The Literal English Version of Scripture (LEV) is a new version of the Scriptures. It is primarily a revision of the World English Bible, which was checked against the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts of today. Although the WEB's English text was used as a "base" it is not at all a word-for-word copy. Rather, the LEV has had many thousands of words and phrases completely re-translated in an attempt to accurately preserve the original intent of the words of Scripture. Formerly known as the Shem Qadosh Version of Scripture (SQV).
The LEV includes the 66 books of the standard canon. There are five (5) appendices, including multiple explanatory notes, a Torah Portion reading schedule, a brief explanation of the various sacrifices, a Hebrew/Syriac/Greek alphabet chart, and a glossary of more than 300 terms. The glossary is meant to aid readers in learning pronunciation (as there is a pronunciation key in it), as well as showing the traditional Anglicized form of the word they are looking for. In addition to this, the LEV has more than 1,050 footnotes throughout that help to further define words and phrases. These footnotes also note textual variants between different major manuscripts.
The goal in creating LEV was four-fold:
All too often Biblical terms and names are altered in English Bibles to an Anglicized pronunciation. For the LEV, however, these names are restored back to a more proper transliteration. For example, the Anglicized name 'Jeremiah' is originally Hebrew, and is spelled ירמיהו. In English letters, this would be written as 'Yirmeyahu.' Jeremiah is restored to Yirmeyahu, Isaiah to Yeshayahu, Solomon to Sh'lomoh and so on.
This leads into the most important names of all: the Names of our Creator and His Son. These Names are very rarely ever translated or transliterated correctly in modern Bibles. While The Messiah's Name is usually written as an Anglicized form of the Greek Ιησους (Iesous) as 'Jesus', The Father's Name is not written at all. Rather, it is REPLACED by 'The LORD.' In the LEV, our Messiah's Name is written in Hebrew as ישוע and His Father's Name is יהוה. This retains their proper Names, without causing dogmatic debate over pronunciation.
Since neither the Hebrew, nor Aramaic, nor Greek languages have a letter 'J' all 'J' names have been changed.
There is always translational bias. Whether in the choice of what source texts to use (Greek Critical Texts, Greek Majority Texts, Greek Textus Receptus, Syriac Peshitta) or even in the way certain phrases are translated (compare Mark 7:19 in the LEV with the same verse in a regular modern translation).
The LEV seeks to remove as much bias as possible. In a few cases, this means transliterating words rather than translating them and adding an explanatory note to fully explain it.
A good, consistent, faithful translation is useless if people cannot read it. The LEV, since it is a revision of the WEB, already retains much in terms of readability. We have taken this a step further to ensure that while it remains readable, the LEV is also LITERAL.
The LEV is a literal translation.
Below are selected portions taken directly from the LEV. These should grant the reader a brief glimpse into the language, style, and translation of the LEV.
1 In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.
2 The earth became a waste and a void, and darkness was over the face of the deep, and the Ruaḥ of Elohim fluttered over the face of the waters.
1 In the beginning was the word, and the word was with Elohim, and the word was Elohim.
2 The same was in the beginning with Elohim.
16 Let no man therefore judge you – in eating, or in drinking, or distinction of a Feast or a New Moon or a Sabbath,
17 (which are a shadow of the things to come) – but the body of Messiah only.
1 Who has believed our message? To whom has the Arm of יהוה been revealed?
2 For He grew up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form nor comeliness. When we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
You can get the full version of the LEV as a pdf for free. Click the link below to download.
As a courtesy to our brothers & sisters abroad, a PDF edition of the SQV has been created utilizing UK English spelling instead of American English. [Special thanks to Sonia Foley for assistance]
The LEV is not yet available in an anglicized version.
We are currently hard at work trying to include the LEV in popular apps, such as the Bible App from YouVersion. Come back soon to stay updated, or give us a hand in the effort!