The Concordant Idea


Faced with the situation that common bible translations are translated rather freely with regard to the main text, seldom representing the original words uniformly, that they are coloured dogmatically sometimes (on or without purpose), and because this makes it difficult for the ordinary bible student to find out what is written originally without knowing something about the ancient tongues, the idea arose to translate the Scriptures as precisely as possible into modern languages. This approach was developed at the beginning of the previous century in the USA when Adolf Ernst Knoch discovered during his studies of Holy Writ that only by the use of a concordance of the Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic texts in English (such as Wigram’s Englishman’s Concordances) is solid progress in the recovery of truth possible. Therefore, why not make a version in which every word of the main text is translated uniformly? As a result, the exact meaning of the original texts should be understable merely by reading this translation.

Thus, the concordant idea was born, reborn we have to say honestly, because of the fact that similar efforts had already been made in ancient times, e.g. with Origen’s Hexapla. Most importantly, such a concordant translation would not be based on human knowledge but on the Word of God alone. It would not be simply another version, but the true image of the main text in a modern language. Scripture Study would not need the usage of several concordances, grammars, lexicons, etc., and it would not be necessary to learn the ancient tongues, but could be limited to reading and studying such a concordant translation in one’s native tongue.

However, before the concordant idea could be put into practice the problem of the main text had to be solved. It is clear that the original books, accounts and epistles do not exist anymore and that the Word of God has come down to us in ancient manuscripts comprising copies of the originals. In the case of the so-called New Testament there are three almost complete ancient codices, the Codex Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and Alexandrinus, besides some more recent examples and many, many fragments. Because of the law laid down by our Lord that the words of two or three witnesses are sufficient evidence to decide any matter, a combined text of the three old manuscripts was created as a base for the concordant sublinear and idiomatic translation, the Concordant Greek Text (CGT). Nowadays we notice that all the new scholarly versions of the so-called Greek New Testament could not add merely one single passage which is not already witnessed to by the CGT with its textual apparatus (superlinear).

Before the translating process could be started the whole vocabulary of the Sacred Text was sorted into its basic elements (morphemes) and assigned to their English equivalents which were given only once to the Greek and vice versa. These English elements were called STANDARDS, written in CAPITALS, showing exactly the Greek etymology in English. In a next step those etymological STANDARDS were adapted to every Greek lemma in accordance with the rules of word-building in Greek. Because of idiomatic reasons variants were added in normal letters to these STANDARDS, thus showing the whole range of meaning for every Greek word. All the English words used are taken out of the scriptural context which means that they are based solely on the original words of the Sacred Scriptures.

The same method was used concerning the grammar. Every grammatical form in the tongue of origin was assigned to only one English synonym which also was used only once. With regard to English idiom, variants had to be added in a similar manner which were indicated by typographical means in the idiomatic version.

Finally, with these elements in place, the translation could be started. First the Concordant Greek Text was translated uniformly by use of the etymological standards and reproduced in CAPITALS. Sometimes a more understandable idiomatic variant was taken, indicated in contrast by normal letters. Likewise, the grammatical standards were used and as a result a true image of the main text was generated in English. On the basis of this etymological sublinear an idiomatic concordant translation was created which can be connected to the Greek by means of the sublinear. Additionally, an exhaustive lexical concordance was appended, arranged alphabetically in accord with the English standards, the whole vocabulary with the Greek Elements, the grammatical forms, a reverse index of Greek endings as well as a short course in ‘Sacred Greek’. Truly, this was a revolution in the history of modern bible translation.

In 1944 A.E. Knoch published an edited version of the concordant translation in kpocket book form with keyword concordance, which could be handled much more easily than the big study edition. An edited reprint is still available: The Concordant Literal Version of the New Testament (CLV). Afterwards A.E.K. and his fellow workers focused on a concordant translation of the Hebrew/Aramaic text which is now finished and available in a complete edition. The Concordant Version of the Old Testament (CVOT) is published, as well as the CLV, by the Concordant Publishing Concern, USA.

In the meantime, the computer era arose, bringing multiple changes to daily life and in particular concerning the medium of the printed book and the Book of books, the Sacred Scriptures. By this technology and via all concordant material available bible-software was created, called Interlinear Scripture Analyzer (ISA). ISA combines excellent programming features with concordant databases with the result of producing a powerful and unique tool for Scripture study. Concordant etymological and idiomatical interlinears, parsings, the Greek Elements and several standard levels can all now be directly related to the translations, some of them linked to the main texts, enabling by this method to make direct contact with the Word of God in the original tongues.

Via the download button of our website you can get access to specifically arranged interlinears as well as tables concerning grammar forms and word-building principles in PDF format which represent the concordant idea in an up to date manner, independent of operating systems and running on every digital device, enabling you to carry out intensive concordant Scripture study.

Apprehending the Word of God Almighty in your own mother tongue is a unique experience as well as an inexpressible privilege, leading to deep thankfulness and contentment. It is like feeling the breath of Almighty God Himself, breathing life-giving spirit through His word. We are persuaded and correspondingly our prayers are rising to God, our Saviour, that He will use this work for the laud of His glory and for the blessing of His saints.