Young's Literal Translation

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English Bible Versions

Young's Literal Translation is a translation of the Bible into English, published in 1862. The translation was made by Robert Young, compiler of Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible and Concise Critical Comments on the New Testament. Young produced a "Revised Version" of the translation in 1887. After he died on October 14, 1888, the publisher in 1898 released a new Revised Edition.

Taken as a whole, some consider Young's Literal Translation to be a poor attempt to translate the Textus Receptus into a more literal sense.



Young's Literal Translation also consistently renders the Hebrew Tetragrammaton (divine name) throughout the Old Covenant/Testament as "Jehovah", instead of the traditional translational practice of representing the Tetragrammaton in English as "LORD" in all capitals.

Word Uniformity

It renders Luke 24:1 as “And on the first of the sabbaths” while it translates Acts 20:7 as “And on the first of the week” even though the two phrases are identical in the Greek texts. To quote the preface "Every effort has been made to secure a comparative degree of uniformity in rendering the original words and phrases. Thus, for example, the Hebrew verb nathan, which is rendered by the King James' translators in sixty-seven different ways... has been restricted and reduced to ten, and so with many others. It is the Translator's ever-growing conviction, that even this smaller number may be reduced still further."

Eternity or age

Another feature of YLT is its treatment of the Hebrew word olam and the Greek word αιων. These two words have basically the same meaning, and YLT translates them and their derivatives as “age” or “age-during”. Other English versions most often translate them to indicate eternality (eternal, everlasting, forever, etc). However, there are notable exceptions to this in all major translations, such as Matthew 28:20: “…I am with you always, to the end of the age” (NRSV), the word “age” being a translation of aion. Rendering aion to indicate eternality in this verse would result in the contradictory phrase “end of eternity”, so the question arises whether it should ever be so. Proponents of Universal Reconciliation point out that this has significant implications for the problem of hell. However, "age" and "age-enduring" imply indeterminacy which may be either timeless and atemporal or pertaining to an indefinite period of time, the first (but not the second) meaning having been acquired by the words "eternity" and "eternal", but "eternity" and "eternal" also have other meanings including "endless period of time" and "endless in time" respectively. Compare the following sets of verses of scriptures (quoted from YLT with words corresponding to "age" or "age-enduring" marked in bold):

  • Romans 16:25 And to Him who is able to establish you, according to my good news, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the secret, in the times of the ages having been kept silent,
  • Romans 16:26 and now having been made manifest, also, through prophetic writings, according to a command of the age-during God, having been made known to all the nations for obedience of faith--
  • Romans 16:27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to him [be] glory to the ages. Amen.
  • 2 Timothy 1:9 who did save us, and did call with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, that was given to us in Christ Jesus, before the times of the ages,
  • John 3:16 for God did so love the world, that His Son--the only begotten--He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during.
  • Titus 1:2 upon hope of life age-during, which God, who doth not lie, did promise before times of ages,
  • Galatians 1:4 who did give himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of the present evil age, according to the will of God even our Father,
  • Galatians 1:5 to whom [is] the glory to the ages of the ages. Amen.
  • Matthew 6:13 `And mayest Thou not lead us to temptation, but deliver us from the evil, because Thine is the reign, and the power, and the glory--to the ages. Amen.
  • Matthew 12:3 And whoever may speak a word against the Son of Man it shall be forgiven to him, but whoever may speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is coming.
  • Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.'
  • Luke 1:33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob to the ages; and of his reign there shall be no end.'
  • Luke 18:30 who may not receive back manifold more in this time, and in the coming age, life age-during.'

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