<a href="https://biblicalmissiology.org/blog/author/adam/" target="_self">Adam Simnowitz</a>

Adam Simnowitz

Adam Simnowitz is a minister with the Assemblies of God. He lives in Dearborn, MI. He holds a M.A. from Columbia International University from their College of Intercultural Studies. His thesis is available on this website: "Muslim Idiom Translation: Assessing So-Called Scripture Translation For Muslim Audiences With A Look Into Its Origins In Eugene A. Nida's Theories Of Dynamic Equivalence And Cultural Anthropology: https://biblicalmissiology.org/2016/03/21/muslim-idiom-translation-assessing-so-called-scripture-translation-for-muslim-audiences-with-a-look-into-its-origins-in-eugene-a-nidas-theories-of-dynamic-equivalence-and-cultural-anthro/


  1. Adam Simnowitz

    Mike, the KJV, NKJV, and NASB 1995 are the versions that I trust the most in English as they do not follow Nida’s dynamic equivalence/functional equivalence theory (DE/FE), though they are not without their flaws. I have not been greatly impressed with the ESV though it is certainly better than the NIV. I have not read through the CSB but the few passages that I have read make me think that it is not given to the loose renderings fostered by DE/FE. I really like the notes for the NET version, though I do not care for some of the translation choices, . My suggestion is that you compare translations. biblehub.com is a very helpful site, especially the interlinear option – the hyperlinks to words in the biblical manuscript languages regarding their meanings and their occurrences throughout the Bible make for indispensable study tools.

  2. Mike


    Thank you for your compelling response, much appreciated. Could you please tell us the translation work you consider to be most faithful to all God-breathed Scripture in English? Are there several that meet the standard? (Perhaps you could give us a short list of most faithful to least faithful.)

    Thank you again,


  3. Adam Simnowitz

    Mike, what you ask is worthy of an article unto itself. The point that I want to emphasize is that Nida was all about getting translators to not translate as literally as possible while maintaining intelligibility in the target language (i.e the language of the translation), even if one claims to believe that the Bible is the divinely-inspired Word of God. Once a person is comfortable with this, anything goes, from minimal changes to drastic ones. Here are a few examples from the Good News Bible (1976): Gen 1:2 has “power of God” vs. “Spirit of God”; Eccl 3:5 has “making love” vs. “casting stones”; lack of verbal concordance for “righteousness” (e.g. Gen 15:6 has “the LORD was pleased with him and accepted him” vs. “he counted it to him for righteousness”; the rendering in Rom 4:3 differs from Gen 15:6; from a cursory look at the GNB the first occurrence of “righteousness” that I found is in Ps 9:8); the lack of verbal concordance for “blood” (e.g. Acts 20:28 has “the sacrificial death of his Son” and in the footnote has “or his own death” vs. “his own blood”). Two examples from the Good News Arabic Bible (also known as the shared/common version): 1 Cor 8:4 has the first part of the Islamic confession of faith (i.e. the shahada) of which the repetition is necessary for converting to Islam, “There is no god but Allah” vs. “there is no God but one”; and Ezekiel 33:6 has “this one will be killed for the sin of the watchman” vs. “he is taken away in his iniquity.” The use of “gender neutral” language in various English versions such as “brothers and sisters” vs. “brothers”; the various substitutes for “man” especially the ungrammatical use of “they” to refer to the singular; the insertion of Pharisees in John 10:1, 6 in the NIV 2011. All these examples are the result of translators feeling the freedom to render Scripture without regard to the text itself. This was Nida’s goal and he was quite successful in achieving it both in his lifetime as well as after his death through the ongoing legacy of his indefatigable labors.

  4. Mike


    Could you please give us some samplings of key Scriptures where Nida’s teachings play out to negatively influence the work of translation and, thereby, undermine clear biblical truths?

    Thank you!

  5. Adam Simnowitz

    Judson, while I cannot answer the first question, I can address your second one. While doing research on Nida for my thesis, I was struck by the absence of evangelical critique of his unbiblical view regarding language and the attendant errors of dynamic equivalence. Footnote 517 on p. 114 of my thesis (see any of the footnotes above that have the hyperlink, “Simnowitz-MIT” to access it) has a passing comment regarding Nida’s “naturalistic” theory of the origin of language vs. a theistic one. I have yet to come across any thorough treatment of this point during Nida’s lifetime. Consider that Nida was able to successfully teach his views while positively interacting with scholars like Oswald T. Allis, Carl F.H. Henry, Harold Lindsell, and D.A. Carson. I believe that evangelicals simply assumed that Nida was a conservative because of his early church affiliations, teaching for SIL, was an early promoter of Wycliffe Bible Translators, and part of the American Bible Society. Additionally, it seems to me that his works on cultural anthropology were mainly read by missionaries, while his works on translation were mainly read by people involved (or preparing for involvement) in Bible translation. A much fuller picture of his agenda comes into focus when you read his writings on both topics, especially in chronological order.

  6. Judson I Stone

    Did Cameron Townsend understand what Nida’s views entailed? If I remember correctly, Townsend visited Gordon-Conwell when I was there in the ’75-78. Who in the evangelical/conservative world raised red flags as you are doing?

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