There are many wonderful things I could say about The NET Bible, but the most important is this: the NET Bible is a Bible you can trust. The translation is clear, accurate, and powerful. And the notes, those wonderful notes! They bring to the layman scholarly insights and discussions that have up till now been accessible only to those trained in the biblical languages. If you are serious about studying Scripture, get a copy of The NET Bible.
—Chuck Swindoll, chancellor, Dallas Theological Seminary
The complaint I hear from many Christians is that some of the translations of the Bible are too wooden. They are grammatically correct, but don’t seem to convey the passion of the writer. On the flip side, some paraphrases and translations convey the passion of the writer at the cost of an accurate translation. The NET Bible is the best of both worlds. The notes are helpful to the scholar and the lay person alike. This is the Bible for the next millennium.
—Tony Evans, senior pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
This Bible is a triumph: a straightforward and accurate translation that is also elegant. The annotations are much fuller and more helpful than in other popular translations, and the production of a constantly-improving electronic text brings Bible reading and Bible study into the new millennium.
—Philip R. Davies, professor at the department of biblical studies of The University of Sheffield